Welcome to SSJE
We are a community of men giving our whole selves over to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rooted in the ancient monastic traditions of prayer and community life, and critically engaged with contemporary culture, we seek to know and share an authentic experience of God’s love and mercy. We live a common life shaped by worship, prayer, and our Rule of Life.
We invite you to explore these pages to learn more about how we live and pray, the tradition that grounds us, and the call that draws us onward day by day.
We don’t possess our own lives. We are stewards of the life that God has given us, for however long God continues to give us breath. Our life is not about hoarding or conserving life for its own sake, but its opposite: about willingly giving up our life and our life’s energies, following the example we see in Christ’s own self-emptying.
Recent Sermons from the Chapel
“God isn’t fair. But God’s unfairness isn’t arbitrary or abstemious. God’s unfairness is universal and prodigal. It’s the unfairness of a landowner who pays everyone the same out of his boundless generosity. It’s the unfairness of a father who welcomes back with open arms and a spread table the wayward son. It’s the unfairness of a God who, in the psalmist’s words, is “faithful in all his words and merciful in all his deeds” and who “upholds all those who fall,” whether they deserve it or not.”
In God’s unfairness, Br. Lain Wilson discovers proof of God’s prodigal generosity.Read More >
“Today, as we keep an Ember Day, might be an invitation for us to pray, and even fast, in solidarity with those whose livelihoods, and very life itself, are threatened as climate change alters agricultural cycles around the world. Today, as we pray for the ministry of the church, might be an invitation to pray for the healing of the cycles of nature, and our role in that healing, and ways in which the Church might aid in that healing.”
Br. James Koester connects the church’s observance of an “Ember day” with the historic – and contemporary – practice of keeping a fast.Read More >
“What is needed is ongoing vigilance and constant discernment of the voices inside us that beckon us to do one thing or the other. We need to constantly ask ourselves, ‘Is what this inner voice is suggesting to me now from God or from the evil one? Will this choice turn me towards God or away from God? Will it lead to good or to evil?’”
Br. David Vryhof encourages us, as we listen to the voices urging us on, to choose the way of love and goodness, that our lives may bear good fruit.Read More >
“Looking into the face of the Navajo Jesus, whose face was all around me, I learned like never before to listen from a place of crucified helplessness. I learned afresh to stay put at the foot of the cross wherever I found it in people and circumstances, and not to turn away. I was shown by Navajo Christians how this could be, and is, the place of Resurrection. I was shown that, even in the desolation of the abandoned uranium mine, the earth herself turns her face to us and listens.”
Br. Keith Nelson reckons with the painful legacies of ecological devastation and colonialization that he encountered first-hand in Navajoland this summer, and urges us to join him in a recognition of our sins and an engagement with deep listening to help heal the wounds of generations.Read More >
“Our consolations often come in unexpected ways, breaking in upon the demands of our daily lives. And these consolations often provide us with the unexpected grace and strength to meet those demands. How often, amid your own busy lives, does something break in on your awareness, pull your attention away from the flurry and frenzy of activity? How often does that something prove to be exactly what you need to get you through, to meet the demands of the next day, the next hour, the next moment?”
Br. Lain Wilson remembers the Martyrs of Memphis and finds in their witness of nursing during the yellow fever epidemic an example of the ways that God’s endless consolation can enable us to do extraordinary things.Read More >