Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Morning @ St.Hermans

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

winter@st.hermans 2007

(slower & quieter slideshow here on my flickr)

Monday, December 22, 2008

a far from ordinary sunday

some of these pictures flash by pretty quickly, so HERE is a link to the flickr set, and a slower (and more silent) slideshow.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Pascha 2008

Canada Day 2008

Hey y'all. sorry if these are gettin' old. I have been going through all my old church photos (since digital photography and a bottomless pit of server space on flickr, I have managed to collect thousands, yes thousands, of photos) and only now do I have the time to go through them, pick and choose, make slide shows, etc. I do plan on printing a good bunch of them and putting them into albums to have at church for those who are not so digitally inclined, but for the rest of you... enjoy!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I am on a roll now...

Monday, December 01, 2008

the family over the years

Sunday, November 30, 2008

a love strong enough to make you weep

I've been perusing old church photos that showed up whilst cleaning out the dumping room office. Some are 4 years old and more. How time flies. How our family has grown. How we have loved and annoyed and cared for and changed over the years. I am part of a large family.
Our family has been suffering lately. When one part hurts, all parts feel it. It is our duty to bear one another's burdens. If we don't, then we are all lost. The hardest thing to do though, when you are suffering, when you are in that dark valley, is to ask somebody to come down and walk beside you. You feel diseased and infectious. This is where the family must step up, and do what has to be done. One of our sister parishes is also going through some hard times, and this sunday, the priest of their parish has beseeched the whole parish (on behalf of one couple in particular, who are suffering greatly, and have been on the verge of a separation for a while now... they have also just welcomed their first baby into their lives)... sorry, I digress: he has beseeched the whole parish to step up their prayer and fasting this advent season on behalf of this family. Instead of facebook, and blogs, more prayer, stricter fasting. When one part suffers, the whole suffers.
I was speaking to the someone about this, asking: "Is there something in the air? Is mercury in retrograde? Why are so many marriages and people suffering right now? What is happening?"
To which this wise person replied "It's just people. And sin. And struggling to die to self. It's a hard thing to do, when it comes down to it"
Lord have mercy on us all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Great Book Giveaway!

BIG THINGS are happening with the St. Herman's parish library & book store!

STEP ONE: The library will be closed till the new year (the book store will remain open). To make way for new books, older ones that are seeing little use will be available BY DONATION to members after church for the next few weeks.
Proceeds to camp & future library needs.

STEP TWO: The library will be inventoried & catalogued. Parish members can donate books to the library permanently, or on a kind of long-term loan basis-- your name can remain in the book and it will be returned to you if you choose to take it back. All donations will be vetted by Fr. Lawrence. New books will also be purchased. Speak to Andrea F or Vivian H about this.

STEP THREE: When the library reopens, the signout register will have alphabetical sections of family names. Loan period will be one month, shorter for high-demand books. There will be 'display' copies (can't borrow them yet) of books available in the bookstore for purchase. There will be email or phone reminders about due books.

STEP FOUR: We are beginning a BOOK REVIEW BLOG for books that will be available in our library and bookstore. If you want to review a book you have read, please e-mail matdonna {at} shaw dot ca with the title you want to review. The blog will go live around the time the library reopens. If we do well with the book review blog, we may in future get review copies of newly published books from authors and editors.

More about the bookstore and library to come in the future-- keep watching this space!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Met. Jonah's banquet speech

The podcast of this speech was already posted on Ancient Faith Radio, and you can still download it there, along with other things from the AAC.

But if you prefer to read text, you can now read a transcription here:

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Yes, it's here already! You can find the fasting rules for November at the site and in the November issue of the newsletter at church.

Whatever you do at home, please remember to bring fasting foods for our communal meal at church Sundays and after festal liturgies (there is one next Thursday Nov. 20 on the eve of the Presentation of the Theotokos to the Temple. It will begin at 6:30 PM, which will now be our default time for all vespers, vesperal liturgies and any other evening services.) No meat, eggs or dairy.

FISH is allowed for weekends and major feasts. Details in the newsletter.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Metropolitan JONAH

As Matushka has already indicated, His Beatitude Metropolitan JONAH is our new primate. I have some very basic stats for those of you that are interested in that kind of thing. I will only include the top-four by ballot count (there were lots more receiving only 1 or 2 nominations).

