Let us Celebrate Christ’s Coming Nativity
Our Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Bless! The Lord!
This is a time of great celebration for the Lord of Life Jesus Christ came to Earth to live among us tangibly and visibly over 2,000 years ago. He is still here, as He said “Lo, I am with you always.” (Mat 28:20) He is the answer to every question, for as St. Paul said, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31) Christ has come, He is right here now, and His love embraces each person who has ever lived. If we turn to Him, strongly now in our remembrance of Him as a babe so frail and small and vulnerable, He will be the greatest treasure of our life. Let us turn earnestly to Him in love today!
This Year at the Skete
This has been an eventful year at the Skete, both inwardly and outwardly. Our outward work of providing the best and widest selection of beautiful icon reproductions has continued to grow. We now have over 2,500 unique icons up on our new website and available in each size they can be made with good image integrity from the original icon images. We have the largest collection of icons from any icon reproduction manufacturer than we know of anywhere. 1,700 more are already in process.
Icons were always a vital part of Church life since the first one was made by the Lord while He was alive, and St. Luke painted the next icons of the Virgin from life. The Faith was mostly taught historically through hearing the Word of God, and also seeing such “windows into Heaven” in the Holy Icons. We are honored to be a part of this wonderful missionary outreach to enliven souls.
Our inward work is a life of prayer both in church services in our church dedicated to St. Nicholas, and also our effort to constantly remain in interior prayer through constant repetition of the Jesus Prayer. We also look inside to see our interior mind and its stream of thoughts, so that we can, by God’s help, turn from the world of illusive selfishness for us to try to love God as the Lord said “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” as this first and greatest commandment.
We also have faced many challenges this last year from the destructive windstorm that came through our valley a year and a half ago, and the financial and physical disaster that this has left in its wake, to our present more limited abilities of the few monks here to do all of the work and mission outreach that is so needful. Greatly constrained finances have been our greatest concern. Even our most basic needs have been hard for us to fulfill for some time – even our food, lights, and warmth.
This year we lost our used skid steer which helped us move the wood to our central boiler to heat the back valley’s Common Monastic Building, our beater truck to help with outdoor maintenance and moving large items when needed, and our zero turn mower – all this last year. This makes our work here much harder. Several furnaces to heat buildings in our front valley are barely working and will probably not last the winter, and are troublesome already. We are willing to work, but need the tools to do so, and are asking our friends to help give us these means.
Our Present Urgent Needs
We need your help. Please pray for us and, if possible, send us some means now to help us continue our life here, and our icon service to the church at large and to you. Our sales were extra slow this last Summer through Fall so far, which puts a strain on just keeping up with daily expenses. Give from the heart. Let your mercy shine towards us, and may His mercy shine towards you.
Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The monastics of St. Isaac of Syria Skete
and the Convent of St. Silouan,
and the community at St. Nicholas Church
Make your donation Here
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