Last Wednesday, April 6, the Eastern Prelacy concluded its 6-part virtual Lenten Bible Study Program entitled Great Lent: Reclaiming our Baptism, presented by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education. The program was held on the Wednesdays of Great Lent from 8:00-9:00 pm, followed by an optional session from 9:00-10:00 pm for discussion and Q & A. Over 80 people participated, of whom 54 attended 4-6 sessions, from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, and California.
Dn. Shant first spoke about the origins of Great Lent and how it relates to baptism and repentance. He emphasized that during this season we make a concerted effort to live a life of repentance to live out our baptism more fully, which is nothing less than living according to the mandates of the gospel. Accordingly, Deacon Shant focused on the scriptural texts that are read traditionally during the service of baptism in the Armenian Church, including Matthew 28:16-20, Galatians 3:24-29, John 3, Mathew 3, Romans 6, plus other related texts. Dn. Shant also discussed misconceptions about original sin, counting baptism and chrismation as two distinct sacraments, as well as the misconception of equating chrismation with confirmation of the western churches.
Last Wednesday, Dn. Shant briefly recapped what he had discussed in the previous weeks and then did a quick read of Romans 5 and 6, where Apostle Paul speaks about baptism and its implications. He said, “this is simply a quick run through those two chapters, and hopefully this will serve as a teaser for our next Bible study program in the fall on Apostle Paul’s magisterial Letter to the Romans.” At the end of the session, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, commended Deacon Shant for conducting the 6-part Prelacy Lenten Program and providing high-quality Bible teaching,and wished all the participants a blessed Holy Week and a joyous celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.