St Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
161 N. Murphy Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94086
News
Labor Day BBQ & Swim Party - 09/11/17

On Sunday, September 3rd, many members of the parish gathered at the Bradley's home for an afternoon of fun.

The barbeque was grilling, the drinks were chilling, and the kids were thrilling to all the fun and festivities on the hot, late summer afternoon.

It is always such a joy to spend time with the parish family to catch up with each other, have some good food, and enjoy each other's company.

Many thanks to the Bradley's for hosting the event, congratulations to Alex and Diego on their birthdays, and may God grant that we find many more occasions to gather together in friendship and fellowship.


The Transfiguration and Blessing of Fruits - 08/20/17

On Saturday, August 19th, we celebrated the bright feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord. 

Following the Liturgy, first fruits were blessed with holy water - calling to mind and soul the wonder of the life brought forth from the light and warmth of the sun which brings forth abundant fruit from the earth. Just as these fruits mature and ripen under the influence and blessing of the light of the sun, so too do we spiritually mature and 'ripen' under the influence and blessing of the Light of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

May that Light of Christ shine brightly in all of our lives!


Clergy Awards - 07/10/17

On July 1st, at the celebration of our father among the saints, Holy Hierarch and Wonderworker John of Shanghai and San Francisco, two of our clergymen received awards from our Archbishop KYRILL. 

Father Deacon Andrew Gliga was awarded the right to wear the double orarion in recognition for his years of dedicated service to the Church.

Father Martin Person was appointed Dean of the San Francisco Deanery and was awarded the gold cross and palitsa - being elevated to Archpriest.

Congratulations to Fr Andrew and to Fr Martin... may God grant many more years of service to His Holy Church!


Youth Work Days At St Silouan's Monastery - 07/10/17

The week of July 3rd through 8th saw great progress in continued construction projects and beautification at the St Silouan Monastery in Sonora, CA. 

Youth from around the Diocese gathered to work and pray at the monastery. Many projects were accomplished including the building of an additional monastic cell, building raised beds for the garden, creating a firepit with surrounding benches, painting the fences, and much more. 

Despite the heatwave, everyone gave it there all... and by the end of the day on Thursday all intended improvements were done. As a reward, the group drove to Yosemite National Park where we hiked and enjoyed the beauty (and cooling mist!) of the abundant waterfalls. 

It was a wonderful week... each day included the cycle of services for morning and evening and Divine Liturgy was served each morning. Our days ended gathered around the campfire where one of the priests would lead a spiritual discussion. On Wednesday evening we were blessed to have his Grace Bishop Irenei lead the talk.

Fr Ignaty and Br Andrew were gracious and welcoming hosts.

We left with a sense of joy and accomplishment, fatigue and gratitude, and a desire to return again as soon as possible.


Russian River Camping Trip - 06/19/17

The weekend of June 9, 10, and 11, many members of the St Herman of Alaska parish made pilgrimage to the Kazan Church on the Russian River, near Guerneville, CA. Our Archbishop KYRILL graciously opened the doors to this wonderful setting, amid redwoods and upon the shores of the river, for our parish camping trip.

Fr Martin and Matushka Sarah arrived a day early on Thursday to make preparations for everyone’s arrival. To our concern, the day was rainy and wet… the grounds intended for camping were full of puddles and an ‘advisory’ was sent to forewarn campers of the conditions. Thanks to the prayers of the Mother of God and St Herman, late Thursday turned sunny and windy… these conditions continued all day Friday so that, by the time people were arriving, the sun and wind had dried everything nicely and the remainder of the weekend was just beautiful!

Campers arrived throughout Friday… pitching their tents and settling in. In the evening we had Evening Prayers, dinner, and an outdoor movie presentation. Campers bundled up under blankets and enjoyed a showing of ‘The Princess Bride’ – an amusing fairy tale which all ages seemed to appreciate.

Saturday morning began with Morning Prayers and then a breakfast. After breakfast, we carpooled to the nearby Armstrong Redwoods Park where a choice could be made between a flat one mile hike around the forest floor, or a more rigorous four mile hike up to the ridges and back. The park was absolutely beautiful and both teams of hikers had a great time.

After lunch, that afternoon was designated as ‘free time’… most of the families took advantage of the direct path on the property down to the river and enjoyed swimming and splashing in the water. Others relaxed around camp, and others explored other local activities.

