Living Among the Dead

Vahe-Jebejian

by Vahé Jebejian
«Why do you seek the living among the dead? » Luke 24:5

That’s what the angels said when the women came to Jesus’ tomb, only to find it empty. Indeed, the idea of Jesus in a tomb was history. Jesus had risen from the dead, but the women not knowing came to search for Him. How often in our lives do we go back and take refuge in our past?

When the women went back, the only thing they saw was an empty tomb, an emptiness. It was now time to look to the future, to what’s ahead.

It is easy when problems come to look back to the past for comfort, reassuring ourselves that we once were good people, we have already done plenty of good deeds. There is nothing wrong in looking back to the past to search for encouragement or to remember joyful moments. However, there is a problem when we start getting comfortable with that. 

Jesus said in Luke 9:60, «Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God». Jesus may sound pretty unsympathetic, after all the man had suffered a big loss. Jesus is extending His hand to the man, inviting him to join His ministry, but the man keeps looking back at his past, he’s not ready to let go.

Jesus calls us out of our comfort zone, he called Peter out of the boat to join Him on the water. Peter, accepting the challenge, comes out but when the winds blow, he faces a choice. The winds represent our problems. I’d like to imagine that when Peter started sinking, he had two choices: either to go back to the boat or to seek Jesus. Let’s keep that image in mind every time we face a dilemma in life. Will we go back to the comfort zone, to the boat, or seek Life? Let’s follow Peter, when he says, « Lord, save me», in Matthew 14:30. Jesus promises us to be there promptly, as he was for Peter, «Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him» (Matthew 14:31).

It is a lifelong task to always reach out for more. It is not easy to get out of our comfort zone. Let’s try every day to do something that will make a difference somehow, no matter how small it is.

Finally, «Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead» Philippians 3:13.

Five Reasons Why We Launched Our New Chanitz.org Website

by Raffi
2016 marks the tenth anniversary of our Chanitz blog and on this occasion, we have recently launched our rebranded website. It wasn’t a simple task migrating the whole content from one platform to another, but eventually, we made it to our new and beautiful home.

Now, why did we launch a new website?
Lately, we've been contemplating about this complete overhaul. The web has changed a lot in the recent years, and our previous website hasn't been providing the best experience to our readers.

Here's a list of features that we had in mind while going through the migration:

Colors and fonts

We wanted to have simple yet invigorating colors on our website. That's why we chose the colors of the Chanitz logo, and we added to it indigo that goes well with the rest of the theme.
The fonts were provided to us by the hosting agency, and it renders well on all the screens, and most importantly it's readable on all the platforms.

Responsive design

Who hasn't heard of this new trend, which is almost every designer's craze these days? The technology has provided us with a lot of platforms, mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktops, and each come with a specific screen size. We wanted our website to be responsive, we wanted our website to look seamlessly on all the screen sizes, be them tablets but more specifically the mobiles phone.

Fresh and simple look

If you look at our new website, you can see that it has a fresh, clean and simple look, with a lot of white space, that provides easiness for our readers' eyes. We took away some clutter that was found on the sidebar of our previous website and we opted to include the vital sections, like subscribe, social media links, search, prayer, and partners.

Usability and ease of reading

Usability and ease of reading have become one of the most important aspects of a great website. And if you're a content providing website, then you know how much this is crucial. While, looking around for new hosting providers and templates, this 'usability' feature was always at the back of our minds. We wanted to provide the best experience for our readers and followers.

URL mapping

We wanted to keep our old content and migrate them to a new location. Fortunately, our new hosting provider gave us the option to transfer all our blog content with all the uploaded images in a single click.
Afterward, we had to clean the URL mapping, in order for all the old links that are scattered everywhere on search engines and social media platforms to show the correct content, rather than showing a 404 with a message that says, 'oops, the URL isn't working'. Thankfully, we had a nice option to map the URL into the new form and viola, the links started showing the readers the correct content.

