e-Tsayn e-Voice is a publication of
The Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern) Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate Department of Mission Parishes Rev. Fr. Tateos R. Abdalian, Director www.armenianchurch.net Diocesan Office: 212.686.0710
Email: dertateos@ armeniandiocese.org
a few words from der tateos . . . WE boomers have come to that point in our lives where perhaps we spend almost as much time in the doctor's office as we do in the local malls doing our laps around the food court. Having our physicals regularly helps keep a check on potential problems and can awaken us to conditions that may need immediate attention. My doctor is a good person who during the course of my exams often asks questions about spiritual matters that has him troubled. He confesses that he is concerned with his spiritual well being as much as his and my physical well-being. This I am happy to hear. Once as I was leaving his office he questioned if there was an equivalent of a physical for one's interior life. He suggested that if people need physicals, maybe they also need spirituals as well. Made sense to both of us. I have become increasingly aware of the enormous amount of activity inside of me that I neither understand nor fully control. Impressions, attitudes, urges, motives, and initiatives bubble up and out of that darkened space, and perhaps not all of it is noble. It's similar to all the physical activity deep inside my body that I don't know much about either. It just happens, with or without my conscious consent. I have lived the life of a so-called leader, one of those blessed to be in front of a group of people and tasked with pointing the way in which everyone should go. In that role I have experienced joy and heartache, achievement and failure. I have learned many lessons along the way. Among the most important of them: make sure I get periodic spirituals, a check-up of my personal, spiritual condition. Admittedly this is a latter-life conviction because, when I was younger and more selfconfident, I was quite sure I could be my own examiner. Then I came to appreciate the line that comes out of the medical profession, "The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient." As with all such endeavors that require seriousness of thought, nothing is more pitiful, nothing more disastrous than to be one's own spiritual director. We all need someone to whom we can turn to as our guide, advisor, director, confidant, friend, teacher, priest,
father-figure, etc. Scripture gives us various examples: one, the relationship of St. Paul to Timothy. Timothy was the child of a Jewish mother and a Gentile father and a trusted friend of St. Paul. We see this in his opening salutation by referring to: "Timothy, his true born son in the faith." This son in the faith of his was a good man but apparently not the strongest of men physically or temperamentally. The content of Paul's letters would suggest that he needed someone to chide him about the living of his life. On the physical side it would appear that his stomach was problematic. Paul's advice was to back off on the water and increase his wine intake. (I Tim.5.23) Sounds to me like good advice. More importantly, Paul was bothered by a certain hesitance in Timothy's leadership style. The young man appears to have been empathetic but not firm. He seems to have been a friend but not a mentor. He clearly abounded in mercy but may have lacked the courage to rebuke. This suggests serious leadership weaknesses. All through his two letters to Timothy, Paul conducts a pastoral oversight of church order and the character of church ministers. At one point he outlines the categories of examination: Timothy's speech (the way he talks and the things he says); his life (the way he conducts himself in real time); his love (the way he interacts with people); his faith (the way he walks with God); his purity (the quality of his personal life). If one is lacking in any of these, all the organizational genius and charisma in the world isn't going to cut it. His spiritual influence will be ultimately neutralized. "Watch your life and doctrine closely," Paul writes. Regularly review how you're living and what you firmly believe. All these instructions suggest that Paul knows that each of us without spiritual direction will drift in the direction of self-destruction. Aware of a leader's vulnerabilities, St. John Chrysostom wrote in his treatise, Six Books on the Priesthood, back in the fourth century: "The priest's wounds require greater help, indeed as much as those of all the people together â€Ś because of heavy demands and extraordinary expectations associated with pastoral office." That's pretty insightful. Leaders in Chrysostom's time struggled to remain strong and agile each day, just as many of us do today. Here is my point: That some kind of a spiritual is a necessity for any man or woman who accepts the responsibility for shepherding others in either a clerical or a lay leadership position in today's church. Let me pursue this metaphor of physicals and checkups just a bit further. There are physical examinations one can conduct for oneself. For example, checking blood pressure and blood sugar regularly, watching food intake, working out 3-5 days a week . . . Those activities are part of a program of self-care. There is a parallel in spiritual care
