PRESS OFFICE
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Jake Goshert, Coordinator of Information Services
Tel: (212) 686-0710 Ext. 60; Fax: (212) 779-3558
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.armenianchurch.org

November 3, 2004
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AVAKS HOLD RETREAT AT ARARAT CENTER

As soon as the St. Vartan Summer Camp youngsters were gone, it was time
for the St. Vartan Cathedral Avaks seniors group to have a load of fun
with their friends at the Eastern Diocese's new Ararat Center.

About 30 members from the seniors group traveled to the 65-acre Ararat
Center in Greenville, NY, for a two-day spiritual retreat on September
29, 2004. They were led by Fr. Mardiros Chevian, dean of the cathedral,
and two deacons.

The overnight retreat included a Bible study and worship service, a
movie and discussion, and plenty of time for fellowship and fun on the
serene Ararat Center campus.

This was the first trip to the Ararat Center for many of the Avak
members. The Ararat Center, located 30 miles south of Albany, NY, was
bought by the Eastern Diocese this past January. While it is the new
home of the St. Vartan Camp, the rest of the year it is available for
use by any groups. Already it has been used as a retreat site by
organizations such as the Association of Armenian Church Choirs of
America, and St. Nersess Seminary.

"The Avaks were excited to be there and fell in love with the facility,"
Fr. Chevian said. "They were glad there was now a permanent home for
our camp program and, more importantly, they were excited to be able to
take advantage of the wonderful respite offered by the rural setting.
They're eagerly looking forward to going back for another retreat soon."

All parishes and Armenian organizations are invited to use the
seven-building Ararat Center for events such as retreats, picnics, and
seminars.

"We want all Armenians to feel that the Ararat Center is their home,"
said Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese. "For
it was the labor and dedication of Armenians throughout the Diocese that
made this site a reality. And we believe everyone should be able to
come to the Ararat Center to rest, revive, and reconnect with their
heritage and faith."

For more information on the Ararat Center, contact Frank
Avakian-Stoneson by calling (212) 686-0710 ext. 35 or e-mailing
[email protected]

-- 11/03/04

E-mail photos available on request. Photos also viewable in the News
and Events section of the Eastern Diocese's website,
www.armenianchurch.org.

PHOTO CAPTION (1): Some of the St. Vartan Cathedral Avaks members talk
with Dn. Levon Kirakosyan during their recent retreat at the Ararat
Center in Greenville, NY.

PHOTO CAPTION (2): Fr. Mardiros Chevian, dean of the St. Vartan
Cathedral, leads a service during the Cathedral Avaks' two-day retreat
at the Ararat Center in Greenville, NY.

PHOTO CAPTION (3): Members of the St. Vartan Cathedral Avaks group
attend a Bible study during a two-day retreat at the Eastern Diocese's
Ararat Center in Upstate New York on September 29 and 30, 2004.