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TOP STORY                                                          March 16, 2017

Sunday of the Steward

Sunday of the Steward 

Jesus’ parable about an unjust steward who was accused of cheating his master (Luke 16:1-17—the reading for Sunday, March 19) is famous for being difficult to understand. But it gives very concrete clues about what it means to be a “good steward.”
The steward is a figure who comes up in many of Jesus’ parables—a “stock character,” we might say, who would have been very recognizable to Christ’s listeners. What did stewards do, in the time of Jesus? What made them so interesting to our Lord?
Click here to read more.

Scripture of the Week

Is 56:1-57:21
Eph 4:17-5:14
Lk 16:1-31

Prayer of the Week

Look with love, O merciful Father, on the created works of your hand, and grant the camps of the angels to be guardians of our feeble persons. Deliver us from temptation, from the wandering demons of night, that by day and by night we may give you glory incessantly. Amen.

Upcoming Saints & Feasts

18 March: Sts. John of Jerusalem, John of Otzoon, John of Orotni, and Gregory of Datev

19 March: Sunday of the Steward


Aso Tavitian

Supreme Spiritual Council Meets in Armenia

The Supreme Spiritual Council met at Holy Etchmiadzin from March 7 to 9, with His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, presiding. The meeting was co-chaired by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, and Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese.
His Holiness Karekin II gave an update on the electoral process for the election of a new Patriarch of Constantinople. Aso Tavitian of New York presented a report on a new project to improve the operations of the worldwide Armenian Church. Also discussed were documents pertaining to the National-Ecclesiastical Assembly and the Ecclesiastical-Representative Assembly.
The Supreme Spiritual Council received updates on the activities of Holy Etchmiadzin and Armenian dioceses across the globe, discussed liturgical matters, and issued a statement calling for a peaceful process ahead of the parliamentary elections to be held in Armenia next month.
Click here to read more.


Save the Tomb

Campaign to Help Restore Tomb of Christ in Jerusalem

Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian has announced a fundraising campaign to help the restoration effort currently underway at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
The site marks the burial place of Jesus Christ, and has long stood as one of the most precious shrines of the Christian heritage. The Armenian Church, through its Patriarchate of Jerusalem, shares joint custodial oversight of the Holy Sepulchre, and is deeply involved in the current restoration.
In a letter to Diocesan leaders, the Primate announced that the Eastern Diocese aims to raise $300,000 to contribute to this effort. The campaign is called #SaveTheTomb—and has already begun operating. It is led by a committee chaired by Paul Korian.
A special website has been launched — — where individuals can find information on the project and make online donations.
Click here to watch a video about the new campaign.


Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian

Remembering Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian 

The Eastern Diocese remembers the legacy of His Eminence Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian, the former Primate of the United Kingdom, and a long-serving pastor among the churches of the Eastern Diocese, on the one-year anniversary of his passing. Archbishop Gizirian passed away on March 18, 2016, at the age of 90.
As a teacher, a pastor to many parishes in the Eastern Diocese, and as Diocesan Primate of the United Kingdom, Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian touched the lives of countless people. He was a leader of great inner strength and conviction; yet his greatest strength was the tender com­pas­sion­ he showed to all—a quality that made him beloved wherever he served.
Diocesan parishes have been asked to remember Yeghishe Srpazan through a hokehankisd service on Sunday, March 19.

During the last few years of his life, Yeghishe Srpazan agreed to share some of his wisdom and life experience in video interviews. Click on the following links to listen to his life story in his own words, and hear his wise thoughts on the meaning of prayer.


Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian

Forum on Christians in the Middle East

Earlier this month, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Director, and the Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian took part in a “Forum on the Persecuted Church,” organized by the ecumenical organization Christian Churches Together. The forum was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Newark, NJ.
Participants discussed the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and ways in which churches in the United States might become more involved in assisting and advocating for the cause. They also heard from His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, on the threats facing Christians in the Middle East and on the work of the Syriac Orthodox Church in the region.
Archbishop Aykazian delivered formal remarks on the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians, offering observations from his recent trip to Iraq. “Christian minorities in the region are often overlooked, marginalized, or encouraged to depart from the Middle East entirely,” he said. “Their voices must be enhanced, and magnified, by voices of others throughout the world—Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike—who stand with them in the cause of justice and peace.”

