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 . . . I wish I could take credit for the following list, but a very special friend e-mailed it to me and I thought it was something worthwhile to share. Each statement begins with the words "I've learned." As I read the list, I found that the various maxims were more than clever sayings meant for one to sigh over with some sense of sentimentality. These were truisms, but I found that we really never "learned" such lessons but are always in the state of "learning". There is a difference. I used to play a game with my children at the supper table each evening. They had to teach me something new that they had learned or discovered that day. It could be about a subject they were studying in school, a fact from the newspaper or magazine, something â€“ anything new that was a revelation. As they got older, the daily ritual of "what did you learn today?" turned to learning or discovering lessons of life that I had hoped they would take with them as they prepared to leave the nest. Making right decisions, the value of family, being truthful, what does a friendship mean, lessons of love, and those situations that come along as we are challenged by the world and those who live in it. Sometimes what we learn is that life and people can be cruel or they can be good. Without a doubt the real lesson is how we react to that practicality. So look at the statements. Interpret them as offered or replace the words I've learned with I am learning. See how many lessons have been learned or are still being learned. It may make for some interesting self-character assessments.
I've learned . . . or I am learning . . . . . . that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
. . . that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for the true love. . . . that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. . . . that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them. . . . that your family won't always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren't related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren't just biological. I've learned . . . or I am learning . . . . . . that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while, and you must forgive them for that . . . that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other, and just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do. . . . that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back. . . . that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it. . . . that it's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts. I've learned . . . or I am learning . . . . . . that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better know something. . . . that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do. . . . that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life. . . . that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be. . . . that you can keep going long after you can't. I've learned . . . or I am learning . . . . . . that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel. . . . that either you control your attitude or it controls you. . . . that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place. . . . that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I've learned . . . or I am learning . . . . . . that money is a lousy way of keeping score. . . . that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time. . . . that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up. . . . that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel. . . . that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them, and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated. I've learned . . . or I am learning . . . . . . that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it. . . . that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive yourself. . . . that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief. . . . that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become. . . . that we don't have to change friend if we understand that friends change. I've learned . . . or I am learning . . . . . . that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever. . . . that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. . . . that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt, and you will hurt in the process. . . . that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you. . . . that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help. I've learned . . . or I am learning . . .
. . . that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being. . . . that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon. . . . that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings, and standing up for what you believe. . . . that there is still a lot that I have to learn.
Commemoration of the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Nashville TN The Impact of the Armenian Genocide on the Survivor: Arshile Gorky and the Legacy of Trauma
Despite severe weather including tornado watches, Armenians and non-Armenians from Tennessee and Kentucky braved thunderstorms to attend the 95th commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Nashville Tennessee, sponsored by the Armenian Church of Nashville. Keynote speaker, Dr. Kim Theriault, an Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at Dominican University discussed her recently published book, Rethinking Arshile Gorky. Her stimulating lecture revealed the impact of the Armenian Genocide on Gorkyâ€™s paintings and life. Theriualt has provided a new lens in which to understand the artist and how the trauma he experienced led him to become on of the greatest artists of the 20th Century. Sara Cohan, Education Director of The Genocide Education Project, spoke about the history of the Armenian Genocide prior to Dr. Theriaultâ€™s lecture. Intertwined in her address were stories of some of the Armenian Genocide survivors who eventually made Tennessee their home. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, Director of Department of Mission Parishes for the Armenian Church in America (Eastern Diocese), described the loss of the great culture of historic Armenia, as well as the loss of lives that resulted from the Armenian Genocide. His sermon the following day, challenged the congregation to honor their ancestors in commemorative events, but also called on them to advocate for universal human rights. As descendents of survivors and as Christians, he implored that our duty was to help all in need. The program concluded with requiem prayers for the victims of the Armenian Genocide led by Fr. Abdalian. The Armenian community in Nashville is small but dedicated to preserving Armenian rich heritage and remembering its tragic history. This was overwhelming evident on April 24.
Fr. Tateos Abdalian; Dr. Kim Theriault, Guest Speaker; Sara Cohan, The Genocide Education Project's Education Director; Sevada Badalian, Parish Council Chairman, Nashville, TN
THE YEAR OF VOCATIONS At the 2009 Diocesan Assembly, the Primate declared the Year of Vocations, addressing the serious problem of a lack of clergy to minister to our parishes and faithful. During the assembly, an entire day was devoted to this problem and together, clergy and delegates began the process of discussing how they and their parishes can and must help in solving this problem which, left by itself, is seen only to worsen in the future. This year was a continuation of The Year of Vocations for our need is even greater than before. During the course of this year – and hopefully beyond – issues will be presented here that addresses these concerns.
The following mail was sent from the Primate to all parishes of the Diocese.
