Saint Herman Antiochian Orthodox Church

Great Blessing of Waters at Theophany - 01/05/14

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Ryan, A New Catechumen - 01/19/14

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Pre-Lenten Retreat - February 21-22, 2014

Becoming Orthodox Inwardly

A retreat that examined the inner life of the thoughts and how to deal with them in an Orthodox manner

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Before the arrival of the period of Great Lent, the springtime renewal of the soul, we gathered together for a retreat that equipped us to handle the struggles we face everyday. We examined what it means to become Orthodox inwardly, and how it is essential to see that the battlefield is in the “mind.”

Areas of focus included: What do the Holy Fathers and our Holy Orthodox Tradition teach us about struggling with bad habits, addictions, dependencies, harm from others and past events, and resentments? How do I react with holiness to troubling events? Why am I angry? What is the goal of the spiritual life? And do we really believe that God loves us?

Fr. Stephen's Recommended Reading List

Audio Files

Session 1 - Friday Feb. 21, 2014
Session 2 - Saturday Feb. 22, 2014
Session 3 - Saturday Feb. 22, 2014

Retreat Master

Father Stephen Lourie, formerly the Assistant Priest at St. John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River was a convert to Holy Orthodoxy after leaving the role of pastor with the Presbyterian Church in America, moving his family to Alaska in 1991. He left Alaska with his family in 2004 to become pastor of St. George Orthodox Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania where he served until 2012. He is currently the pastor of Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, (OCA) in Venice FL. He has training and experience as a substance abuse counselor, hospice and hospital chaplain, family counselor and pastor. Fr. Stephen also has many years of experience working with teens and originated the St. John Summer Camp. He and his wife Khouriyeh Nancy have four children and two grandchildren.

 

Fr. Stephen Lourie
Fr. Stephen Lourie
Fr. Stephen Lourie
Fr. Stephen & Fr. Matthew
Fr. Stephen & Fr. Matthew
Fr. Stephen & Fr. Matthew
Inquirers and Catechism Class

The Great Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople
The Great Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople
The Great Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople

“FINDING THE CHURCH JESUS BUILT”
A 7-Week Study of the History of the Christian Church from AD 33-Present

Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my Church.”

All are welcome to attend!

Classes will be held at St. Herman Orthodox Church in the parish hall:

Wednesday February 19

6:30pm - Daily Vespers
7:15-9:15pm - Session 1: History of the Church

 

Wednesday February 26

6:30pm - Daily Vespers
7:15-9:15pm - Session 2: Holy Church and Holy Scripture

 

Friday March 7

6:30pm - Compline with Akathist to the Theotokos

7:30-9:30pm - Session 3: Holy Church and Holy Tradition

 

Friday March 14

6:30pm - Compline with Akathist to the Theotokos

7:30-9:30pm - Session 4: Salvation

 

Friday March 21

6:30pm - Compline with Akathist to the Theotokos

7:30-9:30pm - Session 5: Holy Sacraments

 

Friday March 28

6:30pm - Compline with Akathist to the Theotokos

7:30-9:30pm - Session 6: Worship and the Divine Liturgy

 

Friday April 4 

6:30pm - Compline with Akathist to the Theotokos

7:30-9:30pm - Session 7: Worship and the Holy Scriptures

 

A 500-page study guide accompanies the class. Hard copies are free to inquirers and catechumens, but are $20 to parishioners to cover the cost of printing. If you want a copy of the study guide, please sign up in the narthex or email FrMatthewHowell@gmail.com. If you want a free PDF copy of the study guide, you can download it here: Study Guide Sessions 1-4; Study Guide Sessions 5-8.

Teen SOYO Rock Climbing

at Rock On Climbing in Wasilla - 03/01/14

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Recent Events

Becky, A New Catechumen - 03/02/14

(3 images)

Holy Friday Pastoral Message from His Eminence Metropolitan SILOUAN

How to be crucified with Christ

"I have been crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20)

Beloved in Christ,
Hierarchs, clergy and faithful
Of this God-protected Archdiocese:

The mystery of Christ is very simple. Yet in order to embrace it in our lives, we need a mind and a heart as humble as His. The mystery of His love to humankind is such that it surprises us, whenever we meditate on it and are conscious of it. It surprises us because it reveals the love He has for us. He "is love" (1 John 4:8), isn't He?

