Sustaining Life, Sustaining Faith for the Future

May Newsletter – 2013

OMSCI am currently in New Haven Connecticut at the Overseas Ministry Study Center teaching a course on spiritual renewal. This yearly seminar is one of the most enriching and challenging I facilitate. Students come from across the globe. Methodist ministers from Myanmar and Korea sit together with Anglicans from Kenya and Ghana. Catholic sisters from the Philippines rub shoulders with Pentecostals from India and Brazil.

What all the students have in common is a deep desire to enrich their faith and learn new tools to strengthen their spiritual practices. Followers of Christ around the globe are hungry for resources like those that MSA provides through its websites, workshops and publications that enable them to develop sustainable faith and sustainable life practices,

Gatherings at the Mustard Seed Village to Enrich our Faith and Life

MSV GardenThis last weekend we held a Wild Camano Tour at the Mustard Seed Village. With the help of Nancy and Greg from Shambala Farms and Nursery we identified and sampled a broad variety of potential additions to our diet. We even planted a small beginning garden. God’s bounty is all around us and rarely notice it. Read the story here.

Our next event on Camano is the Celtic Prayer Retreat August 9 – 11 and its time to sign up to take advantage of the early bird special. This year our theme is “Celebrating the Newness”. Last year we dedicated a stack of logs. This year those logs stand proudly atop a newly poured concrete