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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 . . . During the Lenten season, I usually write or speak about the need of taking a time out, a retreat from the secular world in order to make a selfexamination of habits and attitudes in light of the teachings of the Gospel of Christ, and of course, in preparation for Easter. Sounds heavy, but don't be scared off. This past week, I attended the annual Lenten Retreat for the Mid-Atlantic Clergy. This beneficial time-out is an opportunity for us boys in black to come together in prayer, fellowship and learning while trying to "retreat" from the hectic schedules and agendas for which each of us are responsible. With communication devices attached to us like an umbilical chord, it became a daunting task to escape their summoning beeps and ringtones. We all tried hard not to succumb, but it really was impossible. I wish that we had maybe one week to withdraw from our daily routines. But with the limited amount of clergy in our Diocese and the demanding schedules of both parish life and administrative responsibilities, there just isn't enough time for such an indulgence. But it does give me a chance to do some reading. Re-reading some good sources of inspiration this year, I found on my shelf, The Living God: A Catechism for the Christian Faith, translated from the French. (Vol. 1). From this source, I came away with three attitudes to consider, or better yet, reconsider, this Lenten season: renouncement, abandonment, and sharing. We can consider these three attitudes to be part of our "soul food" for our Lenten meals. Renouncement. I believe that with the downturn in the economy, the loss of so many jobs and people being forced to downsize, we have discovered – unwittingly - we all tend to accumulate too much stuff. We have given into the consumerism of our society that has multiplied our wants, not our needs - thinking they will satisfy our desires for gratification. We have found, however, that we have no room to store all the goods, tire of them quickly, and proceed to have garage sales to get rid of the accumulations. (Check out Luke 16:1-31, the Gospel reading for this Sunday.)


Renouncement forces a sense of values and priorities in one's life. What is essential is what counts; the rest is useless baggage. A simpler life does not necessarily reduce one to poverty. It means not to multiply our desires. Actually, many live poor lives in the recesses of their hearts while being surrounded by all the accumulations of which they were so desirous. For this reason, there are many unhappy people always searching for that certain item that is to bring happiness. So maybe this year during Lent, we can renounce our need to accumulate. Abandonment. Abandonment is a real test of one's faith. Abandonment means that we are willing to let go – of our worries and anxieties, those things that keep us enslaved, and place our trust, a child-like trust, in God, knowing and believing that as our Heavenly Father, He will never abandon us, but always love us totally. Abandonment means that we will not worry about tomorrow, but will live today as a gift of life from God and place that abstract time period we call the future in His hands. The lessons of Lent are to help us reach this stage of abandonment. Sharing. Renouncement and abandonment have no meaning if they do not lead us to sharing with others. How freely can we share? Do we give to the Church or to the poor from our possessions or from our excesses with the attitude – after I take and enjoy all that I want, I will see if there is anything left over, and from that I will give; maybe. The simple life is a freer life. The unencumbered soul can soar, for he is not weighed down by his possessions. There are those that are still trying to find a way to take it with them rather than seeing the joy sharing can bring to the lives of those in need now and to their own lives. How tragic for both. I have asked many times before: can we prioritize our needs? Do we really need five, ten, fifteen pairs of shoes while others go with none? Can we honestly say, after a true selfexamination, that we have no need of renouncing, abandoning or sharing, and those individuals who practice these virtues are fools? If so, then my simple words will not have any affect. Only the power of God and prayer will. True, these three virtues are difficult to acquire and practice, for they go totally against the attitudes that prevail in our culture today. But that is what Christianity is. It brings a new kind of freedom for the individual that few today enjoy. That is the freedom and joy that awaits us all, . . . if we so choose.

The Saints we Commemorate: OnSaturday we remember St. John of Jerusalem, St. John of Otzoon, St. John of Orotni, and St. Gregory of Datev St. John of Orotni (Vorodn) was born in the village of Vaghantan in 1315, a period of time when the Unitors were trying strenuously to Latinize the Armenian Church and thereby undermine her national and theological


identity. St. John of Orotni worked to assure the public had a proper theological education, in order to safeguard the Armenian Church. He was a member of the monastery of Kailitzor, where he served as an instructor. Later he moved to the monastery of Datev. While in Datev, he was offered the leadership role at the Archiepiscopal See of the Siunik Province, but refused in order to continue his scholarly work, which included commentaries on the Gospel of John and the Pauline letters. St. John of Otzoon served as Catholicos Hovhan between 717 and 728 A.D. Born province of Dashratz in the village of Otzoon, he studied with celebrated theologians. During the Arab rule of Armenia, he endeared himself to Arab leaders and ushered in a period of tolerance and cooperation. Through his farsightedness, statesmanship, and piety, he secured some basic and important for Armenian Christians, such as religious freedom, exemption from taxes for churches, and the right to worship freely. He also stopped forced conversion of Christians to Islam. As a writer, he contributed to the Book of Sharagans, and wrote many epistles and essays. Respected for his personality, for being righteous, pious, brave, and humble, in addition to being a great statesmen and writer, St. John lived his later as a monk in a mountain monastery.