1st Round of Nominating by 'the people' (everybody writes 1 name on ballot):
Archbishop JOB - 212
Archbishop SERAPHIM - 33
Bishop BENJAMIN- 75
Bishop JONAH - 233

So... because one candidate did not receive 2/3 of the nominations, we went to a second round.

2nd Round of Nominating by 'the people' (everybody writes 2 names on ballot):
Archbishop JOB - 364
Bishop TIKHON - 75
Bishop BENJAMIN- 140
Bishop JONAH - 473

You can see that the people's choice was Bishop JONAH, with Archbishop JOB in the second position. It is important to note that we do NOT 'elect' a bishop in the Orthodox Church - bishops make bishops. Our process allows for our hierarchy to hear the voice of the people before they begin their own deliberations. The previous two times that a Metropolitan was enthroned, the bishops did not go with the people's primary choices; it was the retired Metropolitan THEODOSIUS over Archbishop DMITRI, then the retired Metropolitan HERMAN over Archbishop SERAPHIM.

There was a fair bit of real joy and hope with the election of our new Metropolitan. You can read more about him through the OCA website, but I can provide a few details. He is newly elevated to the episcopate (11 days ago) from Archimandrite of St. John of Shanghai monastery in California, and has spent the previous 14 years as a monastic. He is well known for his pastoral love and care. Importantly, he was the one sent by the Holy Synod last night to answer the really tough questions that people had - he carried himself very well, answered the questions, and left many feeling very positive about him.

That's enough for now... this was just supposed to be a little update for you all.

I remain, your servant

Bishop Jonah is the new Metropolitan!

He is the newest bishop, only recently elected to be the assistant in the Diocese of the South. I do not know much about him, but I am sure we will all hear more soon! Please pray for him as he takes on his new duties.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Further to Dn. Kurt's report

Seraphim Withdraws Name From Consideration

Eis polla eti despota! I know that none of us wishes to lose Vladika Seraphim from our archdiocese and I believe the whole Archdiocese will be glad that he has made his own wishes clear -- Mat. Donna


Archbishop Seraphim of Canada withdrew his name from consideration as the next Metropolitan of the OCA. In a printed statement left on the tables of the delegates without comment or explanation on the evening of the second day of the Council, the Archbishop wrote:

"To the delegates of the 15th All-American Council:

Six years ago, I was nominated as a candidate to be Metropolitan. The Lord showed His Will in that it did not happen. I was deeply grateful to God for this then, and remain so even now. Throughout the course of my life, I have tried to do everything or at least almost everything, out of obedience, and that includes all the responsibilities I have borne recently. They have been given, not sought. This recent experience in particular clarified many things for me. As the time has been approaching for this Council, my name has often been mentioned again in the same way. In response, I have felt the same way as I did before. There are many considerations invovled, but the two chief have been first the historic and present state of the Canadian Church, and second the fact I am a foreigner. This latter fact is often dismissed to my face, but it is a very real factor, more than one might think. I therefore have long been asking Canadians not to nominate me. But to make sure that I clarify matters, I am stating plainly at this time that I will not accept any such nomination. The head of the Orthodox Church in America must be an American. How can it be, for instance, that a non-American is the guarantor of the majority of the Chaplains in the armed forces of the USA? This is but one of the many factors, but it is significant. This action may seem to be subverting God's Will to some, but I am convinced otherwise, and I am resolute in this decision. Thank you for your attention to these words, and for you loving patience in Christ.

In asking your forgiveness,
I remain, the unworthy,
Archbishopof Ottawa, and of Canada

As promised...

Good day all.

Christ is in our midst!

I had indicated to some of you that I would try to post to Spruce Island while at the AAC, to try to keep you all in the loop. However, upon arrival I found out that Ancient Faith Radio wasn’t just podcasting (is that a verb?) snippets; they were podcasting vast portions. So, I’m not going to go into details – I will provide the quick summary for those too busy to listen to the entire podcasts.

Day 1

Nothing much to report. Travel all day. Arrived late in Pittsburgh. Connected with Fr. Lawrence upon arrival. Went to bed (quite sick actually – pray for me).

