In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, and in light of current concerns regarding New York City, the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America announced earlier this month that the Diocesan Center has been closed to the public as of March 16, and will remain so at least through April 12. The majority of Diocesan staffers are currently working from home, and are available to respond to inquiries via e-mail. Voice messages left on the Diocesan phone lines will be forwarded via e-mail to the relevant party.
Along with the Diocesan Center, the St. Vartan Bookstore is also closed to the public. The present situation makes order fulfillment impossible—even on online sales. If customers wish to contact the bookstore, please call (212) 686-0710, Ext. 136 (please note the temporary change in extension), and leave a voicemail message. Inquiries will be quickly returned.
Major gatherings have also been affected by the pandemic. The Eastern Diocese’s 118th Diocesan Assembly will not go forward as scheduled. The Women’s Guild Assembly, Clergy Conference, and social events surrounding the assembly have also been cancelled. The annual gathering had been scheduled to convene April 30-May 3, 2020, hosted by the St. Sarkis Church of Carrollton, TX.
The Diocese has also announced the cancellation of the ACYOA General Assembly, formerly scheduled for May 21-25, and to have been hosted by the St. Hagop Church of St. Petersburg, FL.
Since the start of the crisis, gatherings throughout the parishes of the Eastern Diocese have been cancelled. Solitary clergy celebrate weekly services in an empty sanctuary closed to the public. Some parishes are broadcasting these services online, so worshippers can watch. Check the Eastern Diocese’s website and Facebook page for details.
These decisions were made and approved by the Diocesan Council under the presidency of Primate Bishop Daniel, after deliberation and consultation with government authorities, health professionals, and senior church leaders.