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 . . . Dear Lord: The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here's the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won't ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal. In gratitude, I present you this offering of cookies and milk. If you want me to eat them for you, give me no sign. Thy will be done. Homer Simpson This belongs in one of those "You're not going to believe this" categories, but there it was, in black and white – with a little yellow thrown in, an article in the Metro Daily, the newspaper for rail commuters in the Philadelphia area. They take little blips and clips from various sources and bring them to the commuter who wants his news condensed, quick and interesting while traveling to and from where it is he/she is going. Ready for this – the L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO – the official newspaper of the Vatican apparently had an article - and here's where it doesn't get any better: Homer Simpson – a man of fat, faith. The clip read: Rome. It seems like someone in Rome has either a real sense of humor or an over appreciation of donuts and beer. According to official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romana, Homer Simpson – patriarch of the much loved, yet at times controversial, cartoon family of the same name – "is a true Catholic." "The Simpsons," L'Osservatore claims, "are among the few TV programs for children in which Christian faith, religion and questions about God are recurrent themes." "Few people know it and he does everything to hide it but it is true: Homer J. Simpson is Catholic," L'Osservatore Romano wrote in its weekend edition. Indeed, the paper extols, the shockingly modern American family may practice " in their own peculiar way" but they practice nonetheless. Metro/BS
Now don't get me wrong. I love the Simpsons, watch it whenever I can, have even used their material in my sermons. I have a bunch of Simpson T-Shirts that I wear to St. Vartan Camp, some of their toys, a drinking glass and coffee cup, and my yearly Simpson calendar that Santa brings. But for the life of me, I just cannot see the Pope, after perhaps reading the article in his Vatican paper, "Homer and Bart are Catholic" sitting in front of his TV set, watching Homer and company go through 30 minutes of their antics and chicanery â€“ and getting it. The Simpsons have been on TV for twenty-one years - the second-longest running primetime program behind 60 Minutes. So unless you've been serving in the Peace Corps in some remote jungle for a good chunk of that time or simply don't watch any television, you probably already have an opinion about America's favorite animated family. But first, let's go back a few years. We need to remember that when the series appeared more than two decades ago, it was denounced by many throughout the nation - and nowhere more vigorously than from America's pulpits. The nation's moral leaders thundered that this nuclear but dysfunctional family was the latest evidence of the fall of Western civilization. President George Bush told the National Religious Broadcasters in 1992; "We need a nation closer to the Waltons than the Simpsons." The Simpsons is consistently irreverent toward organized religion's failings and excesses as it is with most other aspects of modern life. However, God is not mocked. When The Simpsons characters are faced with crises, they turn to God. He answers their prayers and intervenes in their world. The family says prayers before meals, believes in a literal heaven and hell, and ridicules cults. Their next-door neighbors are committed evangelical Christians. Statistically speaking, there is more prayer on The Simpsons than on any sitcom in broadcast history. This is not to say that when the Old Testament prophet Isaiah said "a little child shall lead them," he had young Bart Simpson in mind. Sometimes, it's more a case of "suffer the little children." Bart's grace at mealtime is likely to be, "Rub a dub, dub, thanks for the grub." As in many households, prayer at the Simpsons is most fervent in the face of disaster, like a hurricane or a comet bearing down on their cartoon town of Springfield, and often comes in the form of a bargain. Two lines from Marge Simpson that I remember are: "Dear God, this is Marge Simpson. If you stop this hurricane and save our family, we will be forever grateful and recommend you to all of our friends." Or a nuclear meltdown, begun at Homer's workplace: "Dear Lord," Marge prays: "if you spare this town from becoming a smoking hole in the ground, I'll try to be a better Christian. I don't know what I can do. Ummm . . . oh, the next time there's a canned-food drive, I'll give the poor something they actually like, instead of old lima beans and pumpkin mix."
No one would mistake Homer Simpson and his family for saints. In many ways, in fact, they are essentially weak, good-hearted sinners who rely on their faith - but only when absolutely necessary. Something perhaps akin to most of us. So when you get the chance, take 30 minutes and watch Homer do his thing. And if perhaps you get the urging to feel a bit incredulous and put-out over what Homer is saying about faith, Church, or God, open your Bibles â€“ you know, the one you keep right next to your favorite chair or on your bed stand that you read every day â€“ and open to the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector. You'll find it in Luke 18. Or any pick any one of the stories Jesus tells recorded in chapters 10 â€“ 21. Then watch another episode. Perhaps what is read in scripture may be just what The Simpsons have been trying to teach us all along.
