Toward the end of 2022 and entering the New Year, the Armenian Evangelical Church of Toronto has been bustling with activity. This season of blessing and celebration began with the 62nd anniversary of the church that also commemorated the 175th anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical movement as a whole. The evening was beautifully put together and held at Lara’s Restaurant in Toronto, where almost 200 members gathered in fellowship to celebrate together. The hosts of the evening, Hovig and Niary Toodakian, kicked off the night by warmly welcoming all those in attendance. Keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian spoke about how as a church we must echo Jesus’ life and always have “room at the table” and be welcoming of those from all different walks of life. Entertainment for the evening consisted of a moving solo performed by our very own Sona Hovsepyan, as well as the instrumental performance on the Qanun by Madiana Torosyan. Notably, the AEC of Toronto imparted a gift to one of our longest serving members, Antibas Loussararian, on the occasion of his 90th birthday and as thanks for his years of consistent and diligent service. The evening concluded with a words from Vartouhi Jizmejian, the year’s Council Chairperson, in which she thanked all those involved in making the night a success and warmly spoke about how she considers us all at the AEC of Toronto a family through Christ.
The end of the year also brought forth the election of new church council members as well as the departure of some after completing their terms. In November, Kamie Getzoyan, Salpy Kadjemian and Khatchig Ohannessian were nominated and elected to council, while Vartouhi Jizmejian, Alex Talaslian and Ani Tourosian were thanked for their service to our church community. At the beginning of 2023, newly elected church leaders as well as returning council members Ruth Demirjian-Duench, Jack Kakousian, Aris Kalemkerian and Sevag Melkonian were inducted and prayed over on the pulpit by visiting pastor Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian. It is the hope - as with every newly formed Council - that the Lord works through them to the betterment of His Kingdom here on Earth.
The end of the year also means celebrating the birth and arrival of Jesus! The Christmas season at the AEC of Toronto kicked off with our annual Sunday School Christmas Program. Through the extraordinary effort and planning of the Sunday School teaching team, our congregation was blessed with song and passage readings. What better way is there to celebrate the coming of our Saviour than through the voices of praise of those who innocently believe. The season continued with more song, as the AECT Youth Group took to the streets to spread the good news with their annual Christmas caroling. On Christmas Eve, the youth visited homes of our congregation members as they gathered with family to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Finally, how lucky are we as Armenians to be able to celebrate Christmas not only once, but twice! On Jan. 6, 2023, the AEC of Toronto hosted an Armenian Christmas Potluck dinner. Many members of our church family contributed by bringing delicious homemade foods and desserts as well as volunteering their time in planning and hosting the event. The evening was filled with Christmas carols, an abundance of fellowship, and even a movie! With more than 100 people in attendance, the love of Christ could truly be felt in the room.
- Kamie Getzoyan