THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
July 29, 2018
Fourth Sunday after Transfiguration
Have Faith and Look to the Cross
John 3:16 says, whoever believes, or has faith in Jesus Christ, will not die but have eternal life. James the Just, the first bishop of Jerusalem, in his New Testament letter, teaches us about the harmony of faith and works, that invisible faith is no faith at all, that faith without works is a dead faith, and does not save. He makes a distinction between faith that is alive, working itself out, and a false version of faith that only adheres to a creed or set of beliefs. He writes, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder.” (James 2:19) What do we think of when we hear the word “believe” or “faith?” Clearly, to agree to and recite a set of beliefs is not much more than what demons do. So faith must be more than mental assent to the Creed or teachings of the Church. Perhaps it’s helpful to look at living examples of demonstrated faith.
In His dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus refers to an event in the Old Testament in order to shed light upon what has prefigured His crucifixion on the world-saving Cross. While in the wilderness, following their escape from Egypt, the Israelites became impatient and complained to Moses and spoke against God. As a result of their sin, poisonous snakes began to bite and kill many people. Repenting for their sin against God, they asked Moses to pray to the Lord to remove the serpents. The Lord instructed Moses to “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it shall live.” (Numbers 21:4-9) To this day, the serpent entwined on a pole is used by medical organizations as a symbol of healing. St. Cyril of Alexandria commenting on the bronze serpent that Moses lifted in the wilderness writes,
The serpent signifies bitter and deadly sin, which was devouring the whole race on the earth…biting the Soul of man and infusing it with the venom of wickedness. And there is no way that we could have escaped being conquered by it, except by the relief that comes only from heaven.
In the same way that Moses lifted the bronze serpent in the desert so people could have something to see, believe, and live, Jesus was lifted on the Cross so that everyone bitten by the disease of sin, which was brought into the world by the serpent in Eden, would have someone to whom they can look with faith and have life eternal.
Again, what does it mean in faith to look to the Cross for renewed, eternal life? The saints have a deep, embedded presence in the Orthodox Church because their lives, visibly and tangibly united with Christ, bear witness to the authenticity and truth of the Gospel. We strive to imitate their faith in order to fortify our own faith. Following the crown of martyrdom that Jesus wore on the Cross, they are living witnesses of the victory of Christ.
By Dn. Eric Vozzy
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
1 Timothy 4: 12-5:10 (page 190) New Testament
John 3: 13-21 (page 86) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 58:13-59:7 (pages 734-735) Old Testament
REQUIEM SERVICES: Karasoonk (40th Day memorial Service) today will be for:
– ALISHAN HAIGAZIAN on the 40th Day of His eternal life requested by The Murray Family.
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant…” (Daniel 9:17a). Please pray for Doris Alahverde, Anto Vartanian, Butch Kumkumian, Annabelle Alexanian, Alice Charles, Pearl Jamgochian, & Albert Santerian for a return to better health and to feel the presence of God in their lives. Pray also for our country and her leaders during these trying times; and let us ask the Lord to keep our children in their schools free from further violence and hatred.
Upcoming Sunday Services – While the dome in the Sanctuary is being repaired and restored, Badarak will take place in Santerian Hall until further notice, beginning this Sunday, July 22nd. Access to the church will ONLY be through the lobby doors. The front doors of the church will not be accessible for any purpose. We ask that you enter the lobby quietly so that the services taking place will not be disrupted. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and also request that you share this information with others as we try to spread the word to everyone. Further notice will be sent when the church is once again ready for use.
COFFEE HOUR: is being sponsored today by the Murray Family in loving memory of ALISHAN HAIGAZIAN on the 40th Day of His eternal life. All are welcome.
Blessing of the Grapes: This year the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother-of-God will take place on Sunday, August 12. Anyone wishing to make a donation toward grapes should contact the church office no later than Tuesday, August 7.
HELP: Parishioners help needed to run a Coffee Hour or we may not be having them in the future. Sign up sheets will be posted in the Lobby for the next 4 months from September thru December. For further information contact Merle, 215-205-1507 or speak to her at Coffee Hour this Sunday and she will be happy to tell you how it works. We would like to have different volunteers for each Sunday starting in September. Thank you!
FAR UPDATE: Eye surgery has definitely changed 16-year-old Mariam Mkrtchyan’s life in many ways, not least of which is her improved self-confidence. Mariam underwent surgery for strabismus, or crossed eyes, in April. She had developed crossed eyes after a bad fall at age two. Since the family had no means to pay for corrective surgery, she dealt with her condition until she was accepted into FAR’s Child Poverty Reduction Program, which the costs. Her mother is very happy that Mariam was accepted into FAR’s program. “Raising four children is not easy. I would never be able to make $500 to pay for the surgery. I am very thankful to the donors who helped us,” she said.To read more about FAR’s Child Poverty Reduction Program, go to: http://farusa.org/2018/07/17/far-health-programs-surgery-improves-teens-self-confidence-and-vision/ To support FAR’s projects, go to: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/armenianrelief/
ATTENTION GRADUATES: The September issue of the Looys will feature information about all graduates. Write-up should include: full name, parents’ names, name of institution, grade level or degree achieved, activity involvement, and future plans (further education/ work). If desired, please include a picture (in high resolution color). Everything should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than August 28th
SUMMER STUDY: SCRIPTURE AND SHNORHALI: The faithful are invited to join us for the final session of our “Scripture and Shnorhali,” summer series. It’s an introduction to the writings of one of the most celebrated saints in the Armenian Church—St. Nersess the Grace-filled. We will meet at church on Tuesday morning,
July 31 from 10:00 to 11:30. Participants will discover the many biblical images and references that come alive in his work; therefore, we cannot study Shnorhali without studying the Bible. Our guide will be our pastor, Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan. We urge you to take advantage of this unique program and, as always, we encourage you to bring a friend.
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
July 31 10:00 am Summer Study: Scripture and Shnorhali
Sunday August 12th: Assumption (Blessing of Grapes)
ATTIC TREASURES will return again to the Harvest Bazaar this fall. With limited storage space available at church, we are more focused on items we can accept to be sold at the Attic Treasures table. Gently Used Items must be CLEAN & UNDAMAGED. Desired items are jewelry, women’s accessories, housewares, and small furnishings. Toys, clothing, books straw baskets & florist vases will not be accepted this year . Attic treasures can be left in the 1st room on the right down the Sunday School hall. Call Ayshe Chakmaklian for more info. at 610-828-2411. If you need a New Jersey pick up call Grace Meranshian at 856-217-9333.
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.
PARKING REMINDER –
> Non-Disabled Persons parking spaces are designated with white lines.
> Disabled Persons Parking spaces are designated with blue lines and are reserved for vehicles with a State-authorized disability placard or license plate.
> No parking is allowed in the driveway nearest to the kitchen door.
THANK YOU for your cooperation!
THE NICENE CREED/ HAVADAMK – This is the Profession of our Faith which is recited every Sunday moments after the Gospel is read from the altar. Sometimes it is sung, but more often it is 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 Merle Santerian at 215-947-3777.
Would you like to:
– receive this Bulletin on Friday via email?
– request a Hokehankist, house blessing or hall rental information?
– find in-depth information on our faith, our parish and our activities?
– sign up for an event online?
– If the answer to any of these questions is YES, please visit our parish website at www.holytrinity-pa.org
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.