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News Releases for 2012: Show all years

The annual ACYOA Leadership Conference is a month away and we are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Don Bosco Retreat Center in Stony Point, NY! This year’s retreat will discuss the topic of Faith Literacy for Young Leaders.
The ACYOA Central Council met on Saturday, September 15, at the Church of the Holy Martyrs in Bayside, NY. The Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Diocesan Vicar, presided over the meeting. ACYOA executive secretary Nancy Basmajian was also in attendance.
The ACYOA will host the New England Fall Retreat on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at St. James Church in Watertown, MA. The retreat's theme will focus on "The Call to Serve: The Ministry of the Faithful."
The annual ACYOA Leadership Conference will take place November 9-11, 2012, at the Don Bosco Retreat Center in Stony Point, NY.
This month, we invite you to take time and read a reflection from Der Yeprem Kelegian, pastor of St. Mesrob Church of Racine, WI, on politics, loyalty and respect.
Crystal Densmore, St. Mesrob ACYOA Chair, highlights the happenings at her church's chapter in Racine, WI.
On June 14, the ACYOA Central Council presented a check for $1,000 to the Jerusalem Patriarchate. Central Council members Olivia Derderian, Ani Grigorian and Jonathan Pelaez delivered the check to Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, Grand Sacristan of the Armenian Patriarchate and Patriarchal Vicar, who expressed his appreciation for the ACYOA’s donation.
Twenty young adults from parishes across the Eastern Diocese helped serve their homeland during the ACYOA’s Armenian Service Program June 29-July 19. The young Armenians, led by Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan of Holy Trinity Church, Cheltenham, Pa., traveled throughout the country, visiting sites from Yerevan to Holy Etchmiadzin and also served their fellow Armenians by working with the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) as volunteers at the Octet Music School and FAR Soup Kitchen in Gyumri. For more information and a photo gallery, read an article detailing the ASP participants journey on the Eastern Diocese’s website.
The 2012-2013 ACYOA Central Council formally met for the first time on June 9, which was also the first meeting for council members secretary Ani Grigorian of St. Mesrob Church, Racine, WI, and treasurer Jonathan Pelaez, St. Mary Church, Livingston, NJ, both of whom were elected during the 2012 ACYOA General Assembly and Sports Weekend in Chicago in May. Both Ani and Jon have been deeply involved with the ACYOA for many years and hope to continue to serve the Armenian Church in their new roles.
Attention college-age ACYOA members! Have you been delaying your end-of-summer plans waiting for something incredible to come along? Today is your lucky day! Limited space is available for the St. Nersess Post-High School Summer Conference, August 10-17! Co-directed by the V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan and Dn. Benjamin Rith-Najarian, this conference will give you the opportunity to see old friends, make new ones, and re-energize your spirit before you head off to school for the fall. Download the application form now! For further information contact the Seminary at or by phone at (914) 636-2003.
On Saturday, April 14, young adults from the midwest took part in a one day spring retreat at St. James Armenian Church in Evanston, IL. The day focused on understanding lay ministry, and participants had the opportunity to explore this topic through Bible study, discussion, and reflection.
 Retreat sessions were led by the Rev. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan, pastor of St. James, Rev. Fr. Yeprem Kelegian, pastor of St. Mesrob Church of Racine, WI; and Nancy Basmajian, ACYOA executive secretary. Some 20 people took part in the daylong program.
