The parishioners of St. John Armenian Church of San Francisco were delighted to welcome the Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian for the episcopal celebration of the Divine Liturgy at St. John Armenian Church of San Francisco on Sunday, January 10, 2016. Assisting His Eminence at the Holy Altar were the Rev. Fr. Nerses Hayrapetyan and the Rev. Fr. Mesrop Ash, Pastor of the host parish.
During the service Archbishop Derderian ordained sub-deacon Kirk Hourdajian into the Diaconate, commending the young altar server for his selfless dedication to the Armenian Apostolic Church and enduring affection for the rich heritage of the Armenian people.
With the assistance of the priests, the Primate also performed the Blessing of the Water service.
The Primate also addressed the Sunday School students from the bema as the children sat at the nave listening attentively to his spiritual message. "With the Birth of Christ, each of us is renewed spiritually," said His Eminence in part. "You must carry the joy of the Savior's birth in your hearts, for you are the ambassadors of Christ on earth," he added.
Close to 150 people attended the reception which was held at the church hall following the service.
The program featured recitations by the Sunday School students and was followed by a message of gratitude was by the newly ordained deacon Kirk Hourdajian.
In his remarks, the Primate commended the steadfast leadership of the Rev. Fr. Mesrop Ash in ensuring the livelihood of the Bay Area parish through various religious, cultural and social events. He encouraged the community to continue to uphold the sacred traditions of the Armenian Apostolic Church and to cherish the Christian values which we commonly hold in reverence.
In recognition of their unwavering service to St. John Armenian Church, parishioners Edward Barber and Arlene Barber were honored by the Primate with the Archbishop's Award. "Hye Spirit" medals were awarded to parishioners Charles Cherezian, Steven Cherezian, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph and Elise Kazanjian and Miss Florence Pinomaki as they were recognized for their relentless dedication in serving St. John Armenian Church.