By Carole Meghreblian
FLArmenians Naples Contributor
On February 21, the Armenian Church of Southwest Florida (ACSWFL) celebrated the Divine Liturgy with over 100 parishioners in attendance. Sub-deacon Jack Dikranian assisted at the altar. Guest organist Louise Yardumian and 12 choir members were present to help mark the special occasion, the 15th Anniversary of the Armenian Church of Southwest Florida, with beautiful music.
The anniversary banquet, hosted by Frank and Susan Stoneson, followed at Vanderbilt Country Club. Guest speakers Oscar Tatosian, former Chairman of the Diocesan Council, Fr. Tateos Abdalian, Carole Meghreblian, Chairperson of the Parish Council, spoke about the history of the ACSWFL. Entertainment was provided by Mrs. Yardumian who played several piano selections.
ACSWFL Upcoming Events:
- Monday, March 7: Bake Sale, Lunch, and FunFest in the Church Hall: 1:00 – 5:00 pm
- Sunday, March 13: Badarak – Rev. Fr. Garabed Kochakian; Annual Lenten Luncheon to follow in Trinity Hall. Advanced reservations only.
All services are held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3901 Davis Blvd., Naples, Florida at 1:30 pm.
For more information about the Armenian Church of Southwest Florida, please contact Carole Meghreblian by phone (239) 348-3809 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jacksonville Parish Completes Hall Renovation
Last weekend, parishioners of the Jacksonville mission parish gathered for the provisional opening of the church’s new hall. On Sunday, February 17, the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, the Diocese’s Director of Mission Parishes, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and performed a Home Blessing service in the new facility.
The hall is located on the first floor of a two-story building that the parish purchased in the summer of 2011. Since then, parishioners have worked together to renovate the building, which will serve as a community center, where local Armenians can gather for worship, and for cultural and social programs. The second floor, which will be completed soon, will be used for liturgical celebrations and performing sacraments. The formal blessing ceremony will be presided over by Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian later this year.
Parish Council chair Elmira Grigoryan expressed her appreciation to the community for its dedication to the project. Special thanks went to Suren Vardanian and Harout Baboyan, who have been overseeing the renovations.
Also during his visit, Fr. Abdalian performed a requiem service to honor the Armenian victims of Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing. Many of the families in Jacksonville moved to the U.S. after fleeing anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait and Baku.
ACYOA Juniors Gather for Retreat in Florida
Earlier in February, Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s Youth Outreach Coordinator, traveled to the Sunshine State where she led the Western Florida ACYOA Juniors Retreat. More than 20 teens from St. Hagop Church of Pinellas Park, and Soorp Haroutiun Church of Orlando, gathered for small group discussions and Bible study sessions that encouraged them to think about how they can better share the light of Christ in their everyday lives.
On Sunday morning, the Rev. Fr. Hovnan Demerjian, pastor of St. Hagop Church, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and welcomed Jennifer Morris to speak to the parish about the Diocesan Summer Camp programs. The retreat was hosted by St. Hagop Church, with the leadership of youth adviser Yn. Anna Demerjian and the support of several parish volunteers.
Story combined from the February 21st Armenian Church E-Newsletter.
Naples, FL – The Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean of St. Nersess Seminary celebrated Armenian Christmas with the parishioners of the Armenian Church of Southwest Florida (ACSWFL) on January 13, 2013. He was assisted at the altar by Seminarian student Levon Asdourian, and Deacon Allan Tossoonian of St. Hagop’s Church in Pinellas Park.
The service concluded with the Blessing of Water. Vahan Janoyan served as Godfather of the Cross. A procession then followed into the fellowship hall where Fr. Chevian performed a Blessing of the Home ceremony. Each family received a Nishghark from Fr. Chevian.
The ACSWFL annual bake sale gave parishioners the opportunity to purchase a variety of Armenian breads and desserts on display. A catered dinner followed with parishioners greeting old friends from up north and welcoming new members to the parish.
Sylvia Raubolt was presented a Waterford Cross by Fr. Chevian and Carole Meghreblian, chairperson of the ACSWFL. Mrs. Raubolt was one of the orginal parish council members until her retirement this year.
February & March 2013 Services at ACSWFL
The Armenian Church of Southwest Florida is pleased to welcome the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Director of the Zohrab Center in New York City, to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm. A light lunch will follow the service.
On March 3, 2013, at 1:00 pm, Fr. Tateos Abdalian, Director of Mission Parishes will celebrate Holy Badarak. The annual Lenten luncheon will follow.
ACSWFL services are held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3901 Davis Blvd., Naples, Florida.
Photo Caption 1: (L-R): Allan Tossoonian, Deacon, Rev. Mardiros Chevian, Celebrant, Vahan Janoyan, Godfather of the Cross, Levon Asdourian, Seminarian
Photo Caption 2: (L-R): Shirley Yergatian, Tony Akgulian, Diane Akgulian, Julie Couyoumjian
Photo Caption3: (L-R): Parish Council Members Pamela Torosian, Carole Meghreblian, Mariam Tatosian