St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Calendar Chicks

The Holidays are fast approaching and that usually means two things for non-profits.  1. The nature of the Season gives rise to people’s generosity BUT 2. they also want to give (and get) wrapped gifts.  So they look for ideas where they can benefit those in need while walking into the office party with an actual present at the same time.  

In maintaining the work of Nazareth House Apostolate, St. Simeon Skete and the mission outreach in Sierra Leone, your prayers and donations are always essential.  The needs are not limited to Seasons or Holidays.  They are ongoing.  However, during the Holidays, many times people get caught up in the “gift giving” dilemma and forget their commitment to the disadvantaged, sick, and hungry in an effort to buy a gift for all their relatives, friends, etc.  And though this ought to be a time of heightened spiritual awareness, that sometimes gives way to the glitter and glitz of party, family and fun. There is nothing wrong with those things in and of themselves, but with neglect of  “The Shema” the world gets out of whack.  

So what is this “Shema”?  It is Mark 12:29-31

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord: And thous shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:  this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  There is none other commandment greater than these.”  

Another festive season is on its way and Nazareth House Apostolate is hoping to be remembered as you plan your holiday gift giving.  The NHA Board Members and staff are doing all they can to provide for the needs, but we depend on God as he expresses Himself through your generosity. 

I don’t particularly have an opinion about Henry Ford, good or bad, but he did say "Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching for what it gets.”  Well, our hens at St. Simeon Skete have done some scratching around and hatched an idea to help provide for the needs and award you with a bonus gift as well.  

Introducing the talented “fashion model” hens of St. Simeon Skete and their fundraising project: The Calendar Chicks 2014. 

Each “model” hen worked hard during every photo session - although spoiled  as they are, they also enjoyed some finer treats.  

NHA wants to thank the hens of Hen Poo Garden at St. Simeon Skete 

and especially Aleica Willis along with Jenna, Kelsay and Leila; Joan E. Markwell, Samuel and Lucas Peterson, Melody Dennison and James B Mansaray for all of their help in making this calendar.   

It was not an easy endeavor, but it was interesting and fun.  

And to this day I still break out in a smile when I think of the faces my daughter Melody made when a chicken would poop in mid photo shoot. 

So where did this idea come from? When I was a teenager, my mother had a concrete goose that she sat on the front porch.  Every Season, every Holiday, she dressed that goose in different outfits.  As a child I loved this but as I grew older,  I was totally embarrassed by that ridiculous dressed up goose and was ashamed for my friends to see it.  I was the youngest in the family and I believed I was “very grown up”.  What would my friends think of me?  Would they think that my mom  decorates fowl on the porch for me?  

I’m older now, with children of my own who have children of their own.  My mom passed away a few years ago and some how that Dressed Up Porch Goose is one of my fondest memories.  My mom’s porch goose taught me a valuable lesson and my embarrassment and pride of my youth have given way to 1Peter 5:5 “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders.  Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  

Raising Chickens at the skete, I decided to share my mom’s whimsical spirit and throw some clothes on a few of the hens and make this calendar to benefit the work of Nazareth House Apostolate.  

Porch Goose Designs is a media/fund raising division (like the Trappist sell cheese) of NHA.   You’ll hear more from this division in the future.  However, our initial project is this adorable calendar.  

Every calendar is $25.  Sounds like a lot of money, but if you leave off a few stops at the local Coffee House or take your lunch instead of buying out its “chicken feed” (henhouse slang for “small amount of money”) - you won’t even miss it ...AND you’d be donating to a worthy cause ... Plus getting a calendar.   

You can purchase your calendar online at

Have a look!  Buy one (or two or three or...) today.  What a conversational piece! - you’ll be able to laugh at the chickens all the while you are explaining the good work of Nazareth House Apostolate.