eNewsletter of the Eastern Diocese – 11/15/2012

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686-0710
Fax: (212) 779-3558
Email: [email protected]

TOP STORY November 15, 2012
St. Mary
Detail of an 18th-century painting of St. Mary by an unknown artist
(collection of the National Gallery of Armenia).

** Presentation of the Mother-of-God to the Temple

On Wednesday, November 21, the worldwide Armenian Church will
celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Holy Mother-of-God to
the Temple.

Shortly after Mary was born, her parents Joachim and Anna took their
daughter to the Temple of Jerusalem to be consecrated to God in
thanksgiving for the gift of their child. According to tradition, Mary
remained there for a time and was given over to the care of pious
widows and maidens who lived at the temple. Later, as a young woman,
Mary became betrothed to Joseph the carpenter.

Click here
to learn more about Mary’s life.

Annual Appeal

** Support the Diocese’s 2012 Annual Appeal

The Eastern Diocese has launched its 2012 Annual Appeal-and we need
your help to make it a success! The Appeal is the only Diocesan-wide
fundraiser conducted each year to help the Diocese undertake the many
ministries, programs, and resources that enrich life in our local

We have set a target of $825,000 for the 2012 Annual Appeal. Funds
raised beyond that target will help to support one of the great
institutions of our community: the Armenian Church Youth Organization
of America (ACYOA). Please consider making a contribution to the 2012
Annual Appeal to help spread the good work of the Armenian Church
across our local communities=80’and across the generations.

Follow these links to donate now
, and to learn more
about the 2012 Annual Appeal.

St. Mary Church, Livingston, NJ

** St. Mary Church of Livingston, NJ, to Unveil New Hall

St. Mary Church of Livingston, NJ, will celebrate a highly-anticipated
milestone this Friday, when it welcomes His Holiness Karekin II, the
Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, to the parish.

His Holiness will preside over the opening and dedication of the
church’s newly expanded `Haroutune and Siranoush Toufayan Hall.’

Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian will join His Holiness,
parish pastor the Rev. Fr. Arakel Vardazaryan, and the main
benefactors of the hall expansion, Mr. and Mrs. Hratch and Suzanne
Toufayan, as the St. Mary parishioners open a new chapter in their

A dedication service at 6:30 p.m. will be followed by a grand banquet
in the new hall, which is named in honor of Mr. Toufayan’s late
parents. Hratch and Suzanne Toufayan are not only benefactors of their
parish, but also of the Diocese and Holy Etchmiadzin, and are the
sponsors of many productive and inspiring projects in Armenia.

The parish is deeply honored to share the occasion with His Holiness
Karekin II, who has been visiting the U.S. to meet privately with
community leaders. Click here
to visit the parish website and view photos of the new construction.

Church of Our Saviour, Worcester, MA

** Primate to Visit Church of Our Saviour in Worcester, MA

On Sunday, November 18, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate,
will visit the Church of Our Saviour in Worcester, MA, where he will
celebrate the Divine Liturgy and ordain eight acolytes.

Following services, the parish will hold its `Recognition Day Banquet’
to honor dedicated parishioners. Click here
to view a flyer for information.

** Scripture of the Week

Is 25:9-26:7
Phil 1:1-11
Lk 9:44-50

** Prayer of the Week

Let us hold the holy Mother-of-God and all the saints as intercessors
with the Father in Heaven, that He may be pleased to have mercy and
compassion on us, His creatures, and save us. Almighty Lord, our God,
save us and have mercy on us. Amen.

** Upcoming Saints & Feasts

18 November: Barekendan of the Fast of Advent

21 November: Presentation of the Holy Mother-of-God to the Temple

25 November: First Sunday of Advent

New Leader for Church of England
Bishop Justin Welby was named the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury this

** Church of England Names New Leader

On Friday, November 9, Bishop Justin Welby was named the 105th
Archbishop of Canterbury. He will succeed Archbishop Rowan Williams as
the leader of the Church of England and the spiritual head of 77
million Anglicans worldwide. Archbishop Williams is retiring after a
decade in the position.

