Saturday, January 18, 2020, a concert in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Gomidas Vartabed was held at St. John Armenian Church, featuring Grammy® nominated, world-renowned soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and friends. This sold-out concert was dedicated to one of the giants of the Armenian music and one of the most prominent ethnomusicologists, compose, conductor of all time Gomidas Vartabed (nee Soghomon Soghomonian). The pre-concert lecture and Champaign reception were held at the small hall. Dr.
Whether a child is the next violinist for a major orchestra or they just like to sing songs in the car, there’s no denying that music has many benefits for children. Among the many studies, many say learning music improves test scores, focus, listening skills and memory.
Sunday, April 29, St. John organized a Singalong Concert for Children following the church service, at Paul Family Hall. With the participation of many children along with their parents, Karen Chutjian Presti and Stephanie Chutjian Betjemann put on a fantastic show. The duo sisters presented an interactive performance designed to entertain children while exposing them to live instrumental and Armenian folk music.
It was a fun afternoon especially seeing children singing and dancing Armenian songs together.
On October 21–22, 2015, St. John Armenian Church hosted their 75th Annual Food Festival. This spectacular event is a major attraction that draws thousands of visitors from the Greater Bay Area each year. The Festival is a cultural feast of Armenian flavors, an authentic traditional cuisine that is handed down from generation to generation, Armenian folk music, and dancing, showcasing Armenian gifts from Armenia and bringing the community together.
Sunday, November 13, 2016, following the church service, a poetry reading and book signing event was held at Paul Family Fellowship hall organized by St. John Armenian Church. Poet James Baloian read poems from his newly published poems called “Photo of an Unknown Ancestor” accompanied by live music with Max Baloian and friends.
James was not reciting his poems, but living them. He read them slowly and naturally, with affection and emotion.
On Sunday, October 18, 2015, The water blessing service was conducted with the newly blessed Holy Muron, which had been blessed by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. This service was held according to the decree of Diocesan Primate, His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian, such that every parish upon receiving the new batch of blessed chrism should celebrate the occasion by blessing water and distributing it to the faithful.
The Holy Week and Feast of the Ressurection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ are always a call to renewal through His mercy and glory. St. John gives thanks for the opportunity to celebrate these occasions in 2016 along with the family of the faithful.
On Sunday, February 15, following the Divine Liturgy, under the leadership of Fr. Mesrop Ash and Youth Advisor Edward Barber Jr. twelve members participated in the Armenian Church Youth Organization meeting. During the meeting they discussed the upcoming ACYO Jr. Retreat, Hye Camp registration and upcoming activities including April 24 events.
If anyone is interested in joining St. John ACYO please contact Fr. Mesrop Ash.
On January 29, Fr. Hovel Ohanyan, parish priest of St. Vartan Oakland, and Fr. Mesrop Ash of St. John San Francisco participated in meeting and prayer service of the Eastern Churches of the Bay Area (ECoBA), hosted by Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Church in Millbrae. Ten clergy from different denominations joined in the Vesper Service and enjoyed a meal. In the spirit of brotherly love and respect they discussed issues effecting the Christian communities Near and Middle East, and how our parishes can help support them. Fr. Hovel and Fr.