Nersess Shnorhali

A Voice of Christian Consolation—from the 12th Century

In the Middle Ages, an Armenian clergyman wrote to a father suffering profound grief at the untimely death of his son. The deeply moving “Letter of Consolation” would become a precious artifact of Christian spirituality, and a signature composition of its author, St. Nersess Shnorhali.
Some 900 years later, that letter was the centerpiece of a passionate presentation delivered at the Eastern Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center. The Zohrab Center’s executive director, the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, read his poetic translation of the letter, and described the lasting influence St. Nersess has over the Armenian Church.
“Our church” he said, “would not be the same without St. Nersess.” Click here to read more.



FAR Helps Syrian-Armenian Entrepreneurs

In January, the Fund for Armenian relief awarded grants to nine Syrian-Armenian business owners in Armenia, as part of its Small Business Assistance Program. The program is made possible thanks to the generosity of Howard Atesian of St. John Church of Southfield, MI.
Jewelry, metalwork, food production, antique furniture repair, and language instruction are among the industries represented by the grant recipients. The grants help Syrian-Armenian refugees establish and expand their entrepreneurial initiatives in the homeland.
For husband-and-wife team Sevag Aroyan and Maria Maronian, the grant helped boost an English-language school they opened in Yerevan last year. They now employ 11 teachers and two administrators, and have an enrollment of 150 students. Click here to read their story on FAR’s blog.


Hye Pointe Church

Hye Pointe Church Prepares for Opening of New Center

Parishioners at Hye Pointe Church are looking forward to the official opening of their new Family Life and Cultural Center in Bradford, MA, on Saturday, April 22.
The new center is part of a larger project to build a new house of worship for parishioners of Holy Cross Church of Lawrence, MA, and St. Gregory Church of Haverhill, MA. The two parishes merged to become Hye Pointe Church. 
“The new Family Life and Cultural Center will allow us further growth for our worship, educational, and fellowship experiences,” said the Rev. Fr. Vart Gyozalyan, parish pastor.
Click on the following links to read more and to download an invitation card for the April 22 event.


Holy Trinity Church, Cheltenham, PA

Cheltenham Parish Commemorates Saintly Women’s Day

“Women and all faithful who listen in years to come, remember our stories and honor us by loving the Lord as fiercely as we did…. Remember the holy words of Scripture: love never fails.”
With these words, spoken by a group of young women at Holy Trinity Church in Cheltenham, PA, on March 12, a worship service commemorating the theme of this year’s Saintly Women Day—the Saintly Women of Vartanantz—came to an end. 
The service, which took place at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, was presided over by Holy Trinity’s pastor, the Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan. Led by Women’s Guild Central Council member Elizabeth Barone, the women processed down the center aisle, each carrying a red rose and a white rose, which they placed on the edge of the bema. They spoke about the courageous and forgotten women of Vartanantz. The red and white colors of the flowers carried by the women represented the blood and water which poured out of the side of Christ on the cross, and the colors of the baptismal narod—red symbolizing sacrifice and white for purity.
The service was followed by the annual mitchink luncheon, sponsored by the Women’s Guild and a presentation on the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program made by Anne Terkanian.


St. James Church, Richmond

A Lecture on Armenian Art in Richmond   

On Saturday evening March 11, St. James Church of Richmond, VA, welcomed the Rev. Fr. Garabed Kochakian. Fr. Kochakian presided over the Lenten service and gave a presentation on ancient Armenian art.
On Sunday, Fr. Kochakian joined the parish for the Divine Liturgy. Parish pastor the Rev. Fr. Tatev Terteryan said it was particularly special for him to welcome Fr. Kochakian as the former has been a mentor to him in the Eastern Diocese.