Bishop Welby studied law and history at Cambridge University and
worked in the oil sector before preparing for the priesthood in the
late 1980s. Most recently he served as the Bishop of Durham. He will
be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury in March 2013.

Clergy Conference
Clergymen from parishes across the Eastern Diocese took part in this
week’s workshop.

** Young Clergy Meet to Build “Model” Parishes

Thirteen clergymen from parishes across the Eastern Diocese met at the
Diocesan Center in New York this week, for an innovative three-day
exercise in envisioning and building towards a `model’ parish. The
conference was geared towards new, young clergymen in the Eastern

Taking inspiration from a discussion of what a `model’ parish might be
like, the clergymen were encouraged to create their own visions of
what their respective parishes could become. With the help of Diocesan
administrators, leaders, and staff, the clergymen then developed
strategic action plans to guide their practical efforts to strengthen
and enrich the local churches.

In remarks offering his vision for the conference, Diocesan Primate
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian said that he wanted to give new pastors
the tools to be successful and creative in their ministries. The
Primate presided over the entire gathering, sharing his ideas and
experience with the young clergymen, and emphasizing that they needed
to be proactive and accountable.

During Tuesday’s session the gathering was graced by the presence of
His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All
Armenians, who has been visiting the U.S.

Each of the three conference days began with a reflection on a
pertinent text from the Bible or from Armenian Church history. The
clergy also heard presentations from Diocesan departments and
organizations on subjects like Christian education, Armenian language
and culture, youth outreach through camps and ACYOA, communications,
stewardship, sacred music, and upcoming plans for St. Nersess

By the conclusion of the conference, each of the clergymen had
developed a vision of future parish progress, which they will now
share with their parish councils. Plans call for the group to
reconvene in a year to evaluate progress. The November 12-14
conference was the latest in a series of workshops organized by the
Diocese to educate and energize young clergy and to familiarize them
with Diocesan resources.

Archbishop Barsamian, Diocesan Vicar the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon
Diocesan Council chair Oscar Tatosian, and executive director Michael
Guglielmo organized the workshop.

Click here
to view photos.

Diocesan Council meeting
The Diocesan Council held its monthly meeting at the Diocesan Center
this afternoon.

** Diocesan Council Committed to Success of 2012 Appeal

Meeting at the Diocesan Center in New York on Thursday, November 15,
members of the Diocesan Council reviewed the progress of the 2012
Annual Appeal. Council members are committed to ensuring the Appeal’s
success in the coming weeks. An Appeal reception is planned for New
York City next month (see the item below); additional receptions will
be held throughout the Diocese.

Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s Youth Outreach coordinator, gave a
report on the 2012 summer camp season. Council members discussed the
camp program, and spoke of other youth programs in the Diocese. They
also brainstormed ways to get more young people involved in the life
of the Armenian Church.

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, spoke about last
month’s funeral service for His Beatitude Archbishop Torkom Manoogian,
the late Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem. Dr. Raffy Hovanessian, who
with the Primate attended the Diocesan Representative Assembly at Holy
Etchmiadzin in early November, gave a report on the topics reviewed at
that meeting.

The council also discussed new clergy assignments (see the item below)
and preliminary plans for the 2014 Diocesan Assembly, which will be
held at the Diocesan Center in New York.


** New Clergy Assignments

Three new clergy assignments were announced earlier this week. They go
into effect on Thursday, November 15.

The Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, longtime dean of St. Vartan Cathedral,
has accepted a new post to serve as dean of St. Nersess Armenian
Seminary. The Very Rev. Fr. Mamigon Kiledjian, the long-serving pastor
of St. Stepanos Church of Elberon, NJ, will take up a new role as dean
of St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City. Finally, the Very
Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, who has served for many years as the dean
of St. Nersess Seminary, will serve as the new director of the
Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center.

In the coming weeks, the Diocesan newsletter will profile each of
these priests. Click here
to read this week’s article about Fr. Mardiros Chevian.

