Re-interment of Archbishop Dmitri

From Archimandrite Gerasim:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Faithful of the Diocese of the South,

Christ is in our midst!

On March 4 and 5, 2016, with the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON, we will re-inter the late Archbishop Dmitri in the new Memorial Chapel at St Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas. The services will coincide with the Saturday for the Commemoration of the Reposed that precedes the Sunday of the Last Judgment.

On Friday afternoon the body of Archbishop Dmitri will be brought from Restland Cemetery to be greeted at St Seraphim Cathedral by clergy and faithful. His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON will preside. The new coffin in which the Archbishop will be placed will be brought into the Memorial Chapel above the prepared crypt. He will lie in state in a sealed coffin during the Vespers of Friday. Vespers will begin at 6:30 PM on Friday evening, March 4, 2016. Friday evening both clergy and faithful will have the opportunity to pray in the Memorial Chapel and read the Holy Scriptures.

In the morning His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON will preside at the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral. The Divine Liturgy will begin at 9:30 AM on Saturday morning, March 5, 2016. Following the Divine Liturgy a Panikhida will be served, after which we will solemnly lower the coffin containing the body of Archbishop Dmitri into his final earthly resting place. This re-interment will conclude with the placing of prepared marble tiles over the crypt.

Texas-style hospitality will follow the festivities on Saturday.

In Christ,

Archimandrite Gerasim 

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.

Christ: The Great High Priest

A Pre-Lenten Study of the Epistle to the Hebrews

The Epistle to the Hebrews will be our constant companion on the Saturdays and Sundays of the Great Fast, and many of its verses are incorporated in hymns and prayers of the Divine Liturgy. As such, this epistle should naturally generate many questions among the faithful, such as the eternal Sonship of Christ, the person of Melchizedek, the office of high priests, Christ as the Great High Priest, the wrath of God, the overcoming of the Old Covenant, ancient Hebrew Christians of Palestine, interpretation of various passages from the Epistle to the Hebrews and relevant Old Testament books, et al.

As a sort of "pre-Lenten stretching" to get us ready for the marathon of ascesis that lays ahead, we will spend the four Wednesday evenings during February, trying to familiarize ourselves with the very important text, with a special emphasis on Christ as OUR Great High Priest.

  • Feb. 3, Class 1: “Great Lent: Fixing our Eyes on our High Priest”
    • Leading Text: Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-12:2 (Epistle, First Sunday of Great Lent)
  • Feb. 10, Class 2: “Christ: A High Priest like Melchizedek”
    • Leading Text: Hebrews 7:26-8:2 (Epistle for St. Gregory Palamas, Second Sunday of Great Lent)
  • Feb. 17, Class 3: “Christ: Our High Priest”
    • Leading Text: Hebrews 4:14-5:6 (Epistle, Third Sunday of Great Lent
  • Feb. 24, Class 4: “Pressing on to Maturity as His Priests”
    • Leading Text: Hebrews 6:13-20 (Epistle, Fourth Sunday of Great Lent)


We will be using the following book (available on the SJOTL Bookshelf and as a downloadable "e-book"):


Lawrence R. Farley, The Epistle to the Hebrews: High Priest in Heaven. The Orthodox Bible Study Series. Chesterton, IN: Ancient Faith Publishing, 2014. ISBN-10: 1936270749, ISBN-13: 978-1936270743

Father Lawrence does an excellent job of structuring his commentary around every single important point in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and clarifying issues by citing corresponding Biblical passages. We have taken as the leading texts epistle readings from the first four Sundays of Great Lent, so we can tie this in to the approaching Lenten season. The titles above are taken directly or closely from his subtitles for each section, so as to provide for close correspondence with the themes.



Please join us on Wednesday evenings in February following Vespers (from approximately 7 pm until 8:15 pm)!

DOS Assembly 2016

Dear Friends and Faithful,

I received the following request from Fr. Peter Robichau. He is encouraging participation in the upcoming DOS Assembly in Wilmington, NC, July 26 - 29.  Please read below and consider whether you might attend and/or be able to assist. Please respond directly to Fr. Peter with any questions you may have .

I hope you can plan to attend.

In Christ,

Fr Marcus


Glory to Jesus Christ!

As we are well into the new year, I wanted to put the DOS Assembly on your radar. It will be hosted in Wilmington, NC this year, and I think that this will be the "youngest" and "smallest" host parish to date, though we are excited about offering hospitality to all who attend.

First, we are strongly encouraging laity and youth involvement in the assembly as a way to transition our focus at these events from clergy, delegates and business to being a time of fellowship and encouragement for all the faithful of the diocese (while the business still gets done). So, we anticipate that attendance might be higher this year than in previous years.

Second, our small mission will not be able to handle all of the logistics during the assembly, and this is where we could use the support of the clergy and laity of the deanery to help pull this off.

With this in mind, if you would please:

  1. Encourage your parishioners, especially families with youth, (from the ambo) to attend the assembly - book rooms, and plan to attend the festive events and youth activities (tell them to sight-see between the meals (3 of them) the services and the talks (Sr. Vassa Larin will be our speaker for the week!).
  2. Encourage your parishioners to volunteer to help - if they can come a day early to help with last minute logistics, great.  If they can be available to shuttle folks from the airport to the hotel, great. If they can stay an extra day to help with cleanup, wonderful.  If they are available, we'll figure out how to use them.
  3. Finally, there are things that can be done in the months and weeks leading up to the assembly that will help us out (design T-Shirts for the Youth, prepare "continental breakfast packages to leave in the hotel rooms for registered guests ... etc. etc.).  Again, let us know how you can help!

It would be a joy to see a large contingent of non-delegates and youth at the assembly this year, and I think that we (as the host deanery) should lead by example.

Thanks, in advance, for your service - we'll see you in a few weeks.

Sincerely in Christ,
Father Peter Robichau

Upcoming Classes

Catechumen Classes: Wednesday @ 7 pm

  • January 13: Sickness, Dying, and Death (Fr David)

  • January 20: Fasting  (Fr David)

  • January 27: An Approach to Great Lent

Adult Study: Hebrews  Wednesday @ 7 pm

  • February 3

  • February 10

  • February 17

  • February 24

Catechumen Classes

  • March 2: Confession  (Wednesday @ 7 pm with Fr David)
  • March 19: Preparation for Eucharist (Saturday @ 4:30 pm)

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

Playground Blessing Photos

Congratulations to Andy Small on the completion of the church playground project, and many thanks to all who gave money and came out to help! We raised $950 from church members and Andy was very grateful. Construction took about 180 man hours over the course of 3 weekends, and 50 hours plus of planning by Andy. We had a blessing of the new playground at the end of Divine Liturgy on November 29, 2015.

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!