Over the summer, ACYO had many fun events that brought the group closer together. We made memories that we will cherish forever. We continued our Friday Night hangouts where we have dinner, discussions, and hangout time. Our discussions range from faith to everyday topics that relate to us. This event helps us unwind from a stressful week of school. We hope to continue these Friday nights throughout the rest of the year.
For the first time St. John conducted an installation of the officers of the Parish Council, the Ladies Society, and the Armenian Church Youth Organization in one service.
This event became an expression of the unity of purpose and vision for cooperation that our parish is cultivating with leadership.
Following the installation ceremony, newly elected Parish Council Chair Kathy Kapeghian expressed her gratitude to be able to serve the church and to do so along with so many devoted parish members, from across generations.
ACYO has been very active. September was full of cooking days with the ladies society for the food festival and Friday night hangouts. In October we had an overnight spiritual retreat with Fr. Mesrop and Dn. Charles. The night was full of discussion about prayer, baking rice crispy treats, and karaoke. Later that month we worked during the church’s annual food festival. We had a great time doing face painting and working various booths at the food festival.
On August 7th, the St. John Armenian Church San Francisco junior ACYO set out for a four day trip to Lake Tahoe led by Rev. Fr Mesrop and Yn. Annie Ash and youth director Dn. Charles Cherezian. A special thank you to Katherine Zerounian and Naira Sujohn for chaperoning as well. Over 15 junior members we in attendance. The days were spent by having various fellowship activities. Activities included a hike and spiritual discussion in Emerald Bay State Park with Fr.
In conjunction with the Sports Weekend, an essay contest was held by Western Diocese asking the ACYO members to write a response to a book The 100 Steps. We are delighted to announce that our ACYO members won high honors in the contest, Megan Tutundjian won first prize, and Kevin Kestekyan won second prize. Congratulations to Megen and Kevin.
The following is Megan Tutundjian's award winning essay:
The past couple months have been a busy time for our ACYO. The month of May focused on getting our teens ready for the annual ACYO Sports Weekend in Fresno. We held practices jointly with our brothers and sisters across the bay at St. Vartan Church. This was a great time to bond with them. Sports weekend was a total success. Our kids had the time of their lives. We are proud of how they competed but more importantly how they represented themselves and our church. Our boys won the 3rd place in junior basketball. They fought hard and played so well. They enjoyed teaming up with St.
The ACYO, sleepover was a fun night for everybody. First, we all went into the kitchen and cooked meat casseroles for the homeless. Then we delivered them to the homeless shelter. After that, we had a special career presentation by Anthony Catchatoorian.
On April 1-2, 2017, thirty-six members of the Junior ACYO traveled to Dunlap, California, the site of the Armenian Church Summer Camp of the Western Diocese. Nine St. John ACYO members participated in the retreat under, led by Dn. Charles Cherezian and Kathy Kapehgian. The retreat was designed to tackle the issues relevant to the youth on the social, religious and ethical levels.
Captivated by the wonder of God’s creation and the scenic beauty of the campsite, the youth enjoyed hiking, sports and participating in lively discussions.
On Saturday, March 18, 2017, the ACYO youth gathered at St. John’s Armenian Church to participate in a special Lenten lock-in, a sleepover at the church. The evening began with a talk from Dn. Anthony Catchatoorian. Anthony spoke about his career as a camera person for KPIX and Comcast, and also shared his experience and involvement in the church since his childhood. He talked to the youth about the different journeys he has taken in his life, how the church has always given him strength and encouraged them to pursue their career dreams.
On a chilly afternoon, December 3, 11 members of the St. John ACYO met at the base of the Mt. Davidson Cross to spend an hour and a half tending the to the precious San Francisco landmark, and profound Armenian Genocide memorial. The previous season had left a growth of grass and weeds coming through the cracks at the base of the cross, and the fallen leaves blanketed the surrounding space.