THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
December 12, 2021
Barekendan of the Fast of St. James
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
Luke 14:12-24 While dining one Sabbath at the home of a prominent Pharisee, Jesus relates the parable of the “Great Banquet:” guests decline an invitation to a grand banquet – citing conventional life events as reasons (I just got married; I have important business to attend to). Hearing this, the host angrily sends his servant to invite the poor and the crippled and others marginalized by society. Those originally invited have forever lost their place at his table. Discuss/reflect: The excuses given (14:18-20) by those who declined the invitation are eerily familiar: the busy stuff of life. What are the reasons you don’t make time for God? At what peril?
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 Paul lovingly declares his gratitude for a community that is exemplary in its faith and expansive love for one another. He prayerfully acknowledges their suffering – God shares in their pain and will lift them up for their worthiness at the end of time. As for those who shun the gospel of Jesus, including their persecutors, they will spend eternity away from Him. Discuss/reflect: What is hell if not an eternity away from God’s presence and glory? (v.9) Its opposite is to be in His presence day in day out (think of the older brother in the Prodigal Son). Does that describe your life?
Isaiah 37:14-38 After Hezekiah’s prayer for deliverance from the Assyrians, Isaiah conveys God’s comforting response: that the planned attack on Jerusalem will fail. Discuss/reflect: Hezekiah’s prayer is essentially this: you alone are God of all, you made heaven and earth; hear my plight and deliver me. How telling that he begins by affirming who God is. Can you confidently declare the same? Begin your next prayer by telling the Lord what He means to you.
December 18 is the Feast of St. James of Nisibis
St. James, a cousin of St. Gregory, was appointed bishop of Nisibis, Mesopotamia, in 308 A.D. Nisibis is the modern city of Nusaybin (in southwest Turkey on the border with Syria). He founded a theological school there, attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., and was renowned for his pious and virtuous life. His protégé was the beloved theologian and writer, St. Ephraim.
James is perhaps best known, however, for his divine vision on Mount Ararat, where he found the sacred relic of Noah’s Ark. According to tradition, while St. James preached in and around Nisibis, he heard that people doubted the story of Noah’s Ark. He was determined to provide his flock with evidence, so he set out for the peak of Mount Ararat to find the remains of the ark. During his arduous journey, an angel appeared to him in a vision and brought him a piece of the wood from Noah’s Ark. St. James prayed to God to produce a miracle at the place where he had the vision and immediately afterward a spring gushed forth, which exists to this day. The relic of Noah’s Ark received by St. James is currently in Holy Etchmiadzin. Reflection: Think of St. James’ life of godly accomplishment. Could this perhaps have opened his heart to that divinely inspired insight on Mt. Ararat? Pray about this. What answers are you seeking?
Department of Christian Education/Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
REQUIEM SERVICES: Karasoonk (40th Day memorial Service) today will be for:
–NAZARETH HAJINIAN on the 40th Day of His eternal life requested in loving memory by the Hajinian Family.
Hokehankist today will be for:
– SERAK & GLADYS ASLANIAN and CHARLES & ALICE BASMAJIAN in memory from their loving family Steven, Dorie, Megan & Danny Aslanian.
– ARAM AVEDIS AGHAZARIAN (4th Anniversary of His eternal life) requested in loving memory by Lucy, Lori and Aram Alan Aghazarian.
– ALICE SARKISSIAN requested in loving memory by Jean Sarkissian, Paul Sarkissian & Roseanne Sarkissian.
ALTAR FLOWERS: are donated today by Lucy, Lori and Aram Alan Aghazarian in loving memory of ARAM AVEDIS AGHAZARIAN (4th Anniversary of His eternal life).
COFFEE HOUR: today will be sponsored by the Hajinian Family in loving memory of NAZARETH HAJINIAN on the 40th Day of His eternal life.
COFFEE HOUR: today will be sponsored by Jean Sarkissian & Family in loving memory of their wife and mother, ALICE SARKISSIAN.
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.
A NEW NAME – THE SAME MISSION
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. We hope to do our part with our own “CARING” volunteers when we gather on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 10 am for a 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 January 14 @ 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.
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.
The Armenian Sisters Academy, Radnor PA. Has an immediate opening for a full-time toddler care teacher. If interested please contact Doreen Yeremian. 6106134733
FAR UPDATE: Watch How FAR Makes a Difference Through School Improvement
For the past several years, FAR has committed itself to an incredibly meaningful project to transform the Republican Special Educational Complex #2 (known as the Parakar School) from hazard to haven. Located in the suburbs of Yerevan, the school supports nearly 200 students, many with special needs.
This five-year project is transforming this school from what was a dilapidated, decaying, and hazardous building into an innovative and state-of-the-art education and vocational training center. This changes the very nature of working with children with disabilities so that they can be provided with guidance, support, love, and care during a critical time of their growth and self-discovery.
A new video encapsulates the changes and demonstrates how this transformation has given Parakar students special opportunities to study, acquire vocational training and life skills, and learn how to be independent adults when it’s time for them to age out of institutional care. This is all thanks to FAR’s incredible donors Marta and James Batmasian, the Mirak-Weissbach Foundation, and the New York Friends of Gavar Special School.
The link to the video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biw5WZ6LSho&t=27s
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.