Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Day service cancelled. Please pray for Jensina!

Our celebration of our Lord's circumcision, scheduled for New Year's Day, will be cancelled - or at least significantly curtailed. My daughter, Jensina, has been sick since Sunday afternoon - nothing too serious we hope, but she's been throwing up and has a bit of a fever, so I feel I should stay home with her and help Matushka look after her and the rest of the family. Please keep her in your prayers. Brother Cyprian did say, before we left on Sunday, that if the service was to be cancelled, he would still be there and would serve Typika (a very short adaptation of the Liturgy to be served without a priest and without the eucharist) to commemorate the feast, so if you do happen to show up at St. John's on Tuesday morning, feel free to join him! Unless anything more serious develops, I should be back in Vancouver for Little Compline on Thursday.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Proposed Agenda for Our First AGM

Our very first parish Annual General Meeting is coming up soon! To prepare, St. John's is accepting nominations for new mission board members, so feel free to nominate someone you think might be qualified to do something for the mission, including yourself (otherwise known as volunteering!) by mentioning his or her name to a current mission board member. We are also publishing the proposed agenda for the AGM so that all members of the mission can look it over beforehand and submit any items they feel should be on it but aren't yet to a current mission board member (i.e., Peter the Medic, Gareth, Brother Cyprian, Deanna, or myself). The proposed agenda for the mission board meeting can be viewed here by logging in with your St. John's username and password - e-mail me (frjustin{at} - replace "{at}" with "@") if you've forgotten either!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Upcoming Special Events

We have two special events at St. John's coming up this week. This Saturday (Dec. 8th), we will be holding our last work party of the year, starting around 11am and continuing until just before Vespers. If you are coming and can also bring something "pot-lucky" to help with the meals, that would be even more helpful - and much appreciated!

Before that, we will be celebrating St. Nicholas' feast-day with St. Nina's this year. To make sure I get all the info right, I am copying and pasting Fr. Christopher's annoucement to St. Nina's below:

Thursday, December 6th, we will be gathering in celebration of the Feast of St Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia. This year we will be gathering at St George's Anglican Church, where St Nina's holds services, (2950 Laurel St & 14th Ave) at 7:00 PM. We will be gathering with our brothers and sisters from St John of Shanghai Mission to celebrate this Feast amidst the Fast. The plan is to pot luck "lenten" snacks and goodies with a particular focus on cookies and to have a gift exchange as is our custom in honour of St Nicholas. For a gift please simply wrap something of your own that you wish to give to someone that you think someone would like to receive. This will include the children, so, parents, please help your kids bring something for the gift exchange.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Reader's Compline Tonight

The combination of a relatively nasty cold and the Vesperal Liturgy for the Feast of the Entrance on Tuesday left me largely without a voice on Wednesday. I took Wednesday off work and am taking today off as well to try to fight off the cold and get back in shape. Little Compline will be held as usual, but without me - which means our study of Luke's Gospel will not resume until next week.

God willing, I and the family should all be out at St. John's house in time for the mission board meeting tomorrow (Friday) evening - the meeting starts at 7:30pm.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pray for Fr. Lawrence!

Pray for Fr. Lawrence - his retina is apparently coming detached again and so he is again going in for surgery at noon today. Lord, have mercy!

Monday, September 24, 2007

REMINDER: Vesperal Liturgy for the repose of St. John the Theologian this Tuesday at 7pm

Just a reminder that we will be celebrating a Vesperal Liturgy for the repose of St. John the Theologian this Tuesday (tomorrow) at 7pm at St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Mission. St. John the Theologian is of special significance to us as our mission station was initially blessed with his patronage. Come fasting from noon onwards if you intend to receive communion.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Upcoming Services

September has quite a few major feasts! The most last-minute addition to our schedule of services is worthy of special note: with the help of a few folks from St. Herman's (most notably their choir director), we will be serving Divine Liturgy this Saturday morning (September 8th) at 10am (St. Herman's time!) to celebrate the Nativity of the Theotokos. Come fasting if you are intending to receive communion.

