Reverend Julie Hoplamazian began her career in the clergy at the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America. She wanted to be a priest, but the Armenian Church does not allow the ordination of women. She’s now a priest at Grace Church here in Brooklyn Heights. She also lives in the neighborhood with her fiancé Jeremey Kerr who is described as “a novelist and puppeteer” in the piece quoted from below.
Armenian website HETQ.com spoke with Hoplamazian, who is originally from Philadelphia, about her transition to the Episcopal Church:
HETQ: I attended an Episcopal church on weekends when I could, while working at the Diocese. There I befriended a priest who wanted to help me reach my goal and said, “I’ll do everything I can to help you in this process but the first thing you need to do is get a different job. You can’t enter the ordination process [to become a priest] when you’re part of a different church. You have to become an Episcopalian.” So it was a process of applying for jobs and finding an Episcopal home parish during the recession. I found one in Long Island that sponsored me for ordination and I got a job going back to my roots as a music teacher but shortly after that I worked as the parish secretary during my ordination process and they were very supportive and wonderful. The priest of that church was a fourth-generation Armenian from Lexington, Kentucky and that sealed the deal –we became kindred spirits and his wife became my mentor during the ordination process. They really helped me through some major challenges in the transition.