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
For the first time at St. John Armenian Church, a new tradition was celebrated on the occasion of the New Year. On January 1, 2017, following the Divine Liturgy, pomegranates were blessed in accordions with the right established by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholics of All Armenians, just a few years ago. The blessed fruits, which are of great symbolic important to the Armenian people, were distributed to the faithful to enjoy with their families, or take home to loved ones were are unable to attend church.
The faithful of the St. John community gathered together in the true spirit of the Christmas season on December 24, 2016, to experience the long-standing tradition of the Candlelight Service, which features hymns, Christmas carols, and the Children's Nativity pageant.
During the Holiday season, and throughout the year, Christians are called to be generous for the benefit of those in need. As Christ said, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40). In that spirit, several parish families, led by the Karamyan family worked together to prepare several Turkey meals that were delivered to local shelters.
On the evening of Sunday, December 11 St. John joined other member parishes of the Eastern Churches of the Bay Area (ECoBA), for a celebratory Christmas concert featuring One Voice, a band consisting of members across many denominations and communities.
St. John Parish was proud to participate in this event, represented by Garo and Nadima Avakian, who sang a selection from popular Armenian fold musicologist Komitas.
With Christmas quickly approaching, the faithful of St. John Armenian Church gathered for the Annual Christmas Party, an occasion when the parish hosts a common meal and welcomes the community at large to have a pleasant time in the spirit of the Christmas season, conditioning our hearts to receive the love-filled and glorious birth of Jesus Christ.
During the Divine Liturgy, the children of the parish were invited to come forward and receive a special Christmas message about the importance of generosity.
On December 4, 2016, the families of St. John gathered together to decorate the parish complex for the Christmas season. This annual activity instills unites the parish community in a festive sense celebration, as we prepare ourselves to mark the miraculous birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Priest.
On a chilly afternoon, December 3, 11 members of the St. John ACYO met at the base of the Mt. Davidson Cross to spend an hour and a half tending the to the precious San Francisco landmark, and profound Armenian Genocide memorial. The previous season had left a growth of grass and weeds coming through the cracks at the base of the cross, and the fallen leaves blanketed the surrounding space.
For the past 68 years, the young leaders of Armenian Churches throughout the West Coast have gathered together on Thanksgiving Weekend for the Annual Convention of the Armenian Church Youth Organization. This year's convention was hosted at St. Apkar Armenian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona.