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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God’s glory will not come among us until we provide for the hungry and the poor, until we care for the sick and the dying, until we work to lift up the lowly and restore them to the dignity that God intends for them. We cannot say that we know and love God if we are indifferent to the needs of the poor among us.

Br. David Vryhof, SSJE
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Recent Sermons from the Chapel

Varied Paths for Varied Hearts – Br. Sean Glenn

By Br. Sean Glenn | November 16, 2022 |

“I did not grow up in the conscious company of Jesus, and my path into the faith was something I unexpectedly tripped over one day in some field of my heart. No years of devotion or study prepared me to meet him there, but I quickly sold all that I had to buy that field of heart.”

Br. Sean Glenn considers the value of any path that leads us to God.

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Seeing and Being Seen – Br. David Vryhof

By Br. David Vryhof | November 15, 2022 |

“Again and again in the gospels, we see Jesus perceiving the intentions of the heart, whether for good or for evil, and responding in ways that reveal the truth. The Triune God sees and knows everything about us, even what we keep hidden from others. When we realize that God sees it all and still loves us with an unwavering love, we can risk being honest in our prayer.”

Br. David Vryhof urges us to be truthful with God in prayer, in response to the loving truthfulness with which we are seen and known by our loving God.

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Trust and Strive: Embodying Christian Endurance – Br. Keith Nelson

By Br. Keith Nelson | November 13, 2022 |

“It seems that “softening” and “allowing” are vital elements in the practice of Christian endurance. To put it another way: there is a subtle interplay between striving and trusting, with the accent on trust. Trust calls forth a softening and allowing of reality as it is even as striving calls for a firmness or rootedness in the face of immense pressure.”

Br. Keith Nelson teases out the complex interplay of the Christian call to endurance and striving, which find their fullest expression in trust.

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The Comparable Parable – Br. Curtis Almquist

By Br. Curtis Almquist | November 12, 2022 |

“So how is Jesus’ parable comparable to your own life, or to your life’s concerns? How is this your story? How is Jesus’ parable about the suffering and importunate widow and the jaded judge – the ultimately-converted judge – your story? What does Jesus’ parable invite from you and your own needs, or your concerns for others? The answer is yours.”

Br. Curtis Almquist invites us to make Jesus’ parable of the window and the judge our own.

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Take courage … I am with you … do not fear – Br. James Koester

By Br. James Koester | November 6, 2022 |

“What will the church look like in a year, never mind five? What will this country look like in a week, never mind a month? What will the world look like tomorrow, never mind the one our grandchildren will inherit? We look at what we have, and long for what we had, and our hearts sink as we gaze at the challenges ahead, knowing full well there are still other hills, still other sets of steep stairs, still other cliff edge paths, that we cannot yet see.”

Looking into an uncertain future, Br. James Koester echoes God’s words of comfort and reassurance: take courage; I am with you; do not fear.

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