As we await another storm in Taylorsville - heading our way this afternoon, we are enjoying the beauty of Spring in Full Bloom.
Some of the plants and trees that usually wait for late April or May to show their glory have already blossomed. It is quite a gorgeous array of color.
St. Simeon Skete weathered the March 2nd storm relatively well compared to many in the area, however, our buildings did take a good beating. The roofs on all three buildings have hail damage and need replacing. The siding, especially on Anna House looks like a machine gun splattered holes into it.
...and today we wait for another “severe thunderstorm capable of damaging winds and large hail”. We are under a severe weather watch until 8PM. It seems Spring 2012 is here with a fury.
Our Nazareth House Apostolate Board Members met this weekend for the NHA Annual Meeting. It was a productive meeting and we are eagerly looking forward to things to come. Nazareth House Apostolate is extremely pleased to welcome its newest Board Member: Matthew Drake of San Francisco.
Thank you to those who rallied together to help buy the additional materials for the well to furnish water the NHA Compound in Sierra Leone and provide water for the school and area neighbors in Kabala. We have now raised enough money for the project to be completed. James will be buying the materials this week.
We are running a bit behind on the March regular monthly provision for those we serve in Sierra Leone (paying the NHA teachers, providing rice, etc.) but hopefully we’ll receive the donations soon to get caught up and pay our teachers who are eager to buy food for their families.
Today is James’ birthday and he is celebrating with his family in Freetown. We wish a very happy birthday to him and thank him for his tireless work for NHA.
St. Simeon Skete has had several pilgrims visit recently. Those that come to the skete are seeking a deepening of the spiritual life. We rise to begin the day in private prayer at 3:00 AM and then meeting together at the chapel at 4:40 AM for Lauds and The Liturgy.
As Seraphim wrote in his journal about St. Simeon Skete “We don’t want a place where “hesychasts” are strutting around acting spiritual for the admiration of visitors, we don’t want the modern concept of “retreat” that entails the expectation of spiritual enjoyment, rest and relaxation. Rather may it be a place, as stated, of prayer and penance, of embracing the Rule. We’re not offering a spiritual vacation but a spiritual explanation.”
We are in prayer, and those who arrive step into the ongoing stream of that prayer, they are here for that purpose - that is why they come. If you are preparing to apply for a visit at the Skete make sure that you first understand what it is about. You will not return home, rested and revitalized, but most likely quite the opposite. You will be tired and worn-out, but in a productive, purposeful & meaningful manner - bringing back with you what you have revealed from your time at the Skete seeking God, to be implemented in your daily life.
We try to maintain an atmosphere of prayer at the Skete at all time, however sometimes others don't consider this. We ask that those visiting for a short time (an hour or day) remember that others are in prayer and respect this. Please do not drive through, revving up the car engine or talk loudly. This especially means NO PETS on the property at any time. We understand those coming to visit on pilgrimage would not bring a pet, especially while staying at Anna House, but this is also the rule for brief visits as well.