 "This retreat helped me reflect on my spiritual discipline and discipleship,” said Arie Zakaryan of St. James Church. Interested in having a regional retreat in your area? Please contact ACYOA executive secretary Nancy Basmajian at
Join the St. Mark ACYOA chapter for the 110th Diocesan Assembly Spring Dance on Saturday May 5th from 9 pm to 1 am. The dance will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Windsor, Connecticut. The price of admission is only $30 for adults and $25 for students, which includes a live band featuring; Brian Ansbigian, Bob Raphalian, Kenny Kalajian and Jason Naroian. For more information please contact Talene Jermakian at
Dear Friend of the ACYOA, We are happy to announce that the 2012 ACYOA General Assembly and National Sports Weekend will be held from May 24-28, 2012, in Chicago! Accommodations have been secured at the Sax Hotel in downtown Chicago. The ACYOA of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church will be hosting this year’s gathering in partnership with the surrounding Chicagoland churches. We are especially excited to be taking on this challenge because being involved in the ACYOA has taught us how to become active members of the Armenian Church, and we want to work to make that same experience of fellowship possible for ACYOA members today. Our efforts to make this weekend successful signify our small contribution to the success of the Armenian Church Youth Organization, through which so many Armenian youth have become stronger in their faith. Past weekends have been a success because of the generous donations from friends of the ACYOA. This weekend is considerable undertaking and depends so much on your support. If you would like to make a contribution, please download the Ad Book form on the ACYOA website. With a donation you will be given the option to place an advertisement, a message in honor of a loved one or support of your favorite team in our weekend booklet. Sponsorship opportunities are also available if you would like to help underwrite the cost of a specific event. For questions and/or additional information please feel free to contact the committee at Thank you for your time, consideration and continued support of the ACYOA. Sincerely, Shant Paklaian & Sam Mrofcza 2012 Sports Weekend Co-Chairs TO DOWNLOAD THE FORM CLICK "READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE."
ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS - Read the complete article for the update!
For the first time, the General Assembly and Sports Weekend registration is exclusively online. To register for the weekend, use the following link: If you have any questions, please contact the Sports Weekend committee at:
The Ararat Center Advisory Committee is pleased to announce the newly formed St. Vartan Camp Alumni Group—an organization that will allow camp alumni to connect with each other, and to extend support to the camp program throughout the year. “St. Vartan Camp holds a special place in my heart,” said Alumni Group chair Talene Metjian, whose father, the late Rev. Fr. Paree Metjian, was instrumental in founding the camp. “As a child, I looked forward to attending every summer, seeing old friends, and meeting new people from other parts of the Eastern Diocese. We shared many specials moments, and I still have great friendships that started at St. Vartan Camp. This new Alumni Group offers an excellent opportunity for all of us to reconnect.” Housed at the Diocese’s Ararat Center in upstate New York, St. Vartan Camp offers children and students ages 8 to 15 religious and cultural instruction, as well as a variety of athletic and social activities. Some 500 campers, counselors, and volunteers take part in the program each summer. The new Alumni Group aims to bring together former campers for fellowship and to brainstorm ways the community can support the future growth of St. Vartan Camp. The group’s Facebook page gives alumni a platform for posting updates and following news about the camp and Ararat Center. Visit the St. Vartan Camp Alumni Group on Facebook (
The 2012 ACYOA Sports Weekend committee is hard at work ironing out the details of the annual Memorial Day Weekend events. St. Gregory Armenian Church of Chicago, Illinois will host the 2012 General Assembly and Sports Weekend from May 24-28. The committee of young adults from around the Chicago-land area have chosen “We're on a Mission from God,” as the theme of the weekend. Participants will stay at the Sax Hotel in downtown Chicago ( This year the Sports Weekend committee is proud to debut the first ever electronic registration process which is scheduled to launch April 1, 2012. If you have not already please follow us on Facebook: More details will soon be avaible on the ACYOA website.
The Eastern Diocese is once again working in partnership with the AGBU New York Summer Intern Program to offer an eight-week internship (tentative dates are June 17-August 11) at the Diocese for young adults between the ages of 19 and 26. According to individual career goals, interns may choose to work in areas such as communications, finance, development, Christian education, youth ministry, Armenian studies, music, or with the Fund for Armenian Relief. The Diocesan interns will be part of the AGBU New York Summer Intern Program, participating in the AGBU orientation, be housed with other AGBU interns in New York University dormitories, and engage in various AGBU-sponsored educational, cultural, and social activities that highlight current Armenian topics. The Diocese however, will supervise and guide their work, while offering other appropriate career, educational and leadership growth opportunities such as Bible studies, language classes and excursions. All application and participation fees (as well as housing) will be covered by the Diocese; the deadline for applications is April 30, 2012. For more information or to receive an application, contact ACYOA Executive Secretary Nancy Basmajian at or 212-293-1248.
