THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
December 17, 2023
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Scripture and Feast Day Notes
From Today’s Readings
Luke 17:1-10 Jesus shares four critical teachings with his disciples (and us): 1. Sin will come – watch for those who carry it with them, 2. Be generous with your forgiveness, 3. The smallest seed of faith can empower you beyond your understanding, and 4. Doing all I tell you does not call for self-congratulations, for it is simply what you should be doing. Discuss/reflect: Which of these four life guidelines speaks to you? Can you think of a specific experience?
Hebrews 1:1-14 The early readers of Hebrews might have venerated angels to such a degree that the epistle writer felt it important to stress Jesus’ sovereignty over them. In doing so, he lays out a compelling series of statements about who Jesus is. Discuss/reflect. With pen in hand, read today’s epistle reading. Underline or write out the words or phrases that describe Jesus. Begin a prayer with “Lord Jesus Christ, you who…Add all these descriptions and then your personal petitions.
Isaiah 38:1-8 King Hezekiah, ill and at the point of death, prays for healing. God restores the King’s health and pledges protection to Jerusalem. Discuss/reflect: Hezekiah declares to God that he had “done what is good in Your eyes. (v 3).” In St. Nersess’ famous “Wisdom” prayer, he asks God for the wisdom to “do what is good in Your sight.” What do you do that might be God in His sight?
Saturday December 23 – David the Prophet King and the Holy Apostle James the Brother of the Lord.
David was the youngest of eight brothers and was brought up to be a shepherd where he learned courage, tenderness, and caring. David became the second King of Israel. In the Bible, the name David belongs solely to him, which indicates the unique place he had as an ancestor and forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the New Testament there are more than 50 references to David, including the title given to Jesus—Son of David. David was a poet and is regarded as the author of the Book of Psalms.
James the Apostle is called “Brother of the Lord.” Probably because of his close relationship with Jesus, he was granted a special appearance of the Lord after the Resurrection. He is believed to have been a first cousin of the Lord, or as some biblical scholars have suggested, a son of Joseph. After the Resurrection and the Ascension, while the other apostles scattered all over the world, James remained in Jerusalem where he served as the Bishop and became a leading spokesman of the early church.
James, the brother of the Lord (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Galatians 1:19), was not one of the twelve apostles, the first bishop of Jerusalem.
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
Alice Sarkissian requested by Jean, Rosanne, Paul and Christine Sarkissian.
The Men’s Club is requesting a Requiem service for the following:
Aram (Butch) Kumkumian
Albert Der Pilbosian
Fellowship Today: Coffee Hour is sponsored today by the family of Alice Sarkissian in loving memory of Alice and all the lives she touched. All are welcome.
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.
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!
Renovations are Complete: The newly remodeled restrooms are available for use. Each one is now a “Single-Use”, Family-type Restroom and is Handicap accessible. This upgrade means anyone can use either restroom. There is a locking mechanism on each door. Other than just washing your hands, we request that you lock the door after you enter. The status of each restroom is visible on the exterior of the door, either “vacant” or “in use”. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the church office.
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.
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.
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.
Pastor’s Weekly ZOOM Bible Study – Bible study will resume in January 2024. Even though we are not meeting together on ZOOM, please continue to enrich your knowledge by revisiting what we have already learned. Share what you have learned with family and friends.
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.
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.
Special Program Today – Guest Speaker Sarah Stites
Join us today during Fellowship as we hear the unique and inspiring 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.
Dec 25 – Christmas
Jan 1 – New Years Day
Jan 5 – Armenian Christmas Eve
Jan 6 – Armenian Christmas
Jan 7 – Water Blessing Service & Church School Christmas Pageant