Last Sunday Jennie Boranian entered her Sunday school classroom ready to teach her lesson about St. Gregory the Illuminator and his deliverance from the pit called Khor Virab. She had taught this lesson to hundreds of students throughout the years, but this time the lesson would be different. This time she was taking the story off of the pages of the textbook and sharing her first-hand impressions from the Holy Land of Armenia.
The husband-and-wife team of Sam and Jennie Boranian have headed the Sunday School program for close to six decades at the St. Peter Armenian Church in Van Nuys, California. As teachers, educators, assembly leaders and superintendent they have brought the Word of God to thousands of Sunday School students throughout the years. They are living legends within the St. Peter community for their love and devotion to the youth and now they accented their teaching by bringing their first-hand reflections of the most sacred spaces in all of Christendom to their students.
Last month Sam and Jennie spent a most memorable and meaningful 10 days in Armenia. Along with their daughter and son-in-law, Yn. Susan and Fr. Vazken Movsesian they journeyed across Armenia and connected to the monuments of Faith about which they had taught for so many years. From Khor Virab to Holy Etchmiadzin, from the Monastery of Hripsime to the newest Cathedral in Yerevan, they visited, prayed and absorbed the ancient with the modern as they witnessed the rebirth in Armenia.
Among the many highlights of their trip was the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the Zoravar Holy Asdvadzadzin Church in Yerevan on Sunday morning. As the recipient of a Medal of Honor from His Holiness Karekin I, of blessed memory, Sam Boranian was escorted to the chancel area where he worshipped along with Jennie, Yn. Susan and Fr. Vazken. It was on the feast day of Kiudkhatch – the Discovery of the Cross – that they had the added honor to venerate the Holy Cross of Christ as it was brought out for a blessing upon all the worshippers in Yerevan.
Among the many stops during their trip they toured Mer Hooys in Yerevan, a home dedicated to reaching out to girls from severely disadvantaged lifestyles, the Van Ardi vineyards, the Madenataran for a behind-the-scenes tour and the Yerevan wood-museum, considering Sam’s life-long love for carpentry and wood works.
Sam and Jennie return from this journey-of-a-lifetime to continue to share the Word of God, the blessings of the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church and the Love of Christ with generations to come. We wish them a long and healthy life in continued service to the Church. They thank Dn. Hrayr Nalbandian and Aram Krikorian for their help throughout Yerevan and Armenia. Sam and Jennie can be found just about any Sunday of the year at the St. Peter Armenian Church in Van Nuys, where they raised their children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren.