First Sunday of Advent

Sunday Messenger

November 24, 2019

First Sunday of Advent

Misplaced Priorities

Anxiety is real, rampant, and sometimes very serious. We worry about such things as the meaning of life, domestic terrorism, our jobs, our financial stability, our next meal. We even worry about worrying. News channels and websites feed off of our anxiety making a mockery and profit from it. Sometimes it might feel like we worry about life more than we enjoy it. On some level, anxiety and worry are normal human reactions. But Jesus is inaugurating something revolutionary that puts even our smallest worries into perspective. And he wants us to be a part of it.

In this Gospel reading, thousands of people gathered around Jesus to hear him speak. As he is talking to his disciples, one individual from the multitude interrupts and asks Jesus to mediate a personal situation of his: “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus keenly reads his self-interested heart and proceeds with a parable about a wealthy, greedy landowner and then follows his parable with a teaching about anxiety. Perhaps Jesus was reflecting on Psalm 38/39:4-7:

Lord, let me know my end,
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is!
Behold, thou hast made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing in thy sight.
Surely every man stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nought are they in turmoil;
man heaps up, and knows not who will gather!
And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in thee.

The lesson of the parable is that life is more than accumulating material possessions. In first-century Palestine, an inheritance had both religious and economic significance. A person passing on those possessions’ stability, reputation, and legacy were at stake. By comparing this person to a rich landowner who ignored the state of his soul and only decided to build larger barns to protect his accumulated wealth, Jesus makes clear that the rich fool’s value was misplaced. The Kingdom of God requires us to be “rich toward God.”

But we work hard and earn what we have! Is Jesus being unreasonable? Is he not sensitive to our economic situation and having a comfortable future? Jesus is not against thoughtful planning, nor is he against wealth. The question is about priority. If we prioritize something other than God, the Source of life, then of course we will be anxious because we rely on ourselves rather than the One who ultimately provides. When we are so preoccupied with getting, we miss out on experiencing what God is giving, the very Kingdom of God, the love and joy that comes when live in union with him.

Jesus is telling us to value and set our aim on him, the ultimate End, and do everything for the sake of his Kingdom. When we put earthly pursuits and needs first, they will neither last, nor will they save us in the end:

For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? (Matthew 16:26)


1Thessalonians 1: 1-10 (page 184) New Testament
Luke 12: 13-31 (page 68) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 36: 1-9 (pages 711-712) Old Testament

REQUIEM SERVICES:.Hokehankist today will be for:

– BERDJ MOVSESIAN (7th Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by the Movsesian Family.

– VARTAN MAZMANIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by the Mazmanian Family.

– EKATERINA NERSESOVA requested by Sergey Nersesov.

“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night…”(Nehemiah 1:5-6). Prayers are requested for Taron Poghosyan, Jan Mirijanian, Mary Yeretzian, Merle Santerian, Alice Charles, Armen Mirakian and Pearl Jamgochian. We also give thanks to God for the long-awaited Resolution of recognition of the Armenian Genocide, which was unanimously voted on in the United States House of Representatives within the last week. May the souls of all the martyred victims of the Genocide now rest in peace.

NEW COMMUNION PROCEDURE – Before gathering for confession, please allow time for the Choir Members to come down and join us before we begin.

COFFEE HOUR TODAY – is sponsored by Paul and Leslie Movsesian in loving memory of their father, BERDJ MOVSESIAN. Also by Sergey Nersesov in loving memory of EKATERINA NERSESOVA. All are welcome.

Did you know that when we participate in Soorp Badarak (Divine Liturgy), we are also being invited to a meal (communion) offered by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As such, we should dress in a manner worthy of that invitation. We ask our faithful to dress appropriately for worship. Please, no very short dresses, shorts or bare shoulders. Thank you.

Save the Date: Sunday December 8th for breakfast and a visit by Santa in the hall. Adults and unregistered children 11 and older are $10.00, unregistered children 4-10 are 6.00 and church school students & children under 3 are free. Reservations are a MUST by 12/1/19. Everyone is welcome!

