THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
February 13, 2022
Fifth Sunday After the Octave of Theophany
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 6:22-38 There is something almost comical about the initial verses – people only a short time ago miraculously fed with thousands of loaves and fish now look for the whereabouts of Jesus and His disciples. When they find Jesus on the far shore and ask what they must do to please God, His answer is simple: believe in the one He has sent. “I am the bread of life” He goes on to say. “He who comes to me will never hunger again.” Discuss/reflect: “Ingesting” the word of God is a recurring theme in Scripture. Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:3) is handed a scroll by God and told to eat it; an angel directs John (Revelation 10:9) to do the same; this is all about taking what is “outside” and making it part of the “inside” of you – more about “being” than “doing.” Are you there yet with Jesus?
2 Tim 3:1-12 St. Paul details the godless behavior of the end-times – a variety of timeless evils we can certainly relate to today: pride, greed, self-absorption, lack of love, boastfulness. You could check each off in today’s headlines and social media. (In v. 8, the reference is to two duplicitous Egyptian court magicians at the time of Moses). It will be tough following Christ and what is True and Right, but in Him lies rescue and reprieve. Discuss/reflect: In verse 7 we read about people who are: “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” In what ways might you too be “always learning” about Jesus, but not living out His Truth?
Is 63:7-18 In a psalm of trust and praise, regret and repentance, Isaiah speaks on behalf of a people who are grounded in the memories of God’s goodness. His “many kindnesses” (v 7) prompt them to ask once again for His mercy and intervention: “Return for the sake of your servants.” (v 17) Discuss/reflect: Where in your life do you wish God would do something?
Tomorrow is February 14: The Presentation of the Lord (Dyarnuntarach)/Valentine’s Day
Joseph and Mary took the infant Jesus to be presented at the Temple in Jerusalem. There they met two devout people, Simeon and Anna, who had been waiting patiently to encounter the Messiah. (See Luke 2:22-40 for the full account.)
In an early Armenian custom associated with this feast, worshippers would light candles during the evening church service, carry the flame out into the night (symbolically bringing light into the void), and take it home for their lamps as well as light a bonfire in the church courtyard. The festivities included leaping over the fire; newlywed women would step over it to scorch their skirts in an appeal for fertility. Valentine’s Day has Christian origins! Valentine was a priest in the 3rd century, imprisoned for marrying a couple at a time when marriage was forbidden to young men capable of being soldiers. While imprisoned, the priest (priests were allowed to marry at that time) and the jailor’s daughter fell deeply in love. And when Valentine was taken away to be executed, he sent her a farewell letter signed “from your Valentine,” words that continue to echo in today’s Valentine’s cards to loved ones. Reflection: How is love demonstrated by each person associated with The Presentation?
Department of Christian Education/ Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern)/firstname.lastname@example.org
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
HIS HOLINESS ABUNA ANTONIOS, Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church requested by the Eastern Dioceses.
ARCHBISHOP PAPKEN VARJABEDIAN, KEGHAM & SONIG VARJABEDIAN, SHAHE VARJABEDIAN, and HAGOP & MIRIAM VARJABEDIAN requested by the Paretchan, Garibian, and Javardian Families.
KARAPET & HAYARPIE GARIBIAN and NIAZ KARABIAN requested by the Paretchan, Garibian, and Javardian Families.
SOOREN & MARY PARETCHAN requested by Robert & Diane Paretchan, Donald & Judy Paretchan, Michael & Tanya Paretchan and Families.
ANTRANIK & VIRGINIA JAVARDIAN and ANDRE JAVARDIAN requested by Greg & Maria Javardian and Family.
RICHARD & EVELYN WEINSHEIMER requested by Greg & Maria Javardian and Family.
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: Today married couples of all ages are invited to participate in a brief blessing service after Badarak. The ceremony, which has become an annual tradition 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 present 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.
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.
MEN‘S CLUB NEWS – The February 2022 “200 CLUB” drawing was completed on 2/6/22. You can see the results on our HTAC Website. Click on: Organizations, Men’s Club. –Congratulations to the Winners and Good Luck to the ticket holders for next month!
CHANGE OF DATE—Holy Trinity Zoom Book Club: Join us on our new date, Thursday evening, MARCH 3 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!
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.
With FAR, These Two Women Can Grow Their Business
Houry Berberian left her life in Aleppo, Syria when violence engulfed her home and fled to Armenia. That was in 2014. Like many, Houry had no choice but to adapt to a completely new life. Yet her life was transformed after she and her business partner opened up their own event planning company, Swan Event Planning. The business recently received a Small Business Assistance grant (SBA) from FAR, which has helped them to expand. SBA has enabled them to purchase more materials needed for different events, ultimately allowing them to take on more clients. The income of the business has doubled and Houry and Silva have hired two staff members. To read more, go to FAR’s blog: https://www.farusa.org/post/with-far-these-two-women-can-grow-their-business To support FAR, go to https://www.farusa.org/donate
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.
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.