The Monastery of Tatev The Monastery of Tatev (Armenian: !"#$) is a 9th century Armenian monastery located in the Tatev village in Syunik Province in southern Armenia. The term "Tatev" usually refers to the monastery. The monastery performed an important role in the history of the region, becoming its political, spiritual and cultural center. According to tradition, the monastery was named after Eustateus, a disciple of St. Thaddeus (Tateos) the Apostle . Tatev Monastery is located in South-East of Armenia, in the area of ancient Armenian Syunik, not far from city of Goris and 280km away from Yerevan. In his history Stepanos Orbelian relates that the first church in the Tatev complex was a modest chapel built in the 4th century. Later it became the political center of Syunik principality. According to Armenian historian Stepanos Orbelian, the founders of the monastery were Prince Ashot, his wife Shushan, Grigor Supan, the ruler of Gekharkunik, and Prince Dzagik. Their portraits are placed on the northern facade. In 10th century Tatev had a population of 1000 people and owned several villages. In the same century a school was founded at the monastery, where humanitarian sciences and manuscript illustration were taught. An important in development of humanitarian and art sciences in Tatev played Ovnan Vorotnitsi (13151388) and Grigor Tatevatsi (1346-1411). In 13th century the number of villages controlled became 680. In 14th-15th centuries Tatev became one of the most important centers of Armenian art and science. The monastery was seriously damaged after an earthquake in 1931, the dome of the St. Paul and St. Peter church and the bell tower were destroyed. In the latter years the St. Paul and St. Peter church was reconstructed, but the bell tower remains destroyed up to today. Armenia on Saturday launched the world's longest cable car line, a 5.7-kilometre (3.5-mile) engineering feat that spans a spectacular gorge to the country's ancient Tatev monastery. Gathered in Armenia's southern mountains near the border with Iran, guests including President Serzh Sarkisian and the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Karekin II, took part as the cable car link launched its first official voyage over the Vorotan River Gorge.
The link will allow year-round access to Armenia's ninthcentury Tatev monastery complex, one of the country's most important religious centres and a major tourist attraction. At the opening ceremony, Sarkisian said the link was of "exceptional importance for Tatev and the surrounding region" and praised the project for overcoming the many difficulties involved in construction. "This cable car line shows that even dreams that seem unrealistic can be realised with faith and purpose," he said. Karekin II said the launch of the link was an important step in restoring access to "a centuriesold holy shrine which was a place of pilgrimage from apostolic times." "Through its beauty and stunning construction the monastery at Tatev is among the exceptional creations of Armenian architecture which for centuries has been a vibrant centre of Armenian spiritual life, science and culture," he said. The reversible cable car line cost 18 million dollars (13 million euros) with much of the funding coming from private donations, according to the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia, which oversaw the project. It runs from the village of Halidzor near a highway connecting the Armenian capital Yerevan to the village of Tatev, within walking distance of the monastery. The cable car travels at a speed of 37 kilometres per hour (23 miles per hour) and a one-way journey takes 11 minutes. At its highest point over the gorge, the car travels 320 metres (1,056 feet) above ground level. It has two cabins, each capable of carrying up to 25 passengers. Local residents will be able to ride the cable car for free while others will have to pay 3,000 Armenian drams (eight dollars/six euros.) Condensed from various web sources.
The Monastery of Tatev is just one of the places that will be visited by the A R M E N I A
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Pilgrimage sponsored by the Dept. of Mission Parishes, June 22 – July 7, 2011.
Public Television stations across the US will air an award-winning documentary about the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict on Sunday October 24. “A Story of People in War and Peace,” directed by Vardan Hovhannisyan, is a powerful and passionate portrayal of life in the trenches for Armenian soldiers and medics struggling to defend their homeland as the Soviet Union collapses. The film has already screened on BBC, ARTE and other international channels, and has won over 20 awards including the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) prize. For Hovhannisyan, the film garnered a Best New Documentary Filmmaker Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York for the film.
The screening will come a week after public television aired another Armenian documentary on Sunday October 17–”The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia.” The film is the acclaimed work of two young filmmakers–Inna Sahakyan and Arman Yeritsyan. It is a warm, thoughtful, beautifully-shot story about the dying art of tightrope dancers, and the continuing competition and camaraderie between two old masters, and the hopes they place on one young artist. Both Sahakyan and Yeritsyan have produced several documentaries over the last decade. Sahakyan has directed more than 10 social documentaries for Armenian television and worked as assistant director on “A Story of People in War and Peace.” Yeritsyan has directed a number of award-winning documentaries including,”Under the Open Sky” and “Goodbye Fellini.”
Eastern Diocese's "Matching Challenge" Now Underway The success of last year’s Annual Appeal Matching Challenge was a tribute to the confidence and enthusiasm of our people, who supported their Diocese in record numbers. This year, we’re hoping that lightning will strike again! For our 2010 Diocesan Appeal, a generous donor has issued another “Matching Contribution Initiative.” Once again, the idea is to raise funds to help our Diocese meet its budgetary goals. But we also want to inspire people across our Diocese to show their support of the Armenian Church. The donor has agreed to contribute up to $100,000—matching dollar-for-dollar every contribution received by the Diocese this fall! Our success depends on donations large and small, from people who want to seize this opportunity to double the impact of their contributions to the Armenian Church of America. Whether you’re one of the Diocese’s much-appreciated longtime donors, or someone who’s been looking for the right time to give, you won't want to let this opportunity slip away! You can make your donation online simply by going to: www.armenianchurch-ed.net and clicking on MAKE A DONATION.
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 â€“ 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:
IS GOD CALLING ME? To help discern the answer speak with Fr. Daniel Findikyan at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary 914-636-2003 or The Primate at The Diocese 212-686-0710 or write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!
SAYINGS OF HOMER SIMPSON “I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me, Superman!” “When will I learn? The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle, they're on TV!” “How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?” “If at first you don't succeed, give up.” “You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.” “Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.” “I'm in a place where I don't know where I am!” “'To Start Press Any Key'. Where's the ANY key?” “Relax. What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind!” “Old people don't need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so that it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.” “They have the Internet on computers, now?”