Monday, January 27, 2014


Staying Connected With Family

I've just returned from Spokane, WA., where I attended the funeral of my Aunt Margie, my mother's youngest sister. The decision to drive to Spokane, a five hour trip from Vashon Island, was in part made because I wanted to support my cousins who'd lost their mother, and partly because it afforded me an opportunity to spend some time with my beloved brother and friend, Dwayne Parsons.

It is always sad to lose a family member in death, but it is also sad that it often takes a funeral to bring together  relatives who've not seen each other in years. It is from this perspective that I realize I, as the oldest of the cousins, am the one family member who remembers how important family reunions were to my maternal grandmother. Grandma Haraldson, with whom I was very close, often recounted her late sisters (who were all gone by the time I was born), her parents, and other long lost relatives, as though they were simply across town. Her vivid descriptions of what life was like when she was a child, and the love that bound the extended family together, were spoken of as though the events had taken place in the here and now.

An early memory for me were those picnics in Manito Park, where my grandmother would take all the cousins for a day of food and play. The large and exquisite Victorian park, located in the heart of the South Hill neighborhood of old Spokane, was a magical place where we kids could connect with our long deceased relatives who had played in that very park. My great grandmother lived in a large Victorian mansion near the park, as did numerous other relatives, so my sojourns to this park, whenever I find myself in Spokane, flood my mind with wonderful memories of a happy childhood.

Family, for me, are more than blood connections, for much of whom I am today is all about the boy who grew up in a loving environment, where faith and family intertwined. It was from this extended family that I learned the importance of accepting people just the way they are, and without any expectation that any of them should first be required to conform to my own standards or expectations. It was from this loving family that I grew to accept myself as a worthy person, and learned how to love other people.

I will forever be grateful to God for having blessed me with such an extended family, wherein I learn lessons that have stay with me into old age. These lessons prepared me to be a monk and priest who is driven to reach out with love to everyone I meet, and, ultimately become a Christian who desires that all come to the knowledge of the Truth, and be saved.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: Millie Seaman attended my Aunt Margie's funeral. She had been the baby-sitter to my brother and me when we were still in grade school, and was the same loving person we remembered.

Monday January 27, 2014 / January 14, 2014
32nd Week after Pentecost. Tone six.

Apodosis of the Theophany.
The Holy Fathers slain at Sinai and Raithu: Isaiah, Sabbas, Moses and his disciple Moses, Jeremiah, Paul, Adam, Sergius, Domnus, Proclus, Hypatius, Isaac, Macarius, Mark, Benjamin, Eusebius, Elias, and others (4th-5th c.).
St. Nina (Nino), equal-to-the-Apostles, enlightener of Georgia (335).
New Martyrs bishop Ambrosius (Gudko) and others slain at Raithu Monastery near Kazan (1918).
Venarable John confessor (1961).
Venerable Joseph Analytinus of Raithu Monastery (4th c.).
Venerable Theodulus, son of Venerable Nilus of Sinai (5th c.).
Venerable Stephen, abbot of Chenolakkos Monastery near Chalcedon (716).
Martyr Agnes.
St. Kentigern (Mungo), first bishop of Strath-clyde (Glasgow), Scotland (612) (Celtic & British).
St. Sava I, enlightener and first archbishop of Serbia (1235).
St. Meletius, bishop of Ryazan, missionary to Yakutia (1900).

You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

THANKS 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

The Scripture Readings for the Day

James 2:14-26

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Mark 10:46-52

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.
Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

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