Sunday School superintendents from parishes across the Eastern Diocese gathered for the first-ever National Sunday School Superintendents Summit held last weekend in New England. The three-day event, from July 18 to 20, was organized and sponsored by the Diocese’s Department of Christian Education. Sessions were facilitated by department director Elise Antreassian, staff member Eric Vozzy, and Nancy Basmajian, director of Adult Christian Education at Holy Trinity Church of Cheltenham, Pa.
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Chris Zakian
Tel: (212) 686-0710 or (973) 943-8697
July 25, 2014
Sunday School Superintendents Gather For Summit
Sunday School superintendents from parishes across the Eastern Diocese gathered for the first-ever National Sunday School Superintendents Summit held last weekend in New England.
The three-day event, from July 18 to 20, was organized and sponsored by the Diocese’s Department of Christian Education. Sessions were facilitated by department director Elise Antreassian, staff member Eric Vozzy, and Nancy Basmajian, director of Adult Christian Education at Holy Trinity Church of Cheltenham, Pa.
The goal of the summit was to develop concrete paradigm shifts in how educators teach, worship, witness and live as the church in today’s world. Each session included discussions on perceptions of the Armenian Church, the difference between managing and leading, assessment of the status quo, and visioning exercises.
Interspersed throughout the weekend were reflections, faith-building activities, and prayer experiences. The proposals that emerged will influence local programming, as well as the priorities of both the Department of Christian Education and the Diocese overall.
The weekend concluded at the Holy Translators Church of Framingham, Mass., with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy by parish pastor Rev. Fr. Krikor Sabounjian. Superintendents offered the Kiss of Peace, read Scripture, delivered a message, and shared prayers that the group had composed during its meetings.
“Our superintendents have never before gathered as a common body. As a result of this summit, participants discovered they had common concerns, expectations, and hopes for improving the ministry of Christian education within the broader mission of the Armenian Church,” said Elise Antreassian.
Participants said they were inspired by the weekend’s program, and looked forward to implementing new ideas in their parishes.
“Typically, one might consider management and leadership as synonymous in the practical sense, but during the summit I learned that may not be true. Most importantly, I learned different ways to lead rather than just simply manage the Sunday School, which will make me a better leader in the church and in my Christian life,” said first-year superintendent Mallory Maslar of St. Hagop Church of Petersburg, Fla.
Veteran superintendent Tom Daw of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, N.Y., added: “Our vision would be one of parents and Sunday School children working together with the teachers to provide an environment where all are getting a solid Christian upbringing, which includes church and a full understanding of the badarak.”
The summit was hosted by the New England Region Superintendents Association, under the leadership of Seta Buchter, Laurie Bejoian, and Marsha Alabachian. It took place at the Connors Family Retreat and Conference Center in Dover, Mass. A total of 28 Sunday School superintendents from 18 parishes across the Diocese took part.
The Department of Christian Education will compile the weekend’s results and begin planning a follow-up gathering. Participants and those who were unable to attend are encouraged to continue the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #SuperintendentsSummit.
Photo attached: National Sunday School Superintendents Summit attendees pose for a group photo.