Sunday of the Steward

Sunday Messenger

February 28, 2016

Sunday of the Steward

Commemoration of St. John the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Armenian Patriarch St. John of Otzoon, St. John of Vorotan and St. Gregory of Datev

St. John (Hovhannes) of Otzoon, who has also been recognized as “the Philosopher”, is one of the greatest fathers of the Armenian Church. According to hagiographers, he possessed both spiritual and mental brilliance. During the 11 years of his reign (717-728), Catholicos Hovhannes managed to withstand Byzantine and Arab pressures and incursions, while struggling mightily against sects.

Hovhannes of Otzoon endowed to us a rich and priceless literary legacy. His work entitled “Canons of the Armenians” is the first voluminous collection in Armenian history, which contains ecclesiastical canons and laws. He is also famous as the author of numerous sermons and church hymns. Among the most important initiatives undertaken by Catholicos Hovhannes of Otzoon, is the church council convened in Dvin in 725, with the aim of reforming the Armenian Church. He also convened the meeting in Manazkert in 726, dedicated to the goal of strengthening the union of the Armenian and Assyrian Churches. The tomb of Catholicos Hovhannes is in the Church of Srbanes (St. Hovhannes) in the village of Ardvi, near his birthplace of Otzoon.

The church has remained a sanctuary for the faithful of the Armenian Nation. The names of Vartabeds (church divine or archimandrite) St John (Hovhan) of Vorotan (1315-1388) and St. Gregory of Datev (1346-1410) are closely interrelated.

Gregory of Datev, the greatest Vartabed and theologian of the Armenian Church, studied under Hovhan of Vorotan, and later raised the famous school founded by his teacher in the Monastery of Datev. Gregory of Datev authored numerous significant theological works. Included in his literary legacy are the “Book of Questions” and the collections of his sermons. He is closely associated with Hovhan of Vorotan, because as a result of the notes and records made by Gregory, a portion of the literary legacy of Hovhan has survived to this day.

Finally, the blessed memory of St. John the Patriarch of Jerusalem is commemorated on the same day, along with the aforementioned three fathers of the Armenian Church. St. John was Patriarch of Jerusalem in the 4th Century. He is remembered to this day as being a great orator and a defender of Christianity through his sermons.


  • Ephesians 4: 17-5:14 (pages 176-177) New Testament
  • Luke 16: 1-31 (pages 72-73) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)

REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:

  • PEARL SERABIAN JOSEPH (2nd Anniversary of her eternal journey) requested by Larry & Dorothy Grocott and Nathanael & Molly Werntz.

Special Offering: As we all know, giving to those in need is an important part of the Lenten tradition and the obligation of every Christian. Please join our Church School students and staff in their Lenten campaign to raise funds for two worthy causes that fight childhood hunger: (1) Fund for Armenian Relief which is addressing malnutrition in Armenia, and (2) Feed the Children which exists to end childhood hunger in the U.S.

Our Pastor and Parish Council have determined that today’s offering will all be donated to this project. Please give generously when our students come to you for your gift in today’s offering.

ALTAR CANDLES are donated today by Larry & Dorothy Grocott and Nathanael & Molly Werntz in loving memory of PEARL SERABIAN JOSEPH.

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: is sponsored today by Larry & Dorothy Grocott and Nathanael & Molly Werntz in loving memory of PEARL SERABIAN JOSEPH.

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: The Barone Family is also sponsoring the coffee hour today in honor of their daughter and sister Robin Barone who has written and published her first book for children, Where is Robin? USA created by our own Robin Barone. This book is the first in a series that is dedicated to teaching children about the world through adventure travel books! This book will be released to the public for sale on March 8, 2016. She will read her book to the parish family during the coffee hour. All are welcome.

SAVE THE DATE: to join us for the Annual Mitchink Luncheon on Sunday, March 6 following Badarak. Tickets are $12.00 and reservations are requested by March 1 by using the sign-up sheet or calling the church office.

