Asbarez – On Sunday, November 19, the Holy Trinity Church of Fresno celebrated the 117th anniversary of its establishment with Episcopal Divine Liturgy and a banquet. Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, and presided over the banquet.
State Minister of the Republic of Artsakh Arayik Haroutyunyan, Permanent Representatives of the Republic of Artsakh to the United States Robert Avetisyan, Hayastan All-Armenian Fund Executive Director Ara Vardanyan, Armenia Fund Executive Director Sarkis Kotanjian, Prelacy Executive Council Chairman Vahe Hovaguimian and members, Sunday School students, Homenetmen representatives and scouts participated in the celebration. On this day, by the ordinance of the Prelate and the request of Homenetmen Western Region Executive, requiem prayers were offered in all Prelacy Churches for the souls of departed Homenetmen members.
The Prelate was greeted by faithful parishioners and Homenetmen scouts at his arrival to the Church. Shortly thereafter, as the choir sang “Hrashapar,” the Prelate entered the sanctuary in a procession to begin the Divine Liturgy, clad in a new Liturgical vestment gifted by the parish on the occasion of his milestone anniversaries. Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian, Parish Priest, assisted at the altar.
The Prelate began his sermon by congratulating the parish family on their 117th anniversary and commending all the servers and volunteers for contributing their part to maintaining and advancing the historic parish community, in particular Fr. Dajad and Board members. His Eminence greeted the honored guests, whom he noted were in town to take part in Armenia Fund’s 20th International Telethon on Thanksgiving Day, and urged the community to lend its generous support to the Telethon, titled “Fruitful Artsakh,” proceeds of which will be allocated to the construction of irrigation syste “As Artsakh is largely an agricultural economy, the success of this project is absolutely vital as it will boost the economy tremendously and provide a better life for its citizens,” stressed the Prelate.
The Prelate then turned to the day’s Gospel reading from Luke 9:44-50 which conveys the message of humility and loving service to others with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ that “he who is least among you all will be great.”
The Prelate stated that true greatness is in servant-hood and in humbling ourselves to lift up and encourage others. By using the example of a child in the reading, Jesus teaches us that we must welcome and honor those whom society regards as unimportant. “In our religious and national ministry there is no great or least among us. We all are children of God and of our nation, and to be effective servants of our Christ and our nation, we must serve with humility and love for all, in the prime example of our Lord Jesus Christ Who came not to be served, but to serve,” stressed the Prelate.
He stated that one hundred and seventeen year ago the founders of Holy Trinity Church did just this; they banded together as members of one family and toiled with faith, love, and humility to establish the parish, and urged the parish family to serve in their example to keep the community strong and prosperous for years to come.
The Prelate concluded his sermon by paying tribute to the departed members of Homenetmen who served with faith, love, and humility for the greater good, the good of our youth, guided by the motto “elevate yourself and others with you,” and blessed the present-day members for their dedicated service.