Christ manifested His love to us in a very particular way: the way of a bridegroom with his bride. The Church preserved from the Lord's last moments before death the image of a marriage. The "picture" she took of this wedding has been expressed in two different ways in our celebrations on the first days of Holy Week. In fact, we chant at Matins of these holy days: "Behold the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night...", and "I see Thy Bridal Chamber adorned, O my Savior, but have no wedding garment that I may enter. O Giver of Light, enlighten the vesture of my soul, and save me." We also make a procession with the icon of the "bridegroom" with the inscription, "Behold, the man!" (John 19:5). It is the icon of the Lord of the "utmost humility," the whole image of His passion, a snapshot of His unconditional love for us. It was the last picture taken of Him before His death on the Cross. It is the best picture ever taken of Him. The Church raises in front of our eyes this "picture" in order that we recall today in our hearts His love and humility, and commit ourselves again to follow Him on the way of the Cross.

The way of the Cross is not painful. The sufferings that Christ endured in His body did not hurt Him as much as did our indifference, ignorance, rejection and betrayal. We have heard His words to God the Father, on the eve of His crucifixion, in which He asked Him to "remove from Him the cup" (Luke 22:42), that is, the cup of our betrayal of His love. However, we all were also witnesses of how He wholeheartedly accepted the cup – accepted us as we are, in our own wickedness – to the end. This "end" was His love manifested on the Cross in His words of forgiveness: "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34), but also in His triumphal death: "It is finished" (John 19:30). He did love us to the very end of His life, and to the very end of our own misery, in order to accomplish our salvation, to restore in us love and the freedom to love each other as He did (John 13:34; 15:12).

Following Christ on the way of the Cross was, and still is, the very heart of the Christian "kerygma:" preaching and education. It instills in us the power of love that Christ handed over to His disciples throughout the centuries in order to befriend the "oikoumene," that is, the whole world. Abiding by the way of the Cross has one finality: to bring every human being to the knowledge of the truth - to know the Father (Cf. John 17:3), to believe in the Lord as our Savior from death and evil, and to receive the gift of life eternal from the Holy Spirit. It is a journey that we begin in this earthly life and continue throughout eternity.

Practically, the way of the Cross is the same. It is "to be crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20), as the Apostle Paul exclaimed. I had this in mind when His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch asked me to be the Patriarchal Vicar of this God-protected Archdiocese. Therefore, I want to ask that each of you, beloved members of this Archdiocese, see how you can "translate" such words in your own lives, behaviors and activities, in a practical, but heavenly, way. In fact, all of us together need to ensure that this transitional period preceding the election of a new Metropolitan, successor to His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of eternal memory, be filled with the fragrance of the same love and faithfulness of the perfume that Mary poured out on Christ's head (Cf. Matthew 26:7).

Mary's pre-burial ointment prior to the Lord's death (Cf. Matthew 26:12) prefigures our own way of following Christ in this transitional period, on the way of the Cross. Even though the disciples (or Judas) misinterpreted or condemned her action, the Lord asked that this ointment be a prefigurement of the announcement of His resurrection from the dead (Cf. Matthew 26:13). If we share this way, we also share the hope that the Lord proclaimed to Mary on the eve of His passion. As a fact, we will share the gladness that is coming forth from God´s promise to us: the fulfillment of our faith in Him.

I am sure that our Lord now "is working" (John 5:17) great things among us for our salvation. Let us follow Him on His way. Let us be His witnesses among our brethren. Let us be His trusted disciples in the service of our church and His co-workers for the salvation of the world.

