eNewsletter of the Eastern Diocese – 02/23/2012

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686-0710
Fax: (212) 779-3558
Email: [email protected]

TOP STORY February
23, 2012

Great Lent in the Armenian Church
The closed altar curtain denotes the start of Lent in the Armenian

New Lenten Video Series

Monday, February 20, marked the first day of Great Lent: the season
when Christians consciously turn away from worldly matters and make the
effort-through prayer, fasting, study, and introspectionâ=80’to prepare for
the spiritual drama of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

The Scriptural basis for Lent resides in the 40-day period Christ spent
in the wilderness following his baptism. In the words of St. Matthewâ’s
Gospel (4:1-2): “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the
wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and
forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.”

During Lent we are called to follow the Holy Spirit to confront our own
`inner wildernessâ’-the realm of spiritual emptiness engendered by sin,
laziness, and vanity. Through prayer, fasting, Bible-reading, and
self-examination, we are given an opportunity to renew our commitment
to God, and gain the strength to work at being more loving, humble, and
gentle. [4]Click here to learn more about the Armenian Church
traditions concerning Great Lent.

This year, the Diocese is offering a video series on Great Lent.
[5]Click here to view the first video, in which the Very Rev. Fr.
Simeon Odabashian discusses the tradition of fasting in the Armenian

Scripture of the Week

Is 33:2-22
Rom 12:1-13:10
Mt 5:17-48

Prayer of the Week

By the holy cross let us beseech the Lord, that through it He may
deliver us from our sins and save us by the grace of His mercy.
Almighty Lord, our God, save us and have mercy on us. Amen.

Upcoming Saints & Feasts

25 February: St. Theodore the Warrior

26 February: Sunday of the Expulsion


St. Mary Armenian Church in Vaghuhas village
A weathered sign points to Vaghuhas, Nagorno-Karabagh, where a church
was consecrated last Sunday.
(photo by Marut Vanyan)

Newly-Built Church Consecrated in Nagorno-Karabagh

On Sunday, February 19, a new church was consecrated in the village of
Vaghuhas, in Nagorno-Karabagh’s Martakert region. Archbishop Barkev
Martirossian, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese, consecrated the house of
worship, which was given the name St. Mary Armenian Church.

The celebration of the first Divine Liturgy followed the consecration
service. In his sermon, Archbishop Martirossian encouraged the faithful
to renew their faith by becoming active in the life of St. Mary Church.
The blessing of madagh and a cultural program concluded Sunday’s

Construction of St. Mary Church began in 2007 and was sponsored by
Krikor Hayrapetyan, a native of Vaghuhas who resides in Russia.


Diocesan Council met at the Diocesan center on February 23, 2012
The Diocesan Council met on Thursday, February 23, at the Diocesan
Center in New York.

Diocesan Council Prepares for Spring Events

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, opened today’s Diocesan
Council meeting with a Bible study focusing on today’s Scripture
reading (Romans 6:3-14). Council members had an opportunity to reflect
on the passage and to speak about the significance of the Lenten period
for their spiritual renewal.

The day’s agenda included finalizing plans for a special meeting of
Diocesan organizations and departments scheduled for Saturday, March
24. The daylong event will bring together Diocesan leaders to discuss
the mission of the Eastern Diocese and to strategize about the future
of the Armenian Church in America.

The council is making preparations for the 110th Diocesan Assembly,
which will be hosted by St. Mark Church of Springfield, MA, from May
3-5. The assembly will continue to focus on the Diocesan theme
`Vocations-The Call to Serve: Ministry of the Faithful,â’ and to explore
ways to enrich lay ministry initiatives across the Diocese. Also in
May, council members will attend the ACYOA General Assembly and Sports
Weekend in Chicago, IL.

Turning to fundraising efforts, council members reviewed the results of
the successful 2011 Annual Appeal and discussed the 2012 budget.

Clergy workshop at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary
Clergy and recent seminary graduates gathered at St. Nersess Armenian
Seminary earlier this week for a continuing education program focusing
on parish leadership.

