Dear brothers and sisters, beloved in Christ. Welcome to our website!
Russian Orthodox Church of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker is located in Jacksonville, Florida and belongs to the Eastern American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The Rector is Archpriest Ioann Voloshchuk.
Our vicar is His Grace Right Reverend Irinej, Bishop of Eastern America.
Our address 1895 Corporate Square Boulеvard, Jacksonville, FL 32216.
Phone: (904) 503-7076
Cell Phone: 386-338-4844
Under the heading “Parish Life” You can see the news of our community.
The “Gallery” section has pictures of our sanctuary.
The Divine Liturgy is celebrated on Sundays at 9:30.
The “Schedules” section will provide you with the worship schedule for the upcoming month.
The church holds regular worship and we do this as tradition dictates:
Body Worship — Orthodox worship with their bodies as well as with words. You will see that people at times bow, make the sign of the Cross, etc. If you are not Orthodox, of course no one expects you to do these things — just sit or stand and listen, and participate to the degree that you wish.
Communion is understood by Orthodox as a sign of membership in the Church and an act of commitment to the Church, so it is not given to non-Orthodox.
In fact, Orthodox should not receive unless they have recently been to Confession and have eaten and drunk nothing since the night before. Orthodox who are not known to the priest should speak to him so he will know they are communicants; just ask the warden to send word to him. The bread at the side is not Communion, but are like a fellowship meal, called antidoron. This is frequently given to visitors as a gift out of love. The bread is blessed and set apart before communion and should be eatten reverently.
SIGN OF THE CROSS: In general Orthodox practice, the right hand is used. The thumb, index, and middle finger are brought to a point. They are then placed on the forehead after that moved down to the solar plexus (moving to the sternum as other denominations do forms an inverted cross). Finally the hand is moved to the right shoulder and horizontally across to the left. Oriental Orthodox and Western Christians, however, go in reverse order on this last step, from left to right. As one moves through the Sign, one recites, at the forehead, "In the name of the Father"; at the solar plexus, "and of the Son"; and across the shoulders, "and of the Holy Spirit, Amen." There are variations that occur. Some may say "and of the Holy Spirit" across the shoulders. After moving the hand from one shoulder to the other, it may return to the sternum. It may be accompanied instead at times with the words of the Jesus Prayer in some form, or simply "Lord, have mercy." The thumb, index and middle finger brought to a point symbolize the Trinity, three persons sharing a single essence. The remaining two fingers are kept pressed close together and to the palm, representing the human and divine natures united together in Jesus Christ.
Standing (and kneeling) are the Biblical postures for prayer and Orthodox traditionally stand at Sunday services. But for most people this takes some “getting in shape”. We have seats for those who wish to sit. We don’t normally kneel on Sundays, as Sunday is the Day of Resurrection and kneeling is considered penitential; we kneel a good bit at weekday services during Lent.
Children — we don’t have a nursery during the services because we believe it is appropriate and beneficial for children to be in the services as much as possible. It may take a few visits, but young children can learn to settle down, and it’s surprising how much even toddlers absorb. It’s no problem if they move about quietly — we have a number of children ourselves and are used to some movement — but please be considerate and take them out briefly if they become very noisy, especially during the sermon.
Visitors Welcome — Orthodox try not to talk during the services, so it may be that no one will greet you until the service is over. After Sunday services we have Common Meal, a time of food and drink together in the Parish Hall; you’re invited to join us there so we can get to know each other. No one will put any pressure on you to join the Church; many people “visit” our Church for years.