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The reading of this parable on Sunday tells us that God our Father in heaven, is always ready to receive us in his arms with love.'Foolishly have I run away from Your glory, O Father, wasting in sin the wealth that you gave me. Therefore with the words of the Prodigal I cry to You: I have sinned before You, compassionate Father. Accept me in repentance and make me as one of Your hired servants.' - Kontakion
The reading of this parable on Sunday signals that the season of Great Lent is three weeks away, and tells us we must prepare ourselves with humility.Let us flee from the proud-speaking of the Pharisee, and learn the humility of the Publican, and with groaning let us cry unto the Savior: ‘Be merciful to us, for you alone are ready to forgive.' - Kontakion
Mother Galina was a member of Saint John's until she moved to become a nun at Holy Transfiguration Monastery, in Ellwood City, PA at the beginning of Lent in 1994. She still considers our community as her family.In a letter this week the wrote: 'We are all well here, thank God! Oh we have the usual old age stuff going on, but nothing to whine over... We are warm and fed and suffer for nothing. God has always taken care of us as long as I can remember... We do tend to have a little bit of covid brain going on. The surreal feeling of it all and the prayer requests we get are a lot to take in. I am sure all of you are going through the same and more.
If God allows, we look forward to resuming our annual Eagle River Institute after a two-year break. See what is lined up for this summer, August 1-5. There will be a new format and three great speakers. PLAN TO ATTEND!Check out the New ERI Website! eagleriverinstitute.orgMISSION STATEMENT: The ERI is hosted annually by the members of Saint John Cathedral to provide a forum for Orthodox scholars to address lay people on topics relevant to everyday, Christian life. The Institute will also seek to contribute to the greater, educational needs of the Church by publishing its lectures in various media formats.
Fr. Matthew, Kh. Anastasia and family are moving from Eagle River, which all of them, except Fr. Matthew, have called ‘home’ all their lives. Fr. Matthew is the pastor of Saint Herman Church in Wasilla and his family has purchased a home there to be close to their parish. Their departure will leave a hole in the neighborhood of Monastery Drive. Still, may God bless them in in this move! At the same time Anastasia’s parents, Eric and Diana Truelson, will be moving to Wasilla as wellPhoto - L to R - Hannah, Luke, Fr. Matthew, Anastasia, Lydia, Emma, Cassiane (and poodle Penny in front)
10 Years AgoKh. Barbara Dunaway fell asleep in the Lord 10 years ago on January 25, 2011. While there are members of our parish now who may not have known her, let us pray that the hospitality she and Fr. Harold instilled deeply in our parish are still part of who we are and is felt by all who are now part of us or come as guests. Fr. Harold, died a year later on January 3, 2012.'Grant rest, O Lord, to the souls of these your servants, and make their memory eternal.
Fr. Robert received his first dose of the COVID 19 vaccine last week. Health care workers and other members of Saint John's who are 65 years old are now being vaccinated or have appointments to receive the vaccine.'We can all be thankful to God that Covid vaccines are now being distributed in Alaska and that many in our parish have begun to be vaccinated. This is a light at the end of a long tunnel and it will eventually alleviate some of the restrictions we have endured for so long.' from Fr. Marc's letter to parish 1-14-21.
Friday, January 8, 2021Fr. Tom blessed all the classrooms of Saint John's School as the children followed and sang the festal hymn.‘Today the grace of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descends upon the waters. Today the Master hastens towards baptism that He may lift humankind up to the heights. Today earth and sea share the joy of the world, and the world is filled with gladness.’ - Prayer at the Great Blessing of Water
Saturday, January 2, 2021(L to R) Sponsors Danielle and Benjamin Dunaway with Lorence Augustus Scherer; Sponsors David and Christine Lindblom with Eddie Alexander Dunaway; Sponsors Rhonda and Russel Clodfelter with Rollie Peter Gillquist. Fr. Marc and Deacon Joseph were celebrants.‘Preserve pure and unpolluted the garment of incorruption, with which You have clothed them…. Keep them always as warriors invincible in every attack of those who assail them and us; and make us all victors even unto the end.’ - Prayers at the Washing-Off of the Chrism
December 17, 2020In a simple wedding with a small choir, Gloria Williams and Chris O'Fallen were married through the Betrothal and Crowning with Fr. Tom and Dn. Joseph serving. Their sponsors were Andrea Stiehr, her cousin, and Jesse Stiehr. Chris is an Orthodox Christian whose family includes generations of members from Saint Nicholas Church in Eklutna. Let us wish them much happiness together, with thanksgiving to God that they found each other and have brought new strength to this family and to the community of our parish. May God grant them many years!
