Metropolitan Jonah was born James Paffhausen in Chicago, in a German American family in the Episcopal Church. The family lived in Chicago, two years in Los Angeles, and then finally settled in San Diego. Met. Jonah went to La Jolla High, then University of California San Diego; then finished his BA in Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz. During his second year of university, he found the Russian Orthodox Church and was received at age 19, in 1978.
After college, he entered St Vladimir’s Seminary, finishing two degrees, a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology in Dogmatics. After working in real estate finance for a few years, and for the OCA Diocese of the West, he resumed studies toward a doctorate in Theology in Berkeley. He was choir director then deacon at St Nicholas, Saratoga, CA. He interrupted studies and went to Russia for most of 1993, living in Moscow first, and then becoming a novice at Valaam Monastery. He returned to the US at the end of the year, and was subsequently ordained hierodeacon in February and hieromonk in October, 1994, and was assigned to St Mary Magdalene Mission, in Merced, California. He also served as a circuit riding mission priest, working to establish several missions.
In 1996, he received the blessing to start a monastery, and founded the Monastery of St John of San Francisco in Pt Reyes Station, Marin County, CA. In 2006 the Monastery moved to Manton on Mt Lassen, CA. In 2008 he was elected auxiliary bishop to the Archbishop of Dallas, Dmitri, but was quickly (10 days later) elected Metropolitan of the OCA. He served in that position for 4 years, and stepped down in July, 2012.
Since that time, he has served at St John the Baptist Cathedral, and officially was received into ROCOR in June, 2015. He was assigned as the Rector of St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church in September, 2017. He also serves the Holy Archangels Orthodox Foundation, with a home chapel and weekly Liturgies.
The Rev. Dn. Alexander Laymon was born in 1954 and raised in the Midwest as the oldest among eight siblings. He attended the Ohio State University under a Four-Year ROTC scholarship, was designated a Distinguished Military Graduate and commissioned into the Ordnance Corps of the Regular Army in 1976. For the next twenty-six years Dn. Alexander served in a variety of logistics and program management assignments in Europe, Hawaii and the Continental United States. His specialty was managing multi-million dollar research, development and acquisition programs for future military weapon systems. Dn. Alexander retired from the Army in 2002 with the rank of Colonel and pursued part-time employment as an Adjunct Instructor of Religion at Germanna Community College in Virginia. Dn. Alexander was an active and life-long member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod until his academic research into theology and church history as a college instructor led him to join the Orthodox Church with his wife Joanna in 2008.
Dn. Alexander’s academic credentials include an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology, an MA in Theology (summa cum laude) from New Brunswick Theological Seminary and an MS in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah on 1 April 2012 after completing the OCA’s Diaconal Vocations Program.
Dn. Alexander’s interests include theology, church history and sailing. He is a scuba diver and licensed private pilot. He married his wife, Joanna in 1975. Matushka Joanna is very active in the parish’s Sisterhood of the Myrrhbearing Women and is an accomplished iconographer. In January 2012 she founded the Iconography Guild of St. Theodosia under the auspices of the Prosopon School of Iconology. The Guild meets monthly in the Parish Hall and hosts an annual week-long workshop with instruction from a Master Iconographer from the Prosopon School.
Dn. Alexander and Mat. Joanna make their home in Locust Grove VA. They have two children, Erik, a financial analyst, who resides with his family in Pennsylvania.and and Rebecca who currently lives in Utah.
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4:30 Catechumen’s Class
6:00 Great Vespers and Confessions
9:30 Reading of the Hours
10:00 Divine Liturgy followed by Fellowship Hour