The Executive Council of the Eastern Prelacy organized a regional conference for New England pastors, Board of Trustees and National Representative Assembly delegates, which was held on Wednesday, October 27 by videoconference. The session’s focus was “Elevating Our Spiritual and Armenian Values in a Post-Pandemic World” and gathered more than 60 participants from the region’s seven churches.
The session opened with a prayer offered by Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar, followed by a message from Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate. Hagop Khatchadourian, Chairman of the Executive Council, briefly presented the current affairs of the Executive Council and the Prelacy. The first presentation of the evening facilitated by Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian (Pastor, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence) and Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian (Pastor, Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville), was about re-engaging the parishes in a post-pandemic world. Various objectives and goals were highlighted, such as the importance of practicing our faith and infusing everyday Christian values, building and maintaining relationships, and the search for ways to reach these goals. The discussion also addressed how to bring people back to Sunday service and the need for events and/or programs to create a sense of community and belonging.
The second topic for the evening was “Re-engaging the Youth,” presented by Annie Ovanessian, Youth Ministry Director of the Prelacy. The presentation reinforced the Prelacy’s stance on educating and engaging youth at the parish level in a way that works for them, which will require creativity, flexibility, and collaboration. The Salt and Light program has been successful across all Prelacy parishes involved and may be customized to each parish. It was suggested that small parishes to partner up and offer the program together, creating a deeper sense of collaboration and mutual knowledge.
Question and answer sessions followed each presentation and offered parish leadership to share ideas and best practices.
The conference ended with the closing prayer by Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, Pastor of St. Stephen’s Church (Watertown).
The Executive Council will also be hosting this session with the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West parishes in the coming months.