LOS ANGELES—At a time in history when prayer is more important than ever for Christians, hundreds of participants representing Armenian churches throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area, poured into the sanctuary of the United Armenian Congregational Church on March 6 to observe the annual Women’s World Day of Prayer. The world-wide event is conducted annually on the first Friday of March. This was the 45th anniversary of the event founded at UACC in 1970 by Aznive Apkarian, bringing together the Armenian Community in unity and prayer.
The 2015 theme was from John 13:12, “Jesus said to them: Do you know what I have done for you?” After a period of intercessory prayer, the clergy marched down the aisle in procession and “Der Voghormia,” was sung by Nune Kartalian. UACC Senior Pastor Rev. Ron Tovmassian, offered the opening prayer. Cordial words of welcome were expressed by Linette Almasi and Linda Avazian.
The English speaker, Elizabeth Agbabian, daughter of the founder, stressed the importance of “service to the church” and “humbleness.” She praised Mother Theresa who, she said “was the epitome of humility.” Cecile Keshishian, in her Armenian message, began with praises for Mrs. Apkarian, saying, “Although she is gone, her legacy lives on.” Keshishian also mentioned the importance of “humanity” and “following Jesus’ example of service to others.”
The program included readings by Maro Kahvejian, Houry Dorian, Lisa Haleblian, and and Nora Elmassian, prayers by Mary Moujoukian, and Araxie Giles, hymns led by Sossy Astourian, and the “Hayr Mer” sung by Juliette Missirian. Prayers of praise were offered by Zabel Odabashian, Vartouhi Haroutounian, Tigranouhi Keshishian, and Marie-Jeanne Harmandayan.
Each attendee received a keepsake bookmark, artistically designed by Silva Atolikian, who read the passage from the Gospel of John, printed on the bookmark in Armenian and English.
Among the participating clergy were His Eminence, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, Very Rev. Father Dadjad Yardemian representing His Eminence, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, and Father Thomas Garabedian representing Rev. Father Antoine Noradounghian of St. Gregory Catholic Church. Ambassadors of twenty-four Armenian Churches (Apostolic, Catholic, Evangelical, Brotherhood, Nazarene, and Congregational) took part in the program. The chairlady, Mary Agulian, and coordinator, Grace Kurkjian, spent months planning the event and meeting with representatives of the Southland churches.
A lenten luncheon buffet reception was cordially hosted in memory and honor of Aznive Apkarian by her daughters, Elizabeth Agbabian and Grace Kurkjian.