Community of Tampa | St. Pete | Florida

St. Hagop Outreach Ministry Visitations Update

By Grace Austin

The outreach ministry continues to visit the extended St Hagop family, once a quarter. With each visit,
we bring a new group of parishioners to bring the joy of the church to those members that cannot
attend Badarak. We lift our hearts, voices, and the spirits of all we visit, leaving treats along the way.
This quarter, we had the additional blessing of bringing some of the altar flowers to Marie Amoudjanian.
We hope that our partnership with the new Flower Guild will provide this opportunity again.

The outreach ministry, while not new, is one that is very important. The visits extend the reach of St
Hagops beyond the four walls of our beloved church to the edges of our community. Our new Parish
Chairwoman Louise has challenged us to stretch that reach even further. You can expect more dates on
the calendar to do this important work. The blessing though, is that it doesn’t require much to gather a
group of parishioners to visit our community. The heart of the church is so evident when we mention we
are visiting on a Sunday.

Each time we visit, I ask what the visits meant to those that were in attendance. Last year, I had the
opportunity to visit Sofia, Bulgaria, which brought me closer to my already close friend Eileen Barsamian
Jennings. On this visit, there were several special connections to Sofia, which created a new closeness
with people I see every Sunday, but didn’t know well. From a face we know from the altar, Shagen
Babayan, he was especially moved by getting generations together to share and connect. “The
interaction between the different generation of Armenians within our community allowed for
emotional, spiritual support cultivated by our appreciation and respect for their respective lifelong
contributions” he said. And finally Rosanna Kyarunts, a gentle lady with a busy job, school and life found
that by taking an hour or two after church brought such joy to someone that may not have many
visitors. “There is much for the youth to learn from our older generations” She said.

It is with gratitude that we look ahead to our summer visits. We are grateful for all that have come with
us, and look forward to sharing the love in our hearts with those in our community. If you are interested
in visiting, writing cards, making calls and the other important work that the ministry conducts please
find me at church. We are always seeking new and good ideas.

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