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What are you thankful for?

News Home · All articles in "ACYOA News" · Articles from 2010

By Megan Karanfil

I try to appreciate little things in life and stay grateful all year
but there is something about the holiday season that makes me a bit
sentimental.  One of the things I am most thankful for is the role of
the Armenian Church and ACYOA in my life.  I have spent the past two summers serving through Diocesan programs.  In 2009 I participated in the Armenia Service Program.  It was a unique
opportunity to experience my homeland with other ACYOA members.

I interned at the Diocese through the AGBU New York Summer Internship
program this past summer.  It a great experience to
serve the church, and I really learned a lot.  Apart from work, the
Diocese and AGBU had various classes and lectures that helped me make solid contacts for my future - not to
mention Ihad a blast!  Living with 32 Armenians from all over the
world, it was incredible to see how alike we were.  It proved that our
Armenian identity supersedes the cultures of the countries in which we

Though my service is mainly for my own parish, all throughout the
year I try to go to many events throughout our Diocese.  It is really
nice to be able to connect with Armenians in my home area. There
aren’t many people who would get up early on a Sunday morning to go to church, and then stay to make sandwiches for a local homeless shelter.

We do it because part of being an Armenian Christian is our service to

Last Sunday I had a conversation with a girl who has been a member of
our church’s ACYOA for years, yet she has never been able to come to
any regional or national events.  For me this is the best part.  Every
time I go to an event, it feels like a family reunion.  Like with
family, I don’t need to keep in touch with them consistently for them
to know how much I care about them.  No matter how much time we spend
apart, when we’re together it seems like just yesterday.  I know Uncle
Harry is going to bring his clarinet and play for us,  and cousinsAra
and Gev will have us cracking up about something or another.  Oh, and
‘that guy’ Alex is always popping up out of nowhere.

Some of the events include dances but really are just like weddings,
without the open bar and bride and groom.  Most of us secretly or(not
so secretly) hope that somewhere in the room is the person we will
spend our future with.  I’m sure those who’ve planned sports weekends
will have no problem when that time comes for them.  But the reason we
get together has more of a purpose than to dance/party with each other
or try to find our Armenian soulmate.  The different events offered
always help us grow in one way or another.  Whether it be to advance
our leadership skills or grow in our relationship with Christ, the
events purpose is facilitated by the fact that we are all so close.  I
only wish there was an event sometime during the holidays, maybe close
to thanksgiving where we could celebrate together how thankful we are
for each other.  Oh wait, NOVEMBER DANCE!