Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, St. John Armenian Church of San Francisco has and will continue to have an important role to play by continuing its God-pleasing mission to best serve our community. During these past two months, the Parish Council of St. John, volunteers, and the staff have implemented outreach programs for seniors and vulnerable parishioners. Weekly phone calls were made to ensure everyone's safety and health.
During these uncertain times, volunteerism and feeling responsible to unite the community is very important, learning and helping one another will help the community to grow and become stronger.
Last week The Bay Area Armenian COVID-19 Task Force donated face masks and gloves to all the Bay area Armenian Churches, and organizations. Thanks to the volunteers we were able to distribute them to our parishioners. Over forty households received masks and gloves.
One of the most important missions of our church is to educate our youth about our faith and share the meaning and significance of our Armenian Christian service. As our community continues to expand, we have an opportunity to ensure our children deeply understand the Divine Liturgy and feel connected to it and the roots of our faith.
To meet this growing need, and to be responsive to requests from parents, we are launching an altar servers training program in early 2020, with encouragement and support from our Primate, Abp. Hovnan Derderian!
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.
Sunday, August 19, once again St. John picnic committee organized a Sunday Day, Fun Day picnic at Coyote Point Park in San Mateo.
Fr. Mesrop Ash along with Dn. Daron Kapeghian conducted a short service and delivered a spiritual message, followed by the blessing of the food.
The menu was St. John’s famous pilaf and BBQ prepared by Cherezian brothers and friends. Over 200 people came together to enjoy the beautiful weather, delicious food, and friendship. The highlight of the event was the Ice Cream bar, which everyone enjoyed immensely.
On Wednesday, June 27, 2018, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate, travelled to San Francisco, where he presided over the Northern California Clergy Regional meeting at St. John Armenian Church. The planning of an inter-community retreat and the re-organization of the region’s mission parishes was discussed. The Rev. Fr. Hovel Ohanyan, Pastor of St. Vartan Armenian Church of Oakland, the Rev. Fr. Mesrop Ash, Pastor of St. John Armenian Church of San Francisco and the Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Ksachikyan, Pastor of St. James Armenian Church of Sacramento participated in the meeting.
To strengthen the ecumenical ties and dialogue between the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Diocesan Primate and Bay Area clergy Archpriest Fr. Datev Harutyunian, the Rev. Fr. Hovel Ohanyan and the Rev. Fr. Mesrop Ash visited His Eminence Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco on Thursday, August 9, 2018.
The clergy sought to explore areas of cooperation through joint prayer services and other ecumenical events.
As we joyfully ushered in 2018 we have been keeping busy by the weeks and months as faithful and devoted members of our community. Our cross generations of members and friends helping in many different ways provide each of us an experience one can only understand when immersed in these various activities and events. Whether it’s sitting in church in worship, socializing at a luncheon or working on a project, our connections with each other are strengthening our character, community and faith.
Students studied the eight Sundays of Great lent from Poon Paregentan (much like Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday) to Easter. Abstinence this year was also part of the Pre-K students teaching, and for Lent, they diligently gave up M&M’s and Lollypops!
They celebrated by attending a special Children’s Badarak together on Lazarus Saturday followed by a breakfast and the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
St. John has identified raising awareness about dementia and dementia-related issues as an important goal. For that reason St. John invited representatives of Alzheimer’s Care Armenia to make a presentation to the community. Unfortunately, Dr. Jane Mahakian, Gerontologist, and co-founder was not able to appear and speak to the attendees; however, Vic Mazmanian longtime Alzheimer advocate, educator, and speaker was with us. Vic is a facilitator for several Alzheimer support groups.