Saturday, January 18, 2020, a concert in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Gomidas Vartabed was held at St. John Armenian Church, featuring Grammy® nominated, world-renowned soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and friends. This sold-out concert was dedicated to one of the giants of the Armenian music and one of the most prominent ethnomusicologists, compose, conductor of all time Gomidas Vartabed (nee Soghomon Soghomonian). The pre-concert lecture and Champaign reception were held at the small hall. Dr.
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!
We are excited to announce that once again St. John has organized a number of volunteer opportunities in cooperation with the SF Interfaith Winter Shelter program. For the past three years we've organized small groups to make and serve a meal for over 60 of San Francisco's homeless.
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.