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Lent, 2021

Dear [subscriber:firstname | default:Friends]—

Entering Lent this year, I've had a greater sense of community than in previous years. The generosity of those who bless the studio with their support, though often unseen, has been overwhelming in our conversations. And the saints, who are seen in the icons on the studio's wall but often silent, have seemed more present in the example of their lives and during our family prayers.

Below you'll read a couple of updates on the kind of wonderful community projects made possible by the people that support our little studio here in Conestoga. I think each is a beautiful example of Christ and his saints being present to everyone.

All the best,
—Symeon

The Conestoga Iconographic Studio
"Worshipping with the Saints; Here and Now."

THE EVERYWHERE PRESENT PROJECT

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Two priests from the Canadian Prairies underwrote the costs of sending out Lenten icon cards. Thanks to the generosity of Fr. Claude and Fr. Dean, 60 cards were mailed out to the 33 churches, monasteries, and institutions who've already signed up to receive them as part of the studio's Everywhere Present Project. From there, they'll be freely available to anyone who would like an icon card to hang in their home, cell, or beside their hospital bed.

The icon chosen to be shared is that of Jesus Christ, the King of Glory. It's one that's especially appropriate for our Lenten meditations. Whether included in a parish's seasonal mailing or left as a gift when visiting someone sick in a hospital, these icon cards are offered in the hope that they will be a blessing to many.

Click here to find out more about the Everywhere Present Project.

MOUNTED PRINT ICONS

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For the past three months, I've been making a concerted effort to create beautiful mounted print icons. The goal was to develop high-quality icon reproductions that would offer the saints' presence in a beautiful and lasting way to everyone in their daily lives. For those of you who have been following the studio for some time, you know that getting here has actually involved years working to understand what was possible and feasible.

I'm thrilled to announce that this effort has borne fruit, and orders are now being accepted for mounted print icons of the studio's work. These are made from a museum-quality print mounted on solid wooden panels. They are printed using pigmented inks, measure 8×10″, and are finished with environmentally-friendly wax varnish. From their printing, woodworking, and finishing, each is individually handmade by our family in each step.

As a special introductory offer, we're offering 40% off the price of these mounted prints. Please click here to find out more.

LENT AT HURON COLLEGE

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A couple of weeks before Lent arrived, I received a phone call from Fr. Gary, the chaplain of Huron College, a liberal-arts university in western Ontario in Canada. Recently a shrine of Christ's crucifixion, which had stood in place for seventy years, was removed for repairs from their grounds. As this was a space to pray that had become special to him and others, Father wondered whether there was a lenten opportunity here. In his words, "I want to offer something much more simple, local, and homegrown: from our own meagre resources. The widow's mite."

The result of that conversation is that the studio is now in the process of making six wooden shrines to house a series of icons. These are to be installed in the grove where the statue previously stood each week of Lent. Many other local talents are also involved, preparing for the chapel's special lenten services of prayers. To top all this off, reproaches from a 16th-century antiphoner (on loan to the college) are to be sung by the chapel's choristers. All of this so that those in the London area can come and pray with the saints during Lent.

To find out more about the Huron College Chapel, I invite you to visit their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/HuronUChapel
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