As the trees of South Canaan surrender their summer boasting, the seed of 49 seminarians are humbled once again beneath the till of the Spirit for a new season of formation. “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” And while the same community of seed sleep and wake in the weekly cycle, and the seed sprouts and grows, Matt Remak and his humble crew of workers tirelessly cause “the earth [to] bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.”
For eleven consecutive days, Matt and his team had been working to renovate the newly purchased Diocesan Center on 144 Saint Tikhon’s Road (also known as the ‘blue house’) in preparation for the homecoming of STOTS Dean Father John Parker, and his Matushka Jeanette on Monday, September 24th. Matt and his crew had been laboring to ensure that the ‘blue house,’ which will now function as the Dean’s House, would become a most beautiful and suitable family home for years to come, “a place worthy to receive guests and special guests of the seminary,” Father John anticipates. “The Parkers are very grateful to the Board of Trustees who in their generosity purchased the blue house for the benefit of the seminary.”
Renovations on the 6,500 square foot Dean’s House are extensive. A team of eight workers ripped out all of the carpets, and installed top-grade, high-traffic, scratch resistant laminate, while preserving all of the home’s tile flooring. Following Father John and Matushka’s request, the home’s walls, cabinets, doors, and closets were painted a beautiful aqua and gray by a group of nine workers, including Matt’s wife, son, and daughter.
In addition to the Dean’s House, Matt Remak is also laboring diligently on a nearly complete renovation of the Orphanage building, which will function as four individual married student apartments, each with its kitchen, bathroom, shower and bath, and laundry room with washer and dryer. The walls are gutted and the space is emptied out in preparation to receive and send off incoming and future families for decades to come. As the seminarian families of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary may testify, uprooting from one place to another in response to God’s call carries with it the birth-pangs of change. After laying up their blessed Carolinian lives of ministry in moving trucks over the span of two days, Father John and Matushka Jeanette are blessed to experience the same labor of faith which each and every seminary family who are carried to Saint Tikhon’s in humble obedience to God’s invitation must undergo, an experience from which they will draw in their ministry to Saint Tikhon’s seminaries from every walk of life. “The details of leaving 15+ years of ministry are complex, and sad, but filled also with joy, excitement, and anticipation,” Father John shared. “We remain grateful for everyone’s generosity and prayers to help us unpack and get settled. When we arrive, we will thank Matt and all of his workers who are working around the clock for eleven days in renovations. The joy is in the arriving– Matushka and I are eager to be with you.”
Article by Seminarian Isaac Lampart