Thebaid Project Update – September 2017

A summary of Thebaid Project activity over the past six weeks, with exciting news about upcoming monastery and parish visits, and some additional surprises.

Dear Fellow Thebaid Pilgrims,

I’m a couple of weeks late on my monthly Thebaid Update Schedule, but I hope you’ll appreciate the reasons for the delay, as the last six weeks have been filled with travel and photography, and have generated growing interest in and momentum for the Project.

For this September 2017 Edition, there are several categories of note:

LOGISTICS —

As mentioned in the August 2017 Update, through the support of a generous sponsor, I have been able to eliminate the overhead of housing and utilities costs, which has really propelled scheduling both of monastery visits and parish presentations. The immediate benefits of this logistical change can be seen in the updates below…

MONASTERY TRAVELS —

August 25-27 — Monastery of the Glorious Ascension (ROCOR) in Resaca GA, a women’s monastery with a long history, which is an important part of Orthodox mission efforts in northern Georgia. View the Photo Gallery here.

September 5-7 — Panagia Vlahernon Greek Orthodox Monastery in Williston FL. This is my first visit to one of the monasteries founded by Elder Ephraim (former abbot of Philotheou Monastery on Mount Athos). Due to Hurricane Irma, I cut short my stay by one day, and had to cancel my pilgrimage to the women’s Annunciation Monastery just 10 minutes away. Perhaps a return visit may occur in the winter. Photo Gallery here.

UPCOMING: Looking ahead, I just this morning confirmed the dates for my first pilgrimage to Holy Archangel Michael and All Angels Skete in Weatherby MO, on September 24-28. A women’s monastic community is adjacent to the men’s skete, St Xenia Sisterhood. I am hoping to add more monasteries in the region to make a circuit, before returning to Birmingham.

Continue reading “Thebaid Project Update – September 2017”

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New Photo Gallery: Monastery of the Glorious Ascension

I am very excited to share with you some images from my recent visit to the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension in Resaca GA.

The rugged beauty of the forested grounds, nestled in the mountains of northwest Georgia, and the luminous chapel and monastery building, stir the heart and evoke a deep yearning for God, for the Living God.

I invite you to explore the many new images from Glorious Ascension in the Gallery, and stay tuned, as I am heading to Panagia Vlahernon in Central Florida tomorrow, and hope to have even more photographs posted here early next week.

Proceed to the Photo Gallery…

Four New Galleries of Monastery Photos

Featuring a gallery of new photographs from Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville NY, made in November 2016, plus three galleries “from the archives”, dating from 2005 to 2015.

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Pannikhida (memorial service), Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville NY; © Ralph H. Sidway

The end of 2016 and the first weeks of the new year have been busy with the Great Feasts of the Nativity of Christ and His Glorious Theophany at the Baptism in the Jordan River, and like many of you, I have enjoyed making some personal travels during these holy days.

Now it is a great joy to turn again to the North American Thebaid Project, and I’m very  eager to share with you our plans for the coming year and beyond.

But first, it’s time for some new images!

Continue reading “Four New Galleries of Monastery Photos”

Hesychia for the Holy Days

As we celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, here are some images of stillness, purity and beauty…

“Peace on earth, good will towards men!”  ~Luke 2:14

“Beauty will save the world” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Explore more of these images from my book, Pursuing the Light – Forty Years of Photography…

Pond and Woods in Winter #1, Deam Lake State Park, Indiana

 

Continue reading “Hesychia for the Holy Days”

New Gallery: Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, in the Catskills, New York State

A new gallery of over forty photographs taken at Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery is up and available for viewing and sharing. 

Proceed to the Holy Myrrhbearers Gallery…

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Making a prayer rope…

I am very pleased with the overall selection of images, and several in particular are early contenders for the North American Thebaid book, scheduled for publication in late 2018.

Please consider supporting the North American Thebaid Project.

We fund this endeavor through subscription pre-sales of the Standard Hardcover Edition, and the Deluxe Limited Edition in Bonded Leather. We also offer eBooks and digital rewards for all supporters contributing at $25 and above. Proceed to the ‘Rewards for Supporters’ page to learn more, and use the PayPal button at top right to contribute.

Be sure to Like and Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and share the Thebaid Project with your friends, family and church.

Thank you for your support and prayers!

 

New Gallery: Hermitage of the Holy Cross in Wayne WV

After several weeks of travel, and Thanksgiving week, I am getting caught up on editing and posting more images from recent monastery visits.

img_1058First up, several photographs from Hermitage of the Holy Cross (ROCOR). My thanks to Fr. Abbott Seraphim and guest master Fr. Hilarion, and the several monks I was able to speak with during my brief stay.

This was a “get acquainted” visit, as a tentative commitment set up back in the Summer suddenly materialized and forced me to shorten my stay at Holy Cross, but I do look forward to return visits during the different seasons.

Please head over to the special Holy Cross Gallery to explore the images, and to learn more about this thriving men’s monastery, which continues to grow and expand.

New Photo Gallery: Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration

The second gallery is now posted and available for viewing, featuring a selection of images from the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration (OCA), a womens’ monastery in Ellwood City PA, about an hour north of Pittsburgh. This beautiful haven, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding in 2017, is known for its hospitality. Select images below. Full gallery here…

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First Photo Gallery: St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery

The first gallery of photographs from the North American Thebaid Project is online, featuring some four dozen images taken at St Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan PA.

img_0095Captions to follow, but you can get nearly a virtual tour of the monastery, and a real inside look at monastic life, including the divine services, veneration of icons and relics of saints, the monks living quarters and dining room (trapeza) and more.

Also featured are links to learn more about St Tikhon’s Monastery, including videos and helpful instructions for visitors.

Proceed to the St Tikhon’s Gallery, and watch for posting soon of my photographs from Holy Transfiguration in Ellwood City PA, as well as upcoming itinerary…