Serious about your faith?
But Uncertain about your future?
Why not be a part of the Saint James House for a year and set a pattern for your life?
ST. JAMES HOUSE, a ministry of Saint John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska, provides a one-year residential program where young, single people live in an extended-family setting and become better prepared to live in the world as faithful Orthodox Christian men and women. This is accomplished primarily through evening studies, household work projects, and participation in the liturgical and community life of St. John Cathedral, as well as their daily interaction with one another. The household itself is run by a resident family whose goal is to mentor the program's participants in facing everyday challenges responsibly and with faith in God. The pastor and clergy of St. John Orthodox Cathedral also oversee the program by providing instruction and spiritual direction.
"Young people need to know they can marry, raise a family and still be all-out Orthodox Christians. Our parishes urgently need such young people to become pillars of the Church."
- Fr. Marc Dunaway, Pastor of St. John Cathedral
The St. James House program begins September 1 and finishes the end of June every year. There are separate dormitory-style accommodations for up to five men and five women. Household members are usually expected to have jobs or attend college. (The University of Alaska, Anchorage is less than a half-hour away.) The normal fee for room and board is $500 per month. Residents are also expected to participate in group teachings, activities and service projects and to attend Church services.
Living at the Saint James House means living in an intentional way that helps us grow in community with God and one another. The program is primarily an evening one of shared suppers, evening studies and gatherings of all sorts; where honest questions can be asked and real conversations can happen. The schedule revolves around the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church year, and service to the community and each other. There will be three evening meals plus Sunday brunch each week; plus an additional whole-parish family meal once a week on most Wednesdays. Twice a week, we will have an evening get-together for study, discussions or just fun. Weekends will be free for personal pursuits such as exploring Alaska, hiking, skiing and so on.
JERRY AND SHELLEY FINKLER are the host family for this year’s program. They met and married twenty-five years ago when Shelley led Campus Crusade for Christ at the UAA Campus. Both of them have led a variety of Christian education programs throughout the years. Shelley is currently the coordinator of the Children's Christian education program at St. John Cathedral. Jerry is currently the principal of an innovative K-12 charter school, and has sixteen years’ experience leading Christian education and youth ministry. Shelley and Jerry have five children, three still living at home. The Finklers live in the apartment attached to the upper floor of the Saint James House.
FR. HAROLD AND BARBARA DUNAWAY purchased the Saint James House that is the center for this program in 1972. Through their ministry and that of other married couples who followed them to this house, or the “Big House, as it was called for many years, became a place of growth and encouragement for many young people. The living room, with its spectacular view and warm fireplace, became the center of many teaching sessions and meetings. The community of St. John Cathedral eventually grew out of this ministry and in 1987 became a parish within the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. The ST. JAMES HOUSE aims to build on this legacy in such a way that the young people who participate in this program will look back on this experience as one of the best times of their life.
The patron saint of the house is St. James the Brother of St.John the Evangelist and Theologian. For more information on St. James click here.
Interested? For more information, view the brochure, call: 907-696-2002 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply for residency please fill out the Application for Residency