On March 27—Lazarus Saturday, according to the Armenian Church calendar for 2021—the Eastern Diocese held a daylong online retreat for ACYOA Juniors and Seniors. Some 25 young faithful from across the Diocese took part in the event, which was organized by the Diocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.
Bishop Daniel began the retreat by leading participants in a Morning Hour prayer service, aided by Dn. Michael Sabounjian. The day’s opening presentation followed, with Bishop Daniel offering inspirational words on the retreat theme: “The Lord is Near.”
Participants then got to know one another through various “icebreaker” activities. In the afternoon session, Dn. Timothy Aznavourian led participants through a scripture and icon study on the meaning behind Lazarus Saturday, describing how the raising of Jesus’ beloved friend foreshadowed the resurrection of Christ himself.
To conclude the day, Jennifer Morris and Kathryn Ashbahian led a Bible Study on Philippians 4:4-9, in which participants reflected on their anxieties, the things for which they are thankful, and the things that bring them peace. Personal prayers were shared among the participants, which were encouraged to lift each other up in prayer through the coming days of Holy Week.
Like the other virtual youth gatherings, the ACYOA Lenten Retreat met over the Zoom conference platform. The Eastern Diocese’s Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the ACYOA have been holding online youth events as part of the #FellowshipFromHome initiative.