So, special services this month are as follows:
  • Saturday, September 8th, 10am: Divine Liturgy (Nativity of the Theotokos)
  • Saturday, September 15th, 9am (St. John's time!): Divine Liturgy (Exaltation of the Cross - actually the 14th, but we don't have the use of the chapel that evening)
  • Tuesday, September 25th, 7pm: Vesperal Liturgy (Repose of St. John the Theologian)

And, not a service (at least not in the liturgical sense of the word), but also worthy of note, just a reminder that we are having our third St. John's work-party this Saturday - now to be held after the Divine Liturgy is finished.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Please pray for Fr. Lawrence!

Fr. Lawrence is having emergency laser eye surgery tomorrow for a torn retina. Please keep him in your prayers.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Vladika is coming! Vladika is coming!

Our beloved Archbishop Seraphim is coming to St. John's on Sunday, September 16th to grace (eminence?) our usual 9am Divine Liturgy and turn it into a full episcopal liturgy. This means that St. John's is now officially thrown into official "flurry-of-preparation mode", which includes the following:
  1. Mission Board meeting 5pm on Thursday, September 6th. If all mission board members could be in attendance, that would be much appreciated!
  2. Work Party III on Saturday, September 8th. Any and all who can come out an help anytime after 10am will be gratefully receieved and put to work!
  3. There was a third thing that escapes my memory... Oh, right - I remember. Not anything to do with the bishop's visit, but something I neglected to announce in my "flurry-of-preparation" mode is Cary Chow's CD launch (Zirkus) concert coming up this Friday, September 7th, at 7:30pm. Details on his site at - I don't know what it's going to be like, but if you remember the benefit concert for St. Arseny Camp at which he performed, it's sure to be worthwhile!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Camp Pix - Day 2

Pictures from our second day at camp are now up here. Thanks to Victoria and Matushka Sarah for documenting the experience. (I hope to get some pictures shot by others up soon too.) Enjoy, and keep keeping us in your prayers!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

First Camp Photos Are Up!

The first photos of this year's camp are up - with more to come each day! Check in here to see all the fun that your children and friends and priests are up to!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Vesperal Liturgy Tonight for Dormition

Just a reminder that we will be serving a Vesperal Liturgy tonight for the feast of Dormition at 7pm at St. John's (1967 Napier Street).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Thanks, Fasting, and Services

Many thanks, first of all, to all who responded so quickly to the request for items for St. John's House. We now have a bed, a cordless phone, and possibly a microwave - and, glory to God!, the plumbing is now fixed! As our Lord said, "Ask and you shall receive!" May God bless all of you richly for your kindness and generosity and love.

Second, I should finally post the fasting rules, now that we are in the midst of the Dormition Fast!
  • On weekdays of the Fast, we abstain from meat, fish, dairy, wine and oil.
  • On Saturdays and Sundays of the Fast, we abstain from meat, fish and dairy, but are allowed wine and oil.
  • Fish, wine and oil are also allowed on August 6th for the Feast of Holy Transfiguration, on August 9th for the feast-day of St. Herman of Alaska, and August 13th for the feast-day of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.
Finally, for any who haven't heard yet, we will be serving Divine Liturgy at 9am on Monday, August 6th for the Feast of Holy Transfiguration - come fasting if you intend to receive communion.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Just a reminder that we will be fasting from meat, fish, and dairy (with a couple of minor exceptions - details to follow) from August 1st to 14th for the Dormition of the Theotokos (feast day, August 15th). As this is one of the year's four major fasting periods, it is also a time to go to confession - usually after Great Vespers, though confession after Little Compline is also a possibility.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Friends of St. John E-mail List (and new thanks, wishes, and phone number)

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the address for the Friends of St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Mission e-mail list has changed. The list is now hosted on the St. John of Shanghai domain, so the list address has changed from stjohn{at} to friends{at} (replace "{at}" with "@"). If anyone wants to join the (low-volume) list, please drop me (Fr. Justin) a note at frjustin{at}

Also, while I'm thinking about it, I should mention that many thanks are due to Fr. Michael Fourik and Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, from whom we received a number of icons and two much-needed analogia (I'm assuming that is the proper pluralization of analogion). That means that I should add analogion vestments to our wish list. And if anyone happens to have an extra microwave, lawnmower, cordless phone, answering machine, or bed that is not needed and is in good condition, any or all of those would be much appreciated at St. John's House!

