St. John Chrysostom Russian Orthodox Church (House Springs, Missouri)
In addition to the regular Saturday evening vigil service and Sunday morning Liturgy, there are many other services on weekdays, as scheduled. The primary language of the services is English, but on Sunday mornings the Divine Liturgy is served in both Slavonic and English.
The church is located in Jefferson County about 15 miles southwest of the city, only a 30-45 minute drive from almost any point in the Saint Louis area. The church is situated on 20 acres of land on a wooded hillside with a beautiful view of the surrounding hills and valley.
On the church property there are three other buildings, in addition to the church and hall. They contain a church office, Chrysostom Press, and seven apartments which parishioners rent. This provides a continuous Orthodox presence all week long. A small parish cemetery is located on one of the beautiful meadows next to the woods. At the bottom of the church hillside is a spring and a pond. Next to the church is a large open field which is used for the annual festival, picnics, and other outdoor events.
St. John's Bookstore has a large selection of English and Russian books, as well as church music, crosses, icons, and other Orthodox items. The bookstore is located in the church office building, with an additional large display in the hall near the entrance of the church. The bookstore is open after all daytime services and on weekdays. To visit on weekdays, please call ahead to the church office to make sure someone is there.
There is an active and growing Russian community within the parish, including an annual Russian festival at the parish in September, celebrating Russian culture and cuisine. This is a major fund raiser for the church. Parishioners perform traditional folk dancing and singing and serve their favorite ethnic foods.
Fr. Christopher Stade served at the parish for nearly a quarter of a century. However, due to illness, a new priest was brought in, while at the same time Fr. Christopher was allowed to stay on at the property. The new priest left early in 2016, and the parish was downgraded to mission status. In June, 2016, the parish was informed by ukase that while the church would remain open and dedicated to St. John Chrysostom, the property would become a female monastic community, Holy Archangels Monastery, headed by Mother Eisodia, (formerly of the Washington, D.C. area and the Antiochian Convent of St. Thekla in Glenville, Pennsylvania) and all parish property would now go to the diocese. Also, while the parish website was quickly changed to reflect the name of the new monastery, as of July 17, the name of the parish has not been changed either on the webpage of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America (despite numerous other updates) or on the official webpage of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.