The first Armenian picnic of the summer season on the St. Nersess Seminary grounds? ON FATHER'S DAY?!
"Nothing could be more appropriate than kicking off the 2009 Summer Conference season than by reviving the old 'St. Nersess Day' festivals that used to draw hundreds to the Seminary," said Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, Director of Youth & Vocations. The picnic will take place on Father's Day, June 21. "FATHER'S DAY is the best time to have a giant picnic at the St. Nersess, the place where our future spiritual FATHERS are being prepared!"
This summer seven conferences for young people are scheduled. They include two specifically designed for college students, three sessions for high school students, one for junior high school participants, and also one for those serving or interested in serving on the altar in the Deacons’ Training Program.
The Summer Conferences will begin with a Post-High School ‘A’ session on June 9-14 for those entering or already in college. This particular session is an alternative to the Post-High School ‘B’ session held in mid-August, and also includes a special mystery trip to an offsite destination. The High School sessions, open to those in the 9th through 12th grades, take place from July 7-15; July 17-25; and July 28-August 5. Following will be the Junior High School session on August 7-11 which serves as an introduction to the conferences.
For more than 10 years, Fr. Stepanos has organized these conferences and has witnessed the personal growth of many participants. “I am a direct product of these programs so I can speak first-hand of the positive impact these conferences can have on a teenager in the Armenian Church,” shared the Rev. Doudoukjian, who is a 1993 graduate of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. He added, “I encourage parents to send their children for what will be a life-changing and rewarding experience.”
DEACONS’ TRAINING PROGRAM
The Deacons’ Training Program, led by the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, dean and professor of Liturgical Studies at the Seminary, will be held June 25-July 3. This program is designed especially for young men who would like to participate more actively and meaningfully in the worship of the Armenian Church. Practical workshops and interactive classes teach the participants the deacons’ parts of the liturgy and take the mystery out of the rituals, the music, the symbols, and the chants. This year advanced students will learn the hymns and deacons’ portions of the night service or Kisherayin Zham, while beginners will focus on the deacons’ parts of the Divine Liturgy.
Students who complete this particular program return to their home churches with polished liturgical skills, a more satisfying sense of participation in the church’s worship, and many new friends.
FATHER’S DAY PICNIC
The first ever St. Nersess Father’s Day Picnic will take place on Sunday, June 21. The day will begin with Badarak celebrated at 10 a.m. followed by picnic festivities. The Ara Dinkjian Ensemble will entertain the crowd with traditional and exquisite Armenian music while picnic-goers enjoy delicious Armenian cuisine. Children’s activities will also be offered and various St. Nersess publications, apparel and other items will be available for purchase.