On Saturday, Nov. 13, the community of the Soorp Khatch Church of Bethesda, MD, took a practical step to come out of the pandemic numbness and got together in the plot where the future church, school, and community center will be built, with a ceremony of the blessing of the land. Attendees were filled with joy standing on the land where community life will find its new haven.
Following the ceremony of Andastan and the blessing of the land, a celebration of the church’s 57th anniversary was held. During the event, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, presented Dr. Dertad Mangikian and Mrs. Nora Kasparian with certificates of merit, whereas Mr. Garbo Afarian received a certificate from the church’s Pastor.
After Board of Trustees Chairperson Aram Sarafian presented a brief overview of the past year activities and Archpriest Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian offered words of praise to the parish bodies, the Prelate extolled the harmonic work within the community and its complete commitment to the fulfillment of the new project.
The evening was closed with an artistic function, followed by the Pastor’s blessing and the “Giligia” song.
On Sunday, November 14, in the morning, the Prelate and the Pastor held a prayer with the students of Hamasdegh school. As part of the Bible reading of the day, in which Christ holds children as an example for adults, the Prelate asked the students what Jesus had seen in kids. He heard heartwarming answers as the children cited “innocence, good heart, obedience” and other virtues. And they also knew the answer when the Prelate added “spirit of reconciliation” and asked them what it meant: “When two people are upset with each other, do this,” and the students hugged the one sitting next to them, in a touching moment for teachers, parents and the clergy.
During the Divine Liturgy, Antranig and Paul Tatarian were ordained acolytes by the Prelate. In his words, Archbishop Anoushavan emphasized the importance of faithfully executing our little tasks, which in the end leads up to more important roles.