St. Nersess Seminary students and alumni were highly visible at last weekend's ACYOA Leadership Conference held at the Don Bosco Retreat Center in Stony Point, NY from March 10-12. The annual event brings together young adult leaders from throughout the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America for a weekend of prayer, discussion, practical training and fellowship. The theme of this year's seventh Leadership Conference was: Who is He? Who are We? Who am I?.
Among the 50 participants in the weekend's activities were six St. Nersess seminarians, three alumni and two seminarian spouses. St. Nersess graduates also figured among the conference's coordinators, organizers and speakers. First-year seminarian Maria Derderian is the Chair of the ACYOA Central Council, which organized and ran the weekend's activities. Working with the Central Council was its Executive Secretary, Nancy Basmajian, who is also a St. Nersess alumna. Serving for the second straight year as the chaplain of the Leadership Conferences was V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Seminary Dean. He led the participants in daily morning and evening prayer, and celebrated the Divine Liturgy early Sunday morning to conclude the weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, Rev. Fr. Yeprem Kelegian, Pastor of St. Mesrob Armenian Church (Racine, WI) led a Bible Study on the topic, "Who is He?" Fr. Yeprem, an early St. Nersess graduate, selected salient passages from the Old and New Testaments which shed light on different aspects of Jesus Christ's identity and work for mankind's salvation.
Saturday evening, Fr. Findikyan fielded a wide variety of questions from the participants on matters of faith, theology, church traditions, history and morality. The session, entitled, "Hot Topics," has become an much-anticipated part of the Leadership Conference.
His Eminence Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, arrived on Saturday afternoon to spend time with the young leaders. In his remarks he acknowledged the important role played by St. Nersess in supporting the ACYOA and the youth of the Diocese.