Clergy Meet for Continuing Education Workshop

Clergy and recent seminary graduates met at St. Nersess Armenian
Seminary earlier this week for a continuing education program focusing
on parish leadership. The program was coordinated by the Very Rev. Fr.
Simeon Odabashian, Diocesan Vicar. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian,
Diocesan Primate, presided over the 3-day meeting.

The sessions were designed for the younger clergy of the Diocese,
including those who have come from Armenia to serve in the Eastern
Diocese in recent years, as well as recent graduates of St. Nersess
Seminary. Topics included building a sense of community in the church,
fostering team-building at the parish level, developing strategic
plans, and deploying effective communication tools.

Presentations were made by Archbishop Barsamian, Fr. Odabashian, the
Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, the Rev. Fr. Untzag Nalbandian, the
Rev. Fr. Diran Bohajian, Dr. Carnegie Calian, Sandra Shahinian Leitner,
George Marootian, Dr. Sam Mikaelian, and the staff of the Dioceseâ=80=99s
Communications Department.

Participants also had an opportunity to come together for Bible study
and prayer in the seminary chapel.

Vartanants Day obsrvance at the Diocesan Center
Fr. Arakel Vardazarian celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Vartan
Cathedral on Sts. Vartanantz Day.

Feast of Sts. Vartanantz Celebrated in New York

At New York’s Sts. Vartanantz Day observance, young people read
excerpts from St. Vartan’s stirring speech to his soldiers, recited
poetry, and reflected on the legacy of the 5th-century Treaty of
Navarsag, which allowed the Armenians to freely practice their
Christian faith in the Persian Empire.

The commemoration at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on Thursday evening,
February 16, went forward under the auspices of the Diocese of the
Armenian Church of America (Eastern), with the participation of the
Mid-Atlantic Region of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan.

The evening began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, with
Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian presiding. Celebrating the
badarak was the Rev. Fr. Arakel Vardazarian, who is serving as an
intern priest at St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains,

A program and dinner in the Diocesan Center’s Haik and Alice Kavookjian
Auditorium followed services. Three students of the Diocese’s Khrimian
Lyceum-Chris Artun, Varujan Belekdanian, and Tamar Tokmanâ=80’made a
presentation about the Battle of Avarayr. The Shnorhali Choir of Holy
Martyrs Church of Bayside, NY, offered a fine performance of vocal
selections. Grand Commander of the Knights of Vartan Dr. Dennis
Papazian offered remarks, and Archbishop Barsamian delivered a message
to the large crowd.

Click to [6]read more and to [7]view photos.

Christian Churches Together meeting
Fr. Aren Jebejian (second from left) during a prayer service at this
month’s “Christian Churches Together” meeting.

“Christian Churches Together” Meets in Memphis

The Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian, pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator
Church of Chicago, IL, represented Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the
Diocese’s Ecumenical Director, at the annual meeting of the ecumenical
group “Christian Churches Together” in Memphis, TN, earlier this month.

The February 14-17 meeting focused on the history of the civil rights
movement, and included visits to the National Civil Rights Museum, the
Slave Haven Museum, and the historic Mason Temple where Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I’ve Been To The Mountaintopâ’ address.

Participants issued a statement at the conclusion of the meeting: â=80=9CIn
gathering together we experience Christ tearing down the walls that
otherwise divide usâ=80¦. Our common humanity and our witness to the Christ
of all peoples summons our churches to act for the wellbeing of all, to
advocate for equity for the poor, to pursue justice, and to practice
the love and nonviolence that Jesus teaches.â’

Fund for Armenian Relief

FAR Announces 17th Annual Young Professionals Trip

This year the Fund for Armenian Relief’s Young Professionals Trip will
again include a tour of historic Armenian lands in eastern Turkey.
Participants will be able to visit incredible historic sites like
Armenia’s magnificent former capital of Ani, the holy island of
Aghtamar, as well as Kars and Van. The two-week trip, now in its 17th
year, will also include an extensive and enriching tour around Armenia.

