THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
December 3, 2023
Second Sunday of Advent
Scripture and Feast Day Notes
From Today’s Reading
Luke 13:1-9 Jesus refers to two local tragedies: Galilean pilgrims massacred by Pilate and people killed by a collapsing tower. He counters the world view of the time that those whose lives were cut short must have sinned in some way. No indeed! They were no better nor worse than any of us. But the fact that lives may tragically and suddenly end calls all the more for repentance; without skipping a beat, our Lord tells the story of a fig tree which has yet to bear fruit but is spared for one more year. Cultivated and tended it has been given every opportunity to be fruitful. Discuss/reflect: What kind of “death” do you think Jesus refers to in verse 5? What are the different ways your faith has been nourished? What fruit has this produced in your life? If none or little, what are you waiting for?!
I Thessalonians 4:1-11 St, Paul commends the Thessalonians for acknowledging God’s gift of holiness, as a result they shun sexual immorality, exert honorable self-control, and love others as one might a sister or brother. Paul encourages them to love even more expansively. Discuss/reflect: Paul taught this community how to live in order to please God (4:1). Whom do you live to please? How would you live differently if it were God you were aiming to please?
Isaiah 36:22-37:11 Assyria has leveled the Northern Kingdom and is now at Jerusalem’s door, threatening Hezekiah and mocking his God. Yet King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah remain steadfast in their trust in God. Discuss/reflect: God is unequivocal in His response to Hezekiah’s fear, in summary: Do not be afraid! Listen! I have an answer… (37:6-7) Think of a worry or fear of your own. How might these emphatic words comfort you?
December 16 is the Feast of St. James of Nisibis
St. James, a cousin of St. Gregory, was appointed bishop of Nisibis, Mesopotamia, in 308 A.D. Nisibis is the modern city of Nusaybin (in southwest Turkey on the border with Syria). He founded a theological school there, attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., and was renowned for his pious and virtuous life. His protégé was the beloved theologian and writer, St. Ephraim.
James is perhaps best known, however, for his divine vision on Mount Ararat, where he found the sacred relic of Noah’s Ark. According to tradition, while St. James preached in and around Nisibis, he heard that people doubted the story of Noah’s Ark. He was determined to provide his flock with evidence, so he set out for the peak of Mount Ararat to find the remains of the ark. During his arduous journey, an angel appeared to him in a vision and brought him a piece of the wood from Noah’s Ark. St. James prayed to God to produce a miracle at the place where he had the vision and immediately afterward a spring gushed forth, which exists to this day. The relic of Noah’s Ark received by St. James is currently in Holy Etchmiadzin. Reflection: Think of St. James’ life of godly accomplishment. Could this perhaps have opened his heart to that divinely inspired insight on Mt. Ararat? Pray about this. What answers are you seeking?
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
Joseph D. Chamoun requested by his loving wife Ani Chamoun and his children Diran Chamoun, Alain Chamoun and Anna-Marie Murphy.
Coffee Hour is sponsored today by Ani Chamoun in memory of her husband Joseph D. Chamoun. All are welcome.
Guest Speaker – December 17, 2023
What would draw a young woman, born and raised in the Washington DC area, to move to Armenia and immerse herself in the culture, the people and the difficulties to make a commitment to serve our homeland through FAR’s AYO program. Come and hear her unique and inspiring story when she visits us in person on Sunday, December 17, following Badarak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pastor’s Weekly ZOOM Bible Study – Our Adult Christian Education ministry team is pleased to invite our faithful to Fr. Hakob’s Bible Study on the GOSPEL OF LUKE. We will meet every Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:00 via Zoom. Last year, we journeyed with Der Hayr methodically through the Gospel of Matthew and learned a great deal. So, why are we studying the Gospel of Luke? Isn’t it just another gospel? Join us beginning November 8 to discover how Luke’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry differs from the other gospels and what it means for us. To receive the Zoom link, contact email@example.com
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.
Second Sunday of Advent
Dec 6 – Weekly Zoom Bible Study
Dec 9 – Feast of the Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary
Dec 10 – Christmas with Santa
Dec 17 – Inspiring guest speaker following Badarak