+ Silouan

Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina & Patriarchal Vicar of New York and all North America

Paschal Message from His Eminence Archbishop JOSEPH

Beloved in Christ:

We thank God for our safe return from the numerous events surrounding the burial of our beloved Metropolitan Philip. Although our hearts are saddened by this great loss, we are comforted through God’s mercy and the outpouring of love, expressions of sympathy and the great number of people who have been in contact with us. The Chancery has been overwhelmed with the number of calls, letters and emails and with the Holy Week upon us, we ask for your understanding in not being able to properly responding to each of you at this time.

After 40 days of Great Lent, having examined, confessed and cleansed ourselves, we joyfully celebrated the feast of Lazarus Saturday which marked the beginning of the last days of our pilgrimage to Pascha. Just as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ humbly entered Jerusalem on a colt, we should now humbly enter the Holy Week. The days ahead will be filled with deep prayer and contemplation, through the many readings and church services, recounting our Lord’s suffering and ultimately His victory over death.

I beseech you, dear ones, to join me in focusing on what lies ahead of us in the coming days - quietly, reverently, and respectfully – in joyful anticipation. All hearts and minds should be turned towards Him. Let us “lay aside our earthly cares” and turn our entire selves towards Christ to whom belongs all glory, honor and worship that we might experience the power of the Resurrection.

In His Service,

+ ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH

Paschal Message from His Eminence Metropolitan SILOUAN

 

How to resurrect with Christ

“If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God” 
(Colossians 3:1)

 

Beloved in Christ Hierarchs, clergy and faithful, of this God-protected Archdiocese

 Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

Christ defeated death! We are no longer subject to it; rather we are Christ´s, who gave us “the right to be God´s children” (John 1:12) and to be His “friends” (John 15:15)! What great news! What a great gift! What a great reality! An eternal bond is granted to whoever believes in Christ as Savior from death -- divine adoption in Christ´s name!

From now on, the Lord commissioned us to be victorious not only over death “from outside,” but also over death “from within,” that is, over our own selfishness. He also commanded us to be messengers of the Good News and heralds of His victory - and ours, too - over any kind of death. He asked us, as Christians, to abide by love rather than by hate, by hope rather than by despair, by faith rather than by logic, by justice rather than by injustice, by forgiveness rather than by resentment, by humility rather than by vanity and arrogance, and by sacrifice rather than by self-interest.

Christ defeated death in our lives! He set us free from fear: from fearing death, from fearing evil, from fearing illness and calamities, from fearing each other, from fearing the uncertainty of the future, from fearing insecurity and unemployment, from fearing violence and terrorism, and from fearing persecution and sufferings for His sake. Instead, He gave us the power and the means to seek the true freedom. The freedom to love each other even though we differ in character, education and profession. The freedom to forgive each other even though we have suffered. The freedom to ask forgiveness from each other even though we have badly hurt each other. The freedom to serve each other even though we differ in origin, background and culture. The freedom to work together even though we differ in thinking, worldview, ability and capacity. The freedom to abide by the truth and raise our children to seek Him. The freedom to defend the unjust and the needy and restore them their rights. The freedom to be at the Lord´s hand, obedient, prayerful and faithful.

Christ defeated death in our reality! He gave us the gift to start anew, to renew our heart, to purify our mind, and to reaffirm our commitment of faith at His service. He restored in us the dignity of our person, the beauty of our nature, and the bounty in our personality.

Christ defeated death in our relationships! Christ is the only mediator between God and man. However, He made us “bridges” of salvation to reach others. As Antiochian Orthodox Christians in North America, we are bequeathed an apostolic “lineage:” tradition, inheritance and mission. In this regard, the image of the “bridge” summarizes the Antiochian witness that emerges out of the past, prompts the present and prepares the future of the Antiochian Orthodox Church on the eve of the election of a new Metropolitan to succeed to His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of eternal memory.

Christ´s victory over death is a responsibility when it is handed over to us. “I am the Way, (John 14:6) the Lord said. “We are the bridge,” we would respond to Him. Indeed, the Lord means for us to be His co-workers in this most unprecedented cooperation between heaven and earth. Antiochian Orthodox, among others, are leading the work of building a bridge between East and West, between our Patriarchate and the Archdiocese, among their brothers and sisters of other Orthodox Churches in North America, among their brethren whom they invited to share this apostolic faith, toward those are in need. If Christ is the “bridge” from heaven to earth and from earth to the netherworld, saving in this way the entire creation, then you understand that being a “bridge” means to follow Christ in His openness to humanity, in bringing humanity to unity, in serving your brethren to the extent of your ability and capacity.