In the evening we reassembled for the Saturday evening Vigil service. It was a great pleasure to serve and pray in the Kazan Church amid the beautiful icons and under the shade of the towering trees.

Following Vigil we had another fantastic dinner and then all gathered around the campfire for some songs, games, and conversation.

Sunday morning we had Divine Liturgy in the Church… celebrating All Saints under the omophorion of the Mother of God in her Kazan Icon. It was a great privilege and great blessing to be there together!

Following Liturgy a brunch was served and then all began reluctantly taking down their tents and packing for the ride home.

I think I speak for all in saying that the weekend was a great success. Being able to spend time together like this was both a great pleasure and I believe all felt a renewed and strengthened sense of community and a ‘parish family spirit’.

We will be gathering feedback to keep improving on these experiences, which, with God’s blessing, we intend to make more frequent parts of our parish life.

You can view the Photo Gallery by clicking HERE.


Birthday Celebration for Fr John - 05/22/17

On Sunday, May 21st, everyone was invited to the home of Fr John Ocana to celebrate his 75th birthday. Fr John is the founding priest of St Herman's parish and many were on hand to express their congratulations and best wishes to him. 

Fr Martin demonstrated his BBQ grilling skills - flipping burgers and hot dogs for the hungry crowd. 

Matushka Sarah led a number of fun games for the children and young at heart including a water balloon toss, a treasure hunt for hidden toys, and singing American folk songs.

Many thanks to all those who helped make this party a great success... those who helped with hosting, those who helped with the setup and takedown of chairs and tables, those who brought so many wonderful dishes to share, and all who expressed their love for Fr John!

See the photo gallery here.


Christ is risen! - 04/18/17

View photos of our celebration of our Lord's Resurrection here....


'Twas A Dark & Stormy Night - 02/18/17

On Thursday night/Friday morning, February 16/17, Sunnyvale experienced a very strong storm with heavy rains and winds. The strong gusts knocked over the fence on the west side of the church and toppled a large tree - sending it down upon our neighbor's shed, smashing the fence, and blocking Beemer St. 

The intrepid crew of our friend and neighbor Randy Ahlkvist, parishioner Paul Raymond, and Fr Martin were on the scene to survey the damage. Wasting no time, they got to work... chainsaws were buzzing, brooms and shovels were scooping, and the debris was cleaned from the street and sidewalk in very short order.

In the days to come we will have a tree company out to haul away the mess and we'll need to address the repair of fences and other items. 

Many, many thanks to Randy and to Paul for their great efforts in getting this mess cleaned up so quickly. We were soaked to the bone as we worked in the still heavy rain and winds, but there was a great spirit of teamwork as the threesome got the job done!

Check out the Image Gallery for more photos...


St John of Kronstadt Children's Sermon - 11/01/16

On the eve of the feast of St John of Kronstadt, several children gathered at the end of Vespers to hear about the life of St John. They learned about how he struggled to learn as a young child and how, through prayer and the grace of God, he was enlightened and his mind was opened to understand his studies. 

St John of Kronstadt was a tireless defender of the poor and had great care and concern for children. He established a number of orphanages to care for them. 

Through all of his labors, he emphasized and demonstrated the sweetness of Christ and the great treasure of the Gospel. In honor of St John, each child received a small 'goody bag' containing sweets and other little treasures!


St Herman's Work Day - 11/01/16

On Saturday, October 29th, a crew of intrepid workers gathered at St Herman's to roll up their sleeves and do some much needed cleaning and clearing out of accumulated items. 

The team worked well together and we made great progress in clearing out storage sheds, attic spaces, the choir loft, the vestry, and others worked on cleaning the wax off the church floor and beautifying other areas of the church.

We rented a 15' U-Haul truck for the occassion and it was a surprise to all how full we were able to load the truck with all the refuse and things that had accummulated over the years.

Many thanks to all who participated in this productive and tiring, but fun community event!


Baking Prosphora - 10/25/16

On Tuesday, Oct 25th, Fr Martin, Fr Deacon Andrew, and Matushka Raluca Balaban went to the 'Old Cathedral' in San Francisco to take part in baking our next batch of prosphora. 

Hieromonk James and Simona had prepared the dough that morning and were ready for us when we arrived mid-day. We were able to prepare over 600 prosphora that afternoon! Great teamwork and wonderful fellowship made for both a productive and edifying day!

Many thanks to all those who worked so diligently and to our gracious hosts and supporters at the Old Cathedral.


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