An Advent Drive: Armenians in Northern Syria are in urgent need of our help–under brutal Turkish assault, they have been driven from their homes. There is dire need for food, clothing and other necessities as they repatriate to Armenia. The Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) is asking for our assistance. During the Sundays of Advent, our ACYOA Juniors, partnering with our Adult Christian Education ministry, will be taking donations during Coffee Fellowship. We ask our community to respond by being generous during this most blessed of seasons. Christ is born and revealed. Blessed is the revelation of Christ.

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.

HELP WANTED: Jan Mirijanian is looking for someone who can cook and do light house keeping 3 days a week in the South Jersey area. If interested contact him at 856-848-1504 or cell 856-295-3119.

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

Sunday Dec 8 Breakfast with Santa: Reservations due 12/1
Thursday-Sunday Dec 12-15 Jr. Choir, Sr. Choir and Deacon Workshops with Very Rev. Fr. Mamigon Kiledjian
Sunday Dec 29 Pomegranate Sunday

Sunday Jan 5 Theophany Eve 3:00PM Liturgy, Christmas Pageant and Fellowship
Monday Jan 6 Feast of Theophany 10:30 AM Liturgy
Sunday Jan 12 Blessing of the Water

2019 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:

6 – 90 people $638.00
13 – 92 people $640.00
20- 75 people $394.00
27 – 75 people $448.00

3 – 82 people $504.00
Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00

FAR UPDATE: Crafting for Equality: Ayo!’s Latest Campaign to Help Those With Disabilities – Ayo!, FAR’s crowdfunding platform, just launched its latest campaign. Crafting for Equality aims to support a local non-governmental organization in its mission to improve the lives of the disabled. Established by people with disabilities, Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities (EREO) aims to support the full realization of the rights of disabled people in Armenia’s Lori Province while also promoting their social inclusion. Through EREO’s social enterprise, EREOstyle, the disabled also produce textiles and handicrafts. While EREOstyle has been effective in raising living standards, its new workspace is still not adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. It also lacks a heating system. Crafting for Equality aims to raise the funds needed to install a heating system and make the building more accessible to all. To read more, go to: To support this project, go to:

NEW IN BOOKSTORE: With pride, we are pleased to announce “Acoustic Armenia,” a CD by a devoted member of the Holy Trinity family, Karinné Andonian. The music of this album is meant to revere the spirit of Armenian music. The Armenian heart has always sung, and here it sings simply and organically, intending to bring a sense of togetherness and home just as it was when it was created generations ago. Available in Bookstore $12.

Using the Pew Book: In order to enrich understanding of the Divine Liturgy, we encourage our faithful to follow along in the large two-part Pew Book. Part One includes the classical Armenian used in the Liturgy; the facing page is the translation in modern Western Armenian. Part Two contains the transliteration of the classical Armenian; the right-hand page has the English translation. This Pew Book includes the prayers of the celebrant usually offered inaudibly. The prayers offered aloud are indicated in boldface type.

THE NICENE CREED/ HAVADAMK – This is the Profession of our Faith which is often sung after the Gospel is read from the altar. Occasionally, it will be recited by the Deacons and/or the Choir. We invite you to affirm your own “Profession of Faith” by reciting along with us. God longs for all of us to express our faith and devotion to Him.

THE KISS OF PEACE: After the gifts of the Eucharist are brought to the Altar Table, the deacon proclaims, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” The person giving the greetings says, Kristos ee mech mer Haydnetsav – Christ is revealed amongst us. The recipient would respond, Orhnial eh Haydnootiunun Kristosee – Blessed is the revelation of Christ.

Anyone who wishes to request any Requiem Services MUST inform the office by 1:30pm Wednesday the week before. If you also want to sponsor the Fellowship Hour you MUST call Jeanette Der Hagopian at 215-672-4188.

Would you like to:

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– sign up for an event online?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES, please visit our parish website at

WE ASK THAT EVERYONE KINDLY TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES and all other such electronic devices prior to entering the sanctuary out of respect for the sanctity of our services.