THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
December 10, 2023
Barekendan of the Fast of St. James
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 16 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?
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
- Elmira Agabekyan – Beloved Mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great grandmother. Elmira passed away at 85 years old on December 1st, 2023, joining in heaven her husband Karlen, youngest daughter Tamara and son Karen. She is survived by her daughter Natalia, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, eight grandchildren and a great granddaughter. Requiem for the soul of Elmira requested by Natalia & Gevork Sarkisian.
- Serak and Gladys Aslanian and Charles and Alice Basmajian – In loving memory of all our parents from their family Steve, Dorie, Megan, Daniel and Charlie.
- Armenouhi Aksherian on the second anniversary of her passing. Stephan, Haroutyun, Lucig, Hagop, & Flora Aksherian, Haig & Serbouhi Hambartsoumian, Amod Jayawant. Requested by Flora Jayawant and Tory & Anita Torcomian and family.
- Mamikon Kocharyan, Mari Kocharyan, Manya Kocharyan, Hovhannes Kocharyan, Ilia Sargsyan, Emma Sargsyan, Vanik Sargsyan, Donara Sargsyan, Onik Sargsyan, Suren Sargsyan – requested by Karinne, Vigen Vahe, and the Kocharyan family.
- All the victims of the 1988 Armenian Earthquake.
- The Men’s Club is requesting a Requiem service for the following past members
Larry Der Hagopian
Mike Hajatian Sr
Prayer Request – We ask our faithful to pray for Shoghig Terjimanian, the mother of Dn. Armen, who recently suffered a brain bleed at her home in Michigan. Please pray for her return to good health and strength for her family.
Special Program Next Sunday – December 17, 2023
Join us next week during Fellowship as we hear the story of Sarah Stites, a young woman, born and raised in the Washington DC area, who moved to Armenia and immersed herself in the culture, the people and the difficulties in making a commitment to serve our homeland through FAR’s AYO program. Come and hear her unique and inspiring story.
Lunch With Santa in lieu of coffee hour today
Men’s Club News: The latest Men’s Club drawings for the “200 Club” were completed on 11/12 & 12/3. Please visit the church website under “Men’s Club” for details on the lucky winners!
Guest Speaker – December 17, 2023
What would draw a young woman, born and raised in the Washington DC area, to move to Armenia and immerse herself in the culture, the people and the difficulties to make a commitment to serve our homeland through FAR’s AYO program. Come and hear her unique and inspiring story when she visits us in person on Sunday, December 17, following Badarak.
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.
Artsakh Support Desperately Needed – Since early this year, we have closely followed the news from and about Artsakh. We prayed often, deeply and fervently. We didn’t know what else to do. Our hearts broke when the unimaginable happened and Artsakh was lost to us. Now is our time to help the thousands of refugees who had to flee to mainland Armenia to seek a safe haven. They left their homes and most of their belongings forever. We are appealing to our faithful to give generously from your heart to help our sisters and brothers who have given their all.
Checks should be made to Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Memo: Artsakh, and brought or mailed to church. Online donations can be made by going to www.holytrinity-pa.org, go to donations, scroll down to Open Donation and enter Artsakh.
Humanitarian Support for Artsakh Ongoing From The Knights And Daughters Of Vartan – As the Azeri government still cracks down on the Armenian people in the nation of Artsakh, the people are not giving up! Please consider making a donation to the Knights and Daughters of Vartan Call to Action Committee! Donations will go towards humanitarian aid. For further information please visit the Knights and Daughters of Vartan website @ https://kofv.org/a-call-to-action-from-kdv-for-artsakh/
Mail your donations to Knights of Vartan, Mr. Ronald Nazeley,Treasurer, 558 Kentwood Bluffs Drive, Los Angeles 90045.
Pastor’s Weekly ZOOM Bible Study – Our Adult Christian Education ministry team is pleased to invite our faithful to Fr. Hakob’s Bible Study on the GOSPEL OF LUKE. We meet every Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:00 via Zoom. Last year, we journeyed with Der Hayr methodically through the Gospel of Matthew and learned a great deal. So, why are we studying the Gospel of Luke? Isn’t it just another gospel? Join us every Wednesday OR any Wednesday to discover how Luke’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry differs from the other gospels and what it means for us. To receive the Zoom link, contact email@example.com.
Seeking Part-time Organists – the Choir of Holy Trinity continues to seek 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 @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunch With Santa
Please join us for the Church School Lunch with Santa at 12:30pm. You may purchase tickets at the door. Enjoy crafts, music and games with DJ Robbie, and a visit from Santa! Children are free.
Dec 13 – Weekly Zoom Bible Study
Dec 17 – Inspiring guest speaker following Badarak
Jan 5 – Armenian Christmas Eve
Jan 6 – Armenian Christmas
Jan 7 – Water Blessing Service