MSA Year in Review

May the child of Christmas come to you and give you hope,
May he grow in you and show you life,
May he speak to you and teach you love,
Stand on tiptoe, watch for the signs,
Prepare your heart, listen for the messengers,
God’s miracle comes down from heaven,
Alleluia the Christ child comes.

As we race towards Christmas 2012, Tom and I and the growing Mustard Seed team are overwhelmed by the generosity of God and the many good friends God has given us. This has been an incredible year for us and we have much to celebrate.

We have much to celebrate this Christmas

  • We began the year by launching our new website, which has enabled us to expand our written and video resources and begin publishing ebooks.
    Pictures from 2011

    Check out our 2011 photo-book year in review

    It has even encouraged Tom to start blogging, and he now contributes a weekly mustardseedconspiracy post.  Our recent publications, Waiting for the Light: a devotional for Advent and Christmas and the video Lord Jesus Christ, Draw Close, have been particularly popular and are being used by many to prepare both for the coming of Jesus and for the in-breaking of God’s new creation all over the world.

  • Godspace continues to blossom as a site for spiritual resources. This year we had over 200,000 visitors and were listed as one of the top 200 Christian blogs.  The most popular series was “Tools for Prayer”. The daily facebook prayers are also growing in popularity as more and more people seek to connect daily to God through their internet interactions.
  • Camas Garden 2011

  • We facilitated four Spirituality of Gardening seminars, a brainstorming session on Recession Readiness, and several small networking gatherings at the Mustard Seed House. We had the joy of sharing new ways to serve God in changing times with friends at Goshen College and AMBS in March, the annual Inhabit Conference in April, the Overseas Ministry Study Center in May, the Wild Goose Festival and Reformed Church Educators in June, and the Mennonite Laurelville Center in August. We also held creativity workshops at several churches, including Kent Covenant and Sanctuary Christian Reformed Church in Seattle.
  • In August we held our 20th Annual Celtic Retreat, a milestone event that marked a new phase of the development for the Mustard Seed Village. Shortly after, we received an anonymous donation of $25,000 as a matching grant for the first building, and other friends responded to the challenge. Pole Barn imageWith $50,0000 raised we are still praying for the remaining $35,000 to build this pole barn classroom. Our gifted architect and friend David Vandervort is working on the plans, and construction will take place over the summer next year. Last week Tom and I gifted the first five-acre parcel of our 40 acres on Camano Island, valued at $120,000, to Mustard Seed Associates for this purpose.
  • Last week Forrest Inslee, who heads curriculum design for our upcoming Sustainability Semester Away program, secured approval for accreditation by Northwest University here in the Seattle area. Our partners at Creation Care Study Program  (www.creation.csp.org) are circulating our curriculum proposal to the 30 Christian colleges they work with for approval.
  • If God continues to bless, we will launch the Pacific NW Sustainability Semester next September. What makes it distinctive is that students learn not only about environmental and other global challenges likely to confront us in the coming decade, they will also learn about new community-based ways of living that are more sustainable environmentally and economically. They will also learn how they can work with others in these turbulent times to create new sustainable local neighborhoods.
  • We are so grateful for our growing MSA team… Cindy Todd, Andy Wade, Forrest Inslee and Ricci Kilmer. We are also grateful for our generous MSA boardMSA Bursting and friends like Lindsay, Crickette, James, Nancy and Dennis who volunteer their time to keep MSA moving forward. Our most desperate current need is for a part-time administrative assistant for the MSA office.
  • We have shared hospitality and food from our garden at the Mustard Seed House with friends from Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Africa, Canada and the U.S.
  • The MSA team celebrated its own milestones this year. I celebrated my 60th, Tom his 75th, and Andy Wade his 50th birthday. We are grateful for God’s mercy and grace as we seek to grow our ministry and journey with Jesus Christ in these troubled times.

We wish you and yours a joyous Christmas and new year filled with compassion for the growing numbers of our neighbors locally and globally that are likely to be impacted by both the growing economic troubles in Europe and climate change everywhere.

God Bless,

Tom and Christine Sine
Cindy Todd
Andy Wade