Thursday, September 22, 2022

Renovations Updates: Inside, Outside, and a Sad Good-bye

Glory to Jesus Christ!

It's been a while since we had a chapel renovations update, and a lot has happened since then! We have a lot of photos for you, so make sure you keep scrolling to the end to see all of them. 

Inside: 



After all of the electrical wiring was completed, new insulation was put in. 

Next, drywall and mudding. 

We've been choosing design details like paint colors, tile for the sanctuary, and lighting. We're getting really excited to see what it's going to be like when it's finished! 

















Outside: 


The new sidewalks, poustinia entry pads, and chapel entrance are nearly complete. 


Also, a big thank you to everyone who came to our Fall Work Day last weekend. We got a lot done, including painting the trim of our chapel sign, so we'll have a fresh sign to match our freshened up chapel. We can't thank you enough for the work you have done to help us maintain our monastery. 















Finally, good-bye to our St. Anthony Poustinia. 

One really important project we needed to have done was the demolition of our oldest, dearest poustinia house, dedicated to St. Anthony of the Desert. The foundation was irreparable, and at times, nuns and guests would feel the entire house shift on its foundation. We knew it was time to say good-bye to St. Anthony. Many of our nuns received their call to the monastery and to make steps in their monastic lives in this poustinia, so we are certainly feeling the loss. We also know that many, many people have had profound experiences of prayer in this poustinia as well. It was becoming more and more unsafe though, so we had to let it go. 

The demolition crew arrived as we finished Matins on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14th. There was a blanket of fog over the field as the work began. For the next couple of hours, we watched the demolition of the poustinia, until it was time to have Divine Liturgy. 




















Saturday, September 17, 2022

Thank you for your generosity!


 Thank you so much to everyone who so generously supported our monastic life through our 2022 Bridegroom's Banquet. It was such a beautiful evening, and we are blown away by your love and generosity. We were able to surpass our goal of $100,000 (which will be matched), and our monastic life will be able to continue and flourish by God's grace and your assistance. 

Thank you especially to everyone who invited friends and family to join us for the first time. We met  wonderful new people this year, and we are so glad. It's so good to see the community of people surrounding the monastery growing and expanding in such incredible ways. 

You have already given us so much, but we also ask you to please pray for us, as we pray for you. May we all be united in prayer for each other under the loving gaze of our Bridegroom, Christ, and the protection of His Mother.

Please save the date for next year's Bridegroom's Banquet: November 4th, 2023, but please don't make us wait that long to see each other again. We'd love for all of you to join us for prayer anytime. Please see our Divine Liturgy schedule and our daily prayer schedule for opportunities for us to pray together.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

"Receive the Gift: Reflections on Chastity" is now on YouTube!


Glory to Jesus Christ!

Our new video which premiered last night at our Bridegroom's Banquet is now available on YouTube!

This year’s video is entitled “Receive the Gift:  Reflections on Chastity.”  Chastity is not merely about sex:  it’s an attitude toward life, a posture that receives all good things as a gift and refuses to grasp.  In this video, we journey through what chastity looks like in several areas:  Creational chastity, intellectual chastity, emotional chastity, sexual chastity, and spiritual chastity.  This video is an invitation to open yourself to receive the gift the Lord desires to pour into your heart...

God bless you for your generous support for our monastic life at this year's Bridegroom's Banquet! We're so happy to announce that we surpassed our goal! We are so grateful.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

The Newest Fair in the Country


Last week, in community we were talking about the Geauga County Fair, which was celebrating it's 200th anniversary this past weekend and is just a few miles away from us. We learned that's it's the second oldest fair in the country, so we decided to create the newest fair in the country. Thus, our own personal monastery fair was born. Mother Natalia spearheaded the planning process, which included inviting a couple of friends, gathering supplies, and inviting all of us to plan some part of it if we'd like to. Sunday afternoon, amidst our usual rest time and much rain, some of us were preparing our contributions to the fair. We tried to keep everything a surprise as much as possible. Then we prayed Vespers, and it was time for the fair to begin. 









We opened it up with a corn shucking contest, and then it was revealed that one of our guests, Fr. Steve, brought a pizza oven. So we all took turns making pizzas. 




Mother Theodora got to work making elephant ears and freshly squeezed lemonade. 










Mother Gabriella grilled a couple other food options, and Olivia opened up a set of face paints. The fair had begun, and the amount of rain steadily increased. 












Mother Natalia and Fr. Steve provided us with the opportunity to try axe throwing near the fair's pumpkin patch (little orange gourdes that volunteered in our garden this summer which one of our other guests arranged to spell his name). 







