Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Almost a year!

Sad, but it has been almost a year now since I have posted. I see a bunch of comments on my last post, but for some reason, blogger doesn't have dates attached to comments. I need to see if I can fix that.

Anyway, I have settled into more of a routine. I switched churches, which I think was a good decision for me; I am just a better fit at the other parish.

I want to say hi to Der Hovnan Demerjian, and give him a special welcome, as I was in the congregation when he celebrated his first Badarak after being ordained the weekend before. I think the Armenian Church is lucky to have such young and energetic champions. My recollection is that he gave a terrific sermon about how we should overcome the conflict between different groups of Armenians and look up to God rather than at the flaws in each other. What a great message!

Growing up in a place with basically no Armenians other than my extended family (plus a few others), I had heard about this eastern/western divide, but I hadn't really seen it in action until I came here. Even in California, at my old church, there wasn't an issue; the priest, like so many younger priests, was from the former USSR. The old core of the church were mostly from the diaspora. No one cared. The priest is a great guy, very devout, very devoted the church, nice, loves kids, etc., etc., basically, everything you would want a priest to be, and that is what people cared about, not where he grew up. I think the respect that we all had for him and his family extended to the other eastern Armenians in our congregation, and I felt that we really were all one family.

Even today, I was hearing people ask each other, "oh, was your mother [town]stantsi?" (I can't remember the town) I am always having to ask people "What does that mean?" because honestly, I didn't grow up with these labels, and I don't know them, and I would rather not. I don't really care.

Anyway, this is the first week of Lent! I already broke the fast accidentally- I got fed at church, and I ate vospov kufta (done w/ chickpeas instead of lentils, though), only to find out that it had been made with chicken broth and butter. Oops! No wonder it tasted so good! I am just doing Wednesdays and Fridays this year (that is the most I have ever done; I am really impressed with people who do all 40 days! Wow!!), but I am determined to do it right this year, at least on Wednesdays and Fridays.