Holy Martyrs Church of Encino celebrated the 56th anniversary of its consecration with a banquet held at “Avedissian” Hall, under the auspices of Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian. The banquet, which was organized by the Pastor, Board of Trustees, and 56th Anniversary Committee, and was hosted by Joseph and Nora Simonian, was held on Saturday, November 9.
In attendance were Vicar General Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Executive Council Chair Garo Eshgian, representatives of Ferrahian and Cabayan Schools and of community organizations, sponsors, and friends.
The program began with the invocation by the clergy. Archpriest Razmig Khatchadourian delivered welcoming remarks. He expressed gratitude to the Prelate and appreciation to the Religious and Executive Councils for their guidance and support, thanked the host for their generosity, and additionally thanked Delegates, Board of Trustees, community organizations, and all volunteers for their dedicated service.
Board of Trustees Chair Hovig Bedevian reflected on the advancements of the past 56 years achieved through selfless service, and commended all the religious and lay servants who played a part in the formation of the San Fernando Valley Armenian community, as well as all those who continue to serve today.
Next, the Pastor and Board Chair were joined by the Prelate to present a memento to the hosts – a silver-bound “Book of Lamentations” by St. Gregory of Nareg. Mrs. Simonian thanked the Pastor and Board for the gift as well as for the honor to host the celebration and contribute their part to the advancement of the Church. She commended the tremendous efforts carried out within the Church, conveyed her gratitude to the Prelate for his blessings and guidance, and commended the Parish Pastor, Board of Trustees, and all affiliated bodies for their devoted service.
Prelate Mardirossian delivered the closing message, during which he congratulated the parish community, commended Fr. Razmig’s over two decades of devoted service to the parish, and the service of all past and present members of the Board of Trustees, Ladies Guild, volunteers, and the evening’s organizing committee.
The Prelate focused his message on three Bible verses: “Above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:14); “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; so he who waits on his master will be honored” (Proverbs 27:18); and “whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23). He stated that the evening has a message for us all, for anniversaries are a time and opportunity for renewal of our commitment to serve, to rectify any shortcomings we may have had, and continue to serve with heart, spirit, and mind.
“When we do anything with love, letdowns and shortcomings become secondary, because love hides all faults with its forbearance, patience, and ability to put things back on the right track,” he stated, and wished for all to renew their service with love, adding that they will reap the reward of their care toward the Church and school just as he who tends to the fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who waits on his master will be honored. “Whatever you do, do it with love, first and foremost for God, to receive His grace and not praise by man,” stressed the Prelate, and concluded by wishing the parish family new successes in its mission, blessing, and commending the Simonian family and all the sponsors for their generosity.