We also had a "corn maze," planned by Olivia and Mother Natalia. At this point, the sun had set, and it was pouring rain, so it was pretty spooky. The "corn maze" consisted in walking into a corn field near the monastery, and trying to get lost, and then getting out again. For the most part, we all split up, and it was very difficult to find one another because of the loudness of the rain and the corn stalks all around us. But no worries, we all made it out alive (but very wet). 










We did some more face painting. Below you can see Mother Gabriella sporting her monarch butterfly face paint. 

And then it was time for the final activity: a flower arranging contest. Mother Cecilia spent some time in the afternoon taking cuttings from various plants in our gardens and wildflower areas, and presented us all with many vases to choose from and three large buckets of flowers and foliage. She gave us twelve minutes to make the best arrangement we could, and she deducted points for complaining. She was a tough judge. After we all presented our arrangements to her in the garage, we all huddled under a tent, while the garage door was closed so she could award prizes in private. A few minutes later, the garage door was lifted up, and revealed that Mother Petra won first prize for a very nice woodland themed arrangement. Fr. Steve came in second, and Mother Natalia took third. 

Altogether, we had so much fun, and we're thinking of making this a community tradition for our Sunday night recreation during fair weekend. And now, we'll have a whole year to come up with ideas instead of just a few days. It was really fun to be creative in so many different ways, to have everyone share their gifts, and to just get to play as a community. 



Also, while you're here, just a reminder that our Fall Work Day is coming up on September 17th. If you're planning to come, please RSVP! As of right now, we're going to need a lot more volunteers! Please feel free to invite your friends. Thank you! 




Thursday, September 1, 2022

OUR FALL WORK DAY IS COMING UP!


Who's ready to join us for a day of work projects (mostly outdoor), prayer, food, and fun at the monastery on Saturday, September 17th? Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome! 

The day begins at 10 a.m., includes lunch, and closes with vespers at 5 p.m. followed by a cookout. Come for as much of the day as you are able, and bring a side dish to share if you can. 

The monastery is located at 17485 Mumford Rd., Burton, Ohio. 

Please RSVP here by Thursday, September 15th, so that the appropriate amount of food can be prepared.  


Monday, August 29, 2022

The door to the Bridegroom's Banquet will stay open for a few more days!

 

The Bridegroom is merciful and decided to give His beloved ones more time to register to come to His banquet!

We're happy to announce that we are able to extend registration for the Bridegroom's Banquet for a few more days. We still have space available, so the new deadline is September 1st

The Bridegroom's Banquet is the main way that our monastic life is monetarily supported. We are so grateful for all of the support we receive, and we like to put together this banquet as a gift to you. This year's banquet will include an opportunity to pray Great Vespers together, dinner, a talk from Matt and Cameron Fradd, the premier of our new video: "Receive the Gift: Reflections on Chastity," and time to just be together. 

The schedule for the evening and the registration page can be found here, as well as all of the information you need to know about the event and how you can support our life of prayer and hospitality. If you are unable to attend, you can still make a donation that will be doubled.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Just a few days left to register for the Bridegroom's Banquet!

There are just a few days left before registration closes!
Make sure you visit our "Bridegroom's Banquet" page for all of the details about the event. 
It's going to be a wonderful evening!

Please invite your friends and family to share this evening with us.

We are so grateful to everyone who has registered so far, all 249 of you! We still have a lot of space available!

 For those who live far away and are unable to attend the event in person, donations can be made online here
Donations can also be mailed to us. Please mark it "Bridegroom's Banquet" so that it will be doubled by the matching fund. Our address is Christ the Bridegroom Monastery, 17485 Mumford Road, Burton, OH 44021. 

Additionally, our new video, "Receive the Gift: Reflections on Chastity," will be posted on Sunday, September 11th, so those who cannot attend can still partake of part of what we will all experience at the banquet. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

Join us for our Fall Work Day on September 17th!

Glory to Jesus Christ!

You're invited to join us for a day of work projects (mostly outdoor), prayer, food and fun at the monastery on Saturday, September 17th. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome! 

The day begins at 10 a.m., includes lunch, and closes with vespers at 5 p.m. followed by a cookout.

Come whenever available, and bring a side dish to share if you can. 

The monastery is located at 17485 Mumford Rd., Burton, Ohio. 

Please RSVP here by Thursday, September 15th, so that the appropriate amount of food can be prepared.  

Friday, August 12, 2022

We couldn't have started without you!


It's almost the middle of August already! Summer is flying by. We wanted to show you how donations from the last couple of Bridegroom's Banquets are being put to good use. The chapel renovation project is underway. 

The day before renovations started, after Divine Liturgy, some of our regular guests stayed behind to help us remove the last remaining things from the chapel. 

