JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass. — There is a rose garden at the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC) and the Sunday School and Armenian School children at the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church in Cambridge are primarily responsible for this gift to the center.
For almost 40 years, the children of Holy Trinity Sunday and Armenian Schools have visited the Nursing Center and donated rose bushes in honor of the residents and staff. Seta Buchter, the superintendent of the Sunday School for the past 25 years, is excited about this annual tradition, which is also a mandatory part of the Sunday School and Armenian school curriculums.
“It is important for our students to stay connected with the elderly at the Nursing Center,” she says, “we need to honor and respect them since they paved the way for our generation and should not be forgotten.”
When this tradition was started almost 40 years ago, students presented a program and were given juice and cookies before their departure. Twenty years ago, the parents and teachers from Holy Trinity expanded this tradition to also include a cookout. Students recite poetry and sing religious and patriotic songs. The children make an effort to engage the residents. Following the program, these students have a “meet and greet,” where they introduce themselves to the residents and try to learn about their lives and their stories. The older students also help the younger ones interact with the residents, so that they, in turn, will learn the leadership and communication skills that Buchter feels is important.
“Our students develop a relationship with God and our church, and it helps make religion relevant to our children through practical, not theoretical means,” said Buchter. “We try to emphasize the importance of God, family and Church and we try to raise the sensitivity level of our youth. We are so fortunate to have our Parish Council, our parishioners and our pastor, morally and financially supportive all the way.”