Friday, March 31, 2006

Our friends abroad...

I was just looking at our ClustrMap (mini version at the bottom of the blog) which shows where in the world the people who visit our site are from. I can identify a lot of the locations and who is visiting from there - Calgary, Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Oxford, and Tennesee are obvious, a lot of the tiny dots are probably just people who land here using the Next Blog button (although I suspect the visits from Hawaii and Alaska might be my friend Fr. Sergius) - but I was a bit puzzled by the big red blob on the east coast, especially since I can't tell whether it's located north or south of the Canadian border. I'd love to meet our East Coast visitor... Feel free to post a comment identifying yourself!

Aldergrove Orthomansion

Hi everyone. I just wanted to get the word out that Graham and I might be looking for a third roommate in September in the thriving metropolis of Aldergrove. We will be down a Jesse and a Gabe and there's a good chance that we'll stay here if we can find someone. If you know anyone who might be looking for a place at that time let us know.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Don't forget!!!

Just a reminder about the baby shower for the two newest
additions to the St. Herman's family.
We will celebrate the birth and life of
Elizabeth and Thomas
Saturday April 8th from 1-4pm.
Andrea Folster has agreed to host this
event at her house in Langley.
Hope to see you all (the women portion of "all") there!
And while I am here I might as well send out a
reminder about the cleaning party
(if I call it a party does it make it more fun?)
on Saturday April 15th at the church.
Contact Mr. Kurt for more information
(such as times and duties etc)

I'm headed your way, y'all...

Apparently the Northwest coast(or as Biss prefers: the Southwest coast) is quite a sight to behold. I've heard, too, that the people are even better. Being that I have a month free I've decided to check this myth out for myself. In other words, St. Hermanites, I'm heading your way for the month of June which means I NEED A PLACE TO STAY. So if there's anyone out there who would be so kind as to put me up for a day or two or five I would be much obliged. And if enough of you can be so kind as to equal a month it will prevent me from sleeping in my car. I promise to be tidy and quiet and I won't cook anything (i.e. I won't burn down your kitchen) but I'll charm you with pleasant conversation in a southern drawl.

Oh... and I'm bringing company who may need a home for a week. Joshua will be making the long roadtrip with me and may need a place to stay, too. He'll only be staying for a week, though. Warning: He's not nearly as tidy and he doesn't come with a southern drawl, but he's twice as charming and he can cook with the best of 'em!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Skete and Mexico

So here are some pictures of the adventures I've had in the last couple of weeks.

God Bless!
Later days.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Church Bulletin Bloopers

Hey everyone. My uncle just sent me these "Church Bulletin Bloopers" (from the Protestant world - we never make mistakes do we?). Jesse, Graham, and I almost hurt ourselves laughing at some of them, so I thought I'd share the joy (is that alowed during Lent?). I've put them in the comments so they don't take up too much space on the main page. Enjoy!

Mozart Requiem

Hi All!

come to the Mozart Requiem on April 14th!

There is no church that friday night, so you are all available.

Sign up here or call Dan Steenburgh to sign on the dotted line. tickets are less than $20, its a CBC Vancouver Orchestra/Vancouver Chamber Choir event. formal evening attire, the whole bit.

the music is going to be out of this world too. not very liturgical, but beautiful nonetheless.

Members of the choir are thinking about going, we need a group of at least ten.

I can't remember who said they wanted to go, so say it here, and call your non blogger friends too. come one, come all.

in other news, I found a temporary home for George. blast. He is such a great cat. now the house is cold and empty when I come home. Alanna from church is taking care of George until I move out of here in August.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Prayer of St. Ephrem

Here's a really great (though long) rumination on the Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian by Jan Bear at The Orthodox Way, the blog of Orthodox writing hosted by Conciliar Press.


I'm not exactly sure of the extent of our readership
But can anyone recommend a corner of a floor in Victoria for Sunday night
Two scruffy but goodhearted young fellows will need to rest their weary heads
I am one of those scruffy fellows
Just so you can't say I didn't warn you
But my heart really is good
Or is trying to be
Just so you can't say I didn't warn you

Saturday, March 25, 2006


well...unless allergies are really a symptom of hypochondria, which I sometimes think until I sneeze my way into belief,

I need to find a temporary home for george. he is an adorable young cat, male, white and grey, still needs the 'ol "de-manification" si vous sais que je veux dire.

