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.
Whether a child is the next violinist for a major orchestra or they just like to sing songs in the car, there’s no denying that music has many benefits for children. Among the many studies, many say learning music improves test scores, focus, listening skills and memory.
Sunday, April 29, St. John organized a Singalong Concert for Children following the church service, at Paul Family Hall. With the participation of many children along with their parents, Karen Chutjian Presti and Stephanie Chutjian Betjemann put on a fantastic show. The duo sisters presented an interactive performance designed to entertain children while exposing them to live instrumental and Armenian folk music.
It was a fun afternoon especially seeing children singing and dancing Armenian songs together.
I remember finding a baby bird who had fallen out of its nest. My friend and I, both of us all of 8 or 9 years-old, tried to care for the little thing, and eventually climbed the tree and got it returned it to its nest. I remember also being heartbroken when I was told that the mother bird wouldn’t care for it anymore because we had handled her chick. Decades later I would be relieved to know that this was just a myth. This memory and countless others are foundational to me. I’m terrified by the idea that one day, I might not be able to recall it.
As we joyfully ushered in 2018 we have been keeping busy by the weeks and months as faithful and devoted members of our community. Our cross generations of members and friends helping in many different ways provide each of us an experience one can only understand when immersed in these various activities and events. Whether it’s sitting in church in worship, socializing at a luncheon or working on a project, our connections with each other are strengthening our character, community and faith.
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.
St. John has identified raising awareness about dementia and dementia-related issues as an important goal. For that reason St. John invited representatives of Alzheimer’s Care Armenia to make a presentation to the community. Unfortunately, Dr. Jane Mahakian, Gerontologist, and co-founder was not able to appear and speak to the attendees; however, Vic Mazmanian longtime Alzheimer advocate, educator, and speaker was with us. Vic is a facilitator for several Alzheimer support groups.