Friday Night at Holy Trinity: Join us this Friday, March 4 for the third program in our 2016 Lenten Educational Series. Our speaker will be the Diocesan Vicar, the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian; his topic, “Worshipping with the Psalms” will deal with the significance of this Old Testament book in the worship of the Armenian Church. The evening begins at 6:30 with the Peace Service, followed by a traditional Lenten dinner hosted by Garo & Cece Garibian, Maria & Greg Javardian, and Tanya & Mickey Paretchan. No sign-up required; all the programs in the series ask only for a free-will offering.

PALM SUNDAY BANQUET: Sunday, March 20, 2016, is ACYOA DAY. Immediately following Church Services, ACYOA is sponsoring a Banquet. Donations: Adults $20.00 – Children ages 7 to 12 yrs. $8.00 – Children 6 and under Free. No tickets will be sold at the door. For reservations, please send in your check by the Deadline: March 13, 2016.

Another Milestone Event: Before you know it, the 50th anniversary of the consecration of our church in Cheltenham will be here – on September 18, 2016. Anyone wishing to be a part of the organizing committee should contact the church office as soon as possible. We hope to have various events during the year leading up to “the main attraction” in September.

Exploring the Eucharist: Holy Trinity parishioners and friends eager to learn more about the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church are invited to attend a one-day seminar on Saturday, March 12 from 9:45 3:00 p.m. Our speaker is Deacon Shant Kazanjian, the Director of the Armenian Religious Education Council of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Church. The program, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Adult Christian Education ministry of our parish. Please register by March 6 by contacting Nancy Basmajian at or 215-722-3369.

ARMENIAN SISTERS ACADEMY: Once again it’s time for our Spring Open House, an opportunity to educate interested families and enroll students for next September. OPEN HOUSE Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 9:00-11:30 a.m. RSVP by March 7 or 610-687-4100.

DAUGHTERS OF VARTAN COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT – Changing Lives, One Pair at a Time In just about any dresser drawer, one can find a pair of eyeglasses that are no longer being used. That same pair of eyeglasses can change another person’s life. Imagine if you could help a child read. An adult succeed in his job. A senior maintain her independence. Volunteers clean, sort by prescription strength and package the glasses. Most of the recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in developing countries where they will have the greatest impact. Please drop off your usable eyewear in the collection box located in the Holy Trinity Church Lobby. Thank you.

SEEKING DEVELOPMENT OFFICER: St. Nersess is seeking a part-time Development Officer to oversee the seminary’s fundraising and alumni/donor relations programs. Reporting to the dean of the seminary, the Development Officer will also work closely with an engaged, supportive Board of Directors and a dynamic school team. For more information contact the seminary at 914-273-0200.

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

  • Saturday February 27th: Leadership Workshop 9:30 am


  • Friday March 4th: Lenten Service
  • Sunday March 6th: Mitchink Luncheon
  • Saturday March 12th: Lenten Service
  • Friday March 18th: Lenten Service
  • Sunday March 20th: ACYOA Palm Sunday Banquet

Something to think about: Reflect during Lent on these “one another” Scripture passages on Christian fellowship: Do I experience this in my church family? Do I live out these verses in my own life? What can I do to strengthen these qualities in myself and in my community?

  • Love one another. (John 13:34)
  • Be devoted to one another. (Romans 12:10)
  • Accept one another. (Romans 15:7)
  • Instruct one another. (Romans 15:14)
  • Greet one another with affection. (Romans 16:16)
  • Serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)
  • Bear with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)
  • Be kind and compassionate to one another. (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Forgive one another. (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Wisely admonish one another. (Colossians 3:16)
  • Build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Encourage one another daily. (Hebrews 3:13)
  • Spur one another into doing good. (Hebrews 10:24)
  • Keep meeting with one another. (Hebrews 10:25)

If you know of anyone who is a shut-in, or ill and would like a visit from Der Hayr, please call the office and give their name to Maggie our church secretary.

CHURCH ETIQUETTE: We wish to remind you, our faithful, to please maintain a quiet and contemplative manner as you approach the chancel for communion. We especially ask that you refrain from conversation while waiting your turn for communion as well as afterwards as you return to your pew. Thank you.

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.