Cheltenham Parish Hosts Forum on Adult Faith Formation
On Saturday, June 2, the Adult Christian Education (ACE) ministry team of Holy Trinity Church in Cheltenham, PA held a one-day retreat at St. Nersess Seminary to discuss adult faith formation. The informal gathering was under the leadership of their pastor, the Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan.
Fr. Hakob commented on the purpose of the Forum: “We wanted to share the results of our new ministry at Holy Trinity where we provide opportunities for our faithful to grow in their faith. I believe there is a deep hunger for more substance among our people. My brother clergy have expressed interest in what we’re doing so we thought this day might be the beginning of a new direction for our Diocese and assistance for our pastors.”
Participants spent the day examining the nature of faith formation, looking at excerpts from writings of well-known theorists and also exploring and critiquing a few current studies in the field including the Terian Report which was commissioned by the Diocesan Council in 2006.
“Our goal was to bring together those who are working regularly on the parish level-in the trenches, so to speak. Hopefully this will be the start of something new and fresh – we have identified several projects which we would like to pursue,” stated Nancy Basmajian who along with Fr. Hakob and Elise Antreassian organized the Forum.
Attending the Forum from the Diocese were the Primate, the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, the Director of Ministries, the Very Rev. Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan, and Director of Christian Education, Elise Antreassian. The Dean of St. Nersess Seminary, the Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian was also present. Holy Martyrs Armenian Church in Bayside, NY which also has identified adult faith formation as a goal was represented by Arthur Asadorian and Donna Sirounian. The sponsoring parish was represented by their seven-member ACE team which included Jeanette Der Hagopian, Brian and Joyce Hoyle, Albert Keshgegian, Leslie Movsesian and Merle Santerian.
St. Nersess encourages parishes to host their retreats and seminars at the seminary. To schedule, please call the office at 914-273-0200.