All Pastors Retreat in Hankavan, Armenia
By Rev. Dr. Paul Hadostian
On the occasion of the 170th anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church an all-Armenian Evangelical Pastors’ Retreat took place on September 22-24, 2016 at the AMAA’s Sheen-Shoghig Conference Center in Hankavan, Armenia, attended by 80 pastors from North America, Europe, the Middle East Armenia, Karabagh and Russia. The task of coordination and leadership of the conference was ably executed by Rev. Mgrdich Melkonian and assisting pastors in Armenia.
The title of the conference “Our Relationships” focused on the challenges of I Thessalonians 5:24. The program included worship and fellowship hours, prayer times, lectures and cultural programs. One such example was the special performance of the Armenian dance group of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Vanatzor, with poetry by Pastor Senig Saripekyan, vocal performance by Maretta Antonyan and the praise team of the church.
The preacher at the opening worship was Rev. George Dabbo, and a special greeting was given by the CEO/Executive Director of the AMAA, Mr. Zaven Khanjian, and the concluding communion service was led by Rev. Mgrdich Melkonian and Rev. Dr. Vahan Tootikian.
The five sub-themes of the conference were as follows: Rev. Mgrdich Karagoezian spoke on the “Pastor’s Relationship with the Church”; Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian spoke on the “Pastor’s Relationship with other Pastors”; Rev. Berdj Jambazian spoke on the “Pastor’s Relationship with his Mission”; Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian spoke on the “Pastor’s Relationship with his Surroundings”; Rev. Joel Mikaélian spoke on the “Pastor’s Relationship with his Family”; and finally Rev. Mgrdich Melkonian, who spoke on the “Pastor’s Relationship with God”.
The participants valued the new friendships developed, the prayerful learning that took place, the common identity formation that was fostered, and the brotherly atmosphere that was created.