St. Isaac of Syria (Detail)
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Mercy and Love
Our Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Bless! The Lord!
The Prophet and Psalmist King David wrote at the beginning of one of his Psalms “God be gracious unto us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us and have mercy on us.” (Psalm 67:1 Septuagint numbering, 66:1 Hebrew numbering). This idea or mercy is essential to the Christian message of repentance and life with Christ, for Jesus Himself said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Mat. 5:7).
Mercy is the way that we can express our love and concern for others, for it is love in action. We can do this both inwardly and outwardly. Inwardly it is a kind and compassionate heart disposed to pray for and care for those in our lives, and those we hear about who are in difficulties and distress. Outwardly this most often occurs in the giving of alms or gifts, especially to those in need. For a full Christian life we should try within our means to give both inwardly and outwardly.
The monks at St. Isaac’s Skete have always tried to do so whatever their means were at any time. This is a priority for us. First in prayer for those who have asked for prayers or that we hear about that need God’s mercy and love in their lives when faced with daily or more serious troubles. Second in giving as we can to those who are in great or similar need, or for whom a gift would affirm to them that they are a part of God’s mercy in their own life. We want to continue to give mercy to others, and now we need your help. Give us help now so we can help others.
Recent Challenges at the Skete
In that last two years we have experienced many challenges here at St. Isaac’s. Our donations have tumbled over 60% a year since 2012. This is our life support to just pay utilities, insurance, food, medical needs and shelter. We are truly stretched beyond what we thought was possible.
In addition, we had many personnel changes in our outreach of Orthodox Byzantine Icons losing several key long-term employees, and their replacement caused a slow-down in production and so additional labor costs. Then our computer and entire IT system had to be updated or replaced because Windows stopped supporting the programs or platforms that they were built on. Some programs were just finally working again only by late in July this year, including our mailing program. This outreach of making icon reproductions available to you and to others is a wonderful ministry now for 27 years. It is unique in what we offer as historic icons, and has reached so many homes, churches, and religious stores to touch hearts and enliven spirits. Over the years we have sent out more than 750,000 icons to the Faithful. We need your help to continue this ministry as many of you have done in the past, and as many of you have given in the past. We are asking you to give again now: $10, $50, $100 or more would be a great Godsend.
Our Present Urgent Needs
We have not hard mailed a donation appeal since the staff trained to do so left, and then our computer upgrade did not allow us to do so. This is a copy for our email list of that first donation appeal by mail to our donors since Great Lent in 2014. We should be able to resume regular newsletters and donation appeals in the near future.
We need your help. Please pray for us and, if possible, send us some means now to continue our life here and our icon service to the church at large and to you. Our sales are extra slow this summer, and this is causing difficulties in just making due day to day. Give from the heart. Let your mercy shine towards us, and may His mercy shine towards you.
Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The monastics of St. Isaac of Syria Skete
and the Convent of St. Silouan,
and the community at St. Nicholas Church
Click for Donations to St. Isaac of Syria Skete
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Your donations are tax deductible.