The Monks of St. Isaac’s Skete Year-End Donation Appeal
You Can Help Bring in the New Year with a Generous Gift to Support Monastic Life at St. Isaac’s Skete
Each year the monastics at St. Isaac’s Skete pray for all of their friends, benefactors, and for the peace and blessing of the whole world. This is a living part of the cooperative relationship of the Faithful Laity with monastic life in every land where our Christian Faith has grown strong throughout history. The Laity in turn pray for the monks and practically help them live a life conducive to prayer and good works. At St. Isaac’s these good works include outreach to all of the Faithful with beautiful and spiritually enriching icons, books, and devotional goods, and by the development of Orthodox Christian educational materials. Our general donations this year are down over 25% from last year, and our specific donations for improvements for the future are very, very minimal. We need your help today.
The monks’ ardent desire is to increase our outreach to you in finding more of the great icon treasures of the world. Just this week we found a source of hundreds of additional historic icons that will continue to augment our wide and comprehensive selection of masterful traditional iconography which are windows into the Heavenly Realms. Icons are directly perceptible to the mind and enrich the inmost heart as they have done for the entire history of the Church. Icons even predate the written Gospels. Our icons reproduced here at the Skete are the most widely distributed icons that we know of anywhere, and with the greatest preponderance of iconography’s greatest masters in all schools, cultures, and countries. Yet, even though their production is extremely efficient and timely, they don’t support the monastics’ simple basic needs. For these needs we are calling out to you to help both in prayer and in a donation at the end of this year.
The other ardent desire we have is to live more of our life back in our secluded valley which is off-the-grid in individual monastic cells (already finished) and in a building that will provide for our common needs of a kitchen, dining room, library, dormitory, bathrooms, laundry room, office space, tool room, and food storage. This building is called the Common Monastic Building. We are trying to quickly finish this building, already mostly complete, to be able to move in and use it fully. First of all, it needs floor and wall tile and its grout, wood trim inside for the windows and doors, sheet rock and paint. We have the labor available to do this work without additional expense. The use of this building will let us live a more prudent and silent life, with less expenses forever. A generous donor has offered matching funds to the end of this year up to $8,000. Your donation dollars will double if you help us now.
Your gifts are like a seed that will grow in the good ground of monastic prayer and ascetic life. Then in turn, this monastic life reaches back out to you and to the world for peace and love in a time of anger and turmoil. It reaches out to you with great spiritual art, with spiritually uplifting books, and devotional goods. It reaches out to you when you turn inward and understand that as we pray together for each other and for the whole world, we draw near first to God, and then to each other. God binds the hearts of all who draw near to Him in perfect accord. Give as you can: even $5 would be a real blessing right now, your heart to our heart. And if you are so inclined, give $20 or more. A little with love goes a long, long way, for God loves a generous giver.
The Monastics of St. Isaac of Syria Skete
The Monks of St. Isaac’s Thank You
God Bless You for Your Generosity Last Year
Your support of the monks’ life and their outreach to the public through beautiful icon reproductions, books, and devotional goods in 2011 has been most important to us. We hope that you have enjoyed our emails with timely information about the feasts and saints of the year, and our newsletters with news about the Skete, Convent, and Mission. You are also an important part of our lives here at the Skete. We pray for you and we know that so many of you pray for us each day. In this prayer we draw closer to our Lord Jesus Christ and to each other.
We also thank you for your financial support in your donations of money and goods this last year. These help support us to live a prayerful and spiritually dedicated life. Working on finishing the Common Monastic Building has been the focus of our special fund-raising. For this, we sent out a donation appeal to you last week by email. It was not a part of our regular emails, but was the first of this kind of email. We had a good response from that email and raised almost $3,100. Thank you for your generosity.
A special friend of the monastery had offered up to $8,000 in matching funds for construction on the Common Monastic Building until the end of the year. He was just in contact with us to see how we had done. Hearing that we had not reached our goal, he wanted to extend his matching funds offer. Donations to help complete the Common Monastic Building will continue to earn double their value from now until January 16th. There is still $4,900 left that can have twice the impact in these next two few weeks. If you can help, we would be most appreciative. These funds will buy the materials to help us work inside the building during this winter with no additional labor costs outlay. This is dear to our hearts. It will move our lives more often into the deep silence of prayer.
In closing, we want to thank you for touching our lives by your prayers, good wishes, purchase of icons, books, and devotional goods, donations, and by your own spiritual efforts. Together the monastics and the laity mutually support one another when we draw near to God with generous hearts. The Two Great Commandments are to love God and to love our neighbor. Let us continue to draw near to Him, especially at this time of the year, and come closer together in drawing near His Glorious and Heavenly Kingdom.
The Monastics of St. Isaac of Syria Skete
St. Isaac's Common Monastic Building - 2011
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Your donations are tax deductible.