With Veteran’s Day fast approaching we begun eagerly preparing for our Annual Veteran’s Day Event, wherein we honor all of those who have honorably served in the Armed Services. As part of our tradition, the money raised from this event benefits various charities. Last year the proceeds were devoted to the Chaplaincy program of the Armed Services of the Republic of Armenia that serves both active servicemen and veterans. We were so pleased with the results stemming from our contributions that we have decided to once again support the efforts of the chaplaincy.
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 anointing oil of the Armenian Church is called Holy Muron, The right to bless the Holy Muron is bestowed upon the Catholicos of All Armenians, once every seven years.
On October 24, 2015, St. John Armenian Church hosted the 73rd Annual Food Festival. This spectacular event is a major attraction that draws more than 1,000 visitors from the Greater Bay Area each year. The Festival is a cultural feast of Armenian flavors, authentic traditional cuisine that is handed down from generation to generation, Armenian folk music and dancing, showcasing Armenian artifacts from Armenia and bringing the community together.
Our annual Food Festival Boutique will feature limited themed items. Our Boutique sales will also be available through the holidays, with an expanded inventory.
For the Food Festival boutique we continue to accept donations. We welcome new and gently used unique kitchen themed items, like demi tasse cups, jezvahs, linens, pot holders, aprons, cookbooks, etc. It’s a bonus if your donated items have an Armenian cultural theme. For our Holiday Boutique, we welcome an assortment of new and gently used gift items. Speciality holiday themed items would be appreciated.
Armenians of the Bay Area, including the parish of St. John, feel a sense of great pride that thoughout the Centennial Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we have organized to mark the somber occasion and achieved many goals. We have honored and even celebrated the sainted martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, educated our youth, advocated for just recognition, and raised awareness in the public sphere.
On Sunday, September 20, following church services, the much anticipated presentation of the “Historic Armenia After 100 years,” by the author Matthew Karanian took place in The Paul Family Hall. Fr. Mesrop Ash introduced Mr. Karanian and invited him to the podium.
It was nearly 3 years ago that our community was stunned by the tragic news of the young Armenian family and the event that befell them at Big Lagoon Beach in Humboldt County. Howard Kuljian, patriarch of the Kuljian family, along with wife Mary and son Gregory were swept out by ocean currents as they tried to save their beloved family dog. Olivia was the only member of her family to survive that infamous event.
As the last days of Summer play themselves out with our vacations concluding and our children returning to school, St. John hosts its Annual Picnic. This year was simply a pleasant occasion to enjoy the fellowship of our community, set against the backdrop of the beautifully forested Huddard Park on a bright, sunny day at the close of the Summer season.
For the past three years, St. John has offered an Internship program for High School and College students where interns gain practical work experience, learn to work together, being creative, help the community and above all have fun.
This year 10 students participated in this program including Slavik Gevorkyan, Nick James, Lea Kissick, Maria Stone, Grant Hilman, Slavik Bayatyan, Andrew Boghossian, Alex Kouyoumdjian, Allen Torchiyan and Enrike Kaltakhtchyan. They met twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday from beginning of July until beginning of August.