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Youth Leaders Gather for Assembly, Sports Weekend

by Armen Terjimanian
Youth and clergy from across the Eastern Diocese gathered in Providence, RI, last month for the 67th annual ACYOA General Assembly. The two-day meeting, held May 23-24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI, and the annual Sports Weekend activities that followed, were hosted by the ACYOA chapter of Providence’s Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church.


PRESS OFFICE
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686-0710; Fax: (212) 779-3558
E-mail: publicrelations@armeniandiocese.org
Website: www.armenianchurch-ed.net
June 5, 2013
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by Armen Terjimanian
Youth and clergy from across the Eastern Diocese gathered in Providence, RI, last month for the 67th annual ACYOA General Assembly. The two-day meeting, held May 23-24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI, and the annual Sports Weekend activities that followed, were hosted by the ACYOA chapter of Providence’s Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church.

Providence committee members Nick Durgarian, Ara Janigian, and Gevork Vartanian welcomed the General Assembly delegates to the Ocean State on Thursday evening. The assembly was chaired by Sam Mrofcza of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Chicago, with Arthur Sabounjian of Holy Translators Church of Framingham, MA, serving as vice-chair. A total of 79 delegates, clergy, and observers took part in the proceedings.
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), addressed the delegates on Friday morning, introducing them to the diocese’s theme for the coming year, “Living the Gospel of Christ.” The Primate called on the delegates to not only hear the words of Christ, but to act on them in their daily lives. 
“Our mission is to be like Christ,” Archbishop Barsamian said. “His teachings are the words of a total way of life.”
The Primate also offered his appreciation to Nancy Basmajian, the longtime executive secretary of the ACYOA, who is retiring this summer. He introduced Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s Youth Outreach coordinator, as the head of the newly established Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.
During the meeting, delegates took part in a Bible study session, working in small groups with St. Nersess seminarians and ACYOA Central Council members. The delegates discussed the Bible verse Matthew 5:13-16 in terms of leadership in today’s world.
Elections were held for four seats on the ACYOA Central Council. The newly elected council members are Shant Paklaian of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Chicago, Chelsea Kress of St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, and  Daniel Zalinov of St. Sarkis Church of Charlotte, NC. Adrienne Ashbahian of St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Church of Wynnewood, PA, was re-elected for another term.
The ACYOA Central Council for the coming year will include chair Jonathan Pelaez (St. Mary Church, Livingston, NJ), vice chair Ani Grigorian (St. Mesrob Church, Racine, WI), treasurer Shant Paklaian (St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Chicago), secretary Chelsea Kress (St. Leon Church, Fair Lawn, NJ), public relations coordinator Armen Terjimanian (St. Mary Church, Washington DC), programming coordinator Adrienne Ashbahian (St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Church, Wynnewood, PA), and chapter relations coordinator Daniel Zalinov (St. Sarkis Church, Charlotte, NC).
Archbishop Barsamian blessed the new Central Council during an installation service following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at Sts. Sahag and St. Mesrob Church on Sunday, May 26.
During the Primate’s Luncheon on Friday, May 24, the Rev. Fr. Hovnan Demirjian, pastor of St. Hagop Church of Pinellas Park, FL, was presented with the “Fr. Haigazoun Melkonian Award,” in honor of his dedication to leading the youth of the Armenian Church.
Sam Mrofcza received the “Gregory Arpajian Award” for his leadership and service to his local parish in Chicago.
Krikor Javardian of Holy Trinity Church of Cheltenham, PA, won the “Sam Nersessian Award,” which is given to individuals who display Christian values of love, patience, humility, and understanding.
Dn. Levon Altiparmakian of St. Nersess Seminary received the “Fr. Haroutiun and Yn. Patricia Dagley Award” for his service to the Armenian Church and community.
The “Chapter ‘A’ Award,” given to the chapter that best fulfills the requirements of an ACYOA chapter, went to St. Mary Church of Livingston, NJ.
“It was great to see the youth together this past weekend in Providence for the General Assembly and Sports Weekend,” said Jonathan Pelaez. “I am honored to be the newly elected chair of the ACYOA, and I am excited for this year to be productive and innovative during a transitional time in the organization.”
Next year’s General Assembly and Sports Weekend will be hosted by the ACYOA chapter of Holy Martyrs Church of Bayside, NY, and held in New York City.
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Photos attached.
Photo 1: Delegates at the Annual Assembly.
Photo 2: Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and the Rev. Fr. Shnork Souin install the new ACYOA Central Council.
Photo 3: Delegates and clergy pose for a photo during the Annual Assembly.

PublicRelations [publicrelations@armeniandiocese.org]

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