August 3, 2006
TO: Reverend Clergy. Parish Council chairpersons and members, Diocesan Delegates, parish leadership
RE: Appeal to Aid Armenian Community of Lebanon.
The world has been gripped with concern these past weeks over the fighting in Lebanon. We pray that the situation will soon improve, and that people of good will in Lebanon?and throughout the region?can again take up the path of peace, prosperity, and security they were beginning to walk along after a generation of war and strife.
As you know, the region remains very close to the hearts of many Armenians. Both Lebanon and Israel have long-standing Armenian communities, and both are historic spiritual centers for the Armenian Church.
Our prayers go to our Armenian brothers and sisters who are suffering during these troubled times. We ask the Lord to grant them protection and peace of mind during the conflict. May His eternal love be a light of hope for all those enveloped by the darkness of war.
Along with your continued prayers, I ask you to support relief efforts helping the innocent people caught in the fighting. Working with the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), the Diocese is collecting funds to help the Armenians affected; please visit FAR?s website, www.farusa.org, for details. I urge you to give as individuals and to lead your parishes in giving as a community.
To that end, I hereby direct all Diocesan parishes to hold a special collection during badarak on Sunday, August 13, 2006?the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother-of-God?to help those in need. Please arrange to hold a second collection during services on that day, with the money being designated for the relief efforts.
Again, may the Lord bring a lasting peace to the region. May His love shine into every heart, bringing peace and comfort.
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian