With a vision to realize the fullness of the mission of the Armenian Apostolic Church, St. John Armenian Church of San Francisco mobilized teams of volunteers to prepare and serve meals to the homeless as part of the SF Interfaith Winter Shelter program. On three occasions from December to March, under the leadership of Dn. Kirk Hourdajian, and with the support of Dr. Emma Abramyan and many others, volunteers served lovingly prepared food to the more than 60 homeless men of the city's Winter Shelter, and also delivered 20 meals to a nearby women's rehabilitation center.
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.
We're excited to announce St. John Parish Garden has thrived during the summer and is excited about the fall season. Beginning in July, Mrs. Karen Holleran on the role of Garden caretaker. She will be visiting the garden from time to time to oversee its upkeep and to coordinate volunteer activities and gatherings in the garden space. In September, the Sunday school children were excited to have their first Garden Ministry class of the school year with Mrs. Ellen Eagen.
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.
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.
Over the years we have observed that many families in our community would like St. John to organize a weekly Armenian Language School to supplement their children's Armenian education. We would like to report that after sending a questionnaire to our families last spring we determined that it would be ideal to organize this school on Saturday mornings, with classes for both Eastern and Western Armenian.
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.
For over two years St. John has run a seasonal Bible Study program focusing on various biblical and ecclesiastical topics. Fr. Mesrop Ash would like to announce that the program will be on hold until Spring 2019 when it will resume with an all-new course.
On July 27, 2018 St. John Armenian Church hosted a community briefing by the Armenian Assembly of America. Community members gathered for the informal wine & cheese reception, followed by the briefing, and a lively Q&A. After welcome remarks by Rev. Fr. Mesrop Ash, Western Director Mihran Toumajian and Executive Director Bryan Ardouny made an in-depth report of the Assembly's activities. The Armenian Assembly was excited to invite everyone to their upcoming advocacy event on September 24-25, 2018. For more information visit aimhye.com.