February 28th marked the 30th Anniversary of the Massacres of the Armenian community of Sumgait, and subsequently the Armenians throughout our Azerbaijan. To honor his occasion St. John proclaimed February Sumgait Commemoration Month.
Leading up to Easter is a time of lent and this year as in past years the Lenten Prayer Vigil Services (Husgoom) were held on Wednesday evenings. Parishioners are invited to come and pray along with participating in the readings. Afterward, a potluck meal was held for all to enjoy.
As with past Christmas holidays we once again celebrated with a number of engaging activities for not only the children but the young at heart. We lead off with an assemblage of gracious volunteers to come in and decorate the hall, tree and also the church as well. Everyone gets to participate in either hanging the lights or the little ones bringing an ornament to place on the tree.
For the first time St. John conducted an installation of the officers of the Parish Council, the Ladies Society, and the Armenian Church Youth Organization in one service.
This event became an expression of the unity of purpose and vision for cooperation that our parish is cultivating with leadership.
Following the installation ceremony, newly elected Parish Council Chair Kathy Kapeghian expressed her gratitude to be able to serve the church and to do so along with so many devoted parish members, from across generations.
ACYO has been very active. September was full of cooking days with the ladies society for the food festival and Friday night hangouts. In October we had an overnight spiritual retreat with Fr. Mesrop and Dn. Charles. The night was full of discussion about prayer, baking rice crispy treats, and karaoke. Later that month we worked during the church’s annual food festival. We had a great time doing face painting and working various booths at the food festival.
When I look back at this year and the last 4 years on Parish Council, 3 as Chairman, there were many big events that took place that required the active and endless efforts of so many. I wanted to thank and acknowledge them for without their devoted efforts we would not have accomplished or had so much success.
All that God manifested through creation, in His unfathomable wisdom, is beautiful in some true way; whether it be the rings of Saturn or the rings of a tree, the eyes of a housefly or the eye of a hurricane. It’s not always simple to understand, nor to appreciate, but our minds can comprehend its intrinsic beauty on some level. Why? Because we have incomparably rational minds.
As we reflect on 2017 we have so much to be thankful for. Our regular gatherings throughout the year were well attended and continually filled with a bond of special friendship, wisdom and cheer from our longtime standing members, new members, and friends. Like our 75th Anniversary Gala that celebrated the good days from the past and honored the present, Ladies Society aims to continue to embrace this amongst all who connect with the Ladies Society and St. John Church. It’s a place we make friendships spanning generations, in our spiritual home.