On January 11, 2015 the St. Sarkis Church celebrated Christmas followed with the Blessing of Water ceremony (with Paul Kantzabedian as the Godfather of the Cross), after which lunch was served in the Kechejian Hall.
Over lunch, Elie Akilian, who had generously donated the land on which the new church will stand, presented the proposed designs for the new church compound with the theme of “United – Defying the Odds.” The parishioners were treated to a design by the Armenian architect Stepan Terzian that included a typical Armenian church structure, an event hall, a kitchen, classrooms, a soccer field, a basketball court, a weight room, a reflecting pool, and a performance stage with amphitheater seating. The buildings are expected to be sustainable and environmentally responsible. The new church is expected to seat up to 250 people with the first phase of the construction costing $6MM.
Some of the questions asked included whether there would be closer drive up and drop off locations for older parishioners; a playground for small children; permanent classrooms for young students to study Armenian as well as for preschool children; a “cry room” to help parents with fussy children in church; and whether the cost was too much for a church seating just 250 people. Mr. Akilian explained that the designs were not finalized, and every effort was being made to create a center that would address the needs of a growing community, including planning a TUMO style building to stimulate the creativity of our youth. Parents and parishioners were well pleased with this information.
After the presentation the students of the Ararat class of the St. Sarkis School took to the stage to explain the meaning of Christmas, and ended with a rousing reaffirmation of their commitment to join project “United - Defying the Odds.”