By Aram Arkun
HAVERHILL, Mass. – The Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) of the Armenian Apostolic Church at Hye Pointe held its second annual Chocolate and Cookie Christmas Social on December 20. Unlike many socials, this had an instructive element to it. ACYOA Senior member Nathan Kibarian is a pastry chef by profession — he works at Boston’s Bastille Kitchen and is chief proprietor of Desserts by Nathan — and he demonstrated how to make several types of cakes and chocolates.
Kibarian accompanied his demonstration with background information about the types of chocolate and cakes. He used PowerPoint slides to make this more accessible. His demonstration was simultaneously projected on a screen in the hall in order to make some of the details of his technique more easily seen by the audience.
The afternoon event was quite entertaining — and guests were able to sample some of Kibarian’s creations — but it served a serious goal. The ACYOA was contributing financially to the project of building a new church structure for the local Armenian community. Two church parishes had previously been united—Holy Cross (of Lawrence) and St. Gregory the Illuminator in Haverhill, and now they are working to build a modern church building in nearby Bradford for the joint parish. The ACYOA members banded together to help Kibarian prepare prior to the event, and they were present and assisting him during the demonstration. Aside from raising money through admissions, cookies and sweets were sold at the end of the event.
Fr. Vart Gyozalyan, the pastor of the Hye Pointe church, praised Kibarian and the ACYOA Seniors and Juniors highly. He said to this reporter, “The intention of this event is to bring together youth at the Armenian Church. Furthermore, the youth have been participating in fundraising throughout the year. Of course, the ultimate purpose of the activities of the ACYOA is to have them follow the Gospel of Christ.” In particular, he noted the valuable contribution made by Kibarian, as his cooking demonstrations attract a lot of youth as well as Armenian families.