THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
November 22, 2020
First Sunday of Advent
The Status of Artsakh and Armenia
The war came to a stand-still unexpectedly on Monday, November 9, when an agreement was executed between the Prime Minister of Armenia and the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan. This agreement calls for much of Artsakh to be given up and various other concessions of lands in nearby areas. People who live in those regions have just days to vacate their homes. The outcry was loud and clear….the people were not happy about all that had given up and there is much dissension. In the days since, there is great uncertainty as to exactly what will happen and whether there may be a renewal of fighting. To date, the casualties of those killed and injured are in the thousands, and endless properties and sacred churches have been destroyed. Life remains unsure for the survivors and residents of Artsakh. Please continue to pray for a just outcome for Artsakh and Armenia. More news will be shared as we receive it.
“May the Lord give strength to his people.
May the Lord bless his people with peace.”
Today is the First Sunday of Advent
There is no “Advent” per se in the Armenian church calendar. Rather, the 50-day period preceding our Christmas is called Heesnag (from the word for fifty, Heesoon). Heesnag contains a total of three designated weeks of fasting — aside from the usual Wednesday and Friday fasts — so unlike Great Lent, it is not a continuous period of such discipline. Bottom line: Our Heesnag, just as in the Western Church’s Advent, is a beautiful time to prepare, body and soul, for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Focus on Scripture, being at church with your Christian family, prayer, worship, fasting, and good works.
Reflection: Plan concretely for a season of spiritual preparation before Christmas. What simple, doable goals can you set for Bible study, prayer, and service?
Department of Christian Education/Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern)
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
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:
His Eminence Archbishop Sebouh Chouldjian, Primate of the Diocese of Gougark, Armenia.
FOR ALL THE BRAVE SOLDIERS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES TO PROTECT THE REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH AND ARMENIA requested by the Eastern Diocese and Holy Trinity.
“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 Ethel Terzian, Taron Poghosyan, Alice Charles, Theodora Mirakian, Leslie Movsesian and Zevart Shakarjian.
Hats of Faith Project: We have been asked by our sister church St Sahag & St Mesrob to participate in the Hats of Faith Project. We need knitted dark hats for our soldiers in Armenia. Please include a short note with each item to encourage the soldiers. If you do not knit, buy a hat(s), warm socks, or gloves to donate. The due date at our church is Sunday, Dec 6. They will be shipped by Dec. 10. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call, 610-449-2236, or text me at 610-220-9860. Elizabeth Barone
Thank you. God bless Armenia!!!