Women’s Guild Assembly Addresses Charitable Projects and Outreach

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Karine Abalyan
Tel: (212) 686-0710; Fax: (212) 779-3558
E-mail: [email protected]

May 7, 2010



The 24th annual Women’s Guild Assembly, hosted by the St. James Armenian
Church of Evanston, Ill., was held from April 30 to May 1 at the Chicago
Marriott O’Hare Hotel. Running concurrently with the 108th Diocesan
Assembly, the Women’s Guild meeting brought together 39 delegates from
throughout the Diocese, to review activities of the past year, and discuss a
"strategic plan" for the future.

Delegates summarized what their local guilds had accomplished during the
past year in the fields of worship, witness, service, education, fellowship,
and stewardship.

In an effort to find new ways to attract a younger generation of Armenian
women to the guild, two guest speakers gave presentations.

Talin Hitik, vice chair of the ACYOA Central Council, addressed ways to
increase interest in the Women’s Guild. She said the best way to reach out
to younger potential members is by expanding Women’s Guild’s message, and
she recommended getting involved with the ACYOA juniors and senior chapters
so the guild would gain exposure. Ms. Hitik said the Women’s Guild has to
"create a culture where they want to be a part of you."

Susan Horowitz, an executive who coaches about leadership, spoke on the
topic of "developing the leadership quality of enrolling others." Her
discussion revolved around the definition of a leader and the skills
necessary for leadership. Other topics she touched on included shared
leadership, stewardship, developing relationships, and mobilizing

The May 1 session opened with inspiring remarks from Deacon Levon
Kirakosyan, deacon-in-charge of the host parish. He called the guild one of
the most important organizations in a parish: the "driving force of the
parishes and churches."

"We are nothing without them, and we pray to God to strengthen our churches
through these women," he said.

In keeping with the Vocations theme of the Diocesan Assembly, and with
efforts to strengthen St. Nersess Seminary, Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian spoke
about assisting seminarians financially while in seminary. "What you get
back in your parishes will pay back what you’ve invested, and much more,"
said Fr. Doudoukjian.

Financial and committee reports were reviewed, and several new proposals
were voted on. The delegates heard reports on the Children of Armenia
Sponsorship Program (CASP), the School Bag Project, the Fuller House Fund,
and the Women’s Guild Central Council fundraiser.

Women’s Guild Central Council election results included two incumbents, Zita
Butler (from Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church, Providence, R.I.) and Kathy
Mkjian (St. John Church, Southfield, Mich.). Newly elected members were
Meline Grigorian (St. Mesrob Church, Racine, Wisc.) and Nadya Chubukian
(alternate, St. Mary Church, Washington, D.C.).

"Women of Wonder" luncheon

A new event, the "Women of Wonder" luncheon, took place on Saturday
afternoon. The award-created to recognize guild members who have made
significant contributions to the guild and the Armenian Church for an
extended period of time-was given to Yn. Violet Kasparian, who was
recognized for her dedication to the organization and for her 18 years as
coordinator of the guild’s School Bag Project, which has sent over 7,000
bags to students in Armenia since its inception in 1992.

Fr. Arnak Kasparian related his memories of meeting his wife and the life
they have shared together. Their granddaughter Maria Kasparian also spoke
about Yn. Violet and the example she set for the entire Kasparian family.
Rita Oscherichian, who chairs the Women’s Guild at St. Leon Church (Fair
Lawn, N.J.), spoke about the pleasure of working with Yn. Violet and
receiving her wisdom.

Through the luncheon, enough money was raised to sponsor five orphans
through the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program for several years.
Archbishop Barsamian presented Yn. Violet with a framed certificate as a
token of appreciation.

Delegates who attended the 2010 Women’s Guild Assembly received a wealth of
information through their round-table discussions and guest speakers, said
Leslie Movsesian, who chairs the Women’s Guild Central Council.

"We gave them food for thought regarding the charities we want to support in
the future as well as addressing the issue of enrolling younger women within
the church into the Women’s Guild," said Ms. Movsesian, who added that the
gathering gave members an opportunity to network with one another.

"We were all engaged in the meetings and conversations, and challenged
delegates to think outside the box and to see things on a broader level,"
she said.


* * *



The 24th annual Women’s Guild Assembly brought together 39 delegates from
local parish guilds.


In their annual meeting, Women’s Guild members from throughout the Diocese
reviewed activities of the past year, and discussed a "strategic plan" for
the future.


Participants in the Women’s Guild assembly heard presentations from guest
speakers and from local guild members.


Yn. Violet Kasparian receives the Women’s Guild’s "Woman of Wonder Award"
from Diocesan Primate Abp. Barsamian and Leslie Movsesian, who chairs the
Women’s Guild Central Council.

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