Photo: Morgan Lieerman/Acorn Newspapers
The Armenian Apostolic Church of Ventura County will celebrate the 10th anniversary on Sunday, October 22, Thousand Oaks Acorn reported
According to the source, for the past decade, local Armenians have gathered to worship in the Conejo Valley. The Armenian Apostolic Church of Ventura County holds services on the second and fourth Sundays of each month at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Thousand Oaks.
In addition to Sunday services, the church offers Armenian language classes and cultural education.
After 10 years at St. Patrick’s, the congregation is looking to build its own place of worship. To help raise funds toward that goal, the church is hosting a 10th anniversary celebration Sun., Oct. 22 at North Ranch Country Club.
The gala, sponsored by the church’s Ladies’ Society, will feature a live band, dinner and a silent auction.
The Rev. Arshag Khatchadourian said the church is on a mission to keep Armenian culture alive after the Turkish genocide in the early 20th century left 1.5 million Armenians dead and millions more scattered across the globe as political refugees.
“ Many times the enemy thought by eliminating the nation, they would eliminate the church. They were wrong,” he told the paper. “We don’t raise our children with hatred, but we educate them to remember what happened to pass it on to future generations.”
Nora Sahagian, the co-chair of the Ladies’ Society, said that, for her, praying alongside other Armenians has special significance.
“After the genocide, our families were evacuated from their homes and they resettled in foreign countries,” she said. “Armenians have a desire to be together.”
She said the congregation includes 350 families from West Hills to Santa Barbara.
“There are more Armenian families, but we are still looking to find them,” she said.
Without the church in Thousand Oaks, Sahagian said, area Armenians would have to travel to the San Fernando Valley or Glendale, where there is a large Armenian population, to attend services.
“It’s nice to get together and visit with each other,” she said.