Finally, I should mention that St. John's has a new phone number. We're not used to answering the phone yet, but we should now be reachable at 778-737-5646 - or the more memorable 778-737-JOHN.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Little Compline at St. John's House

Little Compline and choir practice will be held at St. John's House (1967 Napier Street) this Thursday (July 12th). Just be sure to go into the house itself, rather than the chapel, as there is a group that uses the chapel on Thursdays already!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Great Vespers at 6pm

We've announced this in church, but just to make sure everyone knows about it, Great Vespers on Saturday evenings will be held at 6pm from now on (rather than 7pm), which will hopefully make it a bit easier for parents with young children to come out to this important first service of the Lord's Day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Little Compline at St. John's House Tonight

Little Compline will be held at St. John's House tonight (June 21st), and the Vespers and Litya next Thursday (June 28th) will also be held at St. John's House (1967 Napier Street).

Friday, June 15, 2007

Wishes and Thanks

I have been repeatedly asked to post a list of things that our little mission needs and/or would like to have. Before I finally post such a list I need to do two things: 1) ask forgiveness of all those who asked me so long ago and so repeatedly to post such a list, and 2) post thanks for all that has already been given to us so generously. In the thanks list, I won't list who has given what, as I don't wish to deprive anyone of their heavenly reward, but do know that we remember who you are and are very grateful for what you have given us - and, more significantly, God remembers!

Thanks for...

gospel book
hand cross
chalice set with spoon, spear, and covers
icon stands
icons - and mounting of icons
candle box
seven-branch lampstand (though we still have to retrieve this!)
priest's vestments
lots and lots of cleaning!

Wish List

vestments for altar and analogion (measurements to be provided here soon)
altar candlesticks
processional fans and cross

(and, for St. John's House:
cordless phone
answering machine
more cleaning!)

I should also note that both lists are still very incomplete, and will be updated here as more comes to mind!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Mini-Work Party this Saturday

Since there's still quite a bit of work to do on St. John's house, we've scheduled a mini-work party for 1pm this Saturday. We'll be focusing on tidying up some of the basement this time. If this is something you'd like to come and help out with, please feel free to come out and help!

Friday, June 01, 2007


I've received a few requests for pictures of St. John's Saturday work party and first Sunday liturgy. While there are quite a few up on our Facebook group, not everyone has a Facebook account (and some are not there, but are in Gregory's Facebook photo album), so I've made a few of the best ones available on our site.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Work Party and First Liturgy

The very first Sunday-morning Divine Liturgy of St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Mission will take place this next Sunday at 9am. This means we have a lot of work to do! Any who would like to help us get ready are invited to come out to our new location at 1967 Napier Street any time after 10am this Saturday. Come prepared to clean and move stuff - and many thanks, in advance, for your help!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Monastic House

The Monastic House of St John of Shanghai, located in Vancouver, BC, is under the omophorion of Archbishop SERAPHIM of Ottawa and All Canada. The intent is to live the traditional monastic life, informed primarily, but not necessarily uniquely, by the traditions of St John's Monastery in Manton, CA and the Valaam Monastery in Russia.

The fledgling St John's Monastic House is envisioned to be a Monastic entity within an urban environment. With that comes unique blessings, opportunities and challenges. The Monastic House is in complete synergy with the Mission, and its existence is due to the Mission's efforts.

Currently there is one monk in residence.