Armine Zambak
Armine Zambak (1916-2012).

** In Memoriam: Armine Zambak (1916-2012)

It is with great sorrow that the Eastern Diocese learned of the
passing of Armine Zambak-a generous philanthropist and the mother of
Fund for Armenian Relief Board member Agavni Pontish
Yeramyan. Mrs. Zambak was 96.

A native of Ankara, Turkey, Mrs. Zambak is a graduate of the Uskudar
American College in Istanbul. Following the passing of her husband,
Garabed Zambak, Mrs. Zambak moved to the United States, where she was
a member of St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Church in Wynnewood, PA, and an
active supporter of local Armenian organizations.

In the early 1990s, she funded a scholarship program for Armenian
graduate students in the United States. The fund, transferred to the
Fund for Armenian Relief in 2010, now supports graduate students
pursing studies in political science and public administration in

Mrs. Zambak is survived by her daughters Agavni Pontish Yeramyan and
her husband Ara Yeramyan; and Marie Zambak Gregory; two
granddaughters; and five great-grandchildren. Click here
to read more.

Thanks to the Zambak Scholarship Fund, students in Armenia pursue
careers in political science and public administration.

** Zambak Scholarship Fund Supports Students in Armenia

Since 2010, the Fund for Armenian Relief has been administering the
Garabed and Armine Zambak Scholarship Fund. The fund was established
in the 1990s by Armine Zambak in memory of her late husband Garabed

Like her husband, Mrs. Zambak strived to further educational
opportunities for Armenian students. Each fall the program provides
full scholarships to four graduate students at Armenian universities.

Pontish Yeramyan, Armine Zambak’s eldest daughter, has been a member
of FAR’s Board of Directors since 2006. She, too, continues in her
parents’ footsteps, working to strengthen Armenia through a commitment
to continuing this scholarship program.

Click here
to read more.

St. John Armenian Church
Dr. David Aprahamian and Aram Sarkisian were ordained to the diaconate
last Sunday. (photo by Julia Papiyants)

** A Celebration of Service in Detroit, MI

Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian visited the St. John
Church of Southfield, MI, last Sunday, where he ordained two altar
servers to the diaconate and joined the community in recognizing the
dedication of several longtime parishioners.

Archbishop Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, November
11, with the Rev. Fr. Garabed Kochakian, parish pastor,
assisting. During services, Archbishop Barsamian ordained Dr. David
Aprahamian and Aram Sarkisian to the diaconate.

Later in the afternoon, the parish hosted a banquet titled `A
Celebration of Service,’ to honor parishioners for their dedication to
the Armenian Church. Several members were recognized with the parish’s
`St. John the Forerunner Award’ and the Diocese’s `St. Vartan Award.’
Emma Tabibyan Sogoian was presented with the `St. Gregory Medal’ and
Pontifical Encyclical.

The program concluded with an homage to Veterans Day: Dn. Rubik
Mailian sang `I Vow to Thee, My Country’ with the accompaniment of the
parish’s newly formed Komitas Bell Choir. Click on the following links
to read more
and to view photos

St. John the Baptist Church, Greenfield, WI
>From left: Fr. Nareg Keutelian, Fr. Simeon Odabashian, and Fr. Sahak
Kaishian with altar servers at St. John the Baptist Church.

** Greenfield, WI, Parish Marks Anniversary, Welcomes Vicar

On Sunday, November 11, the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Diocesan
Vicar, visited St. John the Baptist Church of Greenfield, WI, where he
joined the parish in its observance of the parish’s 72nd anniversary.

Fr. Odabashian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and presided over a
requiem service for the founders of St. John the Baptist Church. At a
banquet following services, Chris Flieller, artistic director of
Milwaukee’s In Tandem Theatre, made a presentation on Richard
Kalinoski’s play on the Armenian Genocide. Titled `A Beast on the
Moon,’ the play will open in March 2013.