Armenian Genocide Pins

Forget-me-not Pins Available for Purchase

In 2015 the world came together to observe the centennial year of the Armenian Genocide. The forget-me-not flower become the official emblem of this worldwide observance and continues to be a reminder of the strength of the Armenian people.
You can show your support by wearing the symbolic forget-me-not lapel pin this spring at events commemorating the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. Pins are available for purchase from Holy Resurrection Church of South Milwaukee, WI.
The pins are appropriate for both men and women and are made by the cloisonné technique. Each pin comes in its own keepsake box and includes a card with an explanation of the symbolism of the forget-me-not flower.
For more information and online ordering, visit the Holy Resurrection Church website at  


Upcoming Parish Events

Sts. Vartanantz Church | Chelmsford, MA
Sts. Vartanantz Church of Chelmsford, MA, will host a Lenten series on Friday evenings during Great Lent. The 48th annual "Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont Samoorian Lenten Program of Spiritual Renewal" will focus on Christian virtues. The six Friday evening programs will be presented by guest speakers who will discuss how the “Fruits of the Spirit” are vital ingredients in a recipe of living. The third session, on patience, is scheduled for March 17. Click here to view a flyer for information.
St. David Church | Boca Raton, FL
St. David Church of Boca Raton, FL, will host a Lenten series on Wednesdays during Great Lent. Each of the sessions will highlight one of the Sacraments of the Armenian Church. Click here to view a flyer for information.

On March 18 and 19, St. David Church will host its annual “Art & Food Festival.” Enjoy Armenian delicacies to eat in or take out, activities for kids, and Armenian music. Browse vendors stations and a flea market organized by the students of the Armenian and Sunday School. Click here to view a flyer for information.

St. Stepanos Church | Elberon, NJ
The Women’s Guild of St. Stepanos Church of Elberon, NJ, will host an observance of Saintly Women’s Day, this year honoring the saintly women of Vartanantz, on Saturday, March 18. Click here to view a flyer for registration information.

St. Thomas Church | Tenafly, NJ
St. Thomas Church of Tenafly, NJ, will host a Lenten luncheon on Sunday, March 19, following services. Food will be available for take-out. Click here to view a flyer for information.

St. Mary Church | Livingston, NJ
St. Mary Church of Livingston, NJ, will host a talk by the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, director of the Eastern Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center, on the “Joy of the Gospel in the Times of Tragedy” on Friday, March 24, at 7 p.m. For more information, click here to view a flyer.

St. Gregory the Enlightener Church | White Plains, NY
The Culture Committee of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, NY, will host the 15th annual Lionel Galstaun Memorial Concert on Sunday, March 26. The concert will be held in the church sanctuary, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Cellist Eddie Pogossian and pianist Vatche Jambazian will perform. The concert is free and open to the public. Click here to view a flyer for information.

The Women’s Guild of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church will host a parish retreat on Saturday, April 1, at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in Armonk, NY. The retreat will explore the theme of “Filling the Deepest Thirst.” RSVP is requested by March 25. For more information, click here to view a flyer or contact Rita Kurkjian at (914) 522-8860 or


ACYOA Seniors Retreat

ACYOA Central Council Sponsors Retreat in Springfield, MA  

On Saturday, March 11, the ACYOA Central Council hosted the first of their annual regional Lenten retreats at St. Mark Church in Springfield, MA. ACYOA Central Council members Danielle Malconian and Lauren Piligian led the retreat, with 16 participants from the New England area attending. Kathryn Ashbahian of the Diocese’s Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries provided additional support.
The Rev. Fr. Sevak Gabrielian, pastor of St. Mark Church, led a matins service and the young people took part in a Bible study on the “Fruits of the Spirit.” Rev. Fr. Vasken Kouzouian led a session on the Holy Spirit in the Armenian Church, and participants watched a related “Bread and Salt” episode called “Tongues of Fire.” Rev. Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian also attended the retreat and shared his personal experiences.
Click here to view photos.  