The present means of financial support that the Monastic House has is outside secular employment. As the possibility of other means presents itself, they will be explored.

Potential candidates for the monastic vocation should contact the Monk-in-Charge. If necessary his email address is: cyprian{at} (replacing {at} with the @ symbol).

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Great Vespers in the New Location Tonight!

Tonight, at 7pm, St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Mission will be celebrating Great Vespers in its new location! The mission's new location is 1967 Napier Street, in the chapel of the old Franciscan monastery. It can be found here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

St. John's Weblog Has Moved!

St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Mission now has its own domain name,, so the St. John's blog has moved to!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


And not one dead remains in the tomb!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Blessed Anticipation

As the candle we hold for the 12 Passion Gospel readings burns down, so our anticipation of the joy of Pascha grows. But as the Gospel candle must first burn down before it is replaced, so the cross and the tomb always precede the resurrection. This is the pattern of life, death, and rebirth that our Creator has built into the very fabric of the universe for our salvation. This is the cycle that He Himself entered to redeem us from the curse and to free us from our suffering. This is the Gospel that we live and die for and which we boldly proclaim that all may enter into the joy of the resurrection!

By now, I trust everyone is aware that St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Mission is returning home to celebrate one last Paschal cycle with her mother-church, St. Herman's. The last, we trust, because, by the grace of God, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Vancouver has provided us with a place to worship on Sundays! We will be meeting in what used to be the Franciscan monastery chapel across the street from the church - an especial blessing to start our Sunday worship in a location already blessed with a long tradition of prayer.

Starting up on Sundays marks St. John's coming-of-age, and, as with all such transitions, the passage is bound to be fraught with trials and difficulties. Your prayers are much needed and much appreciated! "Moving out" also means that we will need all our own stuff; a number of people have urged me to post a St. John's "wish list" a number of times in the past - now seems like a particularly good time to do so! (I haven't devised one yet, so watch for a "wishes and thanks" list to be posted here soon.) But most difficult of all will be "leaving home": we love all our brothers and sisters at St. Herman's and will miss you. We leave in spite of our love for you only because we love our Lord and His Church and are committed to establishing a place of worship and witness to the fullness of the faith in English in the city of Vancouver.

As well as being a time of hardship and testing, this is also a time of blessed anticipation: this is the culmination of what we have been praying for and working towards since August of 2005. As with the blessing of Pascha, this is the end of a time of waiting, but only the beginning of a new phase of our life in Christ. We are planning, God willing, to begin Saturday evening Great Vespers services in the new location at the beginning of May, and to begin Sunday morning Divine Liturgy on Pentecost. May God grant, by your prayers, that our candle may shine brightly, that, by His grace, the light of Christ may illumine all!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Great Vespers at St. Herman's This Week!

My apologies for the late notice, but I was reminded today that His Eminence, our beloved Vladyka SERAPHIM, will be at St. Herman's for Great Vespers tomorrow evening, so tomorrow evening (i.e., Saturday, March 31st at 7pm) all of us who are able to do so will trek out to St. Herman's for Great Vespers with the archbishop! See you there!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Upcoming Services and Schedule Changes

Some variations in the regular St. John's service schedule to be aware of:

This weekend, I'll be serving Vespers and Liturgy at the Orthodox Women's Retreat, so there will be no Great Vespers served at Dunbar Lutheran this Saturday, February 10th.

Next Thursday will be the last Little Compline and Study until Great Lent is over. We are suspending the Little Compline services for the Lenten season so that we can attend the Friday evening Presanctified Liturgies at St. Herman's.

With the beginning of Great Lent on the 19th, the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete will be served at Peter and Judy's on Monday and Wednesday, February 19th and 21st.

There will also be no Great Vespers served at Dunbar Lutheran on Saturday, February 24th, as I will be in Victoria serving Vespers, Liturgy, and Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers for Fr. John Hainsworth at All Saints of Alaska Orthodox Church in Victoria.