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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 . . . continuation from last week

IV.

We Need a Godly Vision

Vision creates energy: Not much happens without an inspiring, compelling vision. Visions create excitement and can energize people. They strike a spark that lifts a ministry out of the mundane. They supply the fuel that lights the fire under a congregation instead of wasting time putting out conflagrations of scorn and contempt. A vision from God though has the potential to turn a maintenance mentality into a ministry mentality. And when our vision resonates with our values and mission, it generates the energy that fuels the accomplishment of the ministry task. Godly vision gives a sense of divine purpose in life. We become a part of something great that God is accomplishing at this time and place in history. With a shared vision, people see themselves not just as another congregant or a “pew warmer,� but as a vital part of a church that is having a powerful impact on a lost and dying world. It seems that we are missing that sense of vision for tomorrow. Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan was a man gifted by God with such vision. If it were not for this individual with his sense of vision and conviction to work toward the outcome of his vision, our church in America would not be half of what it is today. The creation of the A.C.Y.O.A., the Choir Association, the need for building St. Vartan Cathedral, the establishment of St. Nersess Seminary, all at one time only a vision in the eyes of this great churchman. Without having such a vision for tomorrow, we will find it difficult to understand with clarity where are we being lead, what is our goal, why are we to give of our time or of our resources? The Mission Statement of the Diocese tells us that:


The mission of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church is to preach the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to proclaim its message of salvation. This mission is realized through worship, education, witness, service, and fellowship in Christ as expressed in the distinctive faith-experience of the Armenian people. All the faithful of the Armenian Church are called to participate fully in this mission. How about we – "all the faithful" - reflectively read this statement again, especially the last line. V.

We Seem to Have Lost the Joy of Service

How quickly those who are on the front lines of service can lose the real joy of that service. Paradoxically, the further one proceeds in positions of leadership and authority, the greater servants we should become. The highest role of leadership is that of servant. It is said of our Lord that He came not to be ministered but to minister. Our Church leaders, like all leaders, need to be undergirded with authority of office. However, if these are seen as being the just due of the individual, rather than the accoutrements of the office, we can (we have?) become dangerously close to believing that we are the ones who should be served. The servant role ought to mark us. It is in this kind of ministering service that there is the deepest joy, gratification, and satisfaction and for the entire church organization, success. Do we find joy of service today? VI.

Forgetting the Bottom Line

Accountants like to call our attention to the "bottom line," the final statement of what is left over after outgo has been balanced off against income. The bottom line in Christian service is the complete honoring of Christ and offering to the world knowledge of the Savior. Our Church leaders and members alike need to know what is its "bottom line." Everything must head toward the goal and objective. A true story: A former seminary classmate, now serving as a priest, told me of his parish community: a small church, (non-Armenian), with about 50 families. At the end of each fiscal year, from whatever "profit" they realized during the year, a small percentage is put aside for emergency building repairs while the rest is given away to charity. They start each year with a ZERO balance. Let that sink in for a while.


VII.

Our Holy Badarak

Our Holy Badarak was once the central focus of our unity as Armenian Christians. Our Badarak was offered by our priests, deacons, and choirs with integrity, knowledge, dignity and clarity of focus. Sunday morning was the source of spiritual nourishment that sustained our faithful throughout the week. The sounds of the choir and deacons, the beauty and the seriousness of their offerings, the aroma of the incense and glow of the candles, even the mystical words of the liturgy, gave us a stability, a sense of permanence and strength of belonging alongside the various faith denominations of our neighbors. Many Diocesan choirs sang the Gomidas Badarak, the most magnificent rendering of liturgical song, on a regular basis. Feast days and the prescriptions of their order were observed in their entirety. Sacred Traditions were observed and Rites of Blessing were accomplished properly. And our people understood the essence what was being offered! Who today can say they have ever heard the Gomidas Badarak sung in their parish churches? The only offering we have that cannot be accomplished elsewhere is our Holy Badarak. It is only the Armenian Church that can offer to her people our unique Divine Liturgy that has been practiced essentially as we have for over a thousand-plus years. And yet, today, collectively, we offer it so poorly. Whether it is choir members unable to properly sing the songs of the Badarak, the variable sharagans for each feast day, the music of Holy Week or the other Major Feast days of the Church; altar servers, even those who have been ordained as Deacon or Sub-Deacon, who lack the ability to speak and read Armenian properly, mispronouncing the words of the litanies, making less than understandable the sacred words of the Holy Gospel, not having the ability to serve properly at the Sacraments of Marriage and Baptism or the rite of Christian burial, not knowing the Hour Services that were once regularly offered in our churches on Sunday mornings; Parish Council members who gather in the narthex or adjacent halls rather than within the sanctuary to worship, but rather to conduct the "business" of the church during this "convenient" time; the laity finding it difficult or unnecessary to arrive when Liturgy begins, even to enter the sanctuary just prior to the dismissal, or having little if any desire to learn the essence of our faith; priests devoting little preparation time to their sermons or speaking about matters that are not relevant to the faithful of their congregations; the list goes on. What is lacking is seriousness of intent of what it is we are to offer before the altar of God, resulting in a travesty of the sacred. VIII. Lastly – for Now One book of the Bible that is not read - not even listed on our church calendar for reading is the Book of Revelation. Perhaps some day I will find out why. The author is a Christian prophet named John. Much has been said about the prophecies written in powerful imagery and at times cryptic language about the end of days and the fullness of God's triumph in heaven and earth.


