Last Sunday, the Parish Council hosted a special fellowship and program following Badarak, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia. Following the opening remarks and the singing of the national anthems of the United States and Armenia, Fr. Abraham blessed the lavish table full of delicacies and a tri-colored celebration cake. During the fellowship, a video of the celebrations in Armenia played in the background for all to enjoy.
Dr. Lynn Cetin, Vice Chair of the Parish Council, then welcomed guest speaker Dr. Armen Baibourtian, Director of Administration at the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) to address the community. Dr. Baibourtian, who has had a multifaceted career as a diplomat with the United Nations, a professor and a scholar, presented "Armenia's Independence Anniversary: Assessing its Role from an Historical Perspective." Through historical reflection and interesting and informative personal reflections, Dr. Baibourtian highlighted the road our brothers and sisters traveled to achieve independence. "Our independence is the sole guarantor for our nation," said Dr. Baibourtian. "Without our Motherland our Diaspora and our flourishing Armenian communities worldwide will not be safe. An important transformation occurred in the minds of Armenians worldwide after independence. Can we sustain as a nation? Today, we are proud to say that we have sustained for 25 years! We need to rely on each other as one entity - Armenia and the Diapsora - to continue to prosper." Following Dr. Baibourtian's talk, Fr. Abraham presented the Baibourtian Family with a small hand-carved khachkar from Armenia and pomegranate ornaments in honor of Holy Martyrs' "Year of the Pomegranate." Before his closing prayer, Fr. Abraham reflected about the importance of America's help in the path to Armenia's independence. "God bless America and Gedze Azad Angakh Hayastan."