Primate Returns from New York

His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian returned from the United States on Wednesday having participated in the Supreme Spiritual Council meeting under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, hosted at the headquarters of the US Eastern Diocese in New York City. This was the first time the body had met outside of Armenia.

On October 31 and November 1, His Holiness and the 17 members of the Council convened a joint meeting with the executive bodies of the Eastern, Western, and Canadian dioceses and the AGBU, under the theme, “Bringing the Church to the People: Reaching Out to the Armenians of North America”. The meeting examined the emerging realities within the Armenian-American community, and the prospects for expanding the church’s ministry. From 2-3 November, the Supreme Spiritual Council reconvened to address ongoing matters of governance and ministry in the worldwide Armenian Church.

A highlight of Bishop Najarian’s visit back to the U.S. was celebrating the Divine Liturgy at St Sahag & St Mesrob Church in Philadelphia after nine years, where he had once served as the parish pastor from 2002-2007.

Sins of the Tongue

“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” – James 3:7-8

We usually think that sins are inherently physical actions that we are tempted to partake in. But there are occasions which we overlook the words we say and are not in control of the sins we commit.

We are acting against God when we communicate with lies, hatefulness or cursing since we are using our own tongue to spread poison. Instead, with the very tongue that spreads evil, we should control to purify our speech and bring praise to God.

Honouring Church Service

Our annual church gathering of servants brings with it opportunities to celebrate milestone anniversaries and tribute the different aspects of service in our Church that resemble the various parts of the body functioning together.

This year was no exception as we celebrated together with 160 church volunteers, the forty years of service to the diaconate of Deacon Haroutiun Hanimian and similarly in years, the dedication of Miss Sonia Berberian to church life as she was bestowed Honorary Life Membership.

Both honourees were deservedly introduced as faithful servants who give tirelessly of their time and talent, each in their own capacity with humility and a heart for God fulfilling the Christian mission,

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1Peter 4:10)

Rookwood Cemetery Armenian Section

In its mission to serve the faithful of our community, over the past months, the Chancellery of the Diocese has been negotiating with the Rookwood General Cemeteries Trust to expand the Armenian Lawn section of Rookwood Cemetery which has reached its capacity.

In this endeavour, we are pleased to announce the Diocese has been able to secure a new section adjacent to the old and a ground-blessing service will take place on Saturday 26 November at 12.00 p.m. with the participation of Armenian clergy from all the denominations. The ground-blessing is open to our community and will be followed by a reception.

Outreach Mission to Adelaide

On Friday, Bishop Najarian accompanied by Reverend Father Avetis Hambardzumyan will make a pastoral visit to the mission parish of Adelaide where they will meet with members of the small Armenian community. With recently arrived migrants from Syria, the visit aims to welcome the new families to the Diocese and reconnect those who are longer term residents.
The outreach missions of the Diocese extend throughout the pocket communities of Perth to Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand. Such pastoral visits by our Primate and the clergy expands the ministry of the Armenian Apostolic Church demonstrating their love, care and concern for the spiritual nourishment and guidance of our community faithful.
If you would like get involved with the Diocese by supporting the Outreach Ministry, please contact the Chancellery at diocese@armenian.com.au

The Arachnortaran Construction Commences

These are exciting times for our Armenian Community and we are pleased to announce the commencement of the construction of the Diocesan Centre at 11 Chatswood Ave, Schenk Construction Group were the successful tenderer.
Schenk Construction Grup Pty Ltd is in the early stages of pre-construction and is well advanced in satisfying authority approvals. Authority approval and Site Establishment should be completed by mid-November which will allow works to commence and we expect that concrete foundations and inground services will be well advanced by the end of the year.
The target date for completion is December 2017.

Feast of All Saints – Known & Unknown

By this feast the Armenian Apostolic Church commemorates the memory of all those saints, whose names are not included in the Church Calendar but whose names are registered in the sacred book of the Heavenly Kingdom.

Many people have been subjected to severe torments and martyred during the wars for the sake of faith. As their names are not known, this feast was established in the Armenian Church Calendar to commemorate their memory as persons who have shed their blood for the sake of Christ and His Church.

The Season of Advent (Hisnag)

The Season of Advent refers to the coming of Christ and in the Armenian language it is termed ‘Hisnag’ derived from word for fifty.
Hisnag refers to the fifty-day period of preparation in celebration of the Nativity and Theophany of Jesus Christ.
What type of preparation does this involve?
During Advent, we can rededicate ourselves to Christ through our actions, thoughts, and prayers. This is a good time for us to improve our habits and offer them as gifts to God. Perhaps Advent can also be an occasion to discover God’s gifts all around us. We need to have an open heart to receive Christ—God’s greatest gift of all!

In the Armenian Church the season is introduced by a week of fasting, called “the Fast of the Beginning of Hisnag”. During this period the Armenian Church also celebrates a number of feasts including the Presentation of the Holy Virgin to the Temple, the Conception of the Holy Virgin by St Anna, founders of Christian theology and early bishops of the church, apostles, enlighteners of Armenia and St Stephen the Protomartyr.