THE E-BULLETIN OF 
ST. JAMES ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH
(EVANSTON, IL)

January 17 - 23, 2016
Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our videos on YouTube

SUNDAY, January 17, 2016
Eve (Paregentan) of the Fast of Cathecumens 

Morning Service  9:00 AM
Divine Liturgy    10:00 AM
Bible Readings:  Isaiah 61:10-62:9; 2 Timothy 2:15-26; John 6:15-21 

Fast of Catechumens
In the early days of Christianity, the custom was to fast five days before baptism in order to be freed from the evils of the physical world before one's spiritual rebirth. Thus, St. Gregory the Illuminator ordered King Tiridates and others to fast for five days before their baptisms in honor of this tradition.

However, St. Gregory extended this fasting practice beyond baptism to an annual fast to purify the five human senses from impurities before Great Lent. For this reason, the Fast of Catechumens, which begins three weeks before Great Lent, is also called the "fast of salvation." In ancient times, people were not allowed to eat anything other than bread and salt during the Fast of Catechumens. On those days celebrating Divine Liturgy was also forbidden.

There are two explanations regarding the name of this feast. First, it is the precursor to Great Lent, and second, it is the first specifically Armenian fast-the Fast of Catechumens is particular to the Armenian Church.

At times, the Fast of Catechumens has erroneously been called the Fast of St. Sarkis because the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of St. Sarkis on the Saturday following the fast. In fact, in the Middle Ages, the Byzantine and Georgian Churches falsely accused the Armenian Church of sorcery for tying the Fast of Catechumens to the Feast of St. Sarkis. (According to the testimonies of Armenian medieval writers, the Greek and Catholic Churches also had the Fast of Catechumens in ancient times before abandoning it.)

It should also be noted that the fifth day of the Fast, Friday, is also the day of remembrance of the Prophet Jonah. However, Jonah's remembrance day is celebrated not as a feast but as a day of reflection in memory of the repentance and abstinence that Jonah preached.
Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah
Jonah is one of the minor prophets of the Holy Bible. In the Book of Jonah of the Old Testament is a narrative describing his adventures. By the Lord's command, Jonah was sent to Nineveh to preach to the heathens, and he tried in every way to disobey God's command. Alas, his attempts were in vain. By the Lord's command, a large fish swallowed Jonah, and he remained alive inside the fish for three days and three nights. Only after Jonah's prayer and redemption did the Lord allow the fish to free Jonah. Now he obeyed the Lord's command and went back to Nineveh. On the first day as Jonah started for the city, he proclaimed, "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." The Ninevites fervently believed in God, thus they declared a fast. And all of them, from the least to the greatest among them, even the king, put on sackcloth. When God saw what they had done and how they had turned away from their evil ways, he had compassion upon them and did not bring upon them the destruction he had previously threatened.

Later, Christ cited the example of Jonah to the Pharisees when they asked for a divine sign, and the Armenian Apostolic Church always commemorates the memory of the Prophet Jonah during the Fast of Catechumens to symbolize that with sincere repentance one may deserve God's mercy. 
Raven Theatre for Syrian Armenians
On Thursday, January 28 at 7:15 pm, the Raven Theater in Edgewater,  Chicago (6157 N. Clark) will be staging Horton Foote's play The Old Friends. 

Tickets are $30 and can be  purchased through parish council members, with
checks made out to St. James parish, and will be held for you in your name at the Raven box office to be picked up the night of the performance.

There will also be a cover-free cocktail reception from 6:00 to 7:00 at Fritzy's Tavern (6156 N. Clark directly across the street from the Raven), featuring the live musical stylings of Krikor Paylan's jazz band, 'Tiny Miles and the Big Kids.' Parking is limited at the Raven. However, there is free, unzoned parking all over the neighborhood and metered parking right on Clark St. This event is co-sponsored by the following Chicagoland Armenian Churches: Armenian Evangelical Church, St. Gregory, All Saints, St. James, and Sts.  Joachim and Anne. 

