Sunday, March 15, 2015, was a memorable day for St. John parishioners. Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, the Dean of the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, who was visiting St. John church from New York, delivered the spiritual Message following the Divine Liturgy. Fr. Chevian, talked about how Jesus chose random fishermen to be his disciples, and they followed him because they had the calling. He challenged the congregation to find Christ's new disciples amongst them.
Following the service the parishioners gathered in the Paul Family Hall for fellowship hour, where Fr. Chevian expressed his gratitude to Fr. Mesrop Ash for his warm hospitality, then he gave a brief presentation about St. Nersess Seminary and encouraged the parents to send their children to the summer camp or to deacons training.
A powerful and moving poetry and music program, Songs for the Ancestors, was performed by Armenian American poet James Baloian, accompanied by musicians Dan Cantrell (accordion), James Ditzian (clarinet) and Max Baloian (guitar).
Mr. James Baloian has been writing and publishing poetry for over fifty years. His poems are his expression of beauty, dreams, fears, cruelty, turbulences and serenity of human existence and the natural world around us. He performed on Sunday a selection of his works that has been set to original and traditional music that pays homage to the far-reaching tragedy and trauma of the Genocide. His emotional poems accompanied by the beautiful haunting sound of the musicians moved everyone. This program was dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
While in San Francisco, Fr. Mardiros met with local parish priests Fr. Datev Harutyunyan and Fr. Hovel Ohanyan, and attended the Genocide Commemoration concert hosted by St. Vartan Armenian Church. He also met with the 7th & 8th grade classes of the Krouzian Zekarian Vasbouragan School and spoke to them about the Armenian Genocide and vocation.