What would be ideal in my mind, would be to have someone look after him until August when I will be able to take him again.

I thought I had a place for him yesterday, but the door was not as open as it appeared, which is nice cause I am enjoying having him around. He is very affectionate, low maintenance, comes with a small supply of food and litter and a purr-o-matic in his throat.

any takers...?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Newsletter and Card

Hey! Fr. Christopher and I made the St. Herman's News again! (Thanks, Fr. Lawrence. We can use all the prayer we can get!) And, for those who haven't seen it yet, I've made up a new business card for the mission.


"...the New Year will always now begin upon the twenty-fifth of March when Sauron fell, and when you were brought out of the fire to the King." - JRR Tolkien, The Return of the King
a literary allusion to the truth we celebrate in the tropar:

Today is the beginning of our salvation,
the revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
as Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
“Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
the Lord is with you.”

Don't forget to bring some food for the meal after the Vesperal Liturgy tonight. Fish is permitted as we celebrate this Great Feast together.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


A few possible changes this summer and fall,

Isaiah and Elise are coming (that is sure, and we will all help them settle in)

Phil and Biss are going to Ottawa

Kimberly is going to be on a boat for the summer

and a few of us younger folks are thinking about getting together and living in a house in vancouver, dubbing it now the 'orthomansion'

I hope to find a place in east van close to commercial drive, something with many rooms, creaky old hardwood floors and enough space for many of us to be together with the possibility of having time to onesself.

So far, people interested include:

Dave, Gabe, Rowena+Anselm, Josina, Nicole, Qjesse if he is around,

one of the things we will have to do is all commit to the same length of time, which will be much more than just a financial commitment. we will be committing to working through all the difficulties that come from living in community, which are multiple. However, we do that knowing that the benefits outweigh the challenges.

now. suggestions, ideas, comments, questions.

I think maybe August 1 is a good idea rather than september because the school types will be settled before school starts, and too much chaos at once always brings unnecessary stress.

If anyone else is interested, just pipe up.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Canada, Eh?

Those ten days went by so quickly!
The Project Mexico crew officially arrived in Canada at some obscure hour this morning. The Victoria crew caught the 9am ferry to Victoria and then Mark N, Peter Choi, Tony, Andrew, Gabe, and I made a trek to Tim Hortons to celebrate being in Canada again. Now I'm back at UBC and I don't think I've ever been so grateful to have electricity and hot showers, although I did really enjoyed the "simple life" in Mexico and I hope I can go back for a Project Mexico 2007 trip.

Many thanks to everyone who supported us, especially Mark and Kimberley for picking us up at the train station so early in the morning, and the Choi family for letting us take over their living room :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

is it a baby, or is it a dinosaur?

see the rest here.

You can also find the churching of the Chattaway babies,
and pictures from our weekend in Hope Bay.

Christ is in our midst!

Well, I have good news to report!
Our little project mexicans are about 15 hours away
and are safe and sound and full of good stories to share.

The tired travellers:
are coming in to Vancouver
on the train tommorrow morning very early
(about 2am).
They will cozy up on my nice hard floor
until sunrise and then will find their way home from there.

Five of the weary travellers:
Mark, Arwin, Mira, Valerie and Melanie
need to get from my place in South Vancouver
to the ferry terminal in Tsawassen to catch the 11am ferry.
(It's about a 30 minute drive from my door to the drop off spot at the ferry)
With the amount of luggage two cars or a van might be best.

I have put the word out to several usual helpers,
but have yet to hear back.
If you know of anyone who may be able
to assist with this
please call my cell phone at 604 626 3296 anytime today,
and I will give you some directions to my home.

Thank you.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A note from Fr. Lawrence

Father has asked me to post this note of thanks to our parish community -- Mat. Donna

I would like to thank you all, from the bottom of my aging, increasingly-decrepit heart, for all the kindness and love shown to me this last weekend--the singing of the Many Years, the cake, the signs and balloons in the church hall, the high-jacking of the priest by some of the men to a restaurant in Langley, all the many expressions of kindness and congratulation--all makes growing old no bad thing. I am grateful to God for you all, and I thank Him (and you) for your love. --Fr. Lawrence

Purple for Lent

Dave expressed a desire to vest the blog in purple for lent. Here's my attempt to do so as unobtrusively as possible - the best I could do without major restructuring of the template. It's a bit of a hack-job, so do let me know whether or not you all like it!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Vancouver Bug.

