Fifty students, clergy and lay instructors and staff will gather at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, on July 2, for the Eastern Prelacy’s annual weeklong St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program for youth ages 13-18, sponsored and organized by the Prelacy’s Department of Christian Education.
The thirty-eight participants come from the following communities: St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral (NYC), Soorp Khatch Church (Bethesda, MD), St. Gregory the Illuminator Church (Philadelphia, PA), Sts. Vartanantz Church (Ridgefield, NJ), St. Gregory the Enlightener Church (White Plains, NY), St. Mary’s Church (Livingston, NJ), St. Stephen’s Church (Watertown, MA), and St. Gregory Church (North Andover, MA).
The Summer Program offers a unique faith-based program for our youth in a wholesome and nurturing environment with three-pronged objectives: Christian education and formation, prayer and worship, and fellowship and recreational activities. The comprehensive Christian educational program is completed in four years, one week each summer. Those who complete the program are offered the option to return for post-graduate classes. Each year, the students receive about 20 hours of instruction. The curriculum includes the Bible, the sacraments of the Armenian Church with emphasis on the Divine Liturgy (Soorp Badarak), Armenian Church feasts and saints, Armenian Church creeds and theology, prayer and worship, as well as discussions on contemporary moral and ethical issues.
Prayer will frame the daily life of the students with an abridged Armenian Church morning and evening prayer services. Every morning the students will assemble at the chapel for the Aravodyan or the Arevakal service according to the tradition of the Armenian church, and at the close of the day, before retiring to their rooms, the students will once again gather for the Compline (Husgoom) service.
In the afternoons the students will enjoy sports and recreational activities, as well as special excursions, all aiming to foster positive and lasting friendships among the students.
In the picture: Datevatsies at the Eastern Prelacy gearing up for the weeklong Datev Summer Program. From left to right, Lori Tekeyan, Anna Tekeyan, Nishan Kouyoumdjian, Yn. Maggie Kouyoumdjian, Taleen Lakissian, and Tamar Lakissian (not in picture).