Armenian Picnic Unites Churches

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.—After a successful collaboration the past two years, two churches will join together for the third time in co-sponsoring a joint picnic.

St. Gregory Armenian Church will unite with St. Michael’s Catholic Church in the spirit of unity Sun., Sept. 11, for what has turned into an idyllic spiritual fellowship.

The festival will take place along 158 Main St., from 1-6 p.m., featuring plenty of Armenian and American food, family activities, and Armenian and American music for dancing. Such a partnership proved so successful in the past that officials from both churches decided to repeat the gesture.

The menu includes lamb, beef, and chicken kebab, lentil kheyma dinners, rice pilaf, salad, burgers, hot dogs, and Armenian and American pastries. Goodies like slush, popcorn, and cotton candy will certainly delight the kids! Activities such as tug-o-war, rock painting, pitch burst, and soccer kick will add to the festivities of the day. A “special presentation” will also take place that afternoon.

Both churches have been next-door neighbors over the past four decades but only recently decided to merge for a summer extravaganza such as this. Each congregation will hold a separate food court and collaborate in other ways. Ample on-site parking is a huge benefit.

“Both churches have been very supportive of one another,” said Vartkes Hovsepian, St. Gregory’s picnic chairman. “The joint picnic is a way of sharing our different faiths in the true spirit of Christian harmony. It’s also an ideal way of passing our rich culinary heritage on to others. It has been a real pleasure working with Earline Tweedie, St. Michael’s picnic chairwoman, and her outstanding team.”

For more details and directions, visit or call (978) 685-5038.


Tom Vartabedian

Tom Vartabedian is a retired journalist with the Haverhill Gazette, where he spent 40 years as an award-winning writer and photographer. He has volunteered his services for the past 46 years as a columnist and correspondent with the Armenian Weekly, where his pet project was the publication of a special issue of the AYF Olympics each September.

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  1. Tom-I have read your articles through the years and have thoroughly enjoyed them.  The term “two different faiths” doesn’t really describe the two churches.

    They are two different branches of the same Christian faith.  To refer to them as “two different faiths” is a misnomer. 

  2. I also noticed that but I am sure it was not meant to be typed that way… thank you for corrected it though because we want to make sure the reader does not get any wrong idea….


  3. I wish such ideal picture could be viewed by my children when they visit DC and see St. Mary and Surb Hatch together joined by the Armenian Protestant Congregation, and whatever other Armenian religious communities will exist at that time at a picnic organized by ONE Armenian Community Center of Washington DC…  But this wouldn’t happen unless we seriously move to it starting from now and preparing for April 24, 2015, on Capitol Hill!

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