The trip provides an ideal opportunity for young professionals between
the ages of 23 and 40 to travel to Armenia as a group, and to go beyond
a tourist’s itinerary to learn firsthand about Armenia’s place in the
world. Participants will visit FAR’s projects, engage in dialogue with
religious and government leaders, and gain an understanding of how
Armenia’s future is being shaped with the support of the diaspora.

The trip is scheduled for June 17-30. [8]Click here to learn more
about this year’s program.

St. Nersess Seminary online lectures

CORRECTION: St. Nersess Seminary Online Course

Last week’s announcement about an online class offered by St. Nersess
Armenian Seminary misstated the class time. It is held on Wednesdays
from 7 to 8 p.m.

The Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, dean and professor of liturgical
studies at St. Nersess Seminary, is teaching the course titled
“Patristic Commentaries on the Armenian Divine Liturgy.” The course
explores how the fathers of the Armenian Church interpreted the Divine

The weekly course is accessible via the seminary’s Global Classroom.
[9]Click here for more information.

Diocesan Center News

Diocese Seeking Development Director

The Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) is currently
seeking candidates for the position of Director of Development.

The Development Director will report to the Diocese’s Executive
Director. He or she will be responsible for planning and implementing
all fundraising strategies for the Eastern Diocese. Responsibilities
include the areas of donor research, cultivation, and solicitation;
leadership identification and planning; reporting to donors and the
public; among other areas.

Qualified applicants should have a bachelor’s degree (advanced degree
preferred) and a significant record of success in fundraising. Please
consult the job description and list of qualifications posted on the
[10]Eastern Diocese’s website.

Send résumé and cover letter via e-mail to
[11][email protected] Only those applicants meeting
the requirements for the position will be interviewed. The review of
applications will begin immediately.
11. mailto:[email protected]


Primate visits Atlanta mission parish
Archbishop Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Atlanta, GA, last

Leadership Workshop Held in Atlanta

A weekend-long leadership workshop was held at the Armenian Church of
Atlanta mission parish in Roswell, GA, on February 17-19. Archbishop
Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, presided over the workshop
sessions, which focused on the structure of the Armenian Church, parish
administration, fundraising and membership, and Diocesan resources,
among other topics.

In addition to the Primate, presentations were made by the Rev. Fr.
Tateos Abdalian, the Diocese’s director of Mission Parishes; Dr. Raffy
Hovanessian, Diocesan Council member; and Dr. Sam Mikaelian, the
Diocese’s Development coordinator. The Diocese’s Music Ministry
director, Maestro Khoren Mekanejian, led workshops for choir members
and altar servers.

The sessions concluded with the formulation of a parish strategic plan
for the coming months. It calls for the establishment of a school to
teach the faith and cultural traditions to young parishioners, choir
development opportunities and meetings with the Diocesan Scared Music
Council, the creation of a schedule of monthly home visits, and the
establishment of a Bible study and ACYOA Seniors groups.

On Sunday, Archbishop Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy, with
some 125 parishioners taking part. A Great Barekendan luncheon followed

[12]Click here to view photos.

Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan
Fr. Daniel Findikyan will give a series of sermons at St. Sahag Church
in St. Paul, MN, beginning on Sunday, February 26.

Fr. Findikyan to Give Three Sermons in St. Paul, MN

The Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, dean of St. Nersess Armenian
Seminary, will give a series of sermons at St. Sahag Church in St.
Paul, MN, beginning on Sunday, February 26. The sermons will be
followed by a question and answer session at the conclusion of the
Divine Liturgy. For more information, call the church at (651)

February 26: “The Armenian Way of Worship”
Prayer and worship in the Armenian Church are quite different from what
one finds in many Christian denominations. Stylized rituals, opulent
vestments and furnishings, as well as elaborate hymns and prayers can
make the experience of worship overwhelming and even burdensome. Why
all the fuss? What lies beneath layers of lavish liturgy?