though. As the physician asks questions as to our life-style, there is the corresponding to one's spiritual life. Playing the role of doctor, I would ask: 1. Does my patient truly believe in the words of the Nicene Creed? I'd follow up this question with when was the last time you affirmed those beliefs? As the addict says, "It's one day at a time, baby." 2. Any events in your recent or far-off past that are plaguing you? Are there any resentments, anger, unresolved conflict or regrets that need examination and resolution? How about behaviors, attitudes, desire, that is costing you the respect of your spouse, your parents or children, your colleagues, and your constituency? How about one's forgiveness capacity, one's readiness to repent? 3. I'd ask why are you doing what you're doing in leadership? Do you have a sense of calling from God, a call affirmed by others who are close enough to see the Spirit of God in you? Or has your call decayed into merely a job, slowly sapping you of your vitality? I'd listen carefully to these answers, watching for signals that might cause one to be recognized, admired, or even loved for the wrong reasons. 4. I'd ask my patient, What are the things you systematically push yourself to do because they don't come naturally to you but which are necessary in order to make you a more effective person and leader? The practice of disciplines produces an artificial suffering designed to make us all better, more resilient people. And, I'd ask: What are your personal disciplines and what progress is being made? Are your disciplines simply wishes or words, or are you actually maintaining them on a regular basis? 5. How are your personal relationships? I'd want to ask. Do you love your wife (your husband) more today than you did a year ago? More importantly, does she (he) feel secure in your love? Ditto: your children if you have them. Would you call yourself a good friend to those 5 or 8 people who know you best? Have they grown from being close to you? Do all of these people in your intimate circle experience your persistent gratitude? Finally, what are you seeing out in the larger world, and how do you feel about it? Are you in touch with any people who are among the so-called un-churched? Do you know people who are poor, from different cultural orientations, a part of other generations than yours?
Just as my doctor likes to talk about accidents and concerns for safety, my spiritual would include a little litany of cautions. Paul's reminders to Timothy are illustrative: "don't be hasty in appointing new leaders … keep yourself pure … speak boldly to the rich … turn away from godless chatter … endure hardship … don't be intimidated." This is good stuff to hear on a regular basis from someone you respect. We submit to physicals and spirituals not merely for the sake of self-interest, not simply to dredge up interesting information about ourselves, but because as leaders, we want our lives to be centered in Jesus Christ and his call for us to serve others in his name. As we enter into the Diocesan "Year of Lay Ministry" I hope some of the above will serve as a guide to those who are presently serving as leaders in our communities and parishes, and those who seek to serve, in order for them to understand the true character of Church ministry. And as St. Paul wrote of his friend Timothy, be able to say about us: "I thank God – when I mention you in my prayers; . . ." Time will tell.
KOCOUM Fa\z& :k;[;zi a\sør ke gtnoui ir am;nhn 'a'ouk mhk ,r=anin mh=! Krønakan dastiarakouj;an xspanakn;re ca'hn au;li joulza‘ ;n m;r dprozn;rou mh=! :ritasardoujiune bauakan f;®aza‘ h krønqi fa\azi ;u fa\r;ni emb®noumn;rhn! Xørauor% znzo[ ,arvoumi me phtqe ka\% krønqin .orfrdauor% osk;[hn xangake fnc;zn;lou famar jmra‘ akan=n;rou! :u kocoumow fog;uorakane mia\n krna\ fnc;zn;l a\d xangake% wasn xi kocoume arta\a\ticn h fog;uor pa,tøn;a\i fauatqin% famoxoumn;roun% nouiroumin% ‘a®a\ouj;an! Fog;uorakanoujiune asparhxi ;u arf;sti w;ra‘oua‘ at;n a\l;us kar;li ch fauatqi wra\ .øsil fo*n% isk famoxoum% nouiroum ;u ‘a®a\oujiun anfasknali iro[oujiunn;r ;n asparhxi ;u arf;sti mardoun qow! BABGHN :PS& KIULHSHR:AN (Ajo®akiz kajo[ikos M;‘i Tann Kililio\)
On the occasion of Motherâ€™s Day, we offer our congratulations and heartfelt love
to our mothers for all they do and have done throughout their lives for their children, their Armenian Church and nation. A Prayer for Motherâ€™s Day
Most Gracious Heavenly Father . . . We thank You for our mothers to whom You have entrusted the care of every precious human life from its very beginning in the womb. You have given to woman the capacity of participating with You in the creation of new life. Grant that every woman may come to understand the full meaning of that blessing, which gives her an unlimited capacity for selfless love for every child she may be privileged to bear, and for all Your children. Watch over every mother who is with child, strengthen her faith in Your Fatherly care and love for her and for her unborn baby. Give her courage in times of fear or pain, understanding in times of uncertainty and doubt, and hope in times of trouble. Grant her joy in the birth of her child. To mothers You have given the great privilege and responsibility of being a child's first teacher and spiritual guide. Grant that all mothers may worthily foster the faith of their children, following the example of Mary, Elizabeth, and other holy women who follow Christ. Help mothers to grow daily in knowledge and understanding of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and grant them the wisdom to impart this knowledge faithfully to their children, and to all who depend upon them. Assist all "spiritual mothers", those who, though they may have no children of their own, nevertheless selflessly care for the children of others -- of every age and state in life. Grant that they may know the joy of fulfilling this motherly calling of women, whether in teaching, nursing, religious life, or in other work which recognizes and fosters the true dignity of every human being created in Your image and likeness. We beseech You to send Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to all mothers who sorrow for children that have died, are ill or estranged from their families, or who are in trouble or danger of any kind. Help grieving mothers to rely on Your tender mercy and fatherly love for all your children. We ask your blessing on all those to whom You have entrusted motherhood. May Your Holy Spirit constantly inspire and strengthen them. May they ever follow the example of Mary, mother of Our Lord, and imitate her fidelity, her humility, and her self-giving love. May all mothers receive Your Grace abundantly in this earthly life, and may they look forward to eternal joy in Your
presence in the life to come. We ask this through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. AMEN.