Day 2

Never seen so many ‘blackcoats’ in my life. Without a joke, at one point I called across a room for Fr. John Hainsworth… called “Father”… how silly… the room is filled with them. I’m comforted by the fact that I witnessed Fr. Lawrence do the same thing, calling after Fr. Justin… the look of chagrin on his face was priceless.

Session 1 – some emotion, but very well moderated. The presentation of the SIC Report was made to the council (roughly 700 people) by Bishop Benjamin. He did a wonderful job of presenting, and then moderating the question/comment period that followed. The candidness of the presentation, and the open style of Bishop Benjamin, was encouraging. There was a fair bit of emotion expressed, but it was expressed in sincere, respectful ways. He was frank about the shortcomings of the Synod. However, he said that a spirit of accountability, a willingness to ‘keep tabs on each other’, is a lesson that they have learned well.

Session 2 – there was a LOT more emotion expressed during this session, as it involved the recommendations of the SIC Report. Again, Bishop Benjamin did a very good job moderating. In addition, there was enough restraint among the participants that it did not break into open conflict – individual members often admonishing each other to restraint. Still… it was a lot of emotion and outright tension at parts… but nothing got ugly. Thanks be to God.

Vespers – very good sermon by Archimandrite Meletius, who is now the abbot of St. John of Shanghai monastery now that Bishop Jonah has been elevated to the episcopate.

Canadians ‘only’ meeting – Easily the highlight of the day. Archbishop Seraphim invited all Canadians to his suite for a light snack and discussion. After some introductions were made (very informally), His Eminence let all of us know that he had written a letter to the AAC, stating that he was not interested in becoming the next Metropolitan. He instructed us to consider nominating someone else, but that he was not giving us an obedience – “vote your heart” he said.

His announcement was greeted with a lot of emotion on both sides – those that want him as our next Metropolitan, and those that don’t want to lose him as our hierarch. A few passionate pleas and mini-speeches were made on the subject. However, the most moving endorsement came from Matushka Julianna Schmemann (yup… THE Matushka Schmemann), who has known Vladyka for many, many years, is very fond of him, and stated that she ‘adopted’ him as her son years ago.

I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The amount of respect she commands is impressive; she stands in her own right, and not in the shadow of her husband. In the short time that I had to observe her interact with various people, she seemed straightforward, heartfelt, and truly sincere – had a ‘brook no nonsense’ demeanour, while not being cold about it. It occurred to me, as I watched her rise to speak, that she is possibly the closest thing to a matriarch that the OCA has. She spoke clearly and forcefully about her endorsement of Vladyka as a person. She stated that he was the one person she knew who “served the church with his whole heart”, not just part of it. Whomever it is that she plans to nominate, she had the highest respect for him, and supported him completely. It was something else.

In the end, watching Vladyka prostrate himself before the mini-multitude of Canadians and ask forgiveness of us… I don’t have words. In spite of mistakes, errors in judgement, or outright wrongdoing… if these are the kind of men who lead us, then we will be fine. God is alive in His church.

I remain, your servant

Monday, November 10, 2008


Please keep all of the council delegates in your prayers as they travel to and from Pittsburgh, and during their deliberations. As you know, there are serious matters to deal with, including the election of a new Metropolitan.

Our members at the council:

  • Clergy delegate: Fr. Lawrence
  • Lay delegate: Andrea F.
  • Observer: Dn. Kurt
  • Observer: Vivian H.

Prayer to St Herman of Alaska

By Matushka Juliana Schmemann

St Herman, please protect our Church:
restore the peace, the purity, the love for the Lord, and for each other,
that is shadowed now, and is tempting our people.
You, great Saint, who planted firmly in America the Cross of Christ:
come back to us, and see to it that we have not shaken that Cross,
which you firmly planted.
Make it firm again; give us the truth, the light, and the trust, which is shaken.

Please, great Saint, intercede for us.
We are weak, and guilty.
We need the Lord to help us up, and forgive us;
and we must become truly humble,
but DARING, and courageous,
fully admit our wrongs, and repent.

Daily Podcasts from the All-American Council will appear on Ancient Faith Radio this week.
and LINKS to agenda & other important items

Friday, November 07, 2008

Hop the Virtual Ferry to Neighboring Islands in the Blogosphere

To facilitate discussion, information-sharing and neighborliness
here at Spruce Island, I have added a new blog feed to the sidebar. There you will see constantly updated info about new posts appearing on the blogs of several Spruce Islanders.

