Skip to comments.New Orthodox Monastery in Washington state
Posted on 12/15/2004 3:00:08 AM PST by MarMema
New Site in Washington
We have found a beautiful property in Eatonville, 30 miles south of Tacoma, near Mt. Rainier. It has 42 acres, 3 houses, barns, gardens, a lake, and extensive pastures. It is a perfect location for the monastery, and a place that is so beautiful people will want to visit. The cost of the new monastery is $825,000. And, we will have a recorded option on the adjacent 25 acres.
I am so excited to see an OCA monastery coming to Washington state. It is going to be close to where we live!
If you can pray or purchase from this group to help them out, please do!
We need your support. We pray daily that God will send benefactors to build this monastery, to make this vision a reality. We are in need of well over $825,000 for a new facility in the Northwest, with adequate room for our community. We need people to pledge on a monthly basis to help us with the mortgage for this facility, so that we can get settled there and begin our ministry. We then will be able to gradually assume those payments ourselves. How You Can Help
There are several ways you can help. First and foremost, please pray for us. Next, we need help financially. The first way is a donation of cash, for a down-payment. Second, you can help with a pledge to support the mortgage payment for a few years, until we can get on our feet. Third, you could assist us by co-signing the loan. Another option is to participate in giving us a low-interest loan to secure the property. As you may know, it is very difficult for non-profits to secure a commercial mortgage. Current Sources of Income
The Monastery produces candles, caskets and books. The candles are the main source of income, aside from donations. Candles provide a steady, though somewhat seasonal source of income. We plan to expand the types and marketing of the candles, when we have sufficient workspace. Candles represent over 30% of the gift market nationally. There is enormous potential here. Caskets are just beginning to be made and sold, and while they are a good potential for steady income, they are not yet there. The Monastery bookstore produces income and helps support the work of the monastery.
We are publishing new books under the name of Divine Ascent Press. We have published eight issues of Divine Ascent journal over 8 years, and two books. We have a contract with another publisher to distribute our books. These are an excellent source of income, not shown on the financial statements.
We plan to expand our publishing, as we also expand our brotherhood. It will take some time for the monastery to relocate and build up its industries in the new location, to be able to take over the payments itself. It will also take some time and additional funds to remodel the existing facilities to their optimum use for the monastery. Financial Needs
The price of the new facility in Eatonville is $825,000. Through the generosity of our benefactors, the Monastery has collected over $100,000 so far. Furthermore, we are in escrow on the sale of a property in Trail, Oregon, which should yield $175,000. We need about $250,000 for a down payment which is 30% of the price--a percentage normally required of a non-profit organization. While we continue to solicit donations towards the down payment, we are requesting a loan of $575,000.
With a mortage for the above amount, the monastery would be required to make monthly payments of about $3,000. If 30 of our friends could pledge $100 per month as Stewards towards this mortgage, it would allow us to purchase the property and get settled, work with our own hands to increase our income, and, in due time, take over that mortgage. Then we can focus on construction of new buildings. Click here to see an outline of building plans for the next 5 years.
There are four categories of major donors: Founders, over $10,000; Builders, over $5,000; and Benefactors, over $1,000. Stewards are those who pledge $100 or more per month. Our major donors will be appropriately recognized, and commemorated permanently in the services of the Monastery.
Only when the Brotherhood is housed in safe and adequate facilities will it be able to realize its vision and fulfill its mission. This presents an opportunity for you to participate in this work of building a Monastery to the Glory of God, and to enter into the ministry and work of the Brotherhood.
All our friends and benefactors are remembered daily with thanksgiving to God. We also entreat your prayers for us, for our work and those whose lives we touch. Click here for a form to fill out so you can send in your support. Please consider how you can help this vision become a reality.
I saw photo of the raised bed organic vegetable plot. Are they on low ground or high ground?
Also if Rainier goes, they are in the wrong place. :-(
Volcanic soil is most excellent soil. Lots of trace minerals as long as centuries of rain have not washed them downward. I know that a lot of Washington State and Idaho are on top of old basalt lava flows.
That's what I have heard. Along the closer plateau, it is very much a farming area. They are farther out but I think will still be plateau.
Whatever happened to that tiny little Orthodox monastery on Vashon Island, the one that had the run-in with Starbucks a few years ago?
They had a run-in with Starbucks? Can you tell me more about it?
Thanks for the ping!
From a google link:
The monastery was featured in the documentary This Land Is Your Land, when the monastery ran afoul of Starbucks in a trademark dispute over the monastery's "Christmas Blend" coffee. Fortunately, the courts sided with the monastery whose Christmas Blend pre-dated Starbucks'.
In a land where coffee is almost a religion, two Russian Orthodox monks are brewing what may be the most heavenly blend yet.
It's called Monastery Blend Coffee, and for the fledgling All-Merciful Saviour Monastery of Vashon Island, Wash., it offers a chance to do good by doing well.
"I know coffee," said Father Tryphon, the abbot and head gourmand, "because I went to school in Berkeley. That's where I studied, in coffeehouses. I really love the dark, dark roast, almost to the point where it will catch on fire."
