St. James Holds Graduation for Sunday School Students

WATERTOWN — On June 1, Saint James Armenian Church celebrated the graduation of 15 Sunday School students.  Following Divine Liturgy, the graduates received diplomas from Fr. Arakel Aljalian and Superintendent Marsha Alabachian.

The class, taught by Julie Cristello, focused on the importance of service and emphasized that faith without action is dead faith.  Students spent the year organizing and completing various service projects in the area, including Holiday Mail for Heroes through the American Red Cross, a volleyball game fundraiser to benefit the Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter in Boston, and served brunch at the men’s and women’s shelter. By participating in service, students were able to mature, develop stronger relationships with their classmates and grow in their faith.

Alyssa Bogosian, the salutatorian of the graduating class, reflected on her time as a student in Sunday School.  “The first few years focused on learning the basis of our faith. When we received our own Bibles, we began studying these stories and lessons for ourselves.  As we entered high school and began facing the challenges of the real world, we learned about how our faith can guide us in all aspects of life.”

Emma Kaloostian, the valedictorian of this year’s graduating class, spoke on the importance of participating in service during her last year of Sunday School.  “This past year of Sunday School has changed my outlook; I want to be a better person, for myself, for society, in the eyes of our church I hope we all never forget that we are capable of making a difference, even if it is one small act at a time; they all add up.”  Julie, this year’s eleventh grade teacher, left the students and their families with an important message.  “Don’t let our world be a world where we ignore things that matter.  A world where we are too caught up in our iPhones to realize that someone is lying on the street right in front of us.  Make sure that as you all head out into the real world you speak up about things that matter, about issues that matter. Remember that you can make a difference, and that you already have.  And remember, when the world gets overwhelming or you feel like you’ve lost God too, you can always return home to Saint James.”

The members of the 2014 Graduating Class are: Adam Assarian, Anais Astarjian, Alyssa Bogosian, David Boloyan, Shant DerTorossian, Amanda Dodd, Grant Gilbert, Isabelle Gyulakian, Emma Kaloostian, Kathryn Kapilian, Dylan Madden, Alexander Medzorian, Tatiana Nalbandian Nicholas Ohannesian and Nareg Ostayan.