Eastern Prelacy Sponsors 30th Annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program

“Datev is not like any summer camp. It’s a place of education, worship, and fun… Not only do I feel closer to God, but I have made lasting relationships with fellow Datevatsis. Datev is like a second home for me. It is a place where I can grow in my faith, learn about my heritage, and make memories that will last a lifetime,” said a fourth year student of the Institute Aleen Takvorian.

Program participants
Program participants

Education, worship, and fellowship—this has become a slogan for the students of St. Gregory of Datev Institute. Indeed, these three objectives (worship, education, and fellowship) shaped and governed the daily schedule of the 38 students and 14 clergymen and lay leaders, who gathered at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pa., for the 30th annual summer program of the Prelacy’s St. Gregory of Datev Institute, from July 3-10, held under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.

Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), and directed by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church (Douglaston, New York), the Institute offers a unique Christian educational program for youth (ages 13-18) to enrich their knowledge of the Christian faith in a wholesome and nurturing environment, coupled with recreational activities and daily worship. Through lectures, interactive presentations, and panel discussions, the curriculum exposed the students to a range of important foundations of Armenian Christianity, from Bible and creeds, sacraments and sacred chants, personal and corporate prayer, Armenian culture and history, to contemporary moral and ethical issues.

The curriculum of the Institute is designed to be completed in four weeks (one week each summer). The students who complete the curriculum have the option to return for postgraduate classes. The classes for the five levels take place concurrently.

Every morning the students would file out for chapel for a short morning service. Classes were held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and then another hour in the evening. The program was tempered with afternoon recreational activities, such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, swimming, and other sports activities. Each day came to a close with the Husgoom service. As in the previous years, there was the convivial 4th of July picnic. And there was a special excursion this year—“Samson” at Sight and Sound Theatres.

This year the Institute graduated five students, those who have completed four weeklong programs: Natalie Avedissian, Karina Bayrakdarian, Arev Ebrimian, Armen Eghian, and Aleen Takvorian.

The 2016 graduates
The 2016 graduates

The Intructors of the Institute were: His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Very Rev. Fr. Zareh, Rev. Fr. Antranig Baljian, Rev. Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, Rev. Fr. Hrant Kevorkian, Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Dn. James Haddad, and Mrs. Maggie Kouyoumdjian, and Yn. Alice Baljian and Mr. Aram Hamparian, the Executive Director of Armenian National Committee of America, as guest lecturers.
The supervisors and counselors were: Dn. Harout Takvorian, Dn. James Haddad, Maral Doghramadjian, Maggie Kouyoumdjian, and Tamar Lakissian. Yn. Alice Baljian, R.N., was the resident nurse.

The weeklong Program concluded on Sun., July 10, with the celebration of Soorp Badarak at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church of Philadelphia, Pa., by His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, the Vicar General, followed by a luncheon hosted by the Artemis Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS).

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

1 Comment

  1. Wow. look at all of these intelligent and eager youth of whom so many are girls. What will the Armenian church leaders do to keep the women involved?

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