Hello everyone. I hope this is not an inappropriate use of the Spruce Island blog, but I just wanted to let everyone know that we have purchased one-way plane tickets to Vancouver for May 31. Yes, this means it is official. We are moving out there. Please pray for us as we have many things to work out (passports, visas, school, jobs, living situations, etc.) before we leave. But, one way or another, we'll be arriving. One thing in particular to think about is our need of a vehicle (preferably cheap but reliable, definitely nothing fancy). This is indeed an exciting time for us, as a family. And I hope I'm not being too presumptuous saying that many there are excited about us coming. Either way, your friendship has compelled us to come back.

I guess that is about everything. We'll keep you posted about any further details. Thanks a lot!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Time to celebrate more babies!!

Now that Elizabeth and Thomas are healthy and at home the time has come to celebrate their birth and, lets face it, to ohh and ahh at everything small and baby-related! See details below and contact Muryn if you have any questions or concerns.

When: Saturday April 8th (lots of notice, so mark it on your calendar now)

Where: Langley (exact location to be annouced)

What time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Other: Please bring something to eat. Please post what you are bringing so that we don't end up with 8 bags of tortilla chips and salsa!

More Other: Let use this as an oportunity to have a big church women's gathering. Car pool into Langley if possible. We women rarely get a chance to all hang out sans men & take advantage!


Monday, March 13, 2006

Bp. Seraphim in Comox

There is a great pic of Vladyka in front of the chapel-in-progress here:

Maybe when the Project Mexico team gets home, with all the skills they will have honed at the orphanage, they can lead a construction gang up to Comox to help move things along! Just like a group of folk from deanery parishes did not so long ago to help in the building of the All Saints Victoria iconostasis....;-)

(no, I am not any good with a hammer or saw myself. I just love to find work for other people to do....;-)

In Memoriam: The Very Rev. Victor Sokolov

Some here will remember that Fr. Victor was rector of Holy Resurrection Vancouver in the late 1980s; some of our seminarians were at St. Vlad's with one or more of his children.

In Memoriam: The Very Rev. Victor Sokolov

Article posted: 3/13/2006 9:53 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, CA [OCA Communications] — After
a lengthy battle with cancer, the Very Rev. Victor Sokolov,
dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral here, fell asleep in
the Lord at his home in Healdsburg, CA, at
approximately 11:30 p.m. on the night of
Sunday, March 12, 2006.

Surrounded by his wife, Matushka Barbara,
and family members, he received Holy
Communion earlier in the afternoon.

A detailed obituary will be forthcoming.

May Father Victor's memory be eternal!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I loved the service tonight!

That Pronouncement Father Lawrence made, followed by the singing of Memory Eternal for all the saints...How did we get so blessed?!? We have such great saints to serve and pray for us, and yet we, when we sing Memory Eternal, are given the grace to participate in their sanctification.
That's astonishing, amazing, aweing.

God is so gracious.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Orthodoxy Sunday

Reminder-- Orthodoxy Vespers at 7 pm. tomorrow night.

Bring an icon to carry in procession. Transport, hold and carry your icon in a reverent manner, not under your arm like a book, but face out in front of you, or face up and protected from falling if you must have it on the car seat beside you, for instance.

Also please bring snack food. We are hosting visitors from other churches and will have an informal fellowship time in the hall afterwards. There is a signup sheet on the narthex table.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Hi All,

plans for the skete so far. please add any suggestions, modifications as needed.

People attending confirmed


four questionable attendees...

Mr & Mlle Lerche
Josina Xenia
Dennis ze Ukrainian...

So, barring any comments from the peanut or sauerkraut gallery, vee shood bee fined.

Leaving 20669 Eastleigh Cresc at 730AM
Two cars, Dave's and Biss's (and if ze Jetta iss meetink us in ze horseshoe bay eet vill park zere too ja?)
will drive to horseshow bay and one will park and one will get on the ferry, the rest will walk on, and we will take two trips to the monastery. It is close enough, a five minute drive or so from the ferry.