The ACYOA Central Council is offering young adults ages 20 and older a unique hands-on learning experience: a ten-week internship opportunity (May 29-August 8) at the FAR Children’s Support Center in Yerevan, Armenia for the summer of 2012. The center is one of the many projects of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) which is partnering with the ACYOA. Another partner in this important initiative is Birthright Armenia. The center provides psycho-social and medical treatment to children (ages 3-18), including those who are: homeless, abandoned, neglected, abused, and much more.
The ACYOA Central Council is sponsoring a one day regional retreat in the Chicago-land area. The day-long program will be hosted by the St. James Chapter of Evanston, IL on April 14. The theme is “The Call to Serve: Ministry of the Faithful.” Many best-selling books offer advice on how to “get” the most out of life, but that’s not the reason God created us. We were designed to “add” to life on earth, not just take from it. God wants us to give something back, to make a difference—and that is called our “ministry.” All young adults, 18 years old and over, are encouraged to attend. There is no registration fee; however, we ask that you register by sending an email message no later than April 9 to
Looking for a change of pace in your spring break plans? An “Alternative Spring Break” is being planned for March 17-24, 2012. The ACYOA is partnering with Habitat for Humanity and their annual Collegiate Challenge to give college students from around the country the opportunity to build affordable housing for a needy family in Buffalo, New York. Join our team and Chaplain Leader, Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, for a life-changing experience putting your faith into action.
The ACYOA Central Council is once again sponsoring the Armenia Service Program (ASP) for young adults 18-28. The trip will take place from June 29-July 19, 2012. Participants will have the opportunity to see much of Armenia and also serve the country in a variety of ways.
Thirty-five ACYOA members from parishes across the Eastern Diocese gathered in Boca Raton, Fla., earlier this month for the ACYOA's fourth annual Chapter Workshop, hosted by St. David Armenian Church. The January 13-15 workshop with the theme "We're All in This Together," aimed to provide an interactive atmosphere for participants to share successes, struggles, and advice on how to nurture and build their respective ACYOA parish chapters while also providing opportunities for service, worship and Christian fellowship.
CALLING ALL ALUMNI, CURRENT AND FUTURE MEMBERS OF THE ACYOA! The ACYOA of St. Mary in Washington, D.C., is hosting the third annual Alumni Ball on Saturday, February 11. The Alumni Ball will feature the Philadelphia All Stars Armenian band with special guest Gregory Vosbikian. Tickets are only $25 with a reservation by February 10 or $30 at the door. For reservations email St. Mary ACYOA Chairperson, Aras Mermer at
The ACYOA Central Council is sponsoring a one day Lenten Retreat for young adults in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania region. The day-long program will be hosted by the newly-formed ACYOA Chapter of Holy Martyrs Armenian Church in Bayside, New York on Saturday, March 3. The theme is The Call to Serve: Ministry of the Faithful.
On January 18, St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina officially formed an ACYOA chapter. The newly formed chapter has been active for nearly two months and already has several events upcoming. Some activities include; distributing sandwiches to the homeless in downtown Charlotte, volunteering at a local soup kitchen and a regional event with youth from St. James in Richmond, Virginia. If you would like to form a chapter in your parish, visit for more information or contact ACYOA Executive Secretary Nancy Basmajian at or 212-293-1248. “I urge every parish to try and form an ACYOA chapter; it doesn’t matter if you have only five people.” said Daniel Zalinov, Charlotte’s chairperson. “Armenian youth tend to gravitate towards each other. What better way is there to congregate than in an organization that incorporates our faith and our culture into our friendships?”