HAPPY SAINT HERMAN'S DAY!Since we could not all gather this year to celebrate Saint Herman's Day with our usual Akathist and Bonfire, some families who live near the Cathedral hosted a drive-up cookie exchange. Carols rang on the bells as people greeted each other and exchanged cookies and take out cups of Russian Tea.‘From this day, from this hour, let us learn to love God above all and to fulfill His holy will.’ Saint Herman
HAPPY SAINT NICHOLAS DAY!Since we could not all gather to celebrate Saint Nicholas Day this year, a few teams of children, clergy, and lay people delivered Saint Nicholas gifts on Sunday morning to every home in our parish from South Anchorage to Wasilla‘In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness and a teacher of self-control. Therefore, you have won the heights by humility, riches by poverty, holy Father Bishop Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.’ Troparion of saint Nicholas
Covid did not keep us from our annual prayer service at Saint Sergius Chapel on Thanksgiving morning. We simply moved the service outside. Fr. Marc and Fr. Tom led the ‘Te Deum’ service, which includes prayers for civil authorities. The name of the service comes from the Latin words that begin the hymn at the end of the service and in English mean ‘You, O God.’ This is an early Christian hymn of praise, traditionally ascribed to Saints Ambrose and Augustine, on the occasion of the latter’s baptism by the former in AD 387.‘We praise You, O God, we acknowledge You to be the Lord. All the earth worships You, the Father everlasting.’ (Te Deum)
The Child of God, Thea Ann, was laid to rest with a simple gravesite service on November 22. She was buried over the grave of her great grandmother, Barbara Ann Dunaway, whose middle name she shared. The daughter of Nathaniel and Macrina Ray, Thea was born prematurely on November 6 and died on November 21. All her family are grateful for the earnest prayers and kind condolences many have offered.You cried out to the apostles, O Christ: 'Allow the little children to come to Me, for to such who are like them in spirit is My kingdom given.' Grant light to the child who has been translated to You. - from the Funeral Service for a Child
Covid concerns move Saint John's School to distance learning for 3 weeks. On Sunday afternoon parents came to the Church basement to pick up packets of school materials to take home.748 new positives in Anchorage on Saturday. Five members of Saint John's parish have tested positive for Covid, but are doing okay. Others in the parish and the school are having to quarantine because of exposures.Liturgy by assigned Groups will continue on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but Wednesday evening Liturgies will be on hold for 3 weeks. Be sure to check the schedule online.
5 degrees with a breezeDaily Dog-walkers, Jenny, Barbara and Colleen, return from the '50 acres'.3rd-4th grade students from Saint John's School play frozen-lawn hockey.
Congratulation to new parents, Raymond and Cecilia (Gray) Scherer!Lorence was born at 1:15am Sunday, October 18 at Alaska Regional Hospital He weighted 7 lbs and was 19 inches long
Check it out under the 'Campus' menu - 'Cemetery'John Marc has been working to create a Cemetery page for our Cathedral website. It will still be under construction for a few more days so that it can work smoothly on iPhones.
One School - Four CohortsWe enjoyed the beautiful fall weather as we gathered for an all-School picture. We took most pictures without the teachers wearing masks, since we were outdoors. This picture was with teachers wearing masks - mostly. Please pray for our students and teachers!
