FIRST ARMENIAN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
430 SOUTH FIRST ST. ◊FRESNO, CA 93702-1056
TEL. (559) 237-6638 ◊ FAX (559) 237-9526
WWW.FAPC.NET ◊ ADMINISTRATION@FAPC.NET
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: MISSY STATLER
October 15, 2013 MARYVONNE GAGLIARDI
AUTUMN ARMENIAN FOOD BAZAAR MARKS AMERICAN THANKSGIVING MILESTONE
The autumn food bazaar of California’s oldest Armenian Church will mark the 150th Anniversary of America’s National Day of Thanksgiving.
Fresno’s First Armenian Presbyterian Church will observe the Thanksgiving Sesquicentennial at its 116th Annual Merchants’ Lunch and Country Store. The harvest season gathering will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 14, 2013 at the Church Campus, 430 South First Street at Historic Huntington Boulevard.
The event will feature lunch at $12 per person, with seasoned lulu kebab, rice pilaf, cheese boureg, garden salad, pickled tourshee, fresh peda bread, paklava, and beverage among the offerings. Meals will be available to guests who wish to dine-in, takeout, and drive through. Delivery is available for orders of 20 or more. Advance orders should be placed on or before November 8 by calling (559) 237-6638, faxing (559) 237-9526, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The drive-through lane will be located on the Raisina Street side of the Church Campus, one block west of First Street between Huntington Boulevard and Balch Avenue.
The American Thanksgiving Day originated at the midpoint of the Civil War. Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Ladies’ Book, urged President Abraham Lincoln to fix Thanksgiving as a permanent “American custom and institution.” In response, Secretary of State William H. Seward drafted a proclamation for the President’s signature on October 3, 1863. The proclamation set apart “the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
The Country Store will be open throughout the luncheon hours for holiday shopping. The Store will offer such ethnic delicacies as choreg, souberag, paklava, yalanchi, bottled grape leaves, gutah, tourshee, rojik, and basdegh. The abundant produce of the San Joaquin Valley and an array of homemade breads and pastries will round out the comestibles in the Store pantry.
The Store will also offer “A Hundred Years and Still Cooking,” the new and revised printing of the Fidelis Women’s Society Centennial recipe collection. The 500+ page cookbook includes instructions for preparing 636 different ethnic dishes and sells for $35. First reviewed in the January 14, 1998 edition of The Los Angeles Times, the volume is a unique compendium of heritage recipes, Scriptural truths, Old World culinary precepts, and Central California ethnic history.
Reverend Paul Irwin is the Interim Senior Pastor of the Church, Reverend Mike Mekredijian is Associate Pastor, Reverend Philip C. Garo, Jr. is the Associate Pastor for Christian Education, and Maryvonne Gagliardi and Missy Karabian Statler are Co-Chairs of the 2013 Merchant’s Lunch.
Chartered by 40 immigrants in a rented hall on July 25, 1897, FAPC today is a multigenerational, multilingual congregation drawn from the Old and New Words. Authors William Saroyan (“Human Comedy,” “My Name is Aram,” “The Time of Your Life”) and A.I. Bezzerides (“Long Haul,” “Thieves’ Market,” and “The Big Valley”) grew up in the Church before make in their mark in American literature.
FAPC is a member congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America.