This year's Sunday School program began on September 9, with a fun and exciting opening day. Parents and students, new and old, gathered together to meet the faculty and to learn more about their vision for this year's program.
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.
An altar server training program was held at the Western Diocese in LA. Allen Torchiyan, Enrike Kaltakhtchyan, Paul Israelian, and I were able to attend. It was a great weekend for us to learn different aspects of the Sunday Liturgy. Topics included learning different liturgical hymns as well as learning the different roles of an altar server. On that Sunday, we attended the liturgy at the cathedral. We also got to know the Burbank ACYO Chapter a little better. They were very welcoming.
The Sunday School teachers are committed to keeping our children motivated and engaged. Our teachers: Cecelia Baloian, Talene Movsesian, Alexis Burke, Lesley Kissick, Sevag Sarkissian and Ellen Eagen continue to eagerly devote their time in preparing lessons and work with our children weekly.
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.
Armenian traditional folk dance and music are an integral part of the Armenian culture. The promotion of our rich culture in both Armenian and Non-Armenian circles of the greater Bay Area was the reason St. John Karoon Dance Ensemble was established under the direction of Carol Kazarian. Over the years the group has performed during the Annual Food Festivals and a variety of public functions.
Last year, the Emeryville-based F’real food company hosted children from Make-A Wish in its local milkshake lab to create distinctive flavors. The best concoctions participated in a nation-wide social media contest to decide, which flavor would be served at locations across the country. We are pleased to announce that our dear Raffi Arabatyan won the contest after a landslide social media vote, with fantastic support for the Bay Area Armenian community.
We are happy to share the following message from Mer Hooys, House of Hope regarding one of our Sunday School Students:
Sophene Panosian, a 10-year-old fifth grader from KZV Armenian School and Sunday School student at St. John Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco, California has started her own little business baking cakes and cupcakes to raise money for Mer Hooys. Her goal is to raise $1000 and she is well on her way!
Gathering together to kick off the year in September to a celebration lunch in May we have much to celebrate and be thankful for with the presence of our youth.
The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is the most important of the four feasts of the Holy Cross. It is observed on Sunday closest to September 14. This year Armenian churches all around the world celebrated, The Exaltation of the cross on Sunday, September 13.