Four hundred youth from dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church worldwide have joined together for a five-day Pan-Armenian Church Youth Conference being held from 4-8 July in Tsaghgazdzor, Armenia. Six youth from the Armenian Church Youth Auxiliaries (ACYA) in our three parishes are representing the Diocese of Australia: from Holy Resurrection Church – George Najarian, Ilda Zorlu, Natalie Marcarian, Rachelle Kassabian; Garo Kouyoumdjian from the Holy Trinity Church in Wentworthville; and Aris Hosikian from St Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Melbourne.

Before heading to Tsaghgadzor, the youth gathered at the Mother See where His Holiness Karekin II Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians addressed them stating, “The decision to declare 2018 as the Year of the Youth when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First Republic Armenia we felt was an opportunity for youth to gather together and participate in gatherings, meetings and other occasions to awaken them in the ministry they have been called to in their national church life.”

The youth were then transported to two holy places symbolising both the spiritual and nationalistic focus in their lives, firstly the Monument of Sardarabad followed by St Mesrob Mashdots Church where the youth made a vow to keep their mother tongue alive.

During the five-day conference the youth will participate in a schedule of workshops and meetings, to share ideas as Diocesan delegates present reports on their activities and programs and forge friendships that will connect them globally.