September 21, 2017
CELEBRATING ARMENIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
Today is the 26 th anniversary of the Independent Republic of Armenia, the culmination of a process that had begun more than a year earlier with a “Declaration of Armenian Independence” that led to the Armenian Republic that was officially proclaimed on September 21, 1991.
 
In the life of a nation, as in the life of an individual, there are milestones marking important events, some triumphant, some tragic, some auspicious, some awesome. Such milestones are common in the lives of most nations, but the vicissitudes of history have left some momentous milestones in the life of the Armenian nation. Certainly, the declaration that led to independence is one of those milestone events of our recent history.
 
The splendor of independence was that the Armenian people would be able to determine the course of their own destiny, with the full opportunity to establish anew a society organized according to the Armenian ethos and based on fundamental civil and human rights, such as the freedom of speech, press, and conscience. For more than sixteen centuries—except for a brief period of independence from 1918 to 1921—the Armenian people fought to maintain their religious faith and their own unique society. Independence in 1991 reaffirmed that right to live as a people with its own way of life, its own beliefs, and on its own soil.
 
The ensuing years have not been easy—no one said it would be—and the future years will most likely be filled with even greater perilous challenges. May the Creator look with favor and bestow His protection and wisdom to the Armenian people at this crucial milestone in their long history.

PRAYERS FOR THE REPUBLIC AND
BLESSING OF THE TRICOLOR FLAG
By the directive of the Prelate Archbishop Oshagan, this Sunday, September 24, Prelacy parishes will offer special prayers for the Republic of Armenia and bless the tricolor flag on the occasion of the 26 th anniversary of the Republic.
 
O Christ our God, guardian and hope of the faithful, keep, guard, and bless the Republic of Armenia, the Armenian nation, the Armenian Church, and your people present in peace, under the protection of your holy and venerable cross. Deliver us from visible and invisible enemies. Make us worthy to thankfully glorify you together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.
(From “Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Republic of Armenia.”)

PRESIDENT OF ARMENIA ADDRESSES THE UNITED NATIONS
Archbishop Oshagan attended the United Nations’ General Assembly on Tuesday, September 19, during which the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan addressed the General Assembly. 

PRAYER SERVICE AND CONCERT THIS EVENING
A Prayer Service and Concert celebrating the 26 th anniversary of the independence of Armenia will take place tonight at St. Vartan Cathedral, 630 Second Avenue, New York City, beginning at 7 p.m., hosted by Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. His Excellency Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, will attend as an honored guest. The celebration is with the participation of the Diocese and the Prelacy and 18 Armenian organizations.

COCKTAILS FOR A CAUSE
In anticipation of the 50 th anniversary of the ordination of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, that will officially be celebrated on Sunday, October 29, a group of young adults have organized “Cocktails for a Cause,” to benefit the Karen Jeppe Armenian College in Aleppo. The event will take place at StudioArte, 265 W. 37 th Street, New York City. His Eminence taught literature and religion for a number of years at the Karen Jeppe College and is pleased that proceeds from this event will help the college recover and resume its educational leadership role in the area. Watch for the exciting details of this event.

50 TH ANNIVERSARY OF ORDINATION
The Religious and Executive Councils of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, invite you to attend a Jubilee Celebration in honor of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate, on the occasion of the 50 th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
 
His Eminence will celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, October 29, 10 am, at St. Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City, presided by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia.
 
Following the Liturgy a reception and dinner will take place at The Lotte New York Palace, 455 Madison Avenue, New York City.

BIBLE READINGS  
Bible readings for Sunday, September 24, Second Sunday of the Exaltation (Eve of the Fast of the Holy Cross of Varak), are: Isaiah 14:3-17; 2 Corinthians 10:18-11:10; Mark 10:1-12.

He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
 
Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
 
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”  (Mark 10:1-12)
 
***
 
For it is not those who commend themselves that are approved, but those whom the Lord commends.
 
I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough. I think that I am not in the least inferior to these super apostles. I may be untrained in speech, but not in knowledge; certainly in every way and in all things we have made this evident to you.
 