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St. John of Jerusalem was named Bishop of Jerusalem in either 388 or 390 A.D., succeeding Bishop Cyril. St. John was well known for his holiness and his close friendships with many early church leaders, such as St. John Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. Origen. A bastion of orthodoxy, St. John was a strong defender of the faith against heretics. St. Gregory of Datev (Krikor Datevatzi) was born in 1346 in the province of Vaiotz Tzor. He was one of the famous students of Hovhannes Vorodnetzi and received the Holy Orders while on a pilgrimage with his mentor to Jerusalem in 1373. Well versed in Latin, he studied all the great philosophers of the time, which led him to write the famous "Kirk Hartzmantz" ("The Book of Questions"), a work of practical theology. He also authored two collections of sermons, the style and depth of which set a new standard for Armenian preaching. Though spending most of his time in the Monastery of Datev, St. Gregory did travel through the country to teach, bringing more people into monastic study. For his tireless efforts to promote the Armenian Christian faith, he is often called the "Second Gregory the Illuminator."

FROM:

Nancy Basmajian, ACYOA Executive Secretary

RE:

Diocesan Summer Internship Program – June 12 to August 6, 2011

On behalf of the Diocese of the Armenian Church, I am pleased to inform you that we will once again be working in partnership with the AGBU New York Summer Intern


Program to offer an eight-week internship (June 12-August 6) at the Diocese for young adults between the ages of 19 and 26. According to individual career goals, interns may choose to work in areas such as communication, accounting, development, Christian education, Armenian studies, music or the Zohrab Information Center. This is the perfect program for young adults interested in career experience and leadership development. The Diocesan interns will be part of the AGBU New York Summer Intern Program, which means they will participate in the AGBU orientation, be housed with other AGBU interns in New York University dormitories, and engage in various AGBU-sponsored educational, cultural, and social activities that highlight current and Armenian topics. We, however, will supervise and guide their work here at the Diocese and offer other appropriate career, educational and leadership growth opportunities such as Bible study, language classes and excursions. We ask that you reach out to any young adults in your community whom you feel would be interested and qualify for this unique experience. All application and participation fees (as well as housing) will be covered by the Diocese; the deadline is May 2. For more information or to receive an application, please contact me at acyoa@armeniandiocese.org or 212293-1248. The interns will be chosen by committee and be informed of their acceptance into the program by the end of May.

Please support St. Nersess Armenian Seminary The Third Annual 3K Walk for Faith on Sunday, April 3rd

I will be walking once again and look forward to your support. WAYS TO SUPPORT --1) You can pray for St. Nersess Seminary and its Dean, faculty, Board of Directors and seminarians. 2) You can walk with us at St. Nersess on April 3rd or walk wherever you may be. 3) You can financial sponsor me in the walk - 5 to 100 dollars or even more if so moved. Send check to St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, 150 Stratton Road, New Rochelle, NY 10804. Please put 3k walk in memo. Thank you very much.

Fr. Stepanos

Something different and unique will take place immediately before this year's St. Nersess Walk for Faith. After Badarak to nourish the soul, and a light lunch to sustain the body, a rally will take place to inspire the spirit of all walkers right before they


pound the pavement in support of the Seminary. "During this 50th Anniversary year, we want to make this Walk for Faith a bit more special than in years past," explained coordinator Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian. "We envisions hundreds coming together to celebrate and participate in the day's activities, all for our beloved Seminary." Will you be one of them? Join us or sponsor a walker for this event to be held on Sunday afternoon, April 3. Want to join us? Download a walker sponsorship form Can't make it but want to support? Donate online

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! 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 jenniferm@armeniandiocese.org.


The New Police Deputy from Abaran. Bebo and three of his friends had just recently arrived in the United States from Abaran, Armenia, and settled in a town in southern Georgia. The local sheriff was looking for a deputy, so Bebo, who was not exactly the sharpest nail in the bucket (like we said, he was from Abaran) went in to try out for the job. "Okay," the sheriff drawled, "Bebo, what is 1 and 1?" "Iz ee-zee sur. Ee–lev-un" he replied. The sheriff thought to himself, "That's not what I meant, but he's right." "He then asked, "what two days of the week start with the letter 'T'?" "Is ee-zee sur.

Yeu huv too-day und too-mor-ow, che?

He was again surprised that Bebo supplied a correct answer that he had never thought of himself. (Remember, southern Georgia.) "Now Bebo, listen carefully: Who killed Abraham Lincoln?" Bebo looked a little surprised himself, then thought really hard for a minute and finally admitted, "I don’t no an-sur." "Well, why don't you go home and work on that one for a while?" So, Bebo went back to where his pals were waiting to hear the results of the interview. Bebo was jubilant and walked with a haughtiness to his step. His friends asked what happened. "Ay mart, un-bee-leev-uble.

Is fir-ust day on job and I am vork-ing on mur-dur case!"


eTsyan March 27, 2011