Nativity of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church has faithfully served Orthodox Christians in the
Bay Area for over fifty years. Founded after the Second World War by Russian émigrés from China
and Europe, our parish now ministers to a wide variety of people, including many recent arrivals
from the former Soviet Union. We welcome all to join us as we continue to serve the Lord Jesus
Christ and proclaim the Gospel of salvation in an ever-changing world.
Visitors are welcome to attend all our services. Our facilities are handicapped-accessible.
Parish Priest Father Andrew Smith:
Priest Andrew Smith was born in San Anselmo, CA to Orthodox parents -- Mark Smith and Maria Zaharoff. Maria was born in San Francisco to Russian Orthodox immigrants who fled to America in the aftermath of World War II and met while studying at UC Berkeley. Mark grew up in Southern California to a pious Roman Catholic family, but converted to Orthodoxy after marriage.
Father Andrew spent much of his childhood and adolescence taking in the rich liturgical tradition of St Nicholas parish in San Anselmo, and loved attending church school and church camp. When he turned 18, he himself became a camp counselor and church school teacher -- roles he has had ever since.
He studied both Russian and Spanish Linguistics at UC Berkeley, graduating as a member of both programs' honor societies. He has been to Russia twice (in 2002 and 2008) and Spain once (2008).
After university he enrolled in St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York, where he took on the role of student ecclesiarch in his second and third years, organizing the service texts and assigning and training readers. He graduated in 2011, magna cum laude.
His first job after seminary was translating the second volume of Metropolitan HILARION (Alfeyev)'s Orthodox Christianity series for SVS Press from Russian to English. Shortly after, he assumed the position of administrative assistant at the Diocesan Chancery in San Francisco, working for Archbishop BENJAMIN.
It was at this job that Fr Andrew met Anna Halliwell, his future wife, herself from an Orthodox, half-Russian family (and daughter of Fr Philip Halliwell, the rector of Christ the Saviour in San Francisco). They were married on August 16th, 2015. By the grace of God, Fr Andrew was ordained to holy diaconate by Archbishop BENJAMIN on September 13th, 2015, and to the holy priesthood on September 20th, 2015.
Fr Andrew and Matushka Anna are very much looking forward to the opportunity of leading Christ's flock in the beautiful city of Menlo Park, serving those Russophones who find themselves in a foreign land, as well as the Americans and non-Russians who have found the priceless pearl of the Orthodox Faith.
Available for confession at 9 AM Sunday and Saturdays after All Night Vigil (or by appointment).
The parish members, and parish council gratefully thanks Father David for taking care of our church as the interim priest. He will be deeply missed and we wish him well in his new endeavours.