St. Nersess Seminarians Serve at Local Homeless Shelter
On the evening of March 25th, the St. Nersess seminarians volunteered with the Emergency Shelter Partnership (ESP) in Northern Westchester County. Founded in 2004, the shelter can be described as a ‘traveling shelter’ which is run by ESP and is supported by different faith communities in the area. Each day, during the winter months of November through March, they provide the clients with a place to sleep, a hot dinner and dessert, as well as breakfast and a packed bag lunch for the next day.
During the last week of March, the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Armonk hosted. The opportunity to serve at this location was presented by Fr. Mardiros Chevian, dean, to seminarian Dn. Alex Calikyan, who led the effort on behalf of all the seminarians.
The seminarians and Fr. Mardiros arrived at St. Stephen’s at 8:30 pm to set up tables and the dinner. Three seminarians served the meal to the clients while the other seminarians and Silva Hakobyan (wife of seminarian Dn. Albert Hambardzumyan) prepared the bagged lunches for the next day. Fr. Norayr Kazazian and Fr. Daniel Karadjian also were present.
The seminarians and Fr. Mardiros had an opportunity to interact with the 12 men who had gathered for the meal. Before serving, everyone gathered around the table for a prayer and blessing. Dn. Alex and Allen Vartanian stayed overnight to assist the ESP supervisor and the clients, while the others departed by 10:30 pm.
Wilma Petrossian, St. Nersess Manager of Food Services, prepared a hearty full course main meal for the clients as well as the food for the lunch bags.
“It is incredibly vital to supplement the education that we have received at St. Nersess with pastoral work and community service, in order that we may put into practice what the Lord has taught and commanded us to do. The seminary takes very seriously in her mission the Apostle James’ exhortation ‘Faith without works is dead,’ and we strive to commit ourselves to fulfilling the needs of those around us in any way that we possibly can,” commented Dn. Alex Calikyan.