Please note that this play is not appropriate for younger audiences.
The Marvelous Armenians of Jerusalem
As we are in the week of the Orthodox Christmases (January 6th and 7th, depending on the branches), let's talk about the most beautiful people of Jerusalem : the Armenians. The Armenian community is present in the holy city since 95 BC, since king Tigrane II conquered territories until Jerusalem. We can say that Armenians have always been there. This presence, since the century of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, preceding a little the birth of the Christ, had marvelous consequences. The apostles of Jesus, Judas Thaddeus and Barthelemy (Nathanael), after the Ascencion, travelled until the traditional Armenia, in the Caucasus, to evangelize. Because Armenia was evangelized by the Apostles of Jesus themselves, even if it's an Orthodox church, it's special and unique, and is called Apostolic church. For Christians, Armenia isn't just any country. It's the first country that declared Christianism the State religion, in 301 AD, thanks to St. Gregory the Illuminator, who was then the first Catholicos (the equivalent of the Pope, in the Apostolic church). That was 80 years before Roma ! 

Click here to read the article published by Israelinor. 
Home Blessing
Holiday season is the time when homes are blessed by the Pastor. All parishioners who wish to have their homes blessed on the occasion of the Feast of the Theophany and Nativity of Christ should call Der Hovhan (847) 644-7389 to make arrangements. Have a piece of bread, dish of salt and glass of water available for the blessing.

Click here to read more about home blessing.
Calendar of Worship Services and Events at St. James
January 15
January 17
January 17
January 24
January 28
January 30
January 31
February 6
February 6
February 7
February 8
Family Night at the AGBU Center
Women's Guild Meeting
ACYOA Juniors meetig
ADCC Bake Sale
Syrian Relief Fundraiser at Raven Theatre
Evening Worship Service (in English)
Parish Assembly
Vespers - Kirakamtits
Poon Paregentan Dance
Poon Paregentan Sunday                               
Great Lent begins

FEASTS AND FASTS


January 18 - 21  
Fast of Catechumens

January 22    
Fast of Catechumens. Remembrance of the Prophet Jonah

January 23     
Feast of St. Sarkis The Captain, and his son Mardiros and his Fourteen Soldiers

SCRIPTRUE READINGS FOR THIS WEEK


Monday -  Thursday
No Lections

Friday
Jonah 1:1-4:1

Saturday
Proverbs 3:13-17; Isiah 41:1-3; Ephesians 6:10-17;
Luke 21:10-19

NAME DAYS celebrated this week: 

Hovnan, Jonah, Sarkis, Mardiros.

ST. JAMES ACYOA JUNIORS MEETING

 

Sunday, January 17

12:30 pm

ST. JAMES WOMEN'S GUILD MEETING

 

Sunday, January 17

After Badarak

ST. JAMES ARMENIAN CHURCH
ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016
12:30 PM
AGBU
FAMILY NIGHT 
Every Third Friday Beginning

January 15, 2016

6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

7248 North Harlem Ave Chicago

Click here for more details
ARMENIAN DANCE COMPANY OF CHICAGO    BAKE SALE
Sunday,  January 24
after Badarak

The Armenian Dance Company of Chicago (ADCC) will be hosting a bake sale fundraiser on Sunday, January 24 after Divine Liturgy. They will also be showcasing a few of their latest dances to entertain parishioners during coffee hour. 
POON PAREGENTAN DANCE
SATURDAY, 
FEBRUARY 6, 2016


12TH ANNUAL POON PAREGENTAN DINNER & DANCE!

at Monty's Elegant Banquets

703 S York Rd,
Bensenville, IL 60106

Click here for more details.
St. James Armenian Apostolic Church
Cordially invites you and your family to
SATURDAY AFTERNOON

Saturday, January 30 AFTERNOON WORSHIP SERVICE

5:00 pm - 5:45 pm (sharp)

No fellowship hour

Service will be conducted entirely in English
2016 ACYOA JUNIORS WI/IL REGIONAL RETREAT

February 12 - 14 
at Camp Hickory

Registration deadline in Feb 5.

Sponsored and Led by Diocese of the Armenian Church
Dept. of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

Click here  for more details. 

Contact Der Hovhan to receive a registration packets

PARKING
Please park on the street or in the Maple Street Parking Garage at the west end of Clark Street which is free on Sundays.  Thank you.
SUNDAY BULLETIN (pdf) 


ST. JAMES ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH
Rev. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan, Pastor
816 Clark Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Tel:  847-864-6263