“God instructs the heart, not by ideas but by pains and contradictions.”
This wise quote by 18th century French mystic Jean Pierre de Caussade was sent to me last week shortly after we heard that a grant application we hoped would support the start up of our Cascadia program, had been rejected. In the midst of our disappointment we found ourselves turning back to the heart of God in prayer, seeking wisdom and discernment.
One of our Board remarked,
"Mustard Seed Associates is about planting mustard seeds and this was certainly no mustard seed."
Its true, we have always excelled at networking, collaboration and the planting and nourishing of small kingdom seeds that grow and produce fruit. Many of you are examples of that kingdom fruit.
This does seem to be a time of contradictions for us at Mustard Seed Associates. On one hand God is blessing us in amazing ways and we have much to celebrate. Plans are completed and we are moving forward with the first building of the Mustard Seed Village. Construction should begin shortly.
Cindy Todd is making amazing connections in the Stanwood/ Camano area and has been asked to co-chair the education for Port Susan food and farming center. Our annual Celtic retreat on Camano Island August 17-19 is shaping up to be the best ever. Our theme is gratitude and thanksgiving. Internationally known musician Jeff Johnson will provide music with a special Selah service in the evening.
CCSP/Cascadia is definitely sparking the interest of Christian Colleges and Universities across North America and we have a growing list of those who plan to add it to their semester away options. George Fox University recently added it to their options of semester away programs. We see the coming year as an opportunity to build our team and prepare for a better launch. Over the summer, Tom and I will participate in Wild Goose Festival in Shakora Hills NC, Wild Goose West in Corvalis OR and the Creative World Festival in British Columbia. We would love to spend time with those of you who are also at these events.
MSA seeks to stir imagine and encourage creativity. We add daily to resources at Godspace and MSAimagine that inspire and encourage many to reimagine their lifestyles and faith observances. Andy Wade’s latest article Creepy Community is both thought provoking and instructive. We want to expand these resources and need your collaboration to connect us to other creative possibilities and inspiring stories. Where do you see the kingdom emerging in creative and imaginative ways? Where do you see God’s mustard seeds emerging like The Overflow Project – small and seemingly insignificant but making a kingdom difference. How could we reimagine our lives to more authentically live into God’s kingdom ways? Post on our facebook page or email us with suggestions for articles or communities and ministries to highlight.
We have a remarkable team at MSA. Most are volunteers. Our architect David Vandervort has generously given time and resource over many years to the Mustard Seed Village project. Douglas Woods moved his family up to Seattle from California ten years ago because of his vision for this project. Dr. Forrest Inslee contributed numerous hours to the development of the Cascadia/CCSP curriculum. Tom and I receive no salary and Andy Wade and Cindy Todd contribute far beyond their part time salaries. Ryan and Jessica Weemhoff who will be our program directors for the Cascadia/CCSP program will volunteer over this next year to help provide new and exciting opportunities for future students.
We are privileged stewards of what God has given us but we need your help to establish what we believe God is giving birth to. Together we can make a huge difference in God’s world.
Please plant a mustard seed today and help us bring this dream into being. Your gift of $10; $15; $25 or more will enable us to support the growing work of Mustard Seed Associates. Your monthly pledge of $10; $15; $25 or more would enable us to see the Mustard Seed Village move from dream to reality. Various options to support MSA can be found HERE
Executive Director MSA