Like all monks in the Orthodox faith -- where change occurs "ever so slowly" -- Father Tryphon wears traditional black robes and uncut beard and hair, giving him the look of an otherworldly St. Nicholas. But he's a modern-day java aficionado who converted from Yuban years ago and would cheerfully put his Monastery Blend Coffees up against Starbucks.
"It's lower acid than Starbucks," he says with quiet pride.
The coffee is roasted and bagged in gold foil at Caffe Appassionato, a roasting company in Seattle. Company president Phil Sancken, who is Greek Orthodox, sold Father Tryphon on the fund-raising idea several years ago. "He is quite passionate about his coffee," said Mr. Sancken, who describes the resulting brew as "very full-bodied and aromatic."
"I used to joke it was designed to keep them on their feet for the prayer vigils," Mr. Sancken said.
The monastery is venturing into capitalism (Visa and Mastercard accepted) for a most unworldly reason -- to get the cash flow to sustain a life of spiritual contemplation.
"Our main purpose of existence," said Father Tryphon, "is prayer."
Working from a rented blue farmhouse at the remote southeast tip of Vashon Island in Puget Sound, he and Father Paul hope to parlay the proceeds from their Monastery Blend Coffees into a permanent home for the first Orthodox monastery in the Seattle area.
Like the Gothic cathedrals that took shape one stone at a time, the monastery complex is proceeding slowly, mostly due to lack of money. Last summer, a small, wood-frame Pilgrim's Chapel was completed and concrete foundations for other buildings were poured. Further work depends on coffee sales, which have averaged about 50 bags a week.
Upon completion, the monastery complex will include two small churches, four monastic cells, library, dining hall, woodworking studio and bookstore. The project is taking shape on 5 acres almost next door to the farmhouse that serves as the monks' temporary headquarters.
"The goal, ultimately, is to have a 12-man monastery here, spread out in the forest," said the gray-bearded Father Tryphon, a hearty soul who radiates goodwill.
"We really need other monks," he said. "We need them for the fellowship, we need them for the brotherhood."
"And," added Father Paul, "we need them for the work."
When the monks acquired the land, it was so densely forested it took them 45 minutes to hack a trail with machetes. Since then, about 60 volunteers of all faiths have pitched in to help with design and construction of the septic system, installation of public walking trails, and completion of the chapel, with walls that unfold to accommodate the several hundred pilgrims who attend an annual retreat each August.
"In the next month we'll put in the fence posts for the kitchen gardens so we can grow all our own food," Father Tryphon said.
Even the architect, James Elliott Bryant, donated his services. He became so interested in the faith, he ended up converting.
"The next thing we knew he was Orthodox," said Father Tryphon, who chuckled and added, "Now if it would just happen with our banker ..."
The most celebrated volunteer is actor John Ratzenberger of "Cheers" fame, who donated the 5 acres and owns 11 adjoining acres the monks hope to acquire. He and his wife are officially known as the monastery's "Great Benefactors," meaning the monastery offers prayers at every service for their success and well-being.
Although it may take another 18 months to raise the $330,000 needed to complete the project, the monks hope to have the dining hall and one monastic cell built this summer.
"Our plan," said Father Tryphon, "is to be living on the property come fall."
Even that small step will be welcome relief. The two monks have spent eight years in the cramped farmhouse, whose low-ceilinged living room is filled with religious icons, candles, books, silver incense burners and a wall-sized gift "shop."
A makeshift chapel the size of a small bathroom occupies one corner of the house. Used for daily monastic services, it glows with traditional liturgical articles -- a gold-plated tabernacle containing the Consecrated Body and Blood of Christ; the four Gospels bound in gold; hand-painted "blessing crosses" and hanging lamps carved in scrollwork.
Within arm's reach, a hallway linen closet contains their mail-order inventory of half-pound, gold foil bags of coffee.
Despite such efficiencies of space, the house is too small for Father Nikodemos, the third member of the fledgling monastery, who is working at a mission in Georgia until space opens up.
Father Tryphon, the son of a golf pro, was born in Spokane and worked as a psychologist before converting to the Russian Orthodox faith. Initially he and Father Paul hoped to found a monastery in southern Oregon, but they got little encouragement from local residents.
Two years ago, an Orthodox magazine in California distributed a flier for their coffee, and "almost overnight our coffee company became a mail-order business," Father Tryphon said. "We're known across the country as the monastery that is on an island and sells coffee."
The monks hope the coffee company gathers enough steam to run itself, so they can resume a full eight-hour cycle of daily worship services.
"I think all things happen in God's time," said Father Paul, clearly chafing at the slow pace of construction. "I wish it were done by now, but for whatever reason God has in mind, it hasn't happened quite as quickly as we would have liked. But that's all right."
What he longs for most, he said, are stability and the opportunity to share in a full brotherhood of monks.
"That's one of the things monks take as their vows -- stability of place," said Father Paul. "They can grow old there and pray there and do what monks are supposed to do."
I'm going to order coffee from them today and hide it from my husband who can't have caffeine anymore. I'll sit up at night and savor.