To get to our Virtual Ferry Dock and visit these blogs, scroll down below the picture of the bells in the sidebar to the right of these posts to the section titled "Blogs by Spruce Islanders"

If you want your blog included in this feed, please let me know. Any Spruce Islander with a blog is welcome to be added, but unless you let me know, I will assume you prefer not to have a link to your personal blog-island here. So far I've only added ones that I know are meant to be generally public or where the owners have posted links from Spruce Island recently.

Happy sailing!

update: Members currently in the blogroll

Peter Chattaway
Jenny H
Victoria J
Rhiannon G
David P
Fr. Lawrence (this is just a writing newsblog from Fr.'s website)

Note that the most recently updated blogs will come up to the top of the list automatically. Could be incentive to blog regularly!

Update again:

Elizabeth R's blog added.

I have also moved the Saplings blog and Sprucies in the Kitchen blog to this blogroll.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

by Natalia:

octobrer 2008, originally uploaded by simply victoria.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

First step into the New Life in Christ....

pic by Dn. Taras at Andy Lanteigne's baptism.
hmm....wonder whose knees those are! :-)
There are many more photos from that day, including some wonderful ones in the altar of things we never get to see-- when our website gets revamped, it might be possible to make an educational slide show!
Oooh! Hey, Vic-- I just discovered we can actually add a slide show to the blog here, with photos hosted at Flickr. Would you like to try your hand at it?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Hi All,

its been a while since this blog has hosted any discussion, so I thought I would ask around and see what is out there.

I have never been taught much about money. My parents did a good job of ensuring that I knew the value and importance of tithing, so that has never been a question in my life, but I had no idea that Usury was such a big deal, recently I came across a video, which I have posted here that explains the way that banks make money. It shows that in the past, money was based on an agreed upon measurement of gold that the bank had and could produce on request, but now banks give out loans based on other people's agreements to pay back loans, which in essence, is a license to print money. This video explains in cleverly simple graphics and clear language how Usury is the cause of the problems that we are facing economically. It doesn't mention it specifically, but the inference is not hard to make or see.
A sort of local monk once told me that participating in the banking system was less than ideal, but as people who live in the world, there are not many options. Perhaps barter systems or interest free banking is an option?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Coffee Cup Commentary Podcasts now online!

I was asleep at the wheel, apparently-- Fr. Lawrence's regular Podcast is now online at Ancient Faith Radio!

I only found out when a listener sent this message to Fr.:

"I just wanted AFR and Fr Lawerence to know how much I am being blessed by this wonderful podcast . Also Fr Lawerence, thank you for the wonderful Akathist to Jesus Christ "Light to those in darkness". I heard about it through another podacst on AFR at a time when I needed to read and meditate upon it and I was able to order a copy. I was just listening to AF talk as I was cleaning and it caught my ear. The Holy Spirit works in His own way! Glory to God!"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Memory Eternal-- Barbara Sokolov

Mat. Barbara Sokolov fell asleep in the Lord yesterday. Some of our members will remember her and her late husband, Fr. Victor, from their service at Holy Resurrection Vancouver and the Holy Cross UBC chaplaincy in the late 198os before returning to the U.S. Please remember the family in your prayers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sunday's BBQ in celebration of the baptism...

Sunday's BBQ is only on it if it sunny. Or rather, it's off if it is raining. Gabe and I found conflicting weather reports online, so we don't know what the weather will be like.

However, if it is on, it's BYObeverages. We'll provide all the meat and buns abd stuff for burgers. Please bring a side dish to share.


- Amy & Gabe

Monday, September 01, 2008


sorry for the long wait.
it takes longer than you'd think to upload/sort/filter/photoshop the many millions of photos I take.
here, for your viewing pleasure: the goads

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the goads & the saints

it was a great game, and an even greater time of fellowship following.

(more photos HERE)

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I JUST got news that the Goads have (gracefully) defeated the "Young One's" with Sticks in a grueling match!