The Rev. Fr. Nareg Keutelian, parish pastor, spoke about the situation
of the Armenian community in Syria. Fr. Odabashian concluded the
program with a recollection of memories of his time in Milwaukee,
including his participation as a seminarian at the consecration of
St. John the Baptist Church in 1986.

Click on the following links to read more
and to view photos

St. Peter Church helps hurricane victims
Parishioners of St. Peter Church organize supplies at the Jersey
Shore. (photo by Jonathan Dadekian)

** Watervliet, NY, Parish Organizes Hurricane Relief Effort

The parishioners of St. Peter Church, under the leadership of the
Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, parish pastor, organized an outreach
effort to help hurricane victims on the Jersey Shore. Parishioners
made sandwiches, donated supplies, and collected more than $2,000 in

On Wednesday, November 7, a group of parishioners delivered the items
and funds to area residents and clean-up crews. The group visited
shelters, relief centers, a fire station, and a church.

Click here
to read Fr. Doudoukjian’s reflection about the “Rise-Up Relief
Mission’ to the Jersey Shore.

Armenian Studies Coordinator visits Palos Heights
Gilda Kupelian with young people from Racine, WI, at last week’s

** Armenian Heritage a Focus of Seminar in Illinois

On Saturday, November 10, Gilda Kupelian, the Diocese’s coordinator of
Armenian Studies, led a daylong seminar on `The History and Richness
of the Armenian Culture’ at Sts. Joachim and Anne Church of Palos
Heights, IL. Through interactive PowerPoint presentations,
participants explored topics on language, literature, history, and

Ms. Kupelian began the day with an overview of the Armenian language,
literature, and culture, highlighting key figures and events in
Armenian history. In a session on pre-Christian Armenia, she spoke
about the origin of the Armenian people, drawing on anthropological
research to explain the culture and practices of prehistoric
Armenia. Another session focused on Armenian folklore and used
illustrations by artist Linda Ganjian to examine popular Armenian
proverbs. A final discussion reviewed the history of the medieval city
of Ani, touching on its architecture, military strategy, and more.

The event was jointly sponsored by Sts. Joachim and Anne Church and
the Eastern Diocese. Some 60 people attended the seminar, including
young people and adults from churches in Chicago, IL, and Racine, WI.

Sts. Vartanatz Church, Chelmsford, MA
Men’s Club chair Daniel Barooshian and Women’s Guild chair Milka
Jeknavorian with Fr. Khachatur Kesablyan.

** Chelmsford, MA, Parish Supports Dagley Fund

On Thursday, October 18, some 60 people gathered for dinner and the
screening of the film `From Ararat to Zion’ at Sts. Vartanantz Church
in Chelmsford, MA. The evening was hosted jointly by the parish’s
Women’s Guild and Men’s Club to raise funds for the Sona and Sarkis
Dagley Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship fund benefits the children of the late
Rev. Fr. Haroutiun Dagley and the late Yn. Patricia Dagley, both of
whom worked closely with the Sts. Vartanantz parish in the 1970s and

Dn. Ara Jeknavorian welcomed the group on behalf of the Men’s Club,
and Milka Jeknavorian offered a warm greeting from the Women’s
Guild. Following the screening of the film, the Rev. Fr. Khachatur
Kesablyan, parish pastor, and the Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont Samoorian,
former pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, moderated a discussion and
answered questions about the Armenian presence in Jerusalem.

At the conclusion of the evening, Fr. Kesablyan noted that October is
Armenian Cultural Month and called on the parishioners to continue to
preserve the Armenian heritage.

Fr. Tateos visits Jacksonville mission parish
Fr. Tateos Abdalian with altar servers in Jacksonville, FL, last

** Parishioners in Jacksonville, FL, Build New Center

Last weekend, the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, the Diocese’s director of
Mission Parishes, visited the mission parish of Jacksonville, FL,
where parishioners are continuing the work of renovating a new
property the parish purchased in the summer of 2011. The two-story,
3,600-square-foot building, located on two acres of land, will serve
as a community center where local Armenians can gather for worship and
for cultural and social programs.

