Epostle.net, electronic ministry launched at Fr. Vazken’s 40th Anniversary
SEE PHOTO GALLERY BELOW
“Forty years went past me like a shooting star <<Ասուպի նման>>,”reflected Fr. Vazken Movsesian, on Sunday, September 25, as his 40th anniversary of ordination was celebrated at the St. Leon Ghevondyants Armenian Cathedral. “Like a shooting star, the years went by quickly it seemed, until I realized the millions of miles that star has traveled to get here, and then I think of the ride that I have taken each day, with new adventures, some up and some down, but all part of the journey, which has always remained fresh for me.”
Under the auspices and direction of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, a double celebration took place on Sunday, September 25, as the newest ministry of the Western Diocese, Epostle.net was unveiled and launched.
Fr. Vazken celebrated the Divine Liturgy, with the Diocesan Primate, presiding. In attendance were Fr. Vazken’s ordaining bishop and senior cleric of the Armenian Church, Abp. Vatché Hovsepian, his sponsor (khartavilak) Fr. Arshag Khatchadourian, and godfather, Stephen Mikaelian. Bishop Daniel Findikyan, from the Eastern Diocese brought his blessing to the day. Other clergy present were Abp. Barkev Martirossian, Fr. Dajad Yardumian, Fr. Manoog Markarian, Fr. Yeghia Isayan, all under the very capable organization of Fr. Khajag Shahbazian, Parish Priest of St. Leon.
During the Liturgy, Abp. Hovnan commended the 40 years of service Fr. Vazken has rendered to the Armenian Church and the Western Diocese. He bestowed upon him the title of “Honorary Godfather of the Cathedral” and blessed him with a pectoral cross. He then invited Yn. Susan Movsesian to the chancel area and expressed his appreciation to her for being the strength and partner of this 40-year ministry and presented her with an icon of the Blessed Mother, Asdvadzadzin. Beginning his sermon, Fr. Vazken expressed his appreciation and shared his message on “Varakakhatch” to the full cathedral.
Following the Liturgy, a special requiem (hokehankist) was offered for the martyrs for the latest fighting in Armenia. Dignitaries from Artsakh, including the Foreign Minister, and US Congressman Adam Schiff were in attendance in honor of the fallen heroes. Fr. Vazken also remembered in his prayers, a group of clergy who had a great influence in his life during the past 40 years, beginning with the most venerable Catholicos Vazken I, of blessed memory. Fr. Vazken recounted with humility the honor he felt when given the name of the late patriarch – on the exact day (Varakakhatch), 27 years following His Holiness’ ascension to the Apostolic throne.
The culmination of the day came with the launch of www.Epostle.net – the latest ministry of the Western Diocese. The unveiling took place at a reception hosted by the Primate and the St. Leon Ghevondyants Cathedral in the Kalaydjian Hall. Well-wishers had come out from far and near to celebrate, including Fr. Vazken’s cousin, who arrived from Argentina the night before to be a part of this gathering.
The program was called to order by Dn. Varoujan Movsesian, who served as emcee and reflected from the unique perspective of the oldest son of Fr. Vazken and Yn. Susan. The gathering began with a somber yet soulful rendition of “Groong” performed on the clarinet by Nick Movsesian, cousin of the honoree.
Reflections and remarks were offered by Derik Ghookasian, Diocesan Council Chairman, Fr. Datev Harutyunian, St. Andrew, Cupertino and read by Dn. Dikran Harutyunian, Fr. Sarkis Petoyan, St. Gregory, Pasadena, Mardiros Dakessian on behalf of St. Peter Youth Ministry and In His Shoes, Hrair Tashjian, on behalf of Homenetmen Santa Clara Ani Chapter. On this occasion, Mr. Tashjian awarded an honorary Homenetmen neckerchief to Fr. Vazken. Also congratulations were shared from Fr. Haroutiun Tachejian, St. James, Los Angeles, and Professor Don Miller, from USC.
Lauren Movsesian, soprano, and daughter-in-law of the honoree shared two selection, Gomidas’ Kele Kele and Bjinko which were received with arousing cheer and applause. The entire program was streamed, and people in the hall and on-line were captivated by her voice and talent.
The moment of the Launch arrived. Fr. Vazken introduced Eric Esrailian, upon whose initiative Epostle.net was propelled into a new ministry. He recounted the early years of the electronic ministry, and how the first broadcast under the epostle name took place in the year 2000, but today was a new day with all the excitement of new technology that allows us to carry it in our pocket, Epostle: Apostolic Evangelism for an Electronic World.
Fr. Vazken explained the interdependence of the two organizations, In His Shoes ministry and Epostle. On this occasion, Dr. Ani Babayan, from Armenia was recognized as the recipient of the Empowerment and Progress for Women award of In His Shoes and was presented with an art piece by artist Anush Avejic: “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” A very emotional and heartwarming acceptance was witnessed by all.
By way of launching Epostle.net, Fr. Vazken introduced the creative director of the project, Gregory Beylerian and Suzie Shatarevyan, content producer. The unveiling and launch took place on a large screen in the hall and on-line. One by one, he shared the different pages and content – thousands of posts – that are available on Epostle.net. Among the most striking reveals was the use of 360 immersive technology which will be expanding in the years to come. He asked that people explore and share the message of Epostle.net with friends and acquaintances. In the coming weeks, Epostle.net will be further populated with posts and a daily prayer/meditation section.
Bishop Daniel Findikyan, who had traveled from the East Coast to be at this gathering asked by the Primate to offer the final remarks and blessings. Bishop Daniel recently authored the book, “Building Up the Body of Christ” a candid analysis of the state of the Armenian Church in America with solid directions for growth on every page. He offered his remarks about Fr. Vazken’s ministry and presented him with a pectoral cross on his behalf, as a reminder of the special feast of Varak that was celebrated this day. At the invitation of Abp. Hovnan Derderian, Bishop Daniel will be in the Western Diocese participate in deliberations and discussion about our Church in the coming weeks. He will be celebrating the Divine Liturgy this Sunday in Fresno and the following Sunday, October 9 at the Cathedral.
With Bishop Daniel’s prayer the day came to an end with excitement for the new Epostle.net ministry all around. The organizing committee was acknowledged and thanked, headed by Fr. Manoog Markarian, and chaired by Kathy Markarian, with members, Lida Ananian, Anush Avejic, Maria Hamparian, Carmen Markarian, Michelle Markarian, Yn. Susan Movsesian and Suzie Shatarevyan.