A New 'Self-Directed Program'Saint James house residents - left to right – Bryan Potts, Jacob Rome, Thomas Ingram, Ryan Smith, Irina, Luke McClean, Annalyn Potts, Susanna Dunlap, Elias Medders, Andy and Annas Potts. Not pictured is Josh Morrisett, off-campus participant. We're excited for the year 2020-2021. Please pray for us!
September 12, 2020 - Baptisms of Aurora Marie Hoxie and Savannah Leah BakerPictured are Fr. John and Christine Rogers, Godparents for Aurora, with Veronica and Zach Hoxie, her parents. Godparents for Savannah were Veronica and Zach. Savannah is the daughter of Kevin and Sarah Baker. Both children have Vik and Laura Temple as grandparents.Many Years to the newly-baptized! And congratulations to both families!
Thank you, Sam Stogsdill!Sam was able to do much of the work on installing three new furnaces in the Cathedral. He saved the Church about $9000. Sam installed the original duct work when the Cathedral was built in 1985.At the same time, Extreme Heating installed UV lamps in all our furnaces to kill viruses and bacteria that passes through the duct work as the furnaces are running.
Congratulations to John Marc and Bethany Dunaway for the birth of their third son on August 29. And congratulations to his brothers Willard Lewis and Wesley Lionel.
Congratulations to Joe and Tisha Dunham who celebrate their 30th Anniversary on September 1.'Bless also these Your servants, who through Your good providence have remained for these many years united together in matrimony. Bless their coming years together; prosper their every endeavor; replenish their life with good things; receive their crowns into Your kingdom, preserving them spotless, blameless and without reproach, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen'
Rollie Peter Edward Gillquist was born June 28, 2020 to Paul and Olivia Gillquist. We were blessed to welcome him into our Liturgy gathering and say the Prayers of Naming on Sunday, August 23.'We thank You that You have kept safe through childbearing Your handmaid, Olivia, by Your will. Bless this child, Rollie, that has been born of her. Increase him; sanctify him; enlighten him; give him virtue; and endow him with a good understanding. For You have brought him into being, and have shown him the physical light and have appointed him to be granted the spiritual light in due time and that he may be numbered among Your chosen flock.'Congratulations, Paul and Olivia and brother Jonas! Many Years, Rollie!
August 18 is the first day of School for grades K-8. Preschool begins August 25.Teachers, parents and students alike are excited to return to School. Our Staff has worked diligently with medical professionals to adapt CDC and State guidelines into a responsible plan that will help limit any spread of the coronavirus in our School. Still we ask for prayers as we entrust all that we do each day at our School and in our homes into the care and providence of God.O Lord, our God, Who are rich, merciful, and wise in Your care, in Your wisdom take care of our lives. Protect Your people from all disease and pain, and teach us to value life and health as Your gifts. Amen.
The Feast of the Falling-Asleep (Dormition) of the Mother of GodFor Christians, this death that comes for everyone is not the end of life, but only the end of a short journey that brings us to our real beginning. It is not something to be dreadfully feared, but something that has become the door to our real home. In this Feast Day we celebrate that our Lord’s mother not only died but was also, we believe, the first among us to experience what we all await, the passing into life of our resurrection. Homily on Feast Day.Through the intercession of the Holy Theotokos, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us.
August 6Vesperal Divine Liturgy will be live-streamed Wednesday evening, August 5, at 6:15pmSee One Accord quote below by Fr. Alexander Schmemann
The beauty of these flowers pays no heed to the coronavirus. They offer joy to those who pause and honor to God Who gives us all things.All the annual flowers on the Church property were started from seeds by Kh. Betsy Dunaway and were planted by her in mid-May. They are being faithfully weeded and watered this summer by Kathleen Sorensen. At the same time Joe Jaroslaw continues to do a fantastic job mowing and maintaining the Church lawn. Thank you all for bringing beauty to our Cathedral!