Interestingly, the birthday of our Chanitz Blog coincides with the birth of our Armenian Evangelical Church. Today, we are ten years old, and our Armenian Evangelical Church is 170 years old.

Hey, it's our birthday, and we'd love to receive your emails, messages, feedback.

New-Chanitz-Website

Chanasser Publication (Ջանասէր) Mar-Apr 2015 Issue

Բովանդակութիւն՝

  • Նուիրական Անկախութիւն... «Ջ.»
  • Միասնականութեան Կոչ Մը... Վեր. Րաֆֆի Մսըրլեան
  • Ալ Աւելի Կեանք Յիսուսով... Վեր. Յակոբ Սարգիսեան
  • Ժամանակաւոր Պանդուխտներ... Վեր. Հրայր Չոլաքեան
  • Կը Յիշեմ եւ Կը Պահանջեմ... Դոկտ. Հրայր Ճէպէճեան
  • Հայ Բժիշկներու, Դեղագործներու եւ Ատամնաբոյժներու Չարչարանքը եւ Սպանութիւնը Մեծ Եղեռնին Ընթացքին... Դոկտ. Ատոմ Պուճիգանեան
  • «Համշէնցիները»... Կարօ Աբրահամեան
  • Հայկական Դպրոցներու «Մոտան» Անցա՞ծ Է... Դոկտ. Մինաս Գոճայեան
  • 60-Ամեակի Կալա-Ընթրիք
  • «Սուրիոյ Հայերը» Գիտաժողով
  • Արտագաղթ-Ներգաղթ... Ռ.Ա.Մ.
  • Զաւէն Խանճեանի Հրատարակած Զոյգ Հատորներու Ներկայացում
  • Դոկտ. Անդրանիկ Տագէսեանի Խօսքը
  • Զաւէն Խանճեան. Մարդն ու Գործը... Թորոս Թորանեան
  • Հայ Երգը Չի Կրնար Մեռնիլ... Սեւան Աբէլեան
  • Հայ Աւետարանական Կեանք
  • Լուրեր Հայաշխարհ
  • Մահագրութիւն
    • Յակոբ Կանիմեան... Անիժիկ Յակոբեան-Կանիմեան
    • Բիւզանդ Հասըրճեան

Սեփականատէր՝ Մերձաւոր Արեւելքի Հայ Աւետ. Եկեղեցիներու Միութիւն
Հրատարակիչ՝ Մ.Ա.Հ.Ա.Ե. Միութեան Հրատարակչական Մարմին
Owner: Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East
Publisher: U.A.E.C.N.E. Publications Committee

Interview With Rev. Raffi Messerlian Regarding His Participation in the Board Meeting of the World Christian Endeavour Union

In 2014, Rev. Raffi Messerlian was elected as a member of the World Christian Endeavour Union (WCEU) and in the Summer of 2015, the Board of WCEU held their meeting in Germany.

In order to further explain to our readers about the connection of the Armenian Chrisitan Endeavour Societies of Lebanon and Syria with the WCEU we conducted this interview.

(interview conducted by Mr. R. Chilingirian)

Raffi - What is the relationship of the Armenian Krisdoneyagan Chanits (Christian Endeavour) with the World Christian Endeavor Union? Can you give us a brief history?
Rev. Raffi - As the Christian Endeavour Body of Lebanon and Syria we have created connections with the World Christian Endeavour Union, and during the years the relationship has fluctuated due to various reasons including the wars in Lebanon.
Our Armenian Evangelical Churches had adopted the Christian Endeavour work among our youth, and we have created junior and youth Christian Endeavour Societies within our Armenian Evangelical Churches in Cilicia (currently Turkey)
Our Armenian Evangelical Christian Endeavour Societies in Lebanon and Syria have a special standing within the WCEU, since we are not independent youth organisations but are part of the local church, hence our motto: "For Christ and For the Church".

