The retreat was led by Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, the Seminary's Director of Youth and Vocations and Pastor of St. Peter Armenian Church in nearby Watervliet, NY. Assisting him were Profs. Abraham Terian and Roberta Ervine, together with her husband Rev. Dr. Stephen Woods, who was a Visiting Professor of Preaching at St. Nersess during the Spring term.
In her always innovative way, Dr. Roberta Ervine and her husband, Fr. Stephen, had the seminarians act out the story together as a way of discerning its deeper message for one who is trying to hear and to follow God's call. So entertaining was the reinactment, that the students gave curtain calls!
Later in the day, in a session led by Fr. Stepanos, the seminarians were asked to create their own autobiographies to included a title, chapter headings, chapter descriptions, as well as a future chapter to describe their thoughts on the upcoming semester and year. This activity gave the students an opportunity to look back at their lives and recall significant moments and events that have shaped them and led them to Church service.
Through the Orientation Retreat this year's St. Nersess seminarians begin a new phase in their spiritual journey on a foundation of prayer, self-understanding, and Armenian Christian community. Called by God, they now set out together to learn and to grow closer to Him within the life and traditions of the Armenian Church as they prepare for the academic year's journey of faith and studies. Paree Janabarh! Bon Voyage!