Las Vegas Parish Community Celebrates Third Anniversary of the Consecration of St. Garabed Church

On Sunday, May 1, 2016, the Las Vegas parish community celebrated the third anniversary of the consecration of St. Garabed Church with Divine Liturgy celebrated by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and a luncheon. Joining the faithful in the festivities were clergy from the Armenian Evangelical and Assyrian Churches, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Las Vegas Mr.
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Adroushan Armenian, Executive Council member Mr. Antanik Kasbarian and his wife Sossy, Prelacy benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Osko and Yeran Giraghossian, and representatives of sister organizations. Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Arsen Kassabian, Archpriest Fr. Avedis Torossian, and deacons assisted at the altar.

Prior to delivering the sermon, the Prelate greeted the parish family and guests, conveying his congratulations on the joyous occasion and wishing them continued successes in their God-pleasing service and mission. His Eminence reflected on the consecration of the Church three years before, commending all those who made the dream a reality through hard work, unity, faith, and love, and all those who continue to contribute to the advancement of the church, inviting all of the faithful to become active participants in church life and to engage and encourage the younger generations by their example. His Eminence paid tribute to benefactor Larry Barnes and Seda Der Garabedian-Barnes and the sponsors who contributed to the dream through their generous benefaction.

The Prelate then delivered his sermon on John 9:39-10:10, a lesson on spiritual blindness. “Our Lord Jesus Christ came as a light into this world; He came so that we have abundant life in Him; He came seeking the spiritually blind. His gift of sight and life is available to all; but it is up to each person to accept that gift and to step into His Light by inviting Him into our hearts and opening our spiritual ears to His truth, as did our forefathers,” stated the Prelate, who then went on to speak about the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide held the week before. 1.5 million Armenians lost their physical lives, but they gained abundant and eternal life in Him and they live on forevermore as our intercessors. As our nation is under attack once again in Artsakh, the Prelate urged for the community to fulfill their national duty and contribute generously to fundraising efforts, for the future of Artsakh depends on the collective support ad solidarity of all Armenians, stressed the Prelate. “In this Year of Service especially, as proclaimed by His Holiness Aram I, let us serve our Lord, our church, and our nation with open eyes and open hearts, with love and goodwill, with reinforced faith and renewed vigor,” he concluded.

Requiem service followed, during which prayers were offered for the souls of benefactor Larry and Seda Der Garabedian-Barnes and all church sponsors and servers.

After the service, the procession led by the church choir and Homenetmen scouts headed to the courtyard where the Prelate presided over the unveiling and blessing of a pomegranate tree mural symbolizing hope and life for the parish community. Sponsors Mr. and Mrs. Vatche and Arlene Sarkoyan participated in the ceremony, which concluded with Cilicia and the Armenian national anthem. A dance performance by the Armenian Dance School of Las Vegas followed.

Guests then gathered at “Koujakian” Hall for a luncheon organized by the Ladies Guild and hosted by Mrs. Arpy Koutnouyan. The program began with remarks by Rev. Fr. Arsen Kassabian, who thanked the Prelate for joining the community on the special occasion and wished him many more years of leadership. The program also featured remarks by parish representatives and the presentation of mementos. The Parish Council commended Church secretary Mrs. Rita Havanjian’s service with a plaque presented by the Prelate. The Parish Council also presented a plaque of appreciation of Chair Mr. Yeghia Yeghiayan for his dedicated service to the parish community over the last decade. On behalf of the Armenian American Cultural Society of Las Vegas, Mr. Adroushan Armenian spoke of the efforts behind the planning and construction of the Armenian Genocide Memorial Monument which was dedicated in November of 2015, and invited AACS President Mr. Levon Gulbenkian to present a crystal model of the monument to the Prelate in appreciation for his support and guidance. The same memento was then presented to representatives of the ARF, ARS, Homenetmen, and individuals who contributed to the project. The program closed with the Prelate’s message of blessing and commendation.

The prior evening, the Prelate attended a fundraiser for Congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian, which was held at the residence of Jerry and Salpi Guederian. His Eminence wished Mr. Tarkanian success in his campaign and future endeavors and presented a memento to him, as well as to the Guederian family for hosting the event.

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