Please, someone, post pics as soon as you can!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the time has come...

to taunt you a second time.

are you ready to travel back in time, to a place of wonder and astonishment?
where feet fly past at rates so fast
your neck hurts trying let your gaze follow the ball behind your goalie?

Though I miss you, my mainland brethren, I look forward to being on the winning team.



Saturday, August 16, 2008

such a lovely image, i almost hesitate to post... but did want to pass along an invite on a related theme... we'll be having a jack and jill baby shower for jennifer ness-wicks (husband alex and son gabe) this sunday afternoon in the backyard of st.john's house (1967 napier-just off commercial drive). jenn's expecting their little one in the next couple of weeks. if any of you, who know jenn, would like to send along a card, i know that muryn jordan is hoping to come by, after liturgy at st. herman's. on a personal note, i look forward to attending andy's baptism; see you all then!! - miss you guys, kim

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Women of St. Herman's & Friends

Double Baby Shower For: Andy L & Matthew P

At BRUNCH, with a presentation from our DIAKONIA charity group
Saturday, August 30th 10 AM

in the church hall

Please bring:
  • Brunchy food. If you’d like to cook something, please come a bit early.
  • New SCHOOL SUPPLIES to donate to needy families
  • Kids of any age unless you’d rather leave them home with dad

All the women of St. Herman's & their female friends are welcome to join us.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Andy's baptism

Andrew David Gabriel Lanteigne ("Andy") will be baptized on Sunday, September 21st at 10:00am!

To celebrate, we will be throwing a party/BBQ at our house after Church and everyone is invited! We live aaaaaall the way out in Chilliwack, but we hope you can all make it out for at least some part of the day to have a burger and toast to our newest kid!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Thank you - Two months minus one day

Thank you for your prayers – tomorrow will have be two months since the accident. I am now walking again! No more crutches or air cast. And today was my first real day of my job (when I finally did get to Toronto over a month ago, I was sent back early as they did not know what to do with me, even though I had explained the situation). I still walk with a bit of a limp at times, but am doing really well considering.

I especially remember the first weekend, when I was in a lot of pain (did not know I had two fractures and was not given pain medication), I was so comforted to know that I would be included in the prayers to the Theotokos that Saturday after vespers. Thank you.

This week marks my 4th anniversary of my chrismation and Labour Day will DV be my 5th year since I began my journey at St. Herman’s in earnest. I thank God for all of this and for the support and love that you all at St. Herman’s continue to give to so many.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Mt. Arrowsmith Hike

P1050236, originally uploaded by pasivirta.

St. Arseny Senior campers hiking at Mt. Arrowsmith. we have cool video of summer snow sliding too. see you next year!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

camp photos

who has them?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

pt 2

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Canada Day happiness

more photos -->HERE<---

Saturday, June 28, 2008

He's here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andrew "Andy" David Gabriel Lanteigne was born at 3:42am on Thursday, June 26th. He weighed 7lbs 14 oz and was 53 cm (20.75") long. He is perfect!
We are home from the Hospital now and are all doing great (besides being slightly sleep deprived). Thank you for all your prayers - we'll see you in about a month!
Love the Lanteigne's - Gabe, Amy, Owen and Andy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

with trepidation...

the Deacon and I are going ahead with the traditional Canada day party this coming Monday June 30th/Tuesday, July 1st. However, as many of you know, we are in the middle of trying to sell our house, so the issue is how to have the house back in mint condition for the next day.
Solution: how about if the people who choose to stay overnight for the post-party breakfast volunteer to be part of the clean-up crew the next morning, to get the house back in shape?
sound reasonable? good. so it's on.
byo: bottle, brush, bbq (& sleeping bags if you're an overnighter.)
see you there!!

welcome Andrew David Gabriel Lanteigne!

weighing in at 7lb14oz, he arrived on the scene at approximately
4:30 am this morning with the help of doula Matushka Sarah.

good work mom and dad! a baby brother for Owen.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

St Herman's Monastery

Apparently there is a wild fire, out of control, on the ridge above the monastery in Platina, California. The monks have been evacuated to Redding, and they are asking for prayers to save the Monastery.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I had to beat her to it!!

