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About – St. John the Merciful Orthodox Church

Do you believe you are created in God's Image and fashioned after His Likeness? - We do!

We are a growing Orthodox Christian mission located in a quiet neighborhood in Southeast DC. Our parish is committed to helping with programs that provide meals and nourishment to families and children in the community around us. We’re also here to help people live meaningful lives in Christ.

From 2016 to 2021, our services were held in the rectory chapel of Assumption Roman Catholic Parish, generously offered to us by Father Gregory Shaffer.

In August 2021, we moved to a new location. A generous benefactor granted us the use of a building to use as our church home. It is a blessing to witness the growth of our church community in our new site. As a result of that growth, we’re able to give more to the surrounding community through our charitable programs.

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We Warmly Welcome:

  • Those looking for a smaller, more intimate Orthodox church home 
  • Orthodox Christians coming back to church after the long pandemic season
  • People inquiring about Orthodox Christianity 
  • Families
  • Military 
  • Travelers from out-of-town wanting to participate in the Divine Liturgy
  • People who want their faith to challenge how they live

As we continue to grow, we plan to provide more options for ways to help within the community. There are many needs, and we have a variety of important programs in the developmental stages.

The pandemic has caused many of us to feel displaced in our Christianity, and we are here to provide a nurturing spiritual home for you. We know many Orthodox Christians are longing for the deep and sacred connection with Christ that only the Divine Liturgy can provide.

Worshiping together as a community is a powerful and life-changing experience. We find that Christ is most effectively engaged in person and not on a blue screen.

About Father John

Father John Anderson is the parish priest of St. John the Merciful Mission. His journey to Orthodoxy began at a young age when he witnessed a group of monks walking past him. It’s a memory he’s never forgotten, though he was only six years old at the time. He saw they were men of God and that’s what he wanted to be.

As a young adult, he found a book on the Desert Fathers and mothers and studied their teachings from the third to the twentieth centuries. Raised Episcopalian/Anglican, he attended church regularly, but was looking for more meaning as he got older. The words and instruction of the desert fathers created a path that brought him to where he is today.

After joining the military, Father John met his wife Sabine while stationed in Germany. At the time of their first date, he felt called to be a priest.

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Father John attended seminary at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (when Father John Meyendorff was dean). After his ordination to the priesthood, Father John and Sabine moved a lot as a part of Father’s career as a military officer, medic, and chaplain. He’s lived in four countries, and throughout the United States.

His favorite thing about being a priest is the ability to bring people into better and healthier relationships with each other and God. What he enjoys about St. John the Merciful is that the outreach is as much a part of daily life as the liturgical celebration.

Father John and Sabine have three adult children and enjoy living in the DC/Northern Virginia area. They love meeting new people and being active and involved in the life of the mission as it grows.