We invite you to join us in welcoming Autumn in prayer with this gallery of seasonal images from SSJE. And we hope you'll join us in worship. Live-streaming schedule >
Almighty and everlasting God, you made the universe with
all its marvelous order, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and
the infinite complexity of living creatures: Grant that, as we
probe the mysteries of your creation, we may come to know
you more truly, and more surely fulfill our role in your
eternal purpose; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“I’d like to offer here a collection of some of the teachings from our Rule of Life which have most struck and stayed with me over decades of living and learning with this text. Of all its many topics, the Rule is particularly rich in its teachings navigating the challenges and rewards of life in community. These teachings point the way ahead for all of us who are trying to live together in recognition of the fact that we are bound to one another by Christ’s loving authority.”
Explore Br. Jonathan’s collection of teachings on life in community from the SSJE Rule: Bound Together by Christ’s Loving Community.
Read the rest of Nicholas’ piece on recognizing the fundamental truth of our being: Authority in the Kingdom of God.
“We have been created by the power of God to know and mediate the power of God (John 12:12-14). In virtually every page of the Bible, there is a supernatural manifestation of power, the intervention or infusion of God’s power in everyday life. And yet, power, without an acknowledgment of its source and its end, is simply privilege unrecognized by the beholder but patently obvious to the dispossessed. Howard Thurman writes, ‘too often the weight of the Christian movement has been on the side of the strong and the powerful, and against the weak and oppressed – this, despite the gospel.'”
Br. Curtis invites us to consider Jesus’ promise of power. Read or listen to the rest of Br. Curtis’ piece: The Conversion of Fear into Power.
“I bet that each one of us can think of at least one person who annoys or irritates us, and whom we sometimes wish would just simply go away! If we are trying to follow Jesus Christ, our challenge is to use the power that we have been given to build up community and not break it down, to learn how to live with the other rather than trying to exclude them and wishing they would just disappear.”
Read or listen to the rest of Br. Geoffrey’s piece on learning how to live with those we wish would simply go away: Finding Holiness in the Sanctuary of Difference.
“I went through thousands of moments like that in my early days as a Postulant: long moments of waiting for someone with authority to swoop in and tell me exactly what to do. It took me a long time to realize that was not the way authority was exercised at SSJE.”
Read or listen to the rest of Br. Jack’s piece on power & authority, seen through the eyes of a novice at SSJE: Slow & Steady: A Novice’s View of Power & Authority
Read & Listen to Selected Articles
My Dear Friends,
I am pleased to announce that beginning on Sunday, 4 July, and going until Sunday, 1 August the Monastery Chapel will be open for in person worship for the Sunday Eucharist. As usual the chapel will be closed for August. We have not yet made a decision about reopening the Chapel in September and beyond. That decision will depend if it remains safe to do so. Nor have we yet made a decision to reopen for the Daily Offices or the weekday Eucharists. For the time being at least, the chapel will remain closed for those.
Along with this letter are some guidelines that will be in effect in order to ensure that in person worship will be safe for everyone who is present. Because space is limited, we ask you to pre-register. Registration will be open for one service at a time, beginning on the Wednesday before. If you have been able to register once, please be mindful that there may be others who have not yet had the opportunity to do so and wait a couple of days before registering again for another service. This will allow as many people as possible to attend.
Following Diocesan Guidelines and the latest information from the CDC, masks will be required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
If you are unable to register, or uncomfortable attending in person worship, please be assured that we will continue livestreaming our services.
Finally, on behalf of the Brothers, I want to express our profound gratitude for the gift of your prayers, friendship, and generous support over these last months. They have been a source of strength, grace, and hope to all of us, and certainly to me personally.
Please know that we continue to hold all of you in our prayers.
We look forward to seeing you in the days ahead.
James Koester SSJE
Check out the Summer issue of Cowley, devoted to the connected dynamics of power, authority, and obedience. As the pandemic has unmasked many inequalities in society, we have seen and experienced what happens when the balance between power and empowerment, authority and authoritarianism results in division and dominance rather than reconciliation and cooperation. It is our hope that these reflections, rooted in our monastic tradition of obedience, will help in some small way as we practice the art of listening to one another deeply, and with open hearts and minds.
Br. Jim reflects on the Brothers’ mission during the COVID-19 pandemic in article now available on St. Mary Magdalen’s School of Theology. You can read the full article on Eternity in this Moment here: https://www.theschooloftheology.org/posts
On Saturday, May 1, we celebrated our patronal feast day from the Monastery.
View the recorded video here:
Presider: Br. James Koester, SSJE Superior
Preachers: Brs. Keith Nelson, Sean Glenn and Jack Crowley
Community Report from the Brothers below.
We welcome your comments and prayer in the comments below.