Phil and I are excited to welcome into the great wide world our new daughter, Macrina.
Macrina kicked her way into the world at 2:33 pm with a beautiful cry and an energetic shove.
She weighed 3.33 kgs (or 7 lbs 5 1/2 oz) with a head circumference of 33 cm.
She is absolutely gorgeous.
Her patron saint is St. Macrina the Younger, older sister of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa and credited by them with being the driving force behind the saintliness of their entire family (including their mother). We thought this an appropriate name for an older sister.
We are overjoyed to meet her face to face.

Thank you for your prayers,
Phil, Biss, and Macrina

Sunday, June 15, 2008

memories of camp

Friday, June 13, 2008

Long time no see!

That's right! We're coming home for a visit. And bringing our offspring to meet you all...

My cousin is getting married in Abbotsford on Friday the 27th, and we found a seat sale, and it's a great excuse to see old friends, family, and church family, and get away together for a week, all in one go...and introduce our son to everyone...the long and the short of it is that we'll be in town from June 24th to July 2nd, and at church on Sunday and hopefully even Saturday night vespers. We just can't wait to be there again and see you all...

We're also looking for places to stay while we're there. Do you, or does anyone you know have room to sleep two plus a baby (we're bringing a portable crib)? For all or any portion of the week we'll be in town (we don't mind hopping around if we have to)? We'll likely rent a car so we can get around, and we can look after our own food, but we don't have a place to stay yet.

I just can't believe the tickets are booked and we're actually coming...

Can't wait!

Cheryl, Matthew, and John Samuel

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

“Members of one another”

“Members of one another”

November 10-13, 2008 ~ Pittsburgh, PA

November may seem a long way off, but this upcoming council should be the subject of all our thoughts and prayers well in advance.

The latest issue of the Canadian Archdiocesan Messenger is now available at church in hard copy. It should also soon be posted online at our Archdiocesan website. There you will read Vladika SERAPHIM’s article “The Time for Reconciliation”.

The OCA, of which our Archdiocese and thus our parish are both part, has been struggling with a crisis of trust for a long time, more and more openly since the last AAC in Toronto in 2005. This is not a crisis about the Holy Orthodox Faith, but with our failure as a church to live up to that faith in everyday matters of church governance, in particular the stewardship of finances.

You can find a timeline of the development of the crisis at this link. This site, Orthodox Christians for Accountability, is the initiative of concerned lay people. There have been posts from respected clergy and lay leaders in our church, such as Fr. Thomas Hopko and Fr. Theodore Bobosh.

You can find the blog about preparations and news of the upcoming council at this link.

Please pray for the clergy and lay representatives who will go to this council from all over the continent; for the Holy Synod of Bishops; for the Metropolitan Council; for the Pre-Conciliar Commission who are making the plans and preparations; for the ‘town hall’ meetings happening in several locations in advance of the council; and for all the clergy, monastics and faithful of the OCA. The first of these has already taken place in Ottawa, and I have heard an encouraging report of it from Mat. Laurie Rodger, who was there and who presented a statement which is now available online here.

Here is an appropriate prayer to Saint Herman by Mat. Julianna Schmemann.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saint Herman's publications & communications

The June 2008 newsletter, with fasting rules and details of parish activities is now up at the homepage:

Hard copies will be at church this weekend with the June calendar attached, which is also updated online here:

Please be sure to get your copy and post it in an easy to see place!

Sunday bulletins have not been getting a lot of use, and the paper has been going to waste, so I am only going to print these on a week where there are announcements out of the ordinary not covered in the newsletter & calendar. If you have something that MUST be printed in a Sunday bulletin, please e-mail me by Saturday morning at the latest at

There will be NO newsletters in July and August. There WILL however be a calendar for each of those months and Sunday bulletins is needed. If in doubt about any dates and times, you can always drop by here at Spruce Island and/or the calendar page at!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Come on GOADS, face your nightmare!

