Western Diocese Hosts Deacons’ Workshop
On Saturday, October 8, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese and Vice President of the St. Nersess Board of Directors, and the Deacons Council of the Western Diocese hosted a day long Deacons’ Workshop at its diocesan headquarters in Burbank, CA. At their invitation, His Grace Bishop Daniel Findikyan, former Primate of the Eastern Diocese, presented at two of the sessions and the Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, served as the workshop director.
Twenty-five altar servers from the greater Los Angeles area gathered to learn more about their role in the Armenian Church. Abp. Hovnan Derderian presided and offered the welcoming remarks and opening prayer. “The fellowship of the Deacons in a workshop setting has been spiritually most uplifting. In as much as it was an initiative to educate our deacons with the history and theology of our Church, it was also a time to witness the love and dedication of our deacons,” reflected Hovnan Srpazan. “Special thanks to Bishop Daniel and Father Mardiros for bringing the mission of St Nersess Seminary to the Western Diocese.”
After introductions amongst the participants, Bishop Daniel spoke on “This Holy Place: 10 Rules for Deacons”. A Bible Study on “Your Gifts” (I Corinthians 12:4-31) followed. “It was a true pleasure to participate in the Western Diocese’s Deacons’ Workshop in Burbank. I am very grateful to His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian for inviting me to speak to a group of remarkably dedicated deacons,” reflected Bishop Daniel Findikyan. “They are faithful, eager to learn, and eager to grow in their service to our Lord and His Holy Church. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with them again toward those noble ends.”
After lunch, Bishop Daniel presented another engaging session, this time on “How the Badarak Works.” Before the workshop ended, the participants and presenters jointly reviewed what was discussed during the day and answered questions and offered their comments and thoughts. Everyone participated in an evening service, followed by concluding remarks by Hovnan Srpazan.
“It was so gratifying to see so many altar servers desiring to gather for a day to further deepen their knowledge of liturgical practice and theology,” commented Fr. Mardiros Chevian. “They all deserve to be acknowledged. I am grateful to Hovnan Srpazan and the Deacons Council for organizing this event. We look forward to further collaboration.”
On Sunday, Fr. Mardiros attended Badarak at St. Peter Armenian Church of Van Nuys, CA, where the pastor, the Rev. Fr. Shnork Demirjian celebrated Divine Liturgy. Following Badarak, Bishop Daniel joined the celebratory banquet, marking the 30th Anniversary of Der Shnork’s ordination to the priesthood. Der Shnork is a 1991 graduate of St. Nersess Seminary
During his visit, Fr. Mardiros also had the opportunity to meet several times with Hovnan Srpazan to discuss the work of St. Nersess Seminary. He shared the seminary’s gratitude for Srpazan’s full support and commitment.