Barekendan of the Fast of Catechumens
THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
February 6, 2022
Barekendan of the Fast of Catechumens
COVID UPDATE: August 23, 2021, The Montgomery County Office of Public Health advises that masks should be worn in public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. Please exercise your best judgment and caring for everyone in our Church community. Thank you
Scripture and Feast Day Notes
From Today’s Readings
John 6:15-21 The disciples row across the Sea of Galilee to join Jesus where he has withdrawn after teaching and feeding thousands. As happens often on this body of water, a storm arises suddenly. Rowing desperately, they see Jesus walking towards them on the water. They are terrified of the sight, but He calls out to them reassuringly: “It is I; do not be afraid.” Jesus joins them in the boat and they safely reach land. Discuss/reflect: These times remind us that our lives are not unlike the disciples’ boat – we sail along fully equipped with sails and oars and yet sudden storms render these useless. Allow this powerful story of our Lord as master of the wind and the waves to comfort you. Place your fear in His almighty hands and let Him safely guide you to where “you are heading.” (v.21)
2 Tim 2:15-26 Continuing to advise his protégé (see last Sunday’s Scripture Notes for vv 15-19), St. Paul asks Timothy to be a holy vessel, useful for the Lord’s purposes; to flee youthful desires that can lead one astray; and to avoid ‘stupid arguments’ by responding kindly and without resentment. To counter false teachings, he recommends instructing people gently. Discuss/reflect: What an excellent moment in time to be reminded of the futility of “stupid arguments” and the importance of kindness! Pray that this advice governs your own behavior.
Is 61:10-62:9 Isaiah 61 sings of the restoration of the Jews (returning from exile and despairing of rebuilding their city and community to its former glory) as people of God. They will now be clothed in metaphorically appropriate clothing – in “garments of salvation” and “robes of righteousness.” (v.10) These images appear in the Armenian rites of baptism and ordination as well as in the priest’s vesting prayers before the Divine Liturgy. (See last Sunday’s Scripture Notes for vv 62:1-9) Discuss/reflect: “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God” says the renewed people of God. (61:10) Can you say the same? Start all your prayers this week with this verse from Isaiah. Sing it!
February 12: St. Sarkis the Warrior
“Warrior” might seem a curious word for describing a saint! And yet the imagery of spiritual warfare is deeply biblical. There were also many soldiers and generals (St Vartan) who fought for their faith, standing firm and courageous for Christ. Sarkis was a soldier of Greek descent in Emperor Constantine’s army. When Emperor Julian took the throne in 361, he began to zealously promote traditional Roman paganism instead of the Christian faith legitimized by Emperor Constantine in 313. This earned him the title “Apostate.” Under threat of persecution, Sarkis and his son Mardiros sought the protection of King Tiran of Armenia. From there, he went to serve in the Persian army, where he and his son won many converts to Christianity. When they refused to worship pagan idols, father and son were martyred. Fourteen Persian soldiers whom Sarkis had converted to Christianity risked their lives to bury the general’s body and they too were executed. In the fifth century, Mesrob Mashdotz moved the saint’s remains to Armenia. Reflection: In what ways can you be a“warrior for Christ”?
Dept of Christian Education/ Diocese of the Armenian Church/(Eastern)/firstname.lastname@example.org
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
HELEN MIRIJANIAN (2nd Anniversary of Her eternal life) and RAYMOND MIRIJANIAN (28th Anniversary of His eternal life) requested in loving memory by Laurie & Thomas and Elaine & Eric.
OHANNES HASHAS requested in loving memory by the Hashas & Alexanian Families.
PRAYERS are requested for Larry Grocott in his struggle with lung cancer. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Ps 46:1)
Blessing of Marriages: Married couples of all ages are invited to participate in a brief blessing service in church next Sunday, February 13. The ceremony, which has become an annual event at Holy Trinity, is intended to honor the relationship of husband and wife and is an opportunity for couples to rededicate that relationship to God and his sacred purposes. We look forward to seeing our entire church family next week to witness the ceremony.
ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY: Scheduled for March 6, 2022 with alternate snow date of March 13, 2022.
REMINDER: According to the Diocesan Bylaws, membership dues are to be paid no later than December 31st each year in order to be a member in “good standing” and to be eligible to vote at the annual assembly. Any monies received after that date will be applied to the new year. For any questions regarding your status, please call the church office.
HOLY TRINITY ZOOM BOOK CLUB: Join us on Thursday evening, February 24 at 7:00 for a discussion on an extraordinary work of non-fiction entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It tells the riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and scientific discovery AND the human story behind the scenes. Marge Ayoub will facilitate the conversation. Those interested should contact email@example.com to receive the Zoom link. Invite a friend!
CHURCH SCHOOL NEWS: Due to the current surge in COVID, the Church School Spring Semester will start on Sunday February 27th, instead of February 6th, and run through Sunday May 15th.
COUNTRY STORE IS OPEN AND READY FOR BUSINESS: We are well stocked in our store and invite you to come in after church most Sundays or place an order for pickup with Lorraine Damerjian @ 215-572-8465.
NEW DATE TO PREPARE MEALS FOR SHUT-INS
For over 15 years we have prepared meals for the elderly and isolated shut-ins in the Delaware Valley through the Aid for Friends organization. Our mission continues the same, but the organization has a new name: Caring for Friends. Because of Covid, we have been forced to reschedule our date for the third time. With hopeful hearts, we will be gathering on Saturday, March 5 @ 10 am to reach our goal of 200 meals. With your help, we can do it. For students who would like to earn credit for a “Service Day,” an appropriate letter will be given for active participation. Please RSVP to Jeanette Der Hagopian by February 23 @ 215-672-4188 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seeking Part-time Organists – the Choir of Holy Trinity is looking for multiple talented musicians who would be seriously interested in playing the organ for the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy (Badarak) on a rotating schedule. Organ lessons will be provided to the interested candidates, along with one-on-one direction from a senior choir person. For further information, contact Karinne Andonian @ email@example.com.
FAR UPDATE: “Set the Table” is the newest project of Ayo!, the Fund for Armenian Relief’s crowdfunding platform. You can help ensure that 462 children’s brains are fueled to learn! There are 10 village schools in a depressed area of Armenia whose cafeterias don’t have furniture, dishware, and/or kitchenware. Once they are equipped, the schools can begin to cook and serve healthy meals for their students. To help furnish them, visit www.weareayo.org.
The Armenian Sisters Academy, Radnor PA. Has an immediate opening for a full-time toddler care teacher. If interested please contact Doreen Yeremian. 6106134733
Message from Montgomery County: ” With the colder weather and indoor activities of the holiday season, it’s important that you are protected and are considerate of others. Please stay safe. ”
Our community is stronger when we’re all protected. The best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and widely available. The COVID-19 vaccine will protect you from severe illness, hospitalization, and death; and protects vulnerable people in your community who can’t get the vaccine. A healthier community starts with you. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, call the Montgomery County Office of Public Health at 610-278-5117 or visit https://www.montcopa.org/3660/COVID-19-Vaccine.
DIVINE LITURGY IN YOUR HOME
Since we do not stream services at our church every week, we invite you to click on one of the following links to partake of Badarak at any of the following:
http://www.stleon.org (St Leon Live Stream)
https://www.facebook.com/stvartancathedral (St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral)