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Minister to the Union's Pastoral Trip to Toronto, Chicago and Montreal

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Rev. Hendrik Shanazarian traveled to the middle of the continent for a series of pastoral visits in April.

His first stop was in Toronto to attend the funeral service for Rev. Yessayi Sarmazian at the Armenian Evangelical Church on Saturday, April 1. At 10 am friends and church members started coming in, and expressing condolences to family members. When the service began at 11:00, the church was full and clergy from several Armenian churches were present. They shared their testimonies and words of encouragement. Rev. Avedis Boynerian presided during the service and shared the Word of God. Letters of condolence from AMAA Executive Director/CEO Mr. Zaven Khanjian, and Executive Director of the Armenian Evangelical World Fellowship Rev. Dr. Vahan Tootikian, were read during the service. Rev. Sarmazian’s son and grandchildren participated by reading his eulogy, sharing testimonies, reading scripture and playing music. After the internment, friends and families returned to church for a luncheon during which several participants shared their testimonies about Badveli Sarmazian’s character and services. The service and the testimonies were livestreamed; many hundreds joined live and many more later. Click here for the service:

After the service Rev. Shanazarian set off toward Chicago. The Armenian Evangelical Church in Mount Prospect, IL was half full and many families were present for the Sunday service. A very encouraging scene was three generations sitting together worshipping the Lord. After the service, the Hagopian family served a very delicious luncheon to all participants. This was a great opportunity to meet people and chat with old friends.

While in Chicago, Rev. Shanazarian met with community and church leaders, including Father Andreas Garabedian of St Gregory of Chicago, Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, who preaches at the pulpit when there is a need, and Ms. Houri Gueyikian, one of the church board members who makes sure the Sunday services continue and there is a guest preacher or an online message.

Continuing his trip, Rev. Shanazarian visited the two AEUNA churches in Montreal, Canada. During his stay, he worshipped with them on Maundy Thursday and preached on Good Friday. He preached at the Armenian Evangelical Church (AEC) of Montreal on Easter Sunday. The Fellowship Committee of the church had organized a reception and a short program together with the Sunday School teachers. During his stay in Montreal, he was able to meet with the Council members and pastoral committee of First Armenian Evangelical Church and the leadership of AEC of Montreal.

Rev. Shanazarian met with Rev. Georges Dabbo on different occasion to discuss issues of mutual concern about church, community and Union. He also visited with Rev. J. Bizdigian, and with a few church members. Rev. Shanazarian also met with Rev. Hovhannes and Vera Svadjian and Rev. Mher Khachikian. A meeting with AMAA Canada representative Mr. Harout and Mrs. Nercessian was very fruitful.

This was a great opportunity to meet with volunteers serving at both Montreal churches. Though there were some changes in the program due to a severe ice storm that impacted the area, the trip was a great success.

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