Raffi- Did anyone in the CE executive meeting know about the CE existence in the Armenian Evangelical Churches of Lebanon and Syria?
Rev. Raffi- Yes there were various members of the WCEU, who had heard about us, and they asked me several questions regarding our work, and I gave a presentation about our youth groups and youth-related work and services and camps in both Lebanon and Syria. The president of the WCEU showed interest in our work here in Lebanon and he would like to give us a visit within next year in 2016.

Raffi- What were the main topics discussed during the CE executive meeting in Germany?
Rev. Raffi- The Executive Body's meeting was held in Germany in a very nice campsite. There were several delegations present during the meeting. There were 2 main important topics:

  1. The general executive Mr. Andreas Rudolf will be retiring in 2017 and we decided to ask the national Christian Endeavour Societies to send their nominees for the general executive position. During this meeting there were several question raised and discussed, one of which is to know and announce the role and responsibilities of the general executive. All the world Christian Endeavour Societies will be receiving an official letter regarding this subject matter.
  2. The financial situation is getting tough and we have to come up with means to close the gap between our inflows and outflows. Hence, after extensive discussions during the meeting, we decided to ask all the national Christian Endeavour Societies to help the WCEU financially.

Raffi- How do you see the future of the relationship with the World Christian Endeavour Union?
Rev. Raffi- I think that this connection with the WCEU should be revitalised and in 2018 there is a convention that is going to be held in San Diego. We need to select a few of our members to participate in this convention.

Rev. Raffi sitting in the middle next to Andreas Rudolf, general secretary of WCEU

Church Leadership Gathering of the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church in Kchag

On the 14th of November 2015, the committees and the  leadership of the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church around 30 people gathered in KCHAG Lebanon. The program included worship, short meditation from scripture, prayer time followed by  social time and dinner.  The meditation was from Mark 6:32-44 the miracle of the multiplication of  the 5 loaves and the 2 fish. The challenge from the text was to focus on opportunities that God puts before us and to serve His people trusting His mighty hand.

After the meditation, church committee members, blog committee members, leaders from the Sunday school, Teens group, Young adults, couples group and the ladies group committee gathered in mixed groups for prayer. Each group prayed thanking God for a certain ministry in the church. The prayer time was followed by a social time where the same groups had to work together preparing a scene from the parables and miracles of Jesus. At the end of the gathering, dinner was served.

We praise the Lord for giving us the opportunity to serve at different capacities within his Church. We believe that The Emmanuel church is blessed with its different active groups and their enthusiastic leaders. November the 14th was a blessed day, a day of fellowship, a day of renewal. May the Lord increase the workers in His vineyard for his glory.

Badveli Sevag Trashian

Christian Endeavour Delegations (Badkamavoragan) Meeting 2015

On Sunday, 8 November 2015, the annual Christian Endeavour delegations (Badkamavoragan) meeting took place in Kchag, Lebanon. Eighteen delegates of the Christian Endeavour junior and youth group were present from the following churches:
  1. Armenian Evangelical First Church (2), 
  2. Armenian Evangelical Church of Ashrafieh (2), 
  3. Armenian Evangelical Church of Nor-Marash (2), 
  4. Armenian Evangelical Church of Anjar (2), 
  5. Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church (2), 
  6. The representative of Kchag committee (1), and the representative of the Central Committee of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE) were present (1), 
  7. Members of the C.E. Executive Body (6),
  8. As well as three students (as guests) from the Near East School of Theology (NEST).
After having lunch and worshipping the Lord together (led by Ms. Nanor Kelenjian), badveli Datev Basmajian led the bible study session, picked from Mark 6:32-44. Then, Badveli Sebouh Terzian welcomed the delegates, and after electing the board for this annual meeting they listened to:
  • the report of the Executive Body, as well as discussed the annual financial figures, 
  • the report of Kchag representative, 
  • the report of the Armenian Genocide 100-Anniversary Youth Body representative,
  • the encouraging words of the UAECNE CC representative,
  • the reports of each C.E. junior and youth delegate, as well as shared good news and challenges, discussed issues, recommended solutions and requested prayers,
  • the Youth Worker’s report and request for prayers

The delegates presented their recommendations and suggestions regarding the camps, the insurance system, Kchag committee, fixed fiscal year, and how to better show the financial figures.

