Our Mission, Our Life and Service
The mission of the Order of Saint Helena (Episcopal) is to show forth Christ through a life of monastic prayer, hospitality and service.
Core values of OSH:
* Prayer: We celebrate the Holy Eucharist and pray the Divine Office daily. We practice individual prayer, intercession and meditation.
* Hospitality: We offer an oasis of welcome for guests, both individuals and groups.
* Service: We minister and serve where our gifts meet the world’s needs.
* Tradition and Innovation: We are women living communally under a vow of monastic poverty, celibate chastity and obedience to God. From Benedictine roots, we discern new ways to interpret traditional monasticism, striving to grow in diversity and inclusivity.
The Order of St. Helena is a religious order for lay and ordained women in the Episcopal Church. In our founding Rule, written by James O.S. Huntington, OHC, prayer was placed at the center of our life: "Prayer in its most comprehensive and deepest sense is the very essence of our life as Religious".
Our ministry is not restricted to any single area or kind of service. Sisters, both lay and ordained, offer their individual gifts, abilities, and interests, for the well-being of others and in witness to the loving presence of Christ. Ministry within the community includes honoring each other's needs for silence, space, and privacy, and carrying out our portion of community maintenance.
Members of our Order make a threefold vow to God:
* Poverty may be understood as having no possessions of one's own, but living in simplicity and thankfulness, holding all goods in common and being willing to share what we have. It is reverence for the integrity of creating, caring for God's world and refusing to exploit or misuse the gifts God has given us.
* Chastity may be understood as rooting in God our power to love, and living in the single celibate state for the sake of love and service to God and humanity. It is reverence for the integrity of other people.
* Obedience may be understood as being open to hearing the will of God not only in one's own prayer, but also in the insights of others and in the common mind of the community. Obedience includes both the willingness to listen and to share with others what is heard. It is reverence for the integrity of oneself, especially as lived out in relationship to God and within the community.
The liturgy of the Eucharist and the Divine Office is the privilege and obligation of each day, enriched by private prayer, intercession, scripture reading, study, work, ministry, and our relationships with one another.
We are governed by a Leadership Council of three sisters and a Board of Directors.
COMMUNITY NOTES BLOG
Here are posted short notes about life in our community and the ministries of individual sisters.
Links to OSH Sisters' blogs, sermons, meditations, poetry:
Carol Andrew, OSH
Sermons by Carol Andrew are posted on the website of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Louisville, GA.
Faith Anthony, OSH
Faith Anthony's blog of her drawings and cards
Miriam Elizabeth, OSH
Sr Miriam Elizabeth's photo blog: Beauty Bears Witness