Supporting the environment through sustainability

As Orthodox monks we hold to the importance of respecting the environment, which requires us to be good stewards of what God has given us. An important part of that stewardship is working towards sustainability, based on a simple principle that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  When balance is maintained, we can coexist with the environment, rather than fight it.

With our goal of sustainability before us, we maintain bee hives, and grow as much of our own food as we can, always without pesticides. We eat eggs from our happy, free range, hens and ducks.  We limit our use of water, keep our thermostats at lower temperatures, and turn off lights when they are not needed. We try as best we can not to waste energy, ever doing our part to giving witness to the importance, as Christians, to take good care of this beautiful world God has given us. Our next goal is to get the solar panels that were donated to the monastery onto the roofs of our buildings. (We are still short about $15,000.00 of the needed $30,000.00 for the installation.)

As monks we believe it important to leave as little “footprint” as possible, using the natural resources with gratitude before God. A eucharistic ethos means that we must use the natural resources with thankfulness, and offer them back to God. Such an attitude is, for we Christians, incompatible with wastefulness. As monks, our ascetic practices remind us that even the simplest foods and the simplest comforts, which have been provided for our needs, are gifts from God. They are not ours to be abused or wasted.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos: Scenes of Mount Rainier, and the shoreline, from a nature trail on Vashon Island that is only a mile from the monastery.

Monday March 12, 2018 / February 27, 2018
Fourth Week of the Great Lent: Adoration of Cross. Tone seven.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Venerable Procopius the Confessor of Decapolis (ca. 750).
New Hieromartyr Sergius priest (1932).
New Hieromartyr Peter priest, Martyr Michael (1938).
Venerable Titus, presbyter of the Kiev Caves (1190).
Venerable Titus the Soldier, monk of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
Venerable Thalelaeus, hermit of Syria (460).
Martyr Gelasius the Actor of Heliopolis (297).
Venerable Stephen, monk of Constantinople (614) (Greek).
Venerables Asclepius and James of Syria, monks (5th c.) (Greek).
Venerable Timothy of Caesarea, monk (Greek).
Martyr Nesius (Greek).
Martyrs Julian and his disciple Chroniun at Alexandria (250-252).
St. Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem (333).
St. Pitirim, bishop of Tambov (1698).
New Martyr Elias of Trebizond (1749).
St. Herefrith, bishop of Lincolnshire.

The Scripture Readings

Isaiah 14:24-32

Assyria Destroyed

24 The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying,
“Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
25 That I will break the Assyrian in My land,
And on My mountains tread him underfoot.
Then his yoke shall be removed from them,
And his burden removed from their shoulders.
26 This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth,
And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
27 For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
And who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
And who will turn it back?”

Philistia Destroyed

28 This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died.

29 “Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia,
Because the rod that struck you is broken;
For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper,
And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.
30 The firstborn of the poor will feed,
And the needy will lie down in safety;
I will kill your roots with famine,
And it will slay your remnant.
31 Wail, O gate! Cry, O city!
All you of Philistia are dissolved;
For smoke will come from the north,
And no one will be alone in his appointed times.”

32 What will they answer the messengers of the nation?
That the Lord has founded Zion,
And the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.

Genesis 8:21-9:7

21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.

22 “While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

God’s Promise to Noah

9 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.[a] 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed;
For in the image of God
He made man.
7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Bring forth abundantly in the earth
And multiply in it.”

Proverbs 11:19-12:6

19 As righteousness leads to life,
So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
20 Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord,
But the blameless in their ways are His delight.
21 Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished;
But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.

22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.

23 The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
25 The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
26 The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.

27 He who earnestly seeks good finds favor,
But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.

28 He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like foliage.

29 He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind,
And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.

31 If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth,
How much more the ungodly and the sinner.

12 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.

2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord,
But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.

3 A man is not established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.

4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.

5 The thoughts of the righteous are right,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,”
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Most Rev. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

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