St. Nersess Summer Conferences continue to enrich the youth of Diocese
St. Nersess Armenian Seminary is an essential institution not only for the clergy and lay leadership that graduate and serve the Diocese, but also for the youth summer conferences. The conferences have attracted thousands of teenagers and college-age students over the past fifty years to explore their faith and the heritage of the Armenian Church in a unique environment. Clergy and lay church leaders instruct the participants in the fundamentals of the Armenian Church’s faith and traditions, and encourage discussion about issues important to young people. St. Nersess makes daily worship, Bible Study, and Armenian language instruction appealing and fun. In addition, sports, day-trips, home-cooked meals, and indescribable St. Nersess traditions make for a well-rounded and innovative experience where young people make deep and long lasting friendships.
During the 2011 summer conferences, four current Central Council members; Adrienne Ashbahian, Olivia Derderian, Danny Mantis and Alex Ouzounian and three past Central Council members; Danielle DerAsadourian, Talin Hitik and Lydia Kurkjian served as staff members at the various conferences.
Lydia Kurkjian, former chairperson of the Central Council was pleased to serve at St. Nersess explaining, “It’s really important for ACYOA members to get involved in other organizations of the Diocese, but particularly St. Nersess.” She went on to say, “The relationship between the ACYOA and St. Nersess is a natural fit; both engage young adults and work towards encouraging and guiding them in serving the Armenian Church.”
“The St. Nersess summer conferences have been an integral part of my spiritual growth and an irreplaceable part of my youth. By being a counselor, I wanted share Christ's love as well as the knowledge and experiences that have shaped me as a person.” says Adrienne Ashbahian who has been a participant of the summer conferences since high school.
Assistant director of the post high school conference, Danielle DerAsadourian, also believes that the St. Nersess summer conferences are essential to the future of the Armenian Church, "Along with the camp programs, the St. Nersess summer conferences and ACYOA are the most powerful tools the Church has to engage and nurture young people. Asked why she decided to serve at the summer conferences Danielle explained, “As a participant, I grew in my faith, my leadership skills, and my friendships through these programs, and the staff members deserve a lot of credit for that. From those experiences, I know the person delivering the message can be just as important as the message itself, and I wanted to be able to share that with this next generation of young people in the Church."
For more information about St. Nersess, visit www.stnersess.edu.