On Sunday 18 March the annual gathering of church servants took place with an evening thanksgiving service presided by His Eminence Archbishop Aghan Baliozian accompanied by the priests and deacons. The congregation consisted of the many volunteers who give their devoted service to the Church including the diaconate, choir members, organists, ladies auxiliary, leaders and facilitators of Bible study, scripture and Sunday School, Church radio team, youth group, the faithful women who prepare the holy bread (mas) and other dedicated church helpers.
At the conclusion of the Evening (Matin) service, the encyclical of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians was read by Reverend Father Avetis Hambardzumyan bestowing the St Nerses Shnorhali Medal upon Church Council Chairman Mr Bedros Zorlu (see news item below).
In his address, the Primate commended the selfless contribution of every church servant and acknowledged the central role of the Church Council led admirably by the honoured Chairman for many years.
Following the church service, a light supper was held in the Edgarian hall with a number of tributes presented. A visual presentation on the establishment of the Armenian Church in Australia marked the 55th anniversary in 2012; the four longest serving deacons – Deacons Kevork Janoyan and Hovannes Kharadjian for 50 years of service and Deacons Noubar Yangoyan and Haroutiun Hanimian for 40 years – were honoured with commemorative plaques; Ms Haigan Ishkhanian was recognised on her milestone 80th birthday for her devoutness to the needs of the Church and welfare centre.
The evening was hosted by the Church Council and in the intimate, joyous atmosphere of the church family, Diocesan Councillor Dr Peter Ansourian paid homage to Archbishop Baliozian on the occasion of his 30th anniversary of Episcopal consecration.
For photos of the event see the Photo Gallery