On August 1st, the crew arrived bright and early as we prayed Matins in our new outdoor tent-chapel (we've been calling it our "tabernacle"). Over the next few days, as nuns crossed the street from the monastery to poke their heads in the chapel, we were amazed to see the place we know so well looking so different, stripped down to its frame. 

In a photo below, you can see what the pitch of the new ceiling will be like. You can also just barely see in the back that the bathroom and meeting room/confessional in the vestibule are coming into existence. We are looking forward to having a space in our chapel for those who pray with us to be able to visit after liturgies without disturbing the silence of the chapel or having to go out in the rain, snow, or cold. 

Throughout the first week, we slowly adjusted our "tabernacle" to better meet our needs. We added a smaller tent in the back, to block the low evening sun from roasting us during Vespers. We got some more bins to keep our liturgical books out of the rain and humidity. We also added some lights after praying the Paraklesis to the Theotokos with flashlights the first night of the Dormition Fast. We're slowly figuring out how to wander in the wilderness, exiled from our chapel. It's definitely an experience we are going to remember for a long time!  

Now, we are in the second week of praying in the "tabernacle," and we discovered that the tent we have used for years for Girls' Camp is no longer waterproof. There's always some new adventure. The bottom photo shows our attempts at protecting our things from the leaky roof. 

Of course, we could not have started this exciting process without the help of all of our benefactors. We are so grateful and can't wait to be able to pray with you in our newly renovated chapel once it's finished. 

There are many more projects we'll need to do in the future, as well as maintaining our day-to-day life, and we rely on God to provide for us for all of it. The most significant way we are supported is through our Bridegroom's Banquet which is coming up in less than a month on Saturday, September 10th. If you'd like to come, please register by August 29th. Donations will be doubled up to $100,000. 

For those who live far away and are unable to attend the event in person, donations can be made online here. Donations can also be mailed to us. Please mark it "Bridegroom's Banquet" so that it will be doubled by the matching fund. Our address is Christ the Bridegroom Monastery, 17485 Mumford Road, Burton, OH 44021. 

Thank you for your help and prayers! We are praying for you!






Monday, August 1, 2022

Mariapoch Pilgrimage is Coming Up!

 

Pilgrimage is less than two weeks away!

We'd like to invite you to join us at this year's Eparchial Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch, from August 13th to the 14th. Please see the flyer in this post for the schedule and details. 

We will be cantoring some of the services, leading the teen and children's activities on Sunday, and helping out in some other ways as well. We're looking forward to being with you. 

Some volunteers are still needed to staff the Shrine's gift shop. Please send us an email (christthebridegroom@gmail.com) if you are willing to volunteer for part of the time.

This is a wonderful opportunity for our eparchy to gather together and for anyone who's interested  to come and pray with us. The pilgrimage is open to all, not just members of the Eparchy of Parma. We hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Summer at the Monastery, Getting Ready for Chapel Renovations, and the Bridegroom's Banquet

It's summer at the monastery! We just wanted to show you some of what's been going on so far this summer. It's been very full and very beautiful. 












Mother Theodora's hard work in our gardens has been very fruitful, and she's gearing up to start canning green beans, and salsa, and all kinds of other wonderful things. 



















The flower gardens are moving through the many phases of summer blooms.








We've also been enjoying the wildlife around the monastery. Some baby foxes were born on the grounds earlier this summer, and we've been watching them grow up.









Many of the nuns are going on their annual home visits and retreats during the summer months.  


Mother Natalia and Olivia spent part of their recent monthly poustinia backpacking in Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. 





Early next week, chapel renovations will begin, and we'll be evicted to pray in the "wilderness" of our parking lot and at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch.

(If you are planning on coming to pray with us soon, please note that we'll be praying Matins, the Hour at noon, Vespers, and Compline under a tent in our parking lot, and Divine Liturgies will be at the Shrine.)

We're so glad that this project is finally happening. Materials are being moved into the chapel, and we're packing up all of the liturgical books, icons, vestments, and well, everything. 

Stay tuned for renovations progress photos in the coming months. 






We spent a full day last week filming the new video that will premier at this year's Bridegroom's Banquet, "Receive the Gift: Reflections on Chastity."

We're so excited to share the video with you. It amazing to see how each of our reflections can come together into a single video and be shared with you all.








The Bridegroom's Banquet is coming up on September 10th. There's just one month left to register! The registration deadline is August 29th. 

All of the details about the event can be found on "The Bridegroom's Banquet" tab at the top of this page.








We've been doing lots of other things as well as maintaining our life of prayer and hospitality. 


In the midst of life feeling overwhelming at times, we have the consistency of prayer to bolster it all. We walk across the street to our chapel for compline each night as the sun sets, and there's peace in the air.