The ACYO, sleepover was a fun night for everybody. First, we all went into the kitchen and cooked meat casseroles for the homeless. Then we delivered them to the homeless shelter. After that, we had a special career presentation by Anthony Catchatoorian.
On April 1-2, 2017, thirty-six members of the Junior ACYO traveled to Dunlap, California, the site of the Armenian Church Summer Camp of the Western Diocese. Nine St. John ACYO members participated in the retreat under, led by Dn. Charles Cherezian and Kathy Kapehgian. The retreat was designed to tackle the issues relevant to the youth on the social, religious and ethical levels.
Captivated by the wonder of God’s creation and the scenic beauty of the campsite, the youth enjoyed hiking, sports and participating in lively discussions.
On Saturday, March 18, 2017, the ACYO youth gathered at St. John’s Armenian Church to participate in a special Lenten lock-in, a sleepover at the church. The evening began with a talk from Dn. Anthony Catchatoorian. Anthony spoke about his career as a camera person for KPIX and Comcast, and also shared his experience and involvement in the church since his childhood. He talked to the youth about the different journeys he has taken in his life, how the church has always given him strength and encouraged them to pursue their career dreams.
Sunday, March 5, following the Divine Liturgy, the parishioners gathered in the courtyard near the monument of the Armenian victims of the Sumgait massacres of 1988 to participate in a requiem service and pay respect to dearly departed. Fr. Mesrop Ash conducted a Hokihankist along with altar servers and choir members. Upon conclusion of the service, he invited the faithful to place flowers and gather at Paul Family Hall for a special program.
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.
Saint Sarkis the Warrior is one of the most venerated Armenian saints. He is considered the patron saint of love and youth. His feast day is celebrated in late January or early February Each year, on the first day of the Fast of the Holy Catechumens (First Lent), the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church celebrates the Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, his son Martiros and his 14 soldiers-companions.
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.
Saturday, February 4, 2017, once again St. John Armenian Church hosted a benefit concert featuring young talented Armenian Artists, Dr. Tatev Amiryan, composer/pianist, and Nadima Avakian, soprano. Part of the proceeds was donated to the “Kantzer” choir of St. Anna Church in Armenia.
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.
In November our general meeting resumed. We talked at length about how we can stay more connected with our members and host special speakers at our upcoming meetings in 2017. Some great ideas and suggestions were exchanged. We look forward to planning our 2017 calendar.
On December 15 (in lieu of a meeting), 22 members and friends braved the rainy day and enjoyed lunch at the Opera House followed by an enchanting performance of the Nutcracker performed by the San Francisco Ballet.
Happy New Year from Ladies Society