Wedding of George Kendall and Valori Gianni - July 26, 3pm - Livestream on Cathedral Website'In this Covid time, we are grateful that we are able to have the wedding, but unfortunately only the family is able to attend. We will miss celebrating with our church family and ask for your prayers for George and VaLori as we celebrate the beginning of their married life in the Church. Also, please tune in to the Church website at 3pm – as the wedding will be live-streamed, and you can at least participate in this way.' - Dan and Melinda Kendall.
Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska's chief medical officer, said she wears a mask in public for three reasons: ‘Humility, because I don't know if I have COVID as it is clear that people can spread the disease before they have symptoms. Kindness, because I don't know if this person I'm near has a kid battling cancer, or cares for an elder. And for community. I want my community to thrive, businesses to stay open and employees to stay healthy.’
Brent and Jamie Longmire first visited our Church in early 2017. Before long they welcomed their son Samuel into the world. They were Chrismated and Baptized after this. Jamie is in the army and works as a pharmacist. Brent is also a pharmacist. Now Jamie is expecting their second child (due in December), and the Army is sending their family off to another assignment, beginning in Oklahoma. We will very much miss them and wish them well in all their journeys. And, if God allows, we will welcome them back 'home' whenever they return. Brent, Jamie and Samuel began their drive out last Thursday.
We are excited to extend an invitation for young adults to come to Eagle River, Alaska and make the St. James House their home for a year starting in September 2020. – Bryan and Anna PottsThis ministry has taken a sabbatical for a few years, while the house was serving in other ways. Our goal is to be a home where young adults can practice living in a community centered around Christ and the Church, with rhythms of prayer, meals together, honoring each other and enjoying the wilderness of Alaska. While living at the St. James House the work of our hands will be self-directed, either serving the Eagle River / Anchorage area through volunteer service, the workplace or school.
Baptisms - June 13, 2020Fr. Marc baptizes Elijah Armstrong Jones. In the background can be seen Wade Matthew Hattenburg with his sponsors, Cecilia and Raymond Scherer, along with his mother, Mattie, and other family members.‘He who has put on You, O Christ our God, now bows his head with us unto You. Keep him always a warrior invincible in every attack of those who assail him and us; and make us all victors even unto the end, through Your crown incorruptible. - Prayer at Tonsuring’
The Feast of Pentecost - June 7This Sunday we receive into the Holy Orthodox Church through the Sacrament of Holy Chrismation the catechumens Joshua Morrisett and Brian and Sylvia Okuley.‘Shepherd them in Your glory unto knowledge of truth, according to the proclamation of Your holy and glorious apostles; and grant him the seal of the divine Chrism and the implanting of the Holy Spirit and the reception of Your precious Body and Blood.’
Congratulations!Elijah Armstrong Jones was born on February 13 to Chris and Katy Jones. We were glad to say the Prayers of Naming for Elijah this past Sunday, May 24.‘We thank You that You have kept safe through childbearing Your handmaid by Your will. Bless also this child that has been born of her. Increase him; sanctify him; enlighten him; give him virtue; and endow him with a good understanding.’
Girl EntrepreneursMacrina Labrecque, Samantha Bahl, Elizabeth Frizelle, and Hannah Howell organized a Sunday Farmer's Market to raise funds for Saint John School Scholarship Fund. They also studied the State mandates to be aware of the pandemic guidelines. Thanks to the encouragement of Kh. Betsy, good weather, and generous contributors and shoppers they were pleased and surprised at the amount they raised. Congratulations, girls!
Re-Opening the Cathedral!Tuesday evening Deborah Stallman met with the chanters who will be leading the weekly liturgies to go over details about the services. Starting this week we will have 3 Liturgies each week. Parishioners can sign up to attend these gatherings with a maximum of twenty persons. For details see the letter of May 8, 'Re-opening the Cathedral,' on the 'Service/Resources' page.
