With the absence of the typical flow of pilgrims through the monastery, it is in many respects a quieter place than usual. But that doesn’t mean we’ve found ourselves with any fewer tasks to fulfill in our daily obediences. The marked increase in website traffic that resulted from livestreaming our church services also brought about a tremendous demand for our Paschal Kulich. Even though we baked more than ever before, we sold out of everything early, and our bakers had to scramble to make extra batches of kulich to accommodate all of the orders.
While our online store was receiving more visitors than ever, our monastery gift shop was languishing from the total absence of in-store customers. When it was finally cleared of inventory and covered in dust, the time seemed ripe for renovation. During the physical store’s hiatus, we’ve managed to clear out almost all of the old furniture, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, assemble and install new shelving units, and reorganize the layout of the store. Work is still in progress, but we’re looking forward to finishing and opening up the store again to visitors, whenever God allows.
Outdoors, the garden crew has been hard at work beautifying the monastery grounds. As we approach the peak of summer, their hard work is paying off, and the walkways of the monastery are lined with beautiful blossoms of all shapes and sizes. Meanwhile, the much-toiling maintenance monks have been laboring diligently on a new wooden walkway that will connect St. Seraphim’s building with St. Herman’s at the bottom of the hill.