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
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.