Friday, November 9, 2012

Newly transplanted fruit trees (click on photo to enlarge)

Sustainability and Our Stewardship of the Environment
On the 8th of November, our brotherhood received the formal occupancy permit from King County. That it took eighteen years of renewing a building permit, attests to the fact that we did not have the money to simply hire a contractor to build our monastery. We constructed, building by building, as we had the money. With the help of many volunteers, including non-Orthodox friends and neighbors, we moved ahead as God provided. 

Many of my readers may wonder how we were able to live in these buildings without that coveted occupancy permit, but that was a miracle in itself. Now that we have that permit, we will no longer have to submit to plumbing, electrical, septic, and building inspectors walking through an unfinished construction site, looking for infractions, or finding things that need to be corrected. We're done! Glory to God!

With the buildings completed, we've constructed an eight foot fence that surrounds the immediate area around the monastery, allowing us to transplant three apple trees and a pair tree, previously located in our vegetable garden. The fence will keep the deer from consuming everything for themselves (we have twelve to sixteen deer that frequent our forest). 

Respecting the Environment
As Orthodox monks we hold to the importance of respecting the environment, which requires us to be good stewards of what God has given us. An important part of that stewardship is working towards sustainability, based on a simple principle that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  When balance is maintained, we can coexist with the environment, rather than fight it. 

With our goal of sustainability before us, we maintain bee hives, and grow as much of our own food as we can, always without pesticides. We eat eggs from our happy, free range, Rhode Island Reds.  We limit our use of water, keep our thermostats at lower temperatures, and turn off lights when they are not needed. We try as best we can not to waste energy, ever doing our part to giving witness to the importance, as Christians, to take good care of this beautiful world God has given us. Our next goal, with the help of an Orthodox man who works in the solar energy field, will be to install solar panels on many of our southern facing buildings.

As monks we believe it important to leave as little "footprint" as possible, using the natural resources with gratitude before God. A eucharistic ethos means that we must use the natural resources with thankfulness, and offer them back to God. Such an attitude is, for we Christians, incompatible with wastefulness. As monks, our ascetic practices remind us that even the simplest foods and the simplest comforts, which have been provided for our needs, are gifts from God. They are not our to be abused or wasted.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Friday November 9, 2012 / October 27, 2012
23rd Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Martyr Nestor of Thessalonica (306).
New Hieromartyr Sergius (1942).
Venerable Nestor the Chronicler of the Kiev Caves (1114).
Uncovering of the relics (1539) of St. Andrew, prince of Smolensk (1390).
Martyrs Capitolina and Eroteis of Cappadocia (304).
Martyr Mark of the isle of Thasos (304).
St. Cyriacus, patriarch of Constantinople (1390).
St. Procla, wife of Pontius Pilate (1st c.).
New Hieromartyr Seraphim (Samojlovich) bishop of Uglich.
St. Demetrius of Basarbov in Bulgaria (12th-13th c.).
St. Odran, monk of Iona.
St. Ia, virgin of Cornwall.
Hierarch Alexander, Bishop of Guria and Samegrelo (1907) (Georgia)

You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

For those who would like to be kept informed about the persecution that is taking place against Christians throughout the Middle East, I recommend you subscribe to:

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

1 Thessalonians 2:14-19

14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

Longing to See Them

17 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire. 18 Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?

Luke 11:23-26

23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

An Unclean Spirit Returns

24 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

I invite my readers to listen to my Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.

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