John offers a remarkable description of the glorious Jesus: head and hair pure white, feet like bronze glowing in a furnace, voice like rushing waters, a mouth from which protrudes a double-edged sword. "His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance." What words! What pictures! "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead." Reflect on this imagery: Someone prostrate at the feet of the Lord and stunned into silence and awe, ready to listen, ready to obey. It's reminiscent of the day Isaiah saw the Lord in the visionary temple, (Is. 6) words that are sung and repeated at every Divine Liturgy. Maybe this is where real turnaround for us has to start: with our church leaders and people bowed low, in silence, listening to Jesus Christ. No PowerPoint, no smoke and lasers, no organ (or guitars), no consultants, no strategic plans: just people listening to Our Lord Jesus Christ who speaks with authority. The Church is the body of Christ, the tangible representation of Jesus’ life on earth. As the apostle Paul wrote to the quarreling Corinthians (1 Cor. 12:21), “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!” You could sum up his message this way: If you miss connecting to the body of Christ, you miss Christ. If we are to be “in Christ” we cannot stand off, distant from this body. We absolutely must serve other Christians - parts of his body in a continuous relationship. A body part detached from other parts is clearly useless, and soon dead. It cannot experience Christ, the head of the body. There is no healthy relationship with Jesus Christ without a relationship to the Church. Each person must come to realize and understand that our Armenian Church belongs to God and not to us as individuals. We are simply stewards for him, charged with the responsibility to care and to nurture what he has given to us. Some of our members will be a part of such a Church, others will not. It is my prayer that the many will. But we cannot refuse to experience Church with some simply because we will never experience it with all. Our Lord came to this earth and through the Apostles created the Church understanding full well our human limitations. But yet, he entrusted the Church to us. The future direction of our Armenian Church will remain with each of us. As always, the choice is yours.


Monday, January 17th is the day of remembrance of the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Below is an article from the Washington Post. May God give rest and comfort to the soul of the Rev. Dr. King. dertat

For Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, the gift of love from a 9-year-old girl ! Well, Martin Luther King Jr., another birthday approaches. So let's open a few presents, see what your friends sent this year - starting with that box from Nonviolence postmarked Tucson. Empty, you say? Except for a note: "Dear Rev. King: You wrote an article, 'Showdown for Nonviolence,' that was published posthumously, just after your assassination in 1968. A similar confrontation just occurred here, and I'm sorry to report that we lost - again." On Saturday, a gunman shot and killed six people and wounded 14 at a constituent gathering hosted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). Still too much hate, too many guns. How about the package from Peace, postmarked Laos? You won't believe this, Rev. King. It's a cluster bomb, one of the hundreds of thousands that the United States dropped on Laos between 1963 and 1975 during the Vietnam War. The unexploded ordnances are still being found on playgrounds and agricultural fields throughout Laos, and they kill about 100 people each year, mostly children, according to a recent report by the Minnesota Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions. Remember your sermon protesting the war in Vietnam, "Trumpet of Conscience," which caused an uproar in 1967? "Somehow this madness must cease," you said. "We must stop now." Well, we didn't. And now we're waging war in Afghanistan, which means kids in that country will be suffering the consequences for years to come. Enjoying your birthday so far? Here's a gift from the Church, called the "Social Gospel." Very popular with preachers. All you have to do is tell a congregation that social evils can be eradicated with a little reasoning, charity, goodwill and moral persuasion. No need for civil disobedience or nonviolent protest anymore. If you want the government to stop spending trillions of dollars on wars that aren't justified, just Tweet out a complaint. And tithe. It's the new passive-passive resistance. So what's in the box from Justice? Looks like seven men wrongly convicted of rape or murder - some imprisoned for decades - were exonerated by DNA evidence last year. Not exactly "justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream," as you put it in that 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech. But thanks to the Innocence Project, we've at least got a trickle. Here's something else: Back in 1957, a civil rights division was formed at the Justice Department to protect Freedom Riders and black students trying to integrate public schools. After falling into disrepair in recent years,


