PASADENA — “Faith within the Struggle” – a theme with universal appeal, was the topic for Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church’s inaugural women’s day retreat. Fifty women representing various churches within the Armenian community – Evangelical, Brotherhood, Brethren, and Apostolic Churches gathered in Derian Hall on Saturday, September 7, 2019 for a day of spiritual renewal and fellowship.

The retreat featured Prof. Sophia Magallanes, an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, an Old Testament scholar who specializes in the Book of Job. Prof. Magallanes anchored the retreat theme on Job 23:10 – “When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Through the presentations and group discussions, Prof. Magallanes navigated the women through challenging material and difficult questions such as: When was a time you felt like God was absent within your struggle? When was a time you felt that God was present, but hands off within your struggle?

The day retreat was enthusiastically emceed by Doris Melkonian. Blessings were delivered by three badvelis’ wives: Jeanette Melkonian delivered the opening prayer; Sioni Shanlian gave the blessing for the meal; and Dr. Alina Megerditchian said the closing prayer.

The retreat luncheon was generously sponsored by Jeanette Melkonian, and included a short program. Maral Parseghian, accompanied on the piano by Esther Assilian, graced the audience with several selections. Moments of laughter occurred when Mariette Khanjian and Arous Albarian conducted the raffle drawing, and Arda Melkonian surprised the women with other prizes. Finally, all the women received beautiful tote bags imprinted with the retreat theme and verse lovingly donated by Esther Assilian.

Rev. Serop Megerditchian, pastor of the Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church bookended the day retreat with words of welcome and closing comments. Rev. Megerditchian and Rev. Hovhaness Melkonian gave the benediction in English and Armenian, respectively.

The committee, spearheaded by Doris Melkonian, consisted of Arous Albarian, Esther Assilian, Mariette Khanjian, Dr. Alina Megerditchian, Arda Melkonian, and Jeanette Melkonian. The day retreat launches the 2019-2020 year for the Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church of Pasadena.

Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church, Pasadena, CA

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