THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
July 30, 2023
Third Sunday after Transfiguration
Paree Janabar to Der Hakob and all the travelers who will be leaving for Armenia this evening. Our prayers go with them!
Scripture and Feast Day Notes
From Today’s Readings
Isaiah 5:1-10 The Song of the Vineyard is a famous parable of disobedience and disappointed love. A man lovingly plants and tends to a vineyard, building a watchtower and a winepress and waiting for the bounty of wine-worthy grapes. Yet he finds only wild grapes, symbols of a willful Israel and Judah, and warns of the ruin that will come to pass. Discuss/reflect: God asks his people what more he could have possibly done (v.4) for them to bear worthy fruit. How would you assess the spiritual fruit in your life?
1 Corinthians 6:18-7:11 St. Paul exhorts his listeners to shun sexual immorality and respect their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. He reminds husbands and wives that their bodies belong to each other and that where there are difficulties, reconciliation should be sought. Discuss/reflect: We are not our own – we are God’s, bought at a price! (6:19-20) How does this faith fact change how you look at your body? At the ways you might be abusing it with excess?
Matthew 19:3-12 The Pharisees challenge Jesus with the question of divorce. He responds by referring them to the creation of marriage as recounted in Genesis where “two become one” – an indissoluble sum. Speaking against the ease with which men legally terminated their marriages at the time, Jesus preached the importance of the marriage covenant. Discuss/reflect: The Armenian Church acknowledges divorce and remarriage although a second wedding ceremony carries a penitential message. As he so often did, Jesus was posing a radically different approach to covenants –honor them! How do the disciples see marriage? (19:10) While marriages where there is abuse, addiction, chronic infidelity, etc, require intervention, many marriages might be redeemed with committed effort. Could today’s high divorce rates benefit from Jesus’ hope?
Tuesday, August 1 Honors Twelve Prophets
The 12 “minor” prophets are hardly unimportant (minor being a reference only to the shorter length of their books). Written between the 8th and 5th centuries BC, their work teems with powerful metaphors, all pointing us to the arrogance and hypocrisy of human behavior which God endures with patient love and, at times, angry frustration. In Hosea, God’s love for the wayward Israel is compared with that of a husband for a straying wife as he promises to restore his people to covenant faithfulness. In Jonah, a smugly self-confident prophet learns, to his dismay, that God’s mercy extends to all repentant sinners, even his enemies. In Amos, we are reminded that worship and reverence for God are meaningless without justice for the poor and oppressed; social justice is the foundation for true piety. Reflection: Read Amos 5:21-24. If Amos were preaching in your church, how would he assess your efforts on behalf of the poor and needy? What can you do personally and as a parishioner to be God’s merciful hands in the world?
Department of Christian Education Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)/email@example.com
Requiems – Hokehankist today will be for:
Fran Torcomian on the 5th anniversary of her eternal rest requested by The Torcomian and Karagiannis Families
Coffee Hour – The coffee Hour today is being sponsored by the Torcomian and Karagiannis Families.
Blessing of the Grapes: This year the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother-of-God will take place on Sunday, August 13. Anyone wishing to make a donation toward grapes should contact the church office no later than August 7th
Aid For Women In Armenia & Artsakh: Today is the last day we will be collecting donations of personal and feminine hygiene products for women in Armenia since the months-long blockade has created a great hardship for them. Necessary items include deodorant, soap or body wash, combs/brushes, wet wipes, cotton swabs, tissues, bandages, shampoo & conditioner. Thank you to all who supported this worthy outreach.
Far Update: Ayo has just launched its new project #HikingForAll! ARI, a local mountaineering group, and Arvestaran, a center for children with special needs, have teamed up to design a hiking program specifically tailored for children on the autism spectrum. This is a first of its kind initiative in Armenia, where inclusion is slowly blossoming. In addition to trips, the team will organize trainings to ensure that more Armenian guides can work effectively and in a dignifying manner with kids with special needs. Nature is for everyone! Learn more and contribute to the movement here: www.weareayo.org/home
Attention Graduates! The next issue of the LOOYS will feature our graduates (all levels) and we invite you to submit your own details for inclusion. Write-up should include: full name, parents’ names, name of institution, grade level or degree achieved, activity involvement (church or school), and future plans (further education/work/other). Please include a picture (in high resolution color), if possible. Everything should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 15, 2023.
Attic Treasures – Bazaar 2023: Please do not bring your Attic Treasures to the church until September 15th. While we appreciate the donations, we ask you to store them at your homes as we do not have a storage area. Thank you.
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 greeting 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.
Final day for donations for the women in Armenia
Participants depart for Pilgrimage to Armenia
August 13 – Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother-Of-God (Grapes Blessing)
September 17 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
September 21 – Armenian Independence Day
October 1 – Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak