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Annual Meeting 2017


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Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

On February 5, 2017 at noon, Saint Nicholas Cathedral will hold its Annual Parish Meeting and, according to the St. Nicholas Parish Bylaws, will elect new members of the Parish Council. This year we will be electing three Parish Council Members for three-year terms and two alternates/deputies, each for a one-year term.

The purpose of the Parish Council is to assist His Beatitude and the clergy of St. Nicholas in fulfilling the task entrusted to the Church by our Lord Jesus Christ: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28.19-20).

Serving on the Parish Council requires dedication, time and energy. The Parish Council is under the spiritual guidance and authority of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, assisted by Father George, and Father Valery.  "No activities in the parish can be initiated without [the Rector's] knowledge, approval, and blessing" (OCA Statute, Article 10, section 4).

As president of St Nicholas Cathedral, let me encourage you to consider becoming a candidate for the Parish Council this year. I would ask those parishioners in good standing who are considering the position of Parish Council member or deputy of the Parish Council, to contact Candice Johnson no later than January 29, 2017 and to fill out and send a "candidate" form to the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee, Candice Johnson at: Ceinarjohnson@gmail.com so we can set up an appointment to discuss your interest in this important service to the Church.

Claire Nobles

Parish President


Iconography Restoration Project. Final Step. 

Dear Brothers and Sisters!We are happy to report that Iconography Restoration Project of our Cathedral enters into its final stage.


A team of iconographers arrived in Washington in October 1991 to design and do the painting  of the Cathedral in the Greeco-Russo style. 

The project took 4 years and was completed in 1994.

The iconography has added a remarkable spiritual and artistic dimension to the cathedral. 

Short video with the unique footage https://vimeo.com/63610538, captures the actual process.

More about history of the Cathedral- http://stnicholasdc.org/parishhistory.html

Our Time

The restoration of the iconography began last year, twenty two years after it was complete, with fixing the leaks in the Dome, and repairing the damaged plaster.

The damage to iconography, which appeared to be more than the initial inspection determined, will be fixed now by the original iconographer and the author of the project Mr. Alexander Moskalionov. 

Custom scaffolding was built and erected by the same scaffolding company as in summer 2016. 

We pray that the project, which involved hard work of the Facilities Committee, chaired by Ivan Andonov, and a group of our dedicated volunteers,  is finished before the Holy Week (April 2017).

We apologize for a few inconveniences, especially for the limited access to the Social Hall (Basement of the Cathedral). We plan to keep Coffee Hour going by using Annex's Board Room (as we did during the renovation); we will not have whole Social Hall space available, Children Corner will be closed, because of the scaffolding in the basement, which is supporting main structure. 

The project takes a lot of effort of many people and much patience from all of us affected  by it, so let us pray and support it!

How I can help

Your prayers and words of support to our dedicated volunteers are greatly appreciated! The project is depleting a big chunk of our Major Repairs Fund; a few people already stepped up by offering financial support for it, and you may consider helping.

May God bless hard work of the laborers and the generosity of the sponsors! 

With love in Christ,

Fr. George and Fr. Valery 

Claire Nobles, President


Maslenitsa 2017: February 17

This year, Maslenitsa will be celebrated at the Russian Embassy on Friday, February 17, beginning at 7:00 PM.  Traditionally, Maslenitsa is a celebration before the beginning of Great Lent, but for our cathedral, it is also an event that raises money to help the needy and the profits go to our Benevolent Fund.

We ask that you participate as much as possible. This can mean helping in different ways.  If you cannot attend the event in person (tickets are $175 per person), consider buying some raffle tickets ($10 each or 5 for $45) at the Gift Corner. Remember, your donation is tax deductible and if you are willing to underwrite part of the expense, we would be very grateful.  No donation is too small!  Any donations made should be in an envelope marked Benevolent Fund and given to the Candle Counter or to Suzanne Tolstoy at the Gift Corner.  The committee needs help setting up the tables at the embassy Thursday, February 16, so if you can help with that, please let Suzanne Tolstoy or Marina Poutiatine know.  If anybody has a jigsaw to help cut wood to make the centerpieces, please let us know.

If you would like an invitation, or have any questions, please contact Marina Poutiatine at 301-523-9281 or by email: embassymaslenitsa@gmail.com

The invitations will be available in early January.

Thank you for your support!


"O Lord, sanctify those, who love the beauty of Your house!

Reward them with Your rich and Heavenly gifts, 

given them Heavenly things for the earthly ones, 

eternal things for the temporal ones, 

incorruptible things for those that perish"

St. Basil the Great. Liturgy 

Pledge Letter in MS Word  or  in PDF


            St. Nicholas Cathedral is grateful for every donation received throughout the year.  Your generous support enables the Cathedral to spread the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ, serve regular Divine Liturgies and Sacraments and provide spiritual nourishment to our faithful, their families and  those in need.  Your pledge of support is a sign of your heartfelt participation in the life of our parish family and it plays a vital role in enabling us to meet our financial responsibilities.  Please, download and read the letter, which explains the importance of the timely pledges.

            We pray that everybody who attends St. Nicholas Cathedral and cares for it financial security will make a pledge for 2017!

            If you don’t have a pledge form, you can download it from the link bellow or pick up a hard copy either at the candle counter or by calling the office at 202-333-5060.  Please take a few minutes to fill out the pledge form and submit it to either the candle counter or mail it to

St. Nicholas Cathedral

3500 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Washington DC 20007

Thank you for your support and keeping St. Nicholas strong and a place we can be proud of!