The newly-published Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church, 2nd Edition. I am pleased to inform you that St. Vartan Press has just published the long-awaited “Second Revised Edition” of The Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church. The original edition of this book, published more than ten years ago, has become the standard resource for study of our sourp badarak, and is a familiar sight in the pews of our churches. The Diocese’s entire stock of the first edition was sold out a few years ago, and last autumn two generous benefactors agreed to underwrite the publication of another edition to satisfy the continuing demand, among parishes and individuals across the country, for this book. The newly-published Second Revised Edition addresses suggestions we received to correct and improve upon the original edition. The Very Reverend Fr. Daniel Findikyan made the revisions and additions to the book, and provided a new Preface. An important goal for the Second Edition was to keep the page sequence synchronized with that of the earlier edition. This means that parishes can easily augment their supply of pew books, using both first and second edition copies in their worship services, and have confidence that all the worshippers will be on the same page, regardless of the edition they’re using. In terms of its beautiful production values, the Second Edition is identical to the earlier volume. And it remains, of course, an enriching companion to worship in the Armenian Church, presenting the Divine Liturgy and Requiem service in Classical and Modern Armenian, English transliteration and English translation, with helpful notes, an introduction, and illustrations throughout. Beyond its use in church, the Divine Liturgy pew book should be a part of every family’s life. Please encourage your fellow parishioners to obtain a copy, so it will become a part of every Armenian home. Individual copies can be purchased through the St. Vartan Bookstore (www.stvartanbookstore.com) at the usual $25 price (plus S&H). May this book help to bring our people closer to the beauty, meaning, and spiritual richness of our sourp badarak. With prayers,
Fr. Simeon Odabashian Diocesan Vicar
Calling All Campers . . . 2011 SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM Mark your calendar for a summer filled with friendship, fellowship, and fun at St. Vartan Camp and Hye Camp. Check out the Camp Video on the home page of the website of the Diocese – www.armenianchurch.net St. Vartan Camp 2011, housed at the Ararat Center in Greenville, NY Staff Training: Wednesday, June 22 – Saturday, June 25 Session A: Sunday, June 26 – Saturday, July 9 Session B: Sunday, July 10 – Saturday, July 23 Session C: Sunday, July 24 – Saturday, August 6 Hye Camp 2011, housed at Camp Hickory in Ingleside, IL Staff Training: Thursday, July 27 – Saturday, July 30 Camp Session: Saturday, July 30 – Saturday, August 6 For more details on the camp programs, including past photos and daily blogs, or to be added to the St. Vartan Camp or Hye Camp mailing list, contact Jennifer Morris, Youth Outreach coordinator, at (212) 686-0710, ext. 118, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Websites worth checking out . . . Website of Prayer as well as links to broadcasts of religious programs from Armenia www.stgregoryofnarek.am/ The Entire Bible in Armenian – both Eastern and Western http://www.armenianchurchlibrary.com/ The entire Bible in English (New Revised Standard Version) http://www.devotions.net/bible/00bible.htm
The teachings and faith of the Orthodox Church as well as Bible Study Links http://aggreen.net/orth_links/orthlink.html St. Peter Armenian Church Youth Ministries' Center â€“ the most progressive youth ministries program in the Armenian Church lead by Fr. Vazken Movsesian. www.inhisshoes.org Holy Etchmiadzin:
Our Diocese: Western Diocese: !
and finally . . . !