Open Letter to my Dear Parishioners and Friends
I am writing these words with much pain and sad memories of my own experience when my family and I, along with thousands of Armenian families, were caught in the crossfire of the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It is extremely difficult and fearful to be in a war zone and experience the daily excruciating challenges, hearing the sound of near and far explosions, the whistling of rockets, the screams of people on the streets, confusion and despair, the shortage of food, water, medicine and electricity.
Today, thousands of Armenian families with their children are experiencing the same tragic events in Aleppo, Damascus and other towns of Syria. The rebels are intentionally attacking and destroying Armenian churches, old age home, schools and other institutions. The opposition fighters are also kidnapping Armenian men and killing them for supporting the Syrian government. Armenians had always been very supportive of the Syrian government since the 1915 Armenian Genocide, when thousands of Armenian refugee families were given land, rights, food and safe harbor in Syria. Armenians have always been grateful to the Syrian government for its hospitality and protection.
Far from raising any political argument, I call upon you to come to church on this Sunday, November 4, 2012, pray with me during the Divine Liturgy, and then have a luncheon in the Davitian Hall. The luncheon is organized by St. Mary to raise FUNDS for the suffering families of the Armenian communities in Syria.
The luncheon is sponsored by Naomi & George Davitian. The cost of the homemade luncheon is $15. If you are not able to join us for the luncheon, please send a heartfelt donation for this great cause. Make your check payable to: St. Mary Armenian Church, Memo: Syrian Armenian Fund.
Thank you and God be with you,
Fr. Vartan D. Joulfayan
St. Mary Armenian Church