the place was refurbished by Attorney General Eric Holder and once again has begun enforcing antidiscrimination laws and investigating hate crimes. Not bad. In the box from Vigilance, there's a warning. "Patriot groups" are on the rise, including militias and other extremist organizations that target the federal government. Last year, on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Southern Poverty Law Center sounded an alarm about an anti-government climate more toxic than the atmosphere preceding the attack. "Mainstream commentators and politicians are pouring fuel on the fire with heated anti-government rhetoric and outrageous conspiracy theories," said the center's Mark Potok. "It just stokes the fire, and I don't see anything that's moving us toward any kind of calming down." Maybe that tragedy in Tucson will give us pause. Anything from Love? Looks like a story, Rev. King - about a 9-year-old girl, born Sept. 11, 2001, named Christina Taylor Green. She had a penchant for wearing clothes that were red, white and blue, having come to realize there was significance to the date 9/11, beyond being just her birthday. With uncommon insight, she noticed inequities in the world and set out to remedy them, pursing an interest in civics and winning election to the student council at her elementary school, Mesa Verde, in Tucson. "We are so blessed," she was fond of saying. "We have the best life." And she wanted to share that life with others. Christina was among those who were killed at the Giffords event. But hatred did not triumph, as the outpouring of sympathy proved. And her loving spirit, like yours, lives on. By Courtland Milloy Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Registration Deadline is Fast Approaching 2011 Trip to Armenia sponsored by The Dept. of Mission Parishes. Some of the highlights of the trip will be: • Badarak in Etchmidazin on the Feast of Holy Etchmiadzin


• Badarak in the Cathedral of Gandzasar in Arstakh • Two nights in Artsakh and two nights in Goris • Trip to the newly refurbished Tatev Monestary and a ride on the new aerial tramway (the longest in the world) • Tours and visitations of the popular sights in Yerevan and throughout Armenia

Those interested are strongly advised to send in your reservations now .


The Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center The Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center is a research library and cultural center that attempts to provide information about things Armenian to all who are interested in Armenia and Armenians. Opened in 1987, thanks to a generous donation from Dolores Zohrab Liebmann, the center has an over-10,000 volume library. Dolores Zohrab Liebmann was one of four children of the great Armenian author and Ottoman parliamentarian, Krikor Zohrab, and his wife Clara. The Zohrab Center organizes lectures in the New York metro area, hosts a monthly film series, and offers research help to anyone interested in things Armenian.

Resources of the Zohrab Information Center The Zohrab Center’s resources are varied and comprehensive. At present, the Reference Library alone houses over 3,000 titles, including rare Armenian books, newspapers, journals and periodicals. In addition, the Center has: • The Karekin Hovsepian Reserve Library, which contains an additional 10,000 titles and a variety of newspapers &journals. • A microfiche collection with more than 1,000 titles of rare and out-of-print books and periodicals. • A collection of microfilms which includes all the American Board Missionary Archives on Armenia and the Ottoman Empire, providing a wealth of information about life and politics in the period from 1819-1919. • An extensive newspaper clippings file on various Armenian issues, and photocopies of articles on matters pertaining to the Armenian Church and its parishes and related communities.

Available Services In addition to its facilities, the Zohrab Information Center offers a variety of services: • • • •

*Information on the Armenian Church and Armenian people. *Brief research and assistance by members of the staff. *Use of the research facilities, including the manuscript library, microfiche and microfilm collections, newspaper clippings files, archival material and video equipment. *Photocopying/digitizing of articles and books.

The Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center is for your use. Its staff is eager to offer guidance on all levels. Whether you are preparing a high school report, a college research paper, a doctoral dissertation or even a book, the Zohrab Center can assist you in locating the necessary sources, or in referring you to the appropriate authorities. The Zohrab Center is located at the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) at 630 Second Avenue. Our hours are M-F, 9-5 or by appointment. To be included on the e-mail list of the Zohrab Center, please visit: www.zohrabcenter.org. For more information, please contact Program Manager Taleen Babayan at taleenb@zohrabcenter.org.


St. Nersess Armenian Seminary !. "#$%&% '()*+*$*( 150 Stratton Road â&#x20AC;˘ New Rochelle, New York (914) 636-2003 Armenian Hymnography: History, Theology and Function Live-Streaming Lectures by Fr. Daniel Findikyan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CALMNESS IN OUR LIVES We could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished". So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, a box of chocolates, and a half bottle


of scotch. You have no idea just how good I feel right now. Quepasa baby! 87 eTsayn 1.16.11


eTsayn January 16, 2011