Did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I proclaimed God’s good news to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for my needs were supplied by the friends who came from Macedonia. So I refrained and will continue to refrain from burdening you in any way. As the truth of Christ is in me, this boast of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. (2 Corinthians 10:18-11:10)


For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here .
PAREGENTAN OF THE HOLY CROSS OF VARAK
This Sunday, September 24, is the Paregentan (Eve) of the Fast of the Holy Cross of Varak. Monday to Friday are fasting days leading up to next Sunday, September 25, when the Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak will be commemorated.

FEASTS OF SAINTS FEBRONIA, MARIANA, AND SHOUSHAN
Next Tuesday, September 26, the Armenian Church remembers Febronia, Mariana, and Shoushan. The best known of the three is Shoushan , daughter of Vartan Mamigonian and great-granddaughter of Sahag Bartev. She was educated under the tutelage of St. Sahag and her mother, Sahaganoosh. Her father’s life and martyrdom influenced her to become a devout and faithful Christian. Her birth name was Varteny, but she was called Shoushan because of her extraordinary piety. She was married to Vazken, a son of a Georgian king, and had three sons and a daughter. After the death of her father-in-law, her husband became power hungry, went to Persia, renounced the Christian faith and returned to Georgia with another wife, and tried to force Shoushan to renounce her Christian faith. Even after years of imprisonment and torture she refused to renounce the faith for which her father had fought so valiantly.
 
Febronia was a nun of extraordinary beauty at Nisibis in Mesopotamia. She was offered to be spared from persecution and torture if she renounced her religion. She refused and was brutally martyred.
 
Although the daughter of idol worshippers, Mariana was raised by a woman who was secretly a Christian and was baptized at age twelve. At the age of fifteen she confessed to her father that she was a Christian. She refused to renounce her religion, and refused the offer of marriage by a local official telling him that she was “married to Christ.” She was tortured and martyred.

PLEASE REMEMBER
SYRIAN ARMENIAN COMMUNITY NEEDS OUR HELP MORE THAN EVER

The crisis in Syria requires our financial assistance.
Please keep this community in your prayers, your hearts, and your pocketbooks.

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET OUR ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS FOR THE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY IN SYRIA WHERE CONDITIONS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY MORE DIFFICULT.

THE NEED IS REAL.
THE NEED IS GREAT.

DONATIONS TO THE FUND FOR SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF CAN BE MADE ON LINE.

TO DONATE NOW CLICK HERE AND SELECT SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF IN THE MENU.
OR IF YOU PREFER YOU MAY MAIL YOUR DONATION TO:

Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Syrian Armenian Relief)

Thank you for your help.
PLEASE BE GENEROUS TO THOSE IN NEED
We have been besieged by a series of natural disasters the past month including four hurricanes, two major earthquakes, and numerous devastating fires. The resources of the major first-responders (Red Cross, AmeriCares, Salvation Army and others) are being depleted but the need is not. Please remember to donate to the charity of your choice to help the thousands of families who are trying to recover and return to a normal life. Progress will be slow and the need will continue long after the events are no longer front-page news. Be generous. “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” (Luke 12:48)

AUTUMN LEAVES
Tomorrow (Friday) is the first day of autumn. While we enjoy all of the seasons and are thankful to live in an area where we experience all four seasons, autumn is by far our favorite. Many of you, we are sure, regret the end of summer, but we love the warm days, cool nights, open doors and windows, no air conditioning, and the vibrant and blazing colors of autumn.

“The crickets sang in the grasses. They sang the song of summer’s ending, a sad, monotonous song. ‘Summer is over and gone,’ they sang. ‘Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying.’ The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year—the days when summer is changing into fall—the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.”
(From the classic children’s book, “Charlotte’s Web,” by E. B. White)
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
SIAMANTO ACADEMY— New term begins Saturday, September 23. Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

eptember 21 —Prayer Service and Concert celebrating 26 years of independent Armenia, St. Vartan Cathedral, 630 Second Avenue, New York City, at 7 pm. Hosted by Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Reception will follow in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium. Honored guest: His Excellency Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia. The celebration is with the participation of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, and 18 Armenian organizations.

