Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Planting of a Monastery (chapter 12)
Vashon Island, as seen from Point Defiance Park in Tacoma
  The Gift of Land

On August 1st of 1992, having exhausted all our resources, we announced during what was to be our last Monastery Pilgrimage, our decision to leave Vashon Island. The monthly rent for the old farmhouse had risen, our chief benefactor had a series of setbacks in his personal fortune, and we were faced with just enough money to pay two months rent.

In our struggle to stay afloat, Father Paul had taken a job in production at the island's tofu factory. He worked there for a few months, but felt forced to leave when one of his fellow workers placed an upside down cross in Father’s work station, and began subjecting him to hard rock music for the duration of his shift. We decided it was time to give up our struggle and leave the island. With no place to go, a Serbian hieromonk friend suggested we make a pilgrimage to the Jerusalem and avail ourselves to the Patriarch, offering to take over one of the empty monasteries within Israel, places where Palestinian Orthodox monks had felt pressure to abandon. We resolved to sell our old truck and car, pack our icons, holy things, and library in the attic of a friend, and leave the country. If Jerusalem didn't work out, we would go to Mount Athos.

Seventy people joined us on that August Saturday, for what was to be the last pilgrimage on the island. Among them were John and Georgia Ratzenberger (John played Cliff in the television comedy "Cheers"). After announcing we would be leaving the island, John approached us with an offer. Would we consider staying if he donated five acres of land, just south of the farmhouse we were renting? They owned sixteen acres of land, meant to be an investment, and the upper most corner would be ours, if we agreed to stay. We accepted the offer as God's will.

The next day, James and Patty Bryant, members of Overlake Christian Church (the largest mega church in the region) were attending their very first Orthodox celebration of the Divine Liturgy, along with their daughter, Hilary-Rose. The rector of Saint Paul Orthodox Church, Father James Bernstein, announced at the end of the service that the monks were staying after all, due to the generosity of a television actor!

On Monday, August 3rd, James Bryant called the monastery with the offer to serve as our architect, free of charge. Thus began what was to become a fruitful and productive friendship. On January 9th, of 1994, Father Paul and I became the godfathers of the future deacon, Father James Bryant.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon


Saturday November 3, 2012 / October 21, 2012
22nd Week after Pentecost. Tone four.

Demetrius (Parental) Saturday. Remembrance of the dead.
Venerable Hilarion the Great of Palestine (371).
Translation of the relics (1206) of St. Hilarion, bishop of Meglin, Bulgaria (1164).
New Hieromartyrs Paulinus bisop of Mogilev, Arkadius bishop of Ekaterinburg and with them Anatolius and Nicander priests and Martyr Cyprian (1937).
New Hieromartyr Damian bishop of Kursk (1937).
New Hieromartyrs Constantine, Sergius, Basil, Theodore, Vladimir, Nicholas, John, Basil, Alexander, Demetrius and Alexis priests, Sergius and John deacons and Martyr Sophronius (1937).
New Woman-Hieromartyr Pelagia (1944).
Venerable Hilarion of the Kiev Caves (1067).
Venerable Hilarion, abbot, of Pskov (1476).
Venerables Theophilus and James, abbots of Omutch on Pskov Lake (1412).
Martyrs Dasius, Gaius, and Zoticus at Nicomedia (303).
Saint Hilarion, Metropolitan of Kiev (16th C).
Venerable Philotheus of Neapolis and Mt. Athos (14th c.) (Greek).
Martyr John of Peloponnesus (1773) (Greek).
Venerables Bessarion (Sarai), hieromonk (1745), and Sophronius of Ciorara, monk (ca. 1765), confessors, and St. Oprea of Salistie, martyred by the Latins in Romania (Romania).
Priest-Confessors John of Gales, and Moses (Macinic) of Sibiel (18th c.) (Transylvania).
Newly-revealed Martyrs Andrew, Stephen, Paul and Peter (Greek).
Hieromartyr Priest Socrates and Martyr Theodote of Ancyra (230) (Greek).
Monk-martyr Eucratus (Greek).
St. Baruch, monk (Greek).
Monk-martyr Zachariah (Greek).
Martyr Azes (Greek).
Translation of the relics of St. Christodulus the Wonderworker of Patmos (1093) (Greek).
Martyr Ursula of Cologne and her companions (383).
St. Fintan Munnu of Teachmunnu (635) (Celtic & British).
St. Malathgeny of Cluain-Edneach (767) (Celtic & British).
St. Condedus, hermit of Fontenelle.

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

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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

2 Corinthians 5:1-10

Assurance of the Resurrection

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

The Judgment Seat of Christ

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Luke 7:2-10

And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”
Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.
When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.

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