ACYOA Juniors Retreat

ACYOA Juniors Gather for Retreat in Michigan   

The ACYOA Juniors continued their Lenten retreat series at Michigan Christian Youth Camp in Attica, MI, last weekend, with 25 young people from the Michigan and Ohio region.
The Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian led discussions on the Holy Spirit and its presence in everyday life. The young people also engaged in a Bible study on the “Fruits of the Spirit” and created prayer journals to use during the Lenten season.
On Sunday morning, they took part in the Divine Liturgy and enjoyed a luncheon at St. John Church in Southfield, MI. Lorie Odabashian of the Diocese’s Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries helped organize the retreat.

Click here to view photos.


Summer Camps

Summer Camp Programs Seek Volunteers

Hye Camp and St. Vartan Camp are seeking volunteers with specialized training to assist as nurses, lifeguards, Armenian language instructors, and in other areas of camp. Volunteers are needed for the months of June, July and August. 
If you would like to volunteer, or know of someone who would be interested in serving the camp programs, contact Lorie Odabashian at, or Kathryn Ashbahian at, both of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.
To learn more about the camp experience, to download applications, or to register your camper, visit


Walk Thru the Bible

"Walk Thru the Bible" in Fair Lawn, NJ

The Eastern Diocese’s Christian Education department is sponsoring a “Walk Thru the Bible: Old Testament” event on Saturday, March 18. The event is hosted by St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, and is open to all (children ages 8 and up are welcome to accompany their parents).
Participants will learn about biblical people, places, and eventsdiscovering how the Old Testament ultimately leads to the Cross. And forget tedious note taking! Attendees will learn the material using hand signs, catch phrases, group reviews, and enjoyable interaction with the instructor, Roger Petersen, a professor at Cairn University in Langhorne, PA, and a longtime instructor for the “Walk Thru the Bible” organization.
Click here to view a flyer for information. To register, contact your pastor, Sunday School superintendent, or Elise Antreassian at
The Diocese has sponsored seven “Walk Thru the Bible” events, attended by 800 people across the parishes, helping to rekindle a desire to know and love God through Scripture.

Abraham Terian

Book Talk at the Zohrab Center Monday

Dr. Abraham Terian will present his recent book The Festal Works of St. Gregory of Narek: Annotated Translation of the Odes, Litanies and Encomia on Monday evening, March 20, at the Zohrab Center.
Much less familiar than St. Gregory’s famous Book of Prayers, these exuberant poetic works are filled with the joy of the Gospel, resonating in St. Gregory’s prayerful reflections on the great saints and feasts of the Armenian Church. This is the first English translation of these works.
A reception will follow and books will be available for purchase. Click here to visit the Zohrab Center’s blog for information.


Hrant Dink

"Hrant Dink Contemporary Oratorio" at St. Vartan Cathedral

The "Hrant Dink Contemporary Oratorio"—a grand choral concert piece by composer Majag Toshigian and lyricist Bercuhi Berberyan—will be performed at the St. Vartan Cathedral Complex on Saturday, March 25.
The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. in the cathedral sanctuary, under the direction of Kris D. Kalfayan. Soloists include Karin Cubukcuyan Bozkurt, Elie Berberian, and Bogos Yegyazar. A dinner will follow in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium.
The event is being organized by the Constantinople Armenian Relief Society in honor of its 90th anniversary, and will go forward under the auspices of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese. Click here to view a flyer for ticket information.


A Celebration of Service

Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian is inviting the public to a celebratory reception to congratulate the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan and the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian on the 20th anniversary of their priestly ordinations.
The event will begin with a vespers service at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, at St. Vartan Cathedral. The reception and program will follow at 7:30 p.m. in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium of the Diocesan Center (630 Second Avenue, New York City). To RSVP (by April 17) call (212) 686-0710.
Commemorative donations in honor of Fr. Findikyan and Fr. Odabashian will be used to underwrite the publication of a revised, expanded edition of a church classic, Prayers for Healing. Contributions may be made payable to the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Memo: Prayer Book.


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