The youth thank Archbishop Khajag Barsamian

Archbishop Barsamian Addresses Armenian Community of Almelo, Netherlands

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By Haik Khanamiryan

ALMELO, Netherlands — On June 1, the Armenian community in Almelo was graced with the presence of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, marking a significant day of commemoration for St. Gregory the Illuminator, after whom the local church is named. This year holds special importance as it marks the 20th anniversary of the church in Almelo, a milestone to be celebrated in September. The archbishop’s visit drew a crowd of over 200 young disciples, eager to engage with his insights and guidance.

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian addresses the community

The evening began with Archbishop Barsamian addressing the gathered community, emphasizing the historical and spiritual significance of the church. He spoke passionately about the journey and contributions of St. Gregory the Illuminator, connecting the past’s rich heritage to the present and future aspirations of the community. His words set the tone for a reflective and inspiring event, as participants were invited to consider their personal contributions to the church and their faith.

Following his address, the participants had the opportunity to engage directly with the archbishop. This interactive session allowed the young attendees to ask questions and share their thoughts, fostering a sense of inclusivity and dialogue. The archbishop’s approachable demeanor and insightful responses created a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The event concluded with a series of break-out sessions, where attendees gathered in smaller groups to discuss their personal development and contributions to the church. Throughout these discussions, the archbishop’s central theme of personal development and self-leadership resonated strongly. He shared stories and examples that highlighted values such as courage, empathy, confidence, and creativity. These values, he explained, are essential for building an everlasting legacy and empowering individuals to serve purposes greater than themselves.

A key message of the archbishop’s visit was the importance of young people exploring their personal identity and embracing their Armenian heritage. He urged the attendees to delve into the hidden treasures of their Armenianess, to uncover and celebrate their unique cultural and spiritual identity. The archbishop also emphasized the inclusivity and women’s empowerment within the Armenian Church, highlighting the role of technology in creating and disseminating content that celebrates the church’s significance.

A break-out session with the youth

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In his closing remarks, Archbishop Barsamian extended an invitation to the youth to think deeply, act boldly, commit wholeheartedly, and elevate their personal development. He encouraged them to use their talents and resources to contribute positively to their community and beyond, reinforcing the idea that their efforts could create a lasting impact.

Building on the momentum of this inspirational event, there will be a follow-up in the Netherlands in the fall aimed at moving from idea to implementation. This follow-up will take the form of a Leadership Development event, designed to serve as a catalyst for spiritual revival within the community. The purpose of this event is to nurture the seeds of leadership sown during the archbishop’s visit, fostering a new generation of leaders who are grounded in their faith and cultural heritage.

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