Saint John Orthodox Cathedral

Eagle River, Alaska

Antiochian Archdiocese

St. James House

New Self-Directed Program for Young Adults

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 Potts

Nestled in the heart of Alaska on the outskirts of the Chugach National Forest, just 30 minutes outside of Anchorage is the St. James House, a ministry of St. John Orthodox Cathedral. The St. James House has traditionally been a place for young adults to grow in their journey towards Christ as they live in community with one another and the wider community. This 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.

'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.' - Mark:30-31

The St. James House, often affectionately dubbed, “The Big House,” is in fact quite big. It has a preschool in the basement, host family apartment, common living room, common kitchen, common dining room, guy’s apartment, girl’s apartment, as well as a comfortable guest room. The House is located on the Church lawn, across from Saint John Orthodox Christian School, and overlooks the Cook Inlet to the south and the Chugiak Mountains to the north. It is a treasured heirloom of the community, often thought as the ‘living room’ of the Church. Many of the members of St. John’s have lived in the St. James House at some point. One of the unique aspects of St. John’s is that member families live within walking distance of the Church. This allows for the residents of the St. James House to experience what it is to live within the midst of a Christian community. There is seldom a dull moment in and around the House with so much interaction with the church, school and neighbors. You can read more about the interesting history of the Saint James House on the About Us/Our Parish and the Facilities pages of our website. You will find, among other things, that the House was once a Catholic convent visited by Fr. Thomas Merton.

Metropolitan Joseph and Father Marc in the Saint James House

'May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us- yes, establish the work of our hands.' - Psalms 90:17

One of the important aspects of living at the St. James House, which we will incorporate into the year ahead, is having the ”work of your hands” (your job, volunteer position or school) arranged before moving into the house. Although we highly recommend finding work that allows you to live more intentionally with the house, we do expect everyone to have work for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

While living at the house we will commit to morning prayers Monday- Friday, as well as house meals Monday - Thursday. This will be in place during the school year calendar with more flexibility in the summer, as this is the time for traveling and enjoying the Alaskan wilderness. Everyone will help each other with leading prayers and cooking meals. It is also expected that members of the house help with chores as needed.

Many of the Icons at St. John's are locally painted

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' - C.S. Lewis

The main goal of our life is to grow in our journey toward Christ. This is one of the chief goals for this year. It is important that all members of the house attend church whenever possible. We also ask that members get to know and build a relationship with one of the priests. This is important so that you can get counsel when needed. We ask everyone to make this a priority and meet with one of the pastors monthly.

St. James the Apostle, Brother of St. John - April, 30
Meet the Potts
Bryan and Anna Potts with their children Annalynn and Andrew
During your year at the St. James House, the Potts family will be the resident overseeing family. They live in one of the apartments in the house. Anna and Bryan Potts moved to Alaska three years ago from Kansas City, MO. They came to the St. James House one year ago. Bryan works as an ICU nurse at Alaska Native Hospital in Anchorage. Anna is at home with their two children - ages 3 and 10 months. Bryan was born and raised in Colorado. He is an outdoor enthusiast, enjoying every minute he gets in the wilderness of Alaska. Anna was born and raised on a small farm in the rolling hills of Kentucky. She studied Elementary Education at Berea College, and enjoys hospitality and the outdoors. Together they are eager to welcome a group of young adults into their lives, as they desire to grow in Christ and love for one another.

Rent for the Saint James House will be $450 a month

Qualifications for Residents: 
  • Have full-time work, school or volunteer positions arranged before arriving. (30 hours per week minimum. We encourage work that allows for time to focus on the community and church.)
  • 18 years old minimum
  • Desire to live in an intentional community and participate in a life of community
  • Willing to plan and cook dinner (solo or with a partner) 1x per week for the house residents
  • Willing to meet for morning prayer as a house
  • Willing to help with chores around the house
  • Submit application
  • Interview with the Potts family and Fr. Marc

Apply to live in the St. James House
Bryan and Anna Potts with their children Annalynn and Andrew