Summer Youth Conferences
Deacons' Training Program
High School Summer Conference A
High School Summer Conference B
Post High School Conference
RECAP of SUMMER OF 2017!
Seventy Armenian youth from our dioceses, Armenia and Jerusalem experienced the legendary St. Nersess Summer Conferences held on the campus in Armonk, NY, during the summer months of June, July and August. This year, the continuation of a four-year curriculum was followed that will better prepare young Armenian students to become leaders in their home parishes, including future Sunday School teachers.
Twenty-eight participants from 12 states plus the Republic of Armenia attended the Deacons' Training Program June 23 - July 2. This is the first time the program has welcomed participants from Armenia. Davit Antonyan, Georg Vardanyan, and Tigran Petrosyan are from Etchmiadzin and serve at St. Gayane Church in Etchmiadzin. Their participation was supported by a generous donation from the Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian, retired pastor of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church in White Plains, NY, and faculty & board member of the seminary. The program was directed by the V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Director and Dn. Ari Terjanian, Assistant Director.
Then, the Rev. Fr. Ghevond Ajamian, director, welcomed High School Summer Conference A students on July 9. The students met with Archbishop Khajag Barsamian for an open dialogue, traveled to St. Vartan Cathedral to participate in the Divine Liturgy, and had several visiting clergy lecture on different topics, including the Golden Age in Armenian History, Sacred Spaces and the History, Meaning, and Structure of Sharagans. The session ended July 16.
High School Summer Conference B, directed by the Rev. Fr. Ghevond Ajamian, welcomed new participants on July 21 . On July 27, they enjoyed a visit and open dialogue with Abp. Khajag Barsamian, who also consecrated the chapel dome cross. The participants traveled to St. Gregory the Enlightener parish, listened to lectures by visiting clergy, and made new friends with four students from the Sts. Tarkmanchatz School in Jerusalem who were also in attendance. The session concluded on July 30.
The final session for the summer, the Post High School Summer Conference, was held August 1 -6 and was directed by the Rev. Fr. Hratch Sargsyan. The students traveled to the Eastern Diocese where they were able to spend time speaking with Abp. Khajag Barsamian. Participants gathered each day to share meals, worship in the chapel together, as well as attend Armenian language classes and bible studies. The conference participants also had the opportunity to learn about their culture and faith by engaging guest speakers, including seminary faculty, seminarians, and clergy. The topics included baptism, Church Fathers, Armenian Church art, spiritual development, and modern issues.
The summer conferences are a unique religious, social, and educational experience that brings young Armenian Americans together from the North American dioceses and abroad for worship, study, fellowship and recreation.
Instruction and Special Activities
Clergy and church lay leaders will assist participants in the daily instruction of the Armenian Church. Participants will be encouraged to ask frank questions about the church’s teachings and traditions, Christian faith, the Bible, and current topics, no matter how sensitive or controversial. Anonymously dropped into a special box, the questions will be addressed by a panel of clergy.
Each session will also include a special afternoon excursion to local area Armenian homes for the aged, where participants will have the opportunity to visit, pray with, and learn from the valuable elder community.
Long-Standing Tradition and International Attraction
The summer conferences have attracted thousands of teenagers and college-age students over the past five decades to explore their faith and heritage with friends in a safe, fun and unique environment. This includes select students from the Sts. Tarkmanchatz School in Jerusalem who have participated in the conferences for the past seven years thanks to benefactors and summer conference scholarships, coordinated between Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian and the Very Rev. Fr. Norayr Kazarian of Jerusalem.
“The Jerusalem students have the opportunity to experience one the best programs for youth that exists; they get to meet other young Armenian students with whom they establish friendships and continue to maintain contact; and they broaden their horizons and take a new look at the faith and traditions of the Armenian Church in which they have grown up,” explained Fr. Mardiros. “Also, our American Armenian youth are offered the valuable experience of meeting other young people from Armenian Jerusalem, getting to know them as individuals and learning about the life and history of Armenians in the Holy City.”
For further information, contact the Seminary at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 914-273-0200.