On Sunday, June 9, the Holy Martyrs community was honored to have our Srpazan and newly ordained Bishop Daniel Findikyan as guest celebrant for our Badarak on the occasion of Pentecost. Bishop Daniel's sermon touched on the theme of Pentecost by pointing out that while we may speak many languages, the language we need to be more fluent in is the language of God. Bishop Daniel then blessed our new Liturgical Bell which is mounted on the wall near the baptismal font. The bell, a gift from Armenia, is rung during the start of each liturgy.
After the church services, a beautiful fellowship took place in the church auditorium to celebrate the accomplishments of recent St. Nersess graduates, Deacons Alexander Calikyan and Albert Hambardzumyan. A truly "family-style" affair with over 200 people present, the fellowship was organized as a collective effort of the entire Holy Martyrs church family. Parish Council Chair, Aram Ciamician, served as emcee for the fellowship and welcomed Bishop Daniel to Holy Marytrs for the first time as Bishop of the Armenian Church and congratulated Deacons Alex and Albert on their achievements. There were a number of speeches that followed, including heartfelt remarks by the graduates, as well as inspiring words from Fr. Abraham and Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. Fr. Mardiros provided a particularly memorable “roast” of Deacon Alex and promised to provide more stories once the day comes should Alex be ordained into the priesthood. The fellowship concluded with the always-inspirational message delivered by Srpazan Hayr, who congratulated the graduates and expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Holy Martyrs family for putting together the family-style fellowship. During the afternoon's festivities, the attendees also enjoyed performances by Holy Martyrs’ youth-based cultural groups, the Dzirani Dance Group and the Lousaper Children’s Youth Choir. Both groups entertained the attendees with their unique talents. It was truly a memorable day for all those in attendance.