Sooren Vardanian and members of the Parish Council are overseeing the
team of volunteers who are dedicating their time to the
project. Fr. Abdalian met with Mr. Vardanian to discuss the project’s

On Saturday evening, Fr. Abdalian led a Bible study session focusing
on Sunday’s Gospel reading. During services the next day, the reading
was given in Armenian, English, and Russian. Following the Divine
Liturgy on Sunday, the community enjoyed a Thanksgiving celebration,
and honored its veterans as well as members who are celebrating
birthdays and anniversaries this month.

Dolma Compatition winners
>From left: Karina Petrosyan, Yn. Anna Gevorgyan, and Nancy Hovnanian
won this month’s dolma cook-off.

** 16 Ways to Stuff a Dolma

Holy Trinity Church of Cheltenham, PA, held its first-ever dolma
cook-off on Sunday, November 11. Some 100 people gathered to enjoy the
many varieties of dolma prepared by the 16 entrants. One creative
entry featured a fondant dolma cake.

After some deliberation, the five judges selected three winners:
Yn. Anna Gevorgyan, Karina Petrosyan, and Nancy Hovnanian. Initiated
by parishioner Ashot Avakyan, the dolma cook-off will become an annual
tradition at Holy Trinity Church, parishioners said.

Click here
to view photos.

Upcoming Events

** Upcoming Parish Events

St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral | New York, NY
The St. Vartan Cathedral Council is sponsoring a food drive to help
the homeless in New York. The council will collect non-perishable food
items until December 16. Items may be dropped off at 630 Second Avenue
in New York City. For information, call (212) 686-0710, ext. 141.

St. Gregory the Enlightener Church | White Plains, NY
St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, NY, will host an
Armenian Food Festival on Saturday, November 17 (1 to 6 p.m.), and
Sunday, November 18 (12 to 4 p.m.).

Enjoy Armenian food and sweets, and browse the `Holiday Vendor Fair.’
The festival is sponsored by the Women’s Guild of St. Gregory the
Enlightener Church. The church is located at 1131 North Street in
White Plains. Click here
to view a flyer for information.

Soorp Haroutiun Church | Orlando, FL
Soorp Haroutiun Church of Orlando, FL, will host a `Food Fest and
Bazaar’ on Saturday, November 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy
Armenian food and pastries, listen to Armenian music, and browse
vendor booths. Click here
to view a flyer for information.

Holy Resurrection Church | New Britain, CT
The Women’s Guild of the Church of the Holy Resurrection of New
Britain, CT, will host its annual Holiday Fair on Saturday, November
17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enjoy Armenian and American baked goods and food, and stop by the
=80=9CKitchen Café’ to try homemade soup, lahmajoun, hot dogs, and
beverages. For the first time this year, the fair will also feature
vendor booths for holiday shopping. Click here
to view a flyer, or call the church office at (860) 223-7875 for

Holy Cross Church | New York, NY
Holy Cross Church in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood will
host a food festival on Sunday, November 18, from 1 to 6 p.m. Enjoy
Armenian food, music, and a tavloo tournament.

The church is also looking for volunteer carolers to join its chorale
for an English-language Christmas concert on Sunday, December 23. The
program will be the Christmas story as told in Scripture and through
traditional Christmas carols.
Click here
to view a flyer for information.

St. Leon Church | Fair Lawn, NJ
St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, will host a Classic Rock concert
featuring the “On the Lam Band” on Saturday, November 24, from 8
p.m. to 12 a.m. The concert will be held in the church’s Abajian
Hall. Click here
to view a flyer for information.

Holy Trinity Church | Cambridge, MA
Holy Trinity Church of Cambridge, MA, will host the `Trinity Christmas
Bazaar’ on Friday, November 30, from 3 to 9 p.m., and Saturday,
December 1, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The bazaar will be held at the
church (145 Brattle Street in Cambridge).