Things to bring.


$20 to get you on the ferry and $5 for gas

something light to eat for lunch, or before noon if you are going to our presanctified liturgy, which segues oh so nicely into my next topic of discussion. OR if you are not going to presanctified, bring lunch and dinner, lots of meal-cal or granola bars so that you are not cranky.

We will likely have Biss drive on, while I leave my car at horseshoe bay, so that I and sarah and two lucky other people will take the 430 ferry back to town for presanctified liturgy and akathist respectively at 7 and 630.

The other carload of people will stay for vespers and take the 630 ferry back, taking care to leave quickyl after vespers so they can eat their dinner in peace, while everyone else eats whatever they brought with them.

whew. lots of details.

so. quickly. numbers.

720, 730 20669 Eastleigh
830 horseshoe bay
930 ferry
430 ferry for one load to walk on, dropped off by (______)
630 ferry second load drive on.

Return fare from Gibsons is free.

This is all assuming the wind dies down before then.

fly safe Gabe, don't tire out your wings.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Spruce Island

Thank God for Church!

I could never survive lent without all the extra services.
I'd become a cranky, bitter old legalist. Even more, I mean.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Abortion outlawed in S Dakota

Abortion was made illegal in South Dakota today. this is pretty amazing. click to see the cbc take on it. It will be a long fight, but its a challenge to the Roe V Wade case back in the day.
It is now illegal in south dakota unless the mother is going to die.

annual physical

hands up if your thighs are sore!!! as i was commenting to someone yesterday...the Orthodox church is very good at looking after our souls, minds and bodies. nothing like being hyper aware of your quads on a Monday morning.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Get 'em while they're hot

... new Onion Dome stories. Gobble 'em up before the fast! Folks here have already seen the Chocolodoxy one, but the others are just as tasty, I promise! ;-)
Forgive me, my brothers and sisters, for I have sinned greatly.

Pray for me a sinner.

I Love You All.

Lord Have Mercy! Lord Have Mercy! Lord Have Mercy!

The twins @ four weeks (plus one day)

Pardon my delay in posting this, but as of two days ago, the twins are home!

This picture was taken at 1:55pm on Friday, March 3, and it captures the moment when Elizabeth and Thomas were exposed to the outdoors for perhaps the first time ever, twenty-seven days after they were born.

Thanks to Muryn, who just happened to stop by the hospital a few minutes before we left, for taking this picture!

Haven't got much more to say, since the past two days have been a flurry of changings and feedings and waking up at odd hours and wondering what the neighbours will think when Thomas really starts squawking -- you'd think we were performing vivisections with plastic knives or something, when he really gets going.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Holy Transfiguration Skete!

Okay friends, thanks for all the comments below, great thoughts.

In other news, I spoke with Brother Samuel today and he said we could come to the skete on Friday, March 10,

we are going to take the 930 ferry from Horseshoe bay to Gibsons, we should take only one car, cause its close enough to do two trips, a five minute drive or so, and the rest of us can walk on.

I told them about 5-10 of us would be going, Gabe and Josina, and Biss and Phil have already expressed interest, we would be coming back after the evening prayers at 4 or 5, so I think the 6 o'clock ferry, leaving after the prayers so they can have dinner or presanctified liturgy or whatever they do, and we might be back in time for our own presanctified liturgy.

how do we want to do this? car-wise, parking, and does anyone else want to come?

this will be an all day thing, we need to meet and be at the ferry I think by about 830 or so. I missed a ferry last time I went, and it was tragic, so we should meet at 730 at the latest, because its friday morning traffic on the freeway if we are meeting in langley.


Details so far.

Friday, March 10
Ferry to Gibsons 930 cost of ferry is $10, plus car is I think about $10 more per person, free coming back.

we also want to pitch in to get Fr. Gregory a bottle of scotch for Bright week, and we want it to be at least a little bit nice, so maybe $5 each, if you want to participate in that. as well, you can buy candles from them too, they make the ones we use at church.

thoughts? ready....go.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Arranged Marriage

I have heard these words bandied about a few times lately, verbalized in the air, and written on the screen,
what do you folks think about the possibility of arranged marriages today?