Amazon Smile 
We encourage everyone to register with Amazon Smile which will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to our Cathedral.  Please designate our church - "Russian Orthodox Church of St Nicholas" (legal name of our Cathedral) - as your charity of choice.  Instructions on how to join can be found hereThank you for your help!
With love in Christ,
Larry Harrison, Treasurer
Adult Education class by Father George via Skype on the Liturgy and Scripture 
Let's learn about our Faith!  Join Father George online from 7:00 PM till 8:00 PM each Monday to learn about the Liturgy and Scripture.  Download (or UPDATE) free Skype application - https://www.skype.com/en/  
Contact Irakli - phone: 1-302-332-3688, e-mail: chikhladze.irakli@gmail.com, Skype: Irakli.chikhladze
Study of the Holy Scriptures
St Nicholas Cathedral offers adult education classes on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month. Topics that will be explored in the class include the Psalms, systematic study of the Holy Scriptures (both Old and New Testaments), Christian hymnography, the services of the Church, and more! This class is primarily intended for Orthodox Christians who are interested in deepening their understanding of the faith, and non-Orthodox who wish to learn more about Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church. However, anyone is welcome to join.
We invite you to join us for worship at the Divine Liturgy, grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat downstairs, and then head to the Annex for discussion and questions. Class begins at 11:15 (11:45 on days with bilingual services) and typically lasts between 45-60 minutes. Please join us as we work to grow together in our faith in Jesus Christ.
Here is the link to the Google Drive folder with past material for the Psalms and Epistles.


One-hour weekly classes in basic English open to all parishioners and friends will be taught by volunteers every Sunday at 1PM in the library on the first floor of our annex building.  If you are interested in improving your skills in English, please come and see whether you would enjoy this class.  Just come to the library by 12:30PM and give you name to the teacher.

Irena Ananjana has again volunteered to teach an hour class in basic Russian conversation and reading twice a month on Sundays in the first floor room of our annex building.  These lessons will be held from 11AM to 12PM. New and continuing students are welcome.  The only requirement is an interest in learning Russian! For any questions, please email Irena at: irena_ananjana@hotmail.com Приветствуем всех!


This Sunday, July 31, after first liturgy during the coffee hour Archimandrite Juvenal (Repass)will give a presentation on his upcoming mission trip to Guatemala.

Fr. Juvenal’s missionary page at OCMC:


You may follow him on Facebook:



The Dormition Guild is sponsoring a book on past members of St. Nicholas Cathedral.  The title of the book will be “Jewels of the Cathedral” and the project is being chaired by Anna Mighell.  It will be a collection of biographies of deceased Church members, as well as past clergy.  Everyone in the parish is welcome to write a biography of their relative or friend.  Please include a picture, if possible.  The biographies need not be too long.  Please send the biography and picture to Father Valery Shemchuk at the Cathedral.  We have a goal that this project be completed in one year (December 2015 through December 2016, if possible), but please send in your biographies soon.  We have had so many devoted, wonderful parishioners.  The book should be a real treasure.  People may write as many biographies as they wish.  Below is an entry for the book.  We hope this sample will be encouragement for others to submit bios of deceased beloved family members and friends.  

There will be a  meeting after Liturgy on Wednesday, June 29, St. Peter and Paul Feast Day, to review and pull from historical records information we can use for bios for "Jewels of the Cathedral."  We especially would like to invite friends and relatives of past parishioners who can provide memories and anecdotes.  Please come join us. 


Vera was born in Vladivostok, Russia, the last of eight children born to Maxim and Anna Stadnichenko.  It was a patriotic family with a strong belief in God and a love of learning and nature.  She was a childhood friend of Yul Brynner who lived on the same block. 

After the communist revolution she and most of her family left Russia.  Vera and her mother lived in Prague for a short time before immigrating to America.  For a number of years, she and her sister Asya lived in Illinois where Vera received a Master’s Degree with concentration in bacteriology from the University of Chicago. 

When her sister died, Vera moved to Washington, DC to be with other family members.  She worked as a bacteriologist at the Glendale TB Sanitarium.  Vera also worked at Children’s Hospital where she was greatly admired by the doctors.

Vera met and married her beloved husband, Stephan Kunsak, during World War II.  She was widowed in 1966. 

Animals were Vera’s passion from the time, as a 5-year-old, she befriended a guard dog at a bank.  Throughout her life she helped or adopted countless abandoned and abused animals.  She even cared for an owl with a broken beak for 19 years, feeding her by hand.  Vera named her Smokey because she was rescued after falling down a chimney. Vera was one of the founders of S.P.A.Y. and worked for the Audubon Society raising baby birds.  She knew how to set a bird’s broken wing.                           

            Mrs. Kunsak was very proud of her Russian heritage and a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas (which became St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral).  She loved the teaching and traditions of the Orthodox religion.  She was sustained by many loving friends and family.  

Vera Stadnichenko Kunsak died in a fire at her home in the early morning of Sunday, December 2, 2001.  She was 94.  Memory Eternal - darkness shall not overcome the light.

Composed by Anna DeKonschin Mighell, Vera’s niece 



If you are aware of a parishioner who is ill or for some reason can not attend church services regularly, it is possible they might benefit from a card sent by our Dormition Guild or a phone call or visit from clergy.  In such case, please notify Andrea Lutov for the Dormition Guild (andrealutov@gmail.com), Fr. George (gkokhno@gmail.com)  or Fr. Valery (shemchukv@gmail.com)

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