I am glad for your witness – a bridge that unites both ends and that is open for people to come across in both directions, and for Christ to work the salvation of each one. I am sure that, as we are celebrating our Lord´s resurrection from the dead, you will treasure this divine gift of being a bridge. Indeed, I am certain that you will not spare any means to serve the Divine Providence toward humanity.

May our Lord guide all of us by His eternal light shown forth from the empty tomb!

 

 Silouan

Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina & Patriarchal Vicar of New York and all North America

Teen SOYO Hiking at the Butte in Palmer


Teen SOYO Hiking the Butte in Palmer - 05/18/14

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Annual Country Fair - May 31, 2014

Past Country Fair Photos

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Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/SaintHermansAnnualCountryFair

"Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things!"

A few of my other favorite things just so happen to be right here…nestled between Wasilla and Hatcher Pass right next to the Little Susitna River. It’s a quiet seven mile drive on Wasilla Fishhook then down a country road named Welch and there is the cutest little log cabin church you have ever seen!

Every year the faithful parishioners set up to have a neighborhood gathering filled with delicious homemade bratwursts from the church’s own butcher, the loveliest Sweet Shoppe filled to the brim with tasty treats and since the baker is gluten free herself, she takes joy in baking for everyone! There is Old Fizzywigs where the matron mixes up her batches of homemade Alaskan syrups to create delicious soda pops and root beer floats for kids and adults to enjoy. Let your children pet the animals in the petting zoo as long as they like, get their face painted by the local artisan and they can even enjoy the Kiddie Corral filled with all sorts of merriment (including a bouncy house!)

There are fun old school style carnival games for the big kids too like the ring toss, chicken fling, balloon darts and a prize booth to boot! Participate in the potato sack race, the tug-of-war, or perhaps the pie eating contest is your preference. There is plenty of seating on their lovely quilt covered hay bales and adorable bistro chairs. You mom’s might want to bring your pocket book because their Trading Post is full of great deals on used items and full of handmade goodness from the creative ladies of the parish, if you forget cash, there is an ATM on site. Don’t forget the food booth filled with locally made brats and the most delicious gyros in town. You’ll be sure to make this an annual affair you won’t want to miss! Hope to see you there on Saturday, May 31st from 11am-5pm.  It truly is  A Festival of Food, Games, Prizes and Family Fun! 

 All proceeds help pay for the continual building projects as their church continues to grow. Sponsorship is greatly appreciated. Please contact Anna Phelps @ 357-2046 or priest@sainthermanwasilla.org for more information. Please like our facebook page titled “Annual Country Fair, Saint Herman’s OC”.

2014 Country Fair Photos

2014 Country Fair Photos - 05/31/14

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Pentecost - June 8, 2014

Blessing of the Dipnets
Blessing of the Dipnets
Blessing of the Dipnets
Patronal Feast of St. Herman of Alaska

Visit of Bishop DAVID - 12/13/14

Bishop DAVID of the OCA Diocese of Sitka and Alaska joined us for Matins and Liturgy. He presented the parish with an icon of St. David of Wales, his patron saint. Father Vasili Hillhouse, pastor of Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Anchorage, also joined us. 

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Pastoral Visit of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH

The Chrismation of Becky Moore - 12/28/14

Metropolitan JOSEPH became the first metropolitan of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America to visit St. Herman Church in Wasilla. During his visithe met with the parish council, chrismated Becky Moore, and blessed Fr. Matthew Howell with the shield, allowing him to hear confessions. At the end of liturgy, the parish presented Metropolitan JOSEPH with an original local icon of St. Herman of Alaska that includes an image of our church temple. Father John Rogers from St. John Cathedral in Eagle River also accompanied Sayidna JOSEPH.  

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