May 12, 2010 To: Pastors, Parish Councils, Diocesan Delegates, Mission Parish Councils, Youth Groups, Women's Groups, and Faithful of the Church Re: Vocations Day on Pentecost—Sunday, May 23. My blessings and warm wishes to you all. I am writing as a continuation of our ongoing Diocesan theme for 2010, Vocations: The Call to Serve. As you know, the Vocations theme was the subject of our recent Diocesan Assembly in Chicago, during which we built on the foundations laid in 2009, and reviewed resources that the Diocese has created for use in our local parishes. Our goal is to involve all of our people in the goal of encouraging young men to seriously consider and pursue the priesthood as their life’s path. On Sunday, May 23, our church will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost—which has traditionally been observed as “Vocations Day” in our Diocese. I feel that this occasion would be an excellent opportunity to revitalize the practice of observing Vocations Day in our parishes. It is also an ideal moment to reacquaint parishioners with the Diocesan theme, at a time when local parish leaders—pastors, parish council members, and delegates—are all freshly energized from the Vocations-related discussions of the Diocesan Assembly.
Certainly the story of Pentecost provides a rich launching-off point for sermons and parish discussions. The apostles huddled in the upper room are suddenly transformed into courageous and forceful evangelists by the descent of the Holy Spirit—and the Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ takes its first steps into history. The miracle of the tongues of fire—the ability to speak the world’s languages (including, presumably, our own mother tongue)—forecasts the universal scope of the Church, and enables the apostles to realize Christ’s great commission to evangelize the world. This story perfectly captures our hope that the same Holy Spirit will inspire more of our young men to consider studying for the priesthood. Pastors and parish leaders might consider a Vocations Day program including some or all of the following: • • • • • • •
A special homily on vocations; A testimony from the parish pastor, a visiting priest, a seminarian or deacon on how they received God’s call; A testimony from a young person who has taken part in a program at St. Nersess Seminary; Screening the 15-minute DVD, “The Call to Serve”; A special collection for St. Nersess Seminary; A fellowship-hour discussion session with parishioners; Distribution of literature from the seminary.
The Vocations Sourcebook and Program Guide sent to our parishes last December (and reviewed during the Diocesan Assembly) contains a number of useful resources to help you realize the above activities. I urge you to give your serious attention to this matter, so we can all advance the Diocese’s Vocations theme. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you, and to strengthen our church in all its endeavors.
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian Primate
Next Sunday May 23, 2010 - The Feast of Pentecost The Feast of Pentecost (Hokekaloost) celebrates the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit came to the frightened disciples as they gathered behind locked doors after the resurrection. When they received the Spirit, they boldly and joyfully went forth to preach the Good News of Jesus. (Acts 2). The Holy Spirit is given to us at our baptism and confirmation and as such, we also are to fearlessly go into the world to preach the Good News, for God is with us. The Day of Pentecost celebrates the sharing of power and the sharing of purpose. It is God’s desire that this sharing be not an event that we remember, but a gift that we receive and allow to reshape our lives.
Remember how it happened: Jesus gathered around him men and women who learned from him. They saw his mighty works, they felt his touch, and they tasted the elusive gift of peace. When he died, they panicked, but God did another mighty work in raising Jesus from the dead. Now they began to remember how Jesus had been transferring his power to them from the start, sending them out to do ministry, to heal, to preach, to call. They began to understand that Jesus had been the first of many. It was now their turn to serve, to sacrifice and, God willing, to prevail over darkness. But how? Their steps had faltered when Jesus was with them. Now he was gone. On the Day of Pentecost, God gave them the power to live into the purpose. It felt like fire, and it energized them. God gives that power to us as well. As faltering as we may feel, God desires to work his purpose out through us all. From this day to next Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost, let each individual come to remember that the Holy Spirit of God dwells within us, giving us the ability to do wondrous things in the name of Jesus Christ as his emissary into the world.
Hey Graduates! We invite families from our Mission Parishes to forward the names of family members who will be graduating this year from a university, college or high school so that we may have their names included in our eTsayn publication. Please send their names, the school from which they are graduating, a picture in jpg format if available, along with any future plans to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than the last week of May. "Welcome to the Armenian Church," is a book published by the Diocese designed to educate new members of the Armenian Church and give the long-time faithful a clearer understanding of some of the basic concepts of the church and the unique Armenian Christian faith. The book provides a broad overview of the creation and development of the Armenian Church in a factual yet interesting manner as well as essays that cover the role of ecumenism, a comparison of the Armenian Church to other major faiths, the Armenian Church hierarchy, Biblical facts, and details of the saints and sacraments. Also included are factual essays on topics such as the Genocide, the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh, and the Armenian Diaspora. Contributions come from numerous clergy and scholars. The book, which would make a great graduation gift, is priced very attractively at only $12, and is available from the bookstore St. Vartan Bookstore's website, www.stvartanbookstore.com, or by calling them at (212) 686-0710, ext. 52.
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 – the most progressive youth ministries program in the Armenian Church lead by Fr. Vazken Movsesian. www.inhisshoes.org Holy Etchmiadzin:
Our Diocese: Western Diocese:
Some Good Advice . . .