Three new members of the C.E. Executive Body were elected: Rev. Raffi Messerlian (3 years), Mr. Aren Deyirmenjian (3 years) and Mrs. Anita Andonian (1 year).

While Badveli Sebouh Terzian, Mrs. Shushan Artinian-Tokatlian and Mrs. Noushig Shanlian-Arzoumanian ended their serving years.

The members of the C.E. Executive Body for the year 2016 are:
Ms. Nanor Kelenjian
Badveli Hagop Akbasharian
Badveli Sevag Trashian
Mr. Raffi Chilingirian
Rev. Raffi Messerlian
Mr. Aren Deyirmenjian
Mrs. Anita Andonian

After reading, correcting and approving this meeting's minutes, the meeting was closed with prayer led by Badveli Hagop Akbasharian and singing together the Christian Endeavour anthem (Chanki Engerner).


Rev. Sako Baroudjian (France) surprised us with his presence and he shared with us an encouraging message

(Back L to R): Badveli Hagop Akbasharian, Mr. Krikor Aynilian, Mr. Anto Messerlian, Mr. Aren Deyirmenjian, Mr. Assadour Mencherian, Mr. Njteh Mekhsian, Mrs. Lisa Tumberian-Hekimian, Mr. Raffi Chilingirian, Badveli Sebouh Terzian, Badveli Datev Basmajian

(Front L to R): Mr. Garo Torkomian, Ms. Garin Haidostian, Ms. Rima Cholakian, Mrs. Shushan Artinian-Tokatlian, Ms. Nanor Kelenjian, Ms. Angie Kirejian, Ms. Christine Keshian, Ms. Maria Kjdrian, Badveli Sevag Trashian, Mr. Shant Agishian, Ms. Arda Kerbabian

Photo Shy: Rev. Hrayr Cholakian and Mr. Aram Babajanyan

A Sword

«For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions
of the heart » Hebrews 4:12 

Paul, more than once, refers to the Word of God as a sword. In Ephesians 6:17 we read, «and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God». Jesus said in Matthew 10:34, «Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword». A sword is generally something you would not use in your everyday life. A sword is a violent tool, once used in wars and conflicts. The ideas that come to mind when thinking about a sword are death, attack, violence, power. Do we treat God’s Word as a sword in our daily lives? 

Paul didn’t use this word randomly. A sword separates a being into two and an object into two parts. The Word of God is a sword that cuts through us and reveals our true nature. Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to the Word of God, they were confronted with their nudity and shame. The Word of God is so powerful that the amazing universe was created through it.
Millions of galaxies, stars, moons, planets, and gigantic black holes were created by the Word of God. People have found courage to resist torture through the Word of God. Christians through years have suffered persecution, fed to lions, and beheaded but the Word of God still keeps on changing hearts. The Lord said in Isaiah 55:11, «so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it». God doesn’t need mortals like us to spread His Word, but He trusts and loves us so much that he has given us the privilege to be His hands and feet. How are we dealing then with His Word? Are we giving it the worth it deserves? Are we using the Word of God as a sword or as a pillow? 

Often, people tell me that as Christians it is hard to debate and that non-Christians have better arguments than we have. It is hard, but a sword always wins the battle. If the Word of God is like a sword, then we should trust it to cut through. We should study it so deeply. The Word of
God should be so rooted in us that it doesn’t simply become a sword, but mine and your personal sword. People don’t like to be told what is wrong in their lives, and that is exactly what the Word of God does, it cuts through and shows what is really inside. The Word of God cuts through our daily masks and challenges us to become our greater self in Him. God’s Word is a sword, a very sharp one, but it doesn’t stop there, it is a light as well that if we let it shine it will change our and people’s lives forever; if only we believe and trust in it.

Vahé Jebejian