THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
August 4, 2019
Second Sunday after Transfiguration
On Christian Parenting
In a rapidly changing world, how do you face the uncertainties of tomorrow? Scientific and technological developments have impacted all aspects of life. Adjusting to these changes is essential for survival. What choices must we make as we adjust, and how will they impact the fundamental unit of society, the family?
Our attention is drawn to an important role for the healthy survival of the human race, that of parenting. No doubt, the styles of parenting have evolved and changed over time affecting the development of the child, both positively and negatively.It is important that we, as the people of God, seek guidance from our ancestors in faith to do the kind of parenting which enables young parents to raise children of God.
We remember Saints Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Holy Mother of God Mary, immediately following the nine-day cycle of the Feast of Assumption. The church remembers Joachim and Anna as a righteous couple who led a pure and pious life. In biblical understanding, righteousness describes a person who lives a God-pleasing life according to the Commandments. Joachim and Anna were held in high esteem before God and people. They were devoted to prayer, fasting, participated in temple life, and practiced charity. The fruit of their labors they shared threefold, offering it to the temple, to the needy, and used the remainder for their own family needs.
Joachim and Anna were childless, a source of great pain and suffering. In Israelite society, childlessness was regarded as a curse from God. On the feast of the temple, Joachim joined many other Israelites to offer gifts to God. The priests did not accept his gifts because he had no children. What a painful rejection by people who could not penetrate the heart of God!
This strengthened their bond with God even more. Both Joachim and Anna prayed fervently, trusting in God’s providence. They vowed that if blessed with a child, be it a male or female, they would dedicate the child to God’s service. When their daughter was born they thanked God and rejoiced with their community, naming her Mary.
The parents cared and nurtured the child Mary. For the first three years of her life, she experienced the love and devotion which her parents had towards God and joined them in their faith community, the temple worship. When she was weaned at the age of three the parents prepared to take her to the temple. The loving father Joachim hesitated but Anna insisted that they fulfill their vow. The high priest Zachariah blessed her and received her into the temple for the service of God.
Joachim and Anna have much to teach us, twenty-first-century parents. One might say that life circumstances were different then, and our challenges are more daunting. The guiding principles of their life as a Godly couple are the same and valid for all times. Joachim and Anna were descendants of God-loving ancestors. Their spiritual development was influenced by their own parents and grandparents. Our ancestors valued the familial background of the future bride or groom since the family they formed would reflect the values and faith of the extended family. It was in this environment that they would raise their own children. Such was the case with Joachim and Anna.
We have to honestly admit that the secular influences surrounding us have made it difficult for many parents to make decisions and choices for their children that would promote a God-centered life. Remember that Joachim and Anna had to make choices too. It is the responsibility of the church today to make every effort to nurture the spiritual life of adults, particularly the young who will become parents.
- Engage them frequently in community events which are of a spiritual and educational nature.
- Teach them that practicing charitable acts is not limited to once or twice a year for Christmas and Easter, rather it should be part of their regular practice.
- To be Christ-like we must practice the love and care which he showed towards all without judgment or discrimination.
- Encourage them not to succumb to Sunday morning sports practices or cultural activities imposed by secular groups. Protect your sacred time to worship together as a family on Sunday mornings. How nice it would be if the church facilitated the inclusion of children in worship!
Let us ask for the incessant prayers of the model parents Saints Joachim and Anna.
Yeretzgin Sirarpi Aivazian
July 26, 2019
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
1 Corinthians 1: 25-30 (page 151) New Testament
Matthew 18: 10-14 (page 18) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 3:16-4:1 (page 685) Old Testament
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
FRAN TORCOMIAN (1st Anniversary of Her eternal life) requested by her Family and everyone that loved Her.
FRAN TORCOMIAN (1st Anniversary of Her eternal life) requested by Mr. and Mrs. Gary Der Hagopian & Family.
FRAN TORCOMIAN (1st Anniversary of Her eternal life) requested by Mr. and Mrs. Steve Vosbikian & Family.
ANTRANIK HACIKIAN and SAHAK MARKARIAN requested by Vartouhi Hacikian.
“I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” (Psalm 116:1-2 NLT). Prayers of Thanksgiving are offered for the group of pilgrims who travelled safely to and from Armenia. Please pray for Merle Santerian, Steve Hovnanian, Alice Charles, Armen Mirakian, Pearl Jamgochian and Ani Navasartian for a return to improved health and to feel the presence of God in their lives.
COFFEE HOUR today is hosted by Tom Torcomian and Family in loving memory of Francesca Torcomian on the first anniversary of her eternal sleep.
THE SUMMER COFFEE HOUR is upon us and can only happen with faithful support from those who enjoy it, meaning different people volunteering each week to set it up and clean up afterward. Coffee will continue to be provided and bagels will be brought in whenever possible. We will depend on our parishioners to supply the “Pot Luck” refreshments each week. Please give serious consideration to volunteering your manpower which will enable us to continue providing this fellowship time that everyone enjoys so much. Call the church office and let Maggie know the Sunday that you would like to volunteer. It will be greatly appreciated.
NEW COMMUNION PROCEDURE – Before gathering for confession, please allow time for the Choir Members to come down and join us before we begin.
Armenia—A Personal Perspective: Parishioners and friends of Holy Trinity are invited to view a new video produced by FAR on one woman’s extraordinary journey to Armenia and its profound impact on her life. Join us on Wednesday evening, August 14 at 7:00 (refreshments included) to share your own experiences or be inspired to visit the homeland. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-722-3369.
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.
Blessing of the Grapes: This year the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother-of-God will take place on Sunday, August 18. Anyone wishing to make a donation toward grapes should contact the church office no later than August 13.
2019 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:
7 – 42 people $235.00
14 – 49 people $359.00
21 – 27 people $121.00
28 – 98 people $801.00
Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
August 18th – Feast of the Assumption/Blessing of the Grapes
Sunday September 15th – Church School Registration
Saturday September 28th – Fall Into Philly Kef @ Holy Trinity
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 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.
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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.