March 4: “The Badarak: From the Upper Room to Minnesota”
In our Divine Liturgy we do exactly what Jesus commanded of his
disciples and church at the Last Supper: To receive him in Holy
Communion, and to remember him. Why did the Armenian badarak develop as
it did? What are some distinctive features of the Armenian Divine
Liturgy, and what is their importance for Armenian people of faith

March 11: “Finding My Way and My Place in the Badarak”
For anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by the badarak or who wishes
to engage in the service in a deeper, more meaningful and satisfying
way, Fr. Findikyan will offer a practical approach to the badarak. Be
inspired and grow in Christian faith, hope and love.

St. David Armenian Church
Fr. Nareg Berberian with executive members of the parish’s Mr. & Mrs.

Pre-Lenten Social Gathering Held in Boca Raton, FL

The Mr. & Mrs. Club of St. David Church of Boca Raton, FL, hosted a
`Yerevan Nightâ’ dance on Saturday, February 18. More than 150 people
attended the social event.

The event was organized by the following committee members: Marieta
Agopyan, Vartuhi Malkhasian, Anahit Sarkisyan, Karine Markaryan,
Arusiak Stambolyan, Dr. Nona Kalfayan, Araksia Manvelyan, Sona
Khachatrian, Armine Mnatsakanian, Armenui Grigoryan, Ashken Azatyan,
Liliya Boghossian, Hasmig Davtyan, and Alla Gularyan.

Committee members donated the food and covered other event-related
expenses. Mr. and Mrs. Hratch Boghossian sponsored the evening’s music
and entertainment for children. The Very Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian,
parish pastor, thanked the community for supporting the event and
encouraged parishioners to continue to be involved in the life of the

Upcoming Parish Events

St. David Church | Boca Raton, FL
St. David Church of Boca Raton, FL, will host an `Armenian Food Festâ’
on Saturday, February 25 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.), and Sunday, February 26
(12 to 6 p.m.).

Enjoy Armenian dishes, browse vendor booths, and more. For information,
call the church at (561) 994-2335.

Armenian Church of Southwest Florida
The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at the Armenian Church of
Southwest Florida mission parish on Sunday, February 26, at 1 p.m.
Services are held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bonita Springs, FL.
Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the Diocese’s Ecumenical Director, will be
the celebrant. A Lenten luncheon will follow in the Parish Life Center.

For more information, contact Parish Council chair Carole Meghreblian
(239) 348-3804, or via e-mail at [13][email protected]
13. mailto:[email protected]

St. Leon Church | Fair Lawn, NJ
St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, will host a “Bridal and All-Occasion
Showcase” on Thursday, March 1, beginning at 7 p.m. The event will be
held in the ballroom at St. Leon Church (12-61 Saddle River Road in
Fair Lawn).

It will feature a bridal, prom, and sweet 16 fashion show, as well as
exhibitions with photographers, florists, chefs, and makeup artists.
The evening will also include a honeymoon giveaway and other gifts.
Admission is free.
For more information, call (201) 681-7671.



Learn to Cook a Lenten Meal

On Tuesday, March 13, the Diocese will host a food preparation
demonstration with Sahan Arzruni. Mr. Arzruni, who has an extensive
knowledge of Armenian cuisine, will guide participants in the
preparation of a Lenten meal.

The program is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in Vartan Hall of the
Diocesan Center (630 Second Avenue, New York City). It will be followed
by a rest service at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral.

The event is free and open to the public.


ACYOA Sports Weekend

ACYOA Assembly/Sports Weekend to be Held in Chicago

This year’s ACYOA General Assembly and Sports Weekend will be hosted by
the ACYOA Seniors of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Chicago, IL,
from May 24-28.

Participants will stay in Chicago, and enjoy spiritual, social, and
athletic activities throughout the weekend. Save the date, and look for
updates in our newsletter and on Facebook.


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