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.
Sabbath-keeping is crucial to our life as Christians. “Brother, Give Us a Word” takes a Sabbath on Sundays. We hope that this weekly pause in our messages will offer a gentle reminder to pause in your own life.
Silence. Flickering candlelight. Sunlight streaming through stained glass. Soak in the beauty of our sanctuary, open morning to night. Pray, ponder, or participate in the Brothers’ daily office. Service Schedule >
Birdsong. Meadow grasses waving in the breeze. Stars overhead. At our rural retreat house, we invite you to pray as you hike, light a fire, weed the garden, and bask in the beauty of Creation. Retreat information>
Recent Sermons from the Chapel
“In looking at Mary we gaze not outwardly, or even upwardly, but inwardly to our own adoption as children of God because it is there that we find Mary’s true vocation, and ours as well, to be the adopted daughters and sons of God.”
On the feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Br. James Koester connects our vocation to that of the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven – Mary of Nazareth – who began, as we all do, as a simple child of God.Read More >
“ There is nothing wrong with the desire to give gifts to one another, per se. There is nothing wrong with warming the dark, frigid nights of a northern December with song, festivities, fellowship, and lights, per se. These are all good things, to be sure, and doubtless God can speak some word of life to us through it all. Nevertheless, the moment our culture attaches the name of Jesus Christ to this prolonged cultural season of excess, I have to wonder if we are really being adequately prepared for the significance of Christmas.”
Br. Sean Glenn invites us to experience the full-blooded, lean, and demanding season that is Advent.Read More >
“ In a moment when things are bleak, when hope is lost, when the future is unbearable, when all that is left is a dead, lifeless stump, Isaiah reminds God’s people that God will act, that a shoot shall come out of the stock of Jesse. This, after all, is the way of God. Life does emerge from death. Hope does spring up, when all seems hopeless. God will act, and righteousness and justice will be restored.”
Br. James Koester unpacks Isaiah’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom, which is the hope of Advent.Read More >
“We do not yet see the peace of God reigning among the nations of the world. We do not see that peace with justice that God has promised taking root in our own country, in our communities, or even in our churches. We may be tempted to complain and despair. But God calls us to live by God’s light, and not to dwell in the present darkness. God calls us to faith in this soaring promise of peace, and asks us to become peacemakers, wherever and however we can.”
Br. David Vryhof reckons with Isaiah’s vision of universal peace, which still beckons to us in our strife-torn world.Read More >
“There is for each of us a moment of encounter that, whether all at once or over the course of many years, changes who we imagine ourselves to be and who we imagine God to be. And while there are surely many other kinds of encounter along the spiritual road, Andrew’s story reminds us that our encounters with God will generally come to us through secondary causes—that is, in the concrete, flesh-and-blood lives of Image-bearing humanity. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.”
Br. Sean Glenn invites us to remember with thanksgiving all those human feet who have brought us good news.Read More >