Praying the Psalms for Lent

Matushka Natalia would like to invite everyone to please join us for another wonderful season of prayer during the upcoming fast. During the Lenten season, we will be praying one Kathisma per day. 

From now on, the sign-up for prayers will be coordinated through a new website. Sign up and find more information at 
Note to mobile users:  you may not see the form or other instructions and options on the mobile site. From a desktop computer, the form to sign up is visible, as are other pages on 'How to pray the Psalter', etc.

Before the fast begins, your starting Kathisma and a prayer list will be posted.  See the directions in the 'Resources' section on the right-hand sidebar for more details on how to pray the Psalter.

Trouble Receiving the Bulletin?

If you're having trouble receiving the bulletin, here are a few tips and tricks to try! 

If you have a search bar in your email, you can search through your mail for "St John of the Ladder" or "SJOTL" or "bulletin". For Gmail addresses, our emails often get sorted into the "Promotions" folder--you might want to try checking there!

If our emails are getting routed to your spam, please mark any emails you find as "not spam" and add our email address to your contacts. 

Please email us if you are having trouble receiving the bulletin! The most recent bulletin will always be available at this link:

Also, all of the most up to date news is available here on the website! 

Annual Meeting

St John of the Ladder will hold its annual meeting this coming Sunday (February 7) following coffee hour (at approximately 12:15 PM) in the nave of the church. The purpose of the meeting is as follows: to elect new members for the Parish Council, delegates for the upcoming DOS Assembly, and parish auditors; to discuss and approve a budget for 2016; and to discuss the status of our building project.

Can we talk about the scarves?

Are you curious why some wear them?  A number of ladies have expressed interest and have been asking just that question, so let's talk about it... Bring your questions, thoughts, and feelings; and if you wear a head covering,  please come share why this is traditional or important to you.  Sunday, January 31, after coffee hour, about noon all are invited to come learn about the tradition and a little about each other.

House Blessings

 The custom of blessing homes during the Theophany season is of special beauty and significance. It is not simply a sentimental tradition without meaning, nor is it a custom whose meaning we have forgotten, like an old friend whose face we remember, but whose impact on our life has been forgotten.  When an Orthodox Christian believer moves into a new home, he dedicates his new home as the abode of a follower of Christ. He asks that God, the source of all goodness and the Giver of every perfect gift, to bless his house and all that is within it; he recalls that Jesus Christ, His Son, came to bring Salvation to all, even as He brought Salvation to the house of Zacchaeus; he prays that the Holy Spirit may abide in it, guiding those who dwell in it on the paths of righteousness.

On the Feast of Theophany we rededicate our homes for this original purpose, just as we must periodically rededicate our life to Christ. We do it especially on this Feast because this is the day on which we remember in the Church Year the coming of Christ who began His Ministry when He descended into Jordan to be baptized by St John the Forerunner and Baptizer. He enters again into our lives reminding us that we must "repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand."  An Orthodox Christian must dedicate not only himself and his house to the Lord, but his daily work and all his efforts as well. All things are to be done to the glory of God. That is why in the Orthodox Church, not only religious objects, such as icons, crosses, churches and vestments, are blessed, but also homes, fields, animals and all objects which are used in our daily life for the good of man. In this the Church expresses its faith that the Holy Spirit's sanctifying action extends over the whole Creation.

Contact Fr Marcus to schedule your house blessing. He will be available on Saturdays, Sundays, and by appointment for House Blessings from January 11th until February 21st. Fr David will also have some availability. As in years past, clusters of parishioners who live close to one another may schedule several house blessings for the same day. 

The service of house blessings with some instructions on how to prepare can be found here.

Rice Bowls

The money you donate by filling up your rice bowl goes to Rice Bowl organizations across the world, in India, South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, The Philippines, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

  1. Starting December 13th, Rice Bowls will given out to Saint John of the Ladder.
  2. Take a bowl! Once you fill it up, you can get a new one.
  3. Gathering date: 4-6 weeks after start date
  4. Fill up the bowls! Keep them in your car, fill them with extra change, with dollar bills, etc. Treat them like piggy banks.
  5. I will collect the bowls on the gathering date: January 31, 2015
  6. Break them open and add everything up!
  7. I will submit the funds on the website or send a check with the return slip to the Rice Bowls organization.
  8. If you have any questions, ask me, Emily Eich, look on Rice Bowl’s Facebook, or look on their website at

Canon of St. John of the Ladder

As we seek to build our new temple, it is meet and right to seek the blessing of our father, Saint John of the Ladder, for whom our temple is named. Let us ask his blessing and his intercession for the Lord’s blessing on our work. As scripture tells us, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it;…” (Psalm 127).

We ask you to join together in prayer and supplication by praying the Canon of St. John of the Ladder. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) So that with one voice we may ask the Lord’s blessing on the building of our parish for His honor and glory and for the working out of our salvation and as a true witness of Him in our community.

The canon may be prayed privately or in a group. It may be read as one whole piece or may be broken down into bite size pieces of one canticle per day plus The Prayer for Parish Renewal, which is found towards the end of the canon.

If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please feel free to let us know.

Holy Supper and Coffee Hour

from Georgia Pelinsky

Please see the list below for our annual Holy Supper Meal which follows Vesperal Liturgy on Nativity Eve (Thursday, Dec 24). I will post this list in the church kitchen this week so that you can sign up for something. The top of the list represents the traditional items to be served and then lower, any additional dishes you may want to bring. Remember, if you plan to stay for this meal, please bring something. Our church kitchen is run 100% by volunteering and donations!

Having said that, I am putting out a plea for more coffee hour team members! We've had several people drop off of teams recently and we really need help. If you stay each Sunday to eat, please consider joining a team!  You do not have to cook. I know it may look that way, but every team has members that bring in store bought items or donate cash and then help to set up and clean up. Please email me or see me in church and I will find a team for you! As you may imagine, it's a lot of work to feed 100+ people every Sunday! Thank you for your consideration!

Nativity Eve Holy Supper Meal

  • mushrooms or mushroom soup
  • prunes
  • nuts
  • additional items, any lenten side dishes
  • desserts
  • beverages (including wine)
  • garlic, salt, and honey
  • bread
  • peroghi
  • kutia (wheat)
  • lentils or lentil soup
  • cabbage
  • potatoes

Update for IOCC Relief Kit Drive

Thank you to all those who have already contributed to our drive for the International Orthodox Christian Charities. 

  • The following items have been collected for the Health Kits as of 12/2/15:
    • Hand towels: 10
    • Washcloths: 10
    • Combs: 56
    • Nail files/clippers: 26
    • Bars of soap: 30
    • Toothbrushes: 13 (remember, no toothpaste, please)
    • Band-aids (10 XL; 20 Regular)
  • Still needed: 
    • 1-gallon plastic bags with zipper closure

Please note that no items have been purchased for Baby Kits.

Remember that we will compile the items, assembly-line style on Dec. 13 following coffee hour, so please have your items in by or before that date.

If you would like to contribute financially so that we can purchase items directly, please see Fr. David on Sunday.

Many thanks, and God Bless!