September 23 —Celebratory Concert dedicated to the 26 th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia. Shnorhali Chorus and Hamazkayin Arekag Chorus with special guest appearance by SIBIL, At Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, 7:30 pm. Sponsored by ARF Dro Gomideh, AYF Arsen Chapter; ARS Agnouni, Bergen County, Shake, and Spitak chapters of New Jersey, and Hamazkayin and Homenetmen of New Jersey. Admission: $35 and $45. Proceeds will benefit Sts. Vartanantz Church. For tickets: arfdro@gmail.com or 201-470-4780.

October 2-6 —Clergy Conference for Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies will take place in Montreal, hosted by the Prelacy of Canada.

October 7 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey presents “The Battle of the Bands.” Dance all night with two bands featuring Onnig Dinkjian and Kevork Artinian. Mezza and Dessert tables. For information and reservations contact: Bea Movsesian 201-445-6867; Lynn Mahlebjian 201-739-6217; Silva Kouyoumdjian 201-779-6744.

October 7-8 —50th Anniversary Weekend, St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Saturday evening: “Golden Evening Kef Celebration,” featuring the Vosbikian Band. Sunday, Golden Anniversary Banquet, following the Divine Liturgy. 

October 14 —Armenian Friends of America, Inc., present “Hye Kef 5,” a five hour dance featuring Onnik Dinkjian with John Berberian (Oud); Mal Barsamian (Clarinet); Ara Dinkjian (keyboard); Ron Tutunjian (Dumbeg), at DoubleTree by Hilton, 123 Old River Road, Andover, Massachusetts. Tickets: $55 (before September 1); $65 (after September 1); $50 for students 21 and under. Continuous buffet 7:30 to 9:30 pm; coffee and dessert will follow. Advance tickets only. Proceeds will benefit five Armenian churches. For information: Sharke Der Apkarian 978-808-0598.

October 14 —Rhode Island premiere of WOMEN OF 1915, a documentary film by Bared Maronian, presented by the Ani and Arax chapters of the Armenian Relief Society and Rhode Island Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society. Rhode Island College, Gaige Auditorium, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island, at 5:30 pm. This is the epic journey of women survivors of the Armenian Genocide and the odyssey of the relentless human rights advocates who empowered them. Admission: $20. Refreshments following screening. To reserve tickets, or be a sponsor, or more information contact: Pauline Getzoyan ( getzop@gmail.com ) 401-486-3776 or Taline Mkrtchjan ( haidoon@hotmail.com ) 401-481-4877.

October 29—CHANGE OF DATE / SAVE THE DATE . Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ordination of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, under the auspices and presence of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, at 10 am. Followed by reception and dinner at The New York Palace, 455 Madison Avenue, New York City.

November 3 & 4 —St. Stephen's Church (Watertown, MA) 61st Annual Church Bazaar will take place Friday-Saturday, November 3-4 at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center (47 Nichols Ave, Watertown). Come by with family and friends for delicious chicken, beef, and losh kebab, kufteh and kheyma dinners, mouth watering pastries, and specialty gourmet items. We'll showcase our hand made arts and crafts, the treasure-finding White Elephant table. This is an annual event not to miss. Come reconnect with parishioners, friends and support the future of our Church. Visit our website for information on menus, pastry and gourmet items, and gift shoppe. items!  www.soorpstepanos.org  

November 11 and 12 —Armenian Fest 2017, Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Food Festival at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston. Featuring chicken, losh and shish kebabs and kufta dinners. Armenian delicacies, dancing to live music, arts and crafts, flea market, gift baskets, children’s corner, country store, jewelry, hourly raffles. Armenian Dance Group will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Armenian food and pastry available all day. Saturday from noon to 9 pm; Sunday noon to 7 pm. Free admission and parking. Valet parking available. For information: www.armenianfestri.com/ or 401-831-6399.

December 5-8 —World General Assembly of the Great House of Cilicia, at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon.
The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email: email@armenianprelacy.org

Visit the Catholicosate webpage at  http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org/en/