Re-Opening the Cathedral!In a zoom meeting on May 7 with Metropolitan Joseph and more than a hundred other priests from the Archdiocese Fr. Tom and Fr. Marc learned more about his directions for opening our Churches for people to attend Divine Liturgy and receive Holy Communion.Starting next week we will have 3 Liturgies each week. Parishioners can sign up to attend these gatherings with a maximum of twenty persons. For details see the letter of May 8, 'Re-opening the Cathedral,' on the 'Service/Resources' page.
CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED, HE IS RISEN!Bryan and Anna Potts gather to join the livestream with Michael and Jennifer Sauer at the Saint James House, along with their children. Livestreaming Sunday services may continue for weeks to come. But we await Metropolitan Joseph's directions about how to gradually re-open our Churches in cooperation with local guidelines.
CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED, HE IS RISEN!Thank you to the chanters, Reader Joseph, Reader Dan, Denise, and Andrea for your hard work to serve our parish in singing the livestream services. Thank you to Deborah who worked behind the scenes to coordinate everything and also to John Marc for making this happen technologically. All us who served are grateful so many joined online. We look forward to the time when we will be able to be all together again!Since we began live-streaming services there have been over 3500 views of our livestream page. During Holy Week there were over 1400 views.
We are living in history.It is not necessary for a prayer to be long to be perfect. It need not be said in any particular place or at any special time, nor need it be said kneeling or standing. We may turn our hearts to God at all times, in all places, and in any posture of body, whether we be in the street, at home or abroad. The Orthodox Companion, Fr. David AbramtsovPictured here is the front door of Saint John Cathedral during the pandemic restrictions and Heidi Jo Fisher watching live stream liturgy at home with her parents, Sean and Martha.
This week Saint John’s School rolls into its second week of 'distance-learning.' All the teachers and all the students K-8 are working hard every day to provide education for our students during this pandemic.Hooray! for the parents, teachers, and students who are making this happen!Pictured here are Solomon and Elizabeth Frizelle settling into their new school routine.
Please pray for the Doctors, Physician Assistants and Nurses in our Parish as they serve those who are sick.Dr. Mark Agnew, Lindsey Arvidson RN, Dr. Luba Coverdell, Benjamin Dunaway RN, Sean Fisher RN, Martha Fisher RN, Margaret Grasse RN, Amy Jenkins Rn, Liz Klatt RN, Chris Kies Hospital Chaplain, Fr. Robert Polson RN, Bryan Potts RN, Nathanael Ray PA, Cecilia Scherer RN, Dr. Dwight Stallman, Tanna Terrell RN, Dr. Isaac Truelson, Dr. Sarah Truelson, Dr.Olga Wasile, Sylvia Okuley PA (Please let us know if we missed anyone.)'Bless, O Lord, and support all those who care with love and sacrifice for the sick wherever they are found, whether they are at home or in hospitals, and keep them with Your grace.'
Adjusted Service Schedule Due to Coronavirus Precautions.In cooperation with the efforts of our civil authorities to limit the spread of the coronavirus, and at the direction of our Bishop, Metropolitan Joseph, Saint John's will be cancelling all social functions and services with the following exceptions until further notice. You can find the full text of his letter in the Sunday Bulletins menu. We will have services on Friday night and on Sunday morning, but with very limited attendance. Only the clergy and a small choir will be present, no more than ten people. However, these services will be live-streamed so that those at home can participate this way. A link to these videos is at the top of the home page on our website. See our online calendar for dates and times. As difficult as these measures seem, they also can provide us with different ways to continue our Lenten journey and to pray. So please think not only about what new Netflix shows you can watch (I am speaking to myself here too.) but also how you can find new ways to pray at home and also ways to serve our neighbors. - Fr. Marc.'Today is also Saint Patrick's Day. One of the beautiful prayers ascribed to him gives the image that as he awoke each day he put on the armor of his faith saying this: 'I bind unto myself today The strong Name of the Trinity, By invocation of the same The Three in One and One in Three. Father, Son and Holy Spirit'