2nd Annual Deacons’ Training Program Held in Western Diocese
For the second summer, the Western Diocese offered a St. Nersess Deacons’ Training Program at Hye Camp in Dunlap, CA, from August 7-13. It was organized and directed by Fr. Gomidas Zohrabian, pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Fowler.
This year, there were eight participants, including two deacons, a subdeacon, and five acolytes, who represented five parishes of the Western Diocese. There were daily morning and evening prayer services, deacons’ training classes, Bible studies, Armenian language classes, and lectures.
Dn. Barlow DerMegurdichian, PhD, taught Armenian Church history classes on Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), and Chalcedon (451) as well as Church Fathers. Fr. Haroutiun Tachejian conducted Armenian Language lessons on Zoom, while Fr. Zaven Markosyan and Fr. Gomidas Zohrabian led Deacons’ training classes, focusing on singing, poorvar, kushots, Gospel procession, Veraperoom, Voghchooyn, and making Nshkhar.
The Bible studies were led by Der Zaven, Fr. Yesayi Bedros, Dn. Arees Setrak, and Dn. Andrew Hogopian. On Thursday morning, Der Yesayi celebrated Holy Badarak, with Dn. Andrew on the organ and singing the choir parts, and the participants serving on the altar.
The volunteer kitchen crew consisted of Janice Hendrix, Yn. Roberta Hairabedian, and Anahit Krikorian. Thanks to them, the participants had traditional Armenian food, along with other delicious meals. In the evenings, the group bonded by singing Armenian songs from the St. Nersess Songbook. The program was a wonderful way for both the participants and their mentors to bond through their Armenian faith, heritage, and traditions. Most importantly, they discussed and shared their experiences in responding to God’s call to serve.
Through this Deacons’ Training Program in CA, the seminary can reach more altar servers in the Western Diocese, our future spiritual and lay leaders.