The two-day event will feature Armenian dinners, vendor booths,
`Santa’s Playland’ for children, and other activities. Click here
for information, or call the church at (617) 354-0632.

St. Peter Church | Watervliet, NY
The Women’s Guild of St. Peter Church of Watervliet, NY, will sponsor
a Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 1 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and
Sunday, December 2 (12 to 4 p.m.).

Enjoy a lahmajoun lunch and dolma dinner on Saturday and a madzoonov
kufte on Sunday. A variety of homemade foods-including manti, michov
or sini kufte, boreg, string cheese, choreg, simit, kadayif, paklava,
and more-will be available for purchase. There will be family
entertainment on Saturday and Sunday.

Click here
to view a flyer for information.

St. John Church of Southfield, MI
The Parish Council and Apostolic Society of St. John Church of
Southfield, MI, will host an Armenian dance on Saturday, December 8,
featuring Onnik Dinkjian and his ensemble. The event will be held in
the church’s cultural hall, beginning at 7 p.m. Click here
to view a flyer for information.


** Annual Appeal Reception to be Held in New York

The Diocesan Council will host a reception in support of the 2012
Annual Appeal on Thursday, December 6, at the Michael Aram flagship
store in New York. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m.

All are invited to enjoy an evening of fellowship. A raffle will be
held for an original Michael Aram creation.

The store is located at 136 West 18th Street in New York City. RSVP by
December 3 by e-mailing [email protected]
(mailto:[email protected]) .

Click here
to view an invitation card.


Concert at St. Vartan Cathedral

** Classical Concert Postponed to December 8

Due to power outages caused by the recent hurricane in New York, the
classical concert scheduled to take place at the Diocesan Center on
November 3 was postponed. The concert has been rescheduled for
Saturday, December 8, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Sopranos Anoosh Barclay, Hasmik Meikhanedjian, Narine Ojakhyan, and
Anahit Zakaryan-accompanied by pianist Garen Hagopian-will perform the
works of Pergolesi, Donizetti, Verdi, Rossini, Bizet, Dvorak, Komitas,
Tigranian, Melikian, and Abrahamian. The concert will go forward under
the direction of Maestro Khoren Mekanejian.

The concert will be held in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium of
the Diocesan Center (630 Second Avenue, New York City). Call the
Diocese at (212) 686-0710 for information. Click here
to view a flyer.

Archbishop Vicken Aykazian
Archbishop Vicken Aykazian will speak in Charlotte, NC, next month.

** Archbishop Aykazian to Speak in Charlotte, NC

Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the Diocese’s Ecumenical Director, will
give a talk on the challenges facing Christians in the Middle East on
Saturday, December 8, at St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in
Charlotte, NC. The event will begin at 7 p.m.

Archbishop Aykazian will discuss Christian communities in the Middle
East and offer ways Christians in the U.S. can help influence peace
building efforts.

Click here
to view a flyer for information.

ACYOA Leadership Conference
Some 40 young people gathered for the annual ACYOA Leadership
Conference on November 9-11. (photo by Adrienne Ashbahian)

** ACYOA Members Sharpen Faith Literacy

ACYOA members attending a leadership conference in upstate New York
last weekend took an in-depth look at different aspects of the worship
and practices of the Armenian Church.

The conference, held November 9-11, brought together 40 young people
representing 16 parishes for a weekend of lectures, worship, and
reflections. The conference, titled “Faith Literacy for Young
Leaders,” was planned by the ACYOA Central Council, and held at the
Don Bosco Retreat Center in Stony Point, NY. Also joining the ACYOA
members were young representatives from the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Participants heard presentations by the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel
Findikyan, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary students Eric Vozzy and Saro
Kalayjian, and seminary graduate Dn. Ryan Tellalian.

Click on the following links to read more
and to view photos


The Diocese’s e-Newsletter will not be published on Thanksgiving Day,
Thursday, November 22. We look forward to resuming e-Newsletter
publication on Thursday, November 29.

From: A. Papazian