Nested in the San Francisco Bay Area, we all cherish our Armenian culture in a multitude of ways - one being our food. As we approach St. John’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, we’d like to document, share, and treasure the foods that connect our families, and friends to what our identified Armenian culture represents. Whether it’s your favorite mezza to pilaf to sweet dessert recipes, we want you to share the food that fills your kitchen aroma and table.
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.
In commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the consecrations of both St. Vartan Oakland and St. John San Francisco a first-of-its-kind joint pilgrimage was organized by Fr. Hovel Ohanyan and Fr. Mesrop Ash. This group consisted of 54 faithful from the area and throughout the Western Diocese, who signed up to reconnect with their ancestral homeland and commit themselves to spiritual renewal.
On Friday April 28, St. John held another family night dinner to honor this community's long record of service by our veterans, peace officers, firefighters, and other first responders. Proceeds from the dinner are still coming in, and are expected to exceed $ 1,000.00, which is to be used for the chaplaincy program that assists current and former soldiers and their families in Artsakh, led by Dn. Volodya Najaryan.
On Friday, January 20, St. John once again hosted a Family Night, this time honoring the Armenians from Baku. St. John has been a real home for Armenians from Baku, since the time that many came to the Bay Area fleeing the brutal Sumgait Pogrom in 1988, and the war for the independence of Artsakh.
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.
Sunday, March 5, following the Divine Liturgy, the parishioners gathered in the courtyard near the monument of the Armenian victims of the Sumgait massacres of 1988 to participate in a requiem service and pay respect to dearly departed. Fr. Mesrop Ash conducted a Hokihankist along with altar servers and choir members. Upon conclusion of the service, he invited the faithful to place flowers and gather at Paul Family Hall for a special program.
Sunday, January 29, following the church service, all the parishioners gathered together at The Paul Family Hall. This time they would not only have coffee and cookies, but enjoy the taste of the famous Frosted Cupcake Milkshake prepared by our own Raffi Arabatyan, which contained classic vanilla cupcake with creamy vanilla frosting, chocolate pieces, and colorful sprinkles.