Dear Goads:

Please answer this skill testing question below:

We will not face The Island Saints on Monday June 30th because:

a) we lack the humility to lose again;
b) we were all tuckered out by playing on a real rink last year;
c) we don't like pancake breakfasts;
d) we have gotten used to bad coffee;
e) we are apathetic about important things;
f) all of the above;

Yours with sticks,

The Island Saints


Sunday, May 25, 2008

a beautiful day with the family

more pictures HERE

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Newest Francis

Basil catching up on rest after an exciting journey into the world.
Matthew gave me the go ahead--so it is with abundant joy that I give news of my sweet nephew, Basil Philip -- born to my brother Matthew and his wife Krista on May 19th. Basil arrived at 34 weeks and is a strong 4lbs 7oz. Please pray for continued strengthening for baby and mama, (and papa too!) xo

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Online Homilies

While poking about the net for content for the Facebook group promoting Fr. Lawrence's books etc. I found some of the old homilies on the site. I thought some of the newer folks might not be aware of these, so here are some of the links. The old website needs an overhaul, and these things are not well organized, but there are lots to explore for anyone so inclined. I do know that an overhaul of that site is on the agenda for sometime in the future, but I don't know when. We are very grateful to the work Fr. Justin did for us in this regard when he was with us, but he is much too busy with St. John's to help out any further!

So here I've pasted in what I posted in the Facebook group-- I'm not certain if all the links will work or if the downloads will work either, but for what it's worth, here they are:

St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church: Finally caught up with the homilies...

MORE HOMILIES FOUND! Audio files at this page....beginning with an Annunciation homily, soon to be seasonal...I haven't checked each one carefully, so please let me know if any of them don't download properly!

Another homily, seemingly from August 05... I love Fr. Justin's little sales pitch! Many thanks for the work he did putting these up back then, before he got too busy with his own mission!

And another-- Lazarus and the significance of names. I thought this one was gone, but here it is.

Another-- Cultivating the Soil of the Heart Oct 2006

Sorry these are not in any real order-- I am just posting them as I find them The Fears of St. Peter Oct 2006

This seems to be the main page with homilies indexed by date but no titles. So if you're looking for a particular topic, you'll have to root around. When I have time, I may look through and plan to message the membership or post one at a time at appropriate feasts or seasons.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The photo you've been waiting for....

God willing, after today's surgery, it won't be long before the pirate priest look is a thing of the past.....

On today's prayer list

As well as Fr. Lawrence's eye surgery today, Gregory G. will be going for his stress test on his heart to make sure that the swooning spells last week really were a result of that flu virus everyone seemed to catch, and not a heart problem. His family does have a very serious history of heart problems resulting in early death. All of his grand father's brothers died before the age of 40, two of his first cousins died of heart complications as babies and two other first cousins have had surgery to correct serious heart defects. To add to this, his elder sister has been suffering from heart palpitations for a year and Greg's heart has always beat kind of funny (skipping a lot). So please pray that the test comes back good.

Thanks everyone!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Passion of the Christ

Hi, all,

Gelu passed this interesting article

on to me but with everything that's been going on I didn't get it posted sooner.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Memory Eternal

Joan A., Julianna's nana, has fallen asleep in the Lord. Regrettably, Fr. Lawrence cannot serve as he will be in Calgary at the Archdiocesan Council; but we are blessed to have Fr. John B. attached to the parish, and he will serve the funeral this Saturday at the church at 1 p.m.

Joan was a lovely lady of spirit who converted to the Holy Orthodox faith later in life than most. Her health kept her from frequent attendance at church, but some of you may have met her. It was especially delightful that she was able to join us last December at the women's quiet day at Theresia's house.

The family will be grateful for your prayers for the newly-departed Joan and for all who mourn and miss her. Memory Eternal!

Monday, April 28, 2008

a gramoda (sp) from Vladika for our retiring choir director

see slideshow here

Pascal BBQ pics

Click here to see more of Amy's pics of the Paschal BBQ (flickr account)...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Photos from last night

For more pics, click here to be redirected to Amy's Flickr page...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Holy Friday

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Naomi and Maliah's Baby Shower on Thomas Sunday May 4th

Come and welcome baby Maliah into the world

Date: Sunday, May 4, 2008

Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Location: Ana's House - 7313 201B St.
Street: Langley

Email: muryn dot jordan at gmail dot com

Sunday, May 4th right after church - skip the church food and head over to Ana's for gifts, food and games. Leave the men and the kids at church but feel free to bring something edible to share.

A list of items that Naomi needs will follow soon...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Bell story is online!

At the Langley Advance....any of you in Langley who get the paper, is it in print yet? Please save some copies!

A few inaccuracies, which Fr. Lawrence is trying to get them to correct...

