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.

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We are repeatedly exhorted to fear God that we may enter into God’s love. We are also told that perfect love casts out fear. Maybe, then, fear is a necessary component of faith before the perfect, loving fullness of time comes.

Br. Lucas Hall, SSJE
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Recent Sermons from the Chapel

Turning to God for the help we need – Br. David Vryhof

By Br. David Vryhof | May 20, 2023 |

“We often think we can, or we should, handle life’s challenges ourselves.  We think it’s up to us to figure it out somehow.  But we forget God’s promise and we fail to turn to God in prayer.”

Br. David Vryhof reminds us, that in joy as in sorrow, we have a friend in Jesus, and we can bring it all to Jesus in prayer.

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Outrageous Good News – Br. James Koester

By Br. James Koester | May 19, 2023 |

“Whenever the good news of God’s mercy, love, and forgiveness are proclaimed to someone other, someone different, someone foreign, someone strange, the “faithful” take offense, and are scandalized. But we forget something. We forget something about ourselves. We forget that we were once other, different, foreign, strange. We forget that once it would have been outrageous for the good news of God to be spoken to us.”

Br. James Koester recalls the outrage of God’s Good News and urges us to be outrageous in how – and to whom –we spread it.

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Look to the Glory – Br. James Koester

By Br. James Koester | May 18, 2023 |

“Jesus is not some first century astronaut. We’re not looking at a space mission or vapour trails. The disciples are not the earth bound mission control team of NASSA. The Ascension is much more than that, because the Ascension as we see it in stained glass is not about some exploration of limitless space, but the reality of the limits of language.”

Br. James Koester reminds us that the Ascension is not rocket science; it’s a mystery that promises us that we too are glorified with Christ.

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I Will Not Leave You Orphaned – Br. David Vryhof

By Br. David Vryhof | May 14, 2023 |

“No matter what you are facing in life right now, Jesus wants you to know that he is with you.  He has not, and will not, abandon you.  He has sent “another Advocate” to comfort you, to guide you, to help you.  You need not face life alone and afraid.  His promise is as true for you as it was for these disciples: ‘I will not leave you orphaned.’”

Looking to Jesus’ words on his final night with the disciples, Br. David Vryhof encourages us to share with Jesus our deepest fears and to hear – and trust – his words of comfort.

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The Dilemma of “The Unwelcomed Suitor” – Br. Jim Woodrum

By Br. Jim Woodrum | May 13, 2023 |

“Loving God without condition as God has loved us, while a tall order for finite creatures, is something we might readily aspire to. But, loving each other ‘agape’ style? What does it mean to love each other without conditions: without sex and romance, without stability and provision, without fellowship in exalted experience, or ultimately, without any expectation or transaction?”

Br. Jim Woodrum considers the many forms of love, marveling at the agape love that God in Jesus reveals in us – and call us to share with one another.

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