This Sunday is NOT "Orthodox Easter"--as our news release clearly stated Pascha is April 27th, and this Sunday's Blessing of the Bells is a separate occasion. Nor did Fr. Lawrence say we were currently "the only English-speaking Russian Orthodox (sic) church in the Lower Mainland"-- on the contrary, he mentioned the other English language parishes which have started since the time when we were indeed the only canonical Orthodox parish with services all in English (a long time ago now!)

....I'm afraid these things just happen with the media sometimes. They are doing the best they can to write up a short piece on a short deadline, on a complex subject they are unfamiliar with. The Advance reporter got a lot of good information packed into the little article anyway!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It must be mid-Lent, we're all a bit punchy....

Okay, so.....some of you may recall a post-Paschal conversation about beards we had a couple of years ago...well, maybe you'll recognized a few of the ahem characters in the latest Onion dome story......

Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome baby Maliah

we interrupt all this stuff about bells to congratulate Ryan & Naomi on the birth of baby Maliah! Many years to all of you!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

another image of the bells

photo by TJW

Saturday, March 29, 2008



Langley, B.C.-- What does the modern commitment to recycling have to do with the ancient faith of the Orthodox Christian Church ? Bells!

Sunday, April 6 at 10:00 A.M. , the Orthodox Church of St. Herman of Alaska in Langley invites the press and public to attend the blessing of their six newly-created bells—which began life as oxygen cylinders. Air Liquide donated the empty cylinders of high quality steel, which produces a beautiful sound. Deacon Kurt Jordan and musician Dan Steenburgh and their helpers cut the bottoms, ground the cylinders to the proper size to produce the proper tone for each bell, sand-blasted them clean and painted them. Now there are six less cylinders as potential land-fill and six more instruments to beautify the world with music and proclaim the glory of God.

In the rite of blessing, each bell is sprinkled with Holy Water, anointed with Holy Chrism (blessed oil) and named. In this case, the bells are each named for different saints of Alaska who brought the Orthodox Faith to North America—one of whom is St. Herman himself, the patron of the parish.

The bells will be rung before each Sunday Liturgy to summon the faithful to worship, and on Pascha, to announce the Resurrection of Christ. (Orthodox Pascha—or Easter—is on Sunday April 27 this year.)

The Church is on the corner of 72 Avenue and 198B Street. The bells and their enclosure adjoin the church and will be sounded every Sunday at 10.00 am.

PHOTOS added Sunday Mar. 30: Dan testing sound, Deacon Kurt & Dan discussing bells.

Friday, March 28, 2008

snowy wedding

snowy wedding, originally uploaded by pasivirta.

here is one of the pictures from our wedding, click the pic for more. I miss my mainlanders, but it was nice to see you at said wedding. party pics will be up soon.


team Pasivirta

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Someone asked for a photo of Nicholas ...

Here he is, being churched by Fr. Justin at St. John's this morning:

Monday, February 18, 2008

another chattaway bites the dust!

I can never decide whether to go with the flash photo or the non-flash photo ... one's sharper, the other brighter ...

Anyway, some of you might remember my sister Michelle, who has visited St. Herman's on several occasions (including Pascha 2003, one of the very first Orthodox services I ever attended; gosh, has it been five years already!?). For the last little while she has been attending Holy Nativity Antiochian in Fort Langley, and this past Sunday, she was received into the catechumenate there.

So we all sang her a round of "many years" -- not for the last time, I'm sure!

Meanwhile, the twins turned two a couple weeks ago, and their baby brother Nicholas (born January 14) will be ready for churching in a week or two ... and then, at some point not too far down the road, he'll be ready for baptism ...

Lots of ceremonies, big and small, coming up in the future ...

happy namesday theo!

clicky-clicky here for more photo fun!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Terrific Party!

Well I think the costume party should be a tradition. Good fun was had by all.


having a baby kick inside you does not feel normal.
it feels like the baby got hold of some bubbalicious and is blowing big bubbles and then letting them pop.
i wonder what flavour?

Friday, February 08, 2008

...another former St. Hermanite makes good....

(...admittedly we share him with St. Peter the Aleut, Calgary...;-)

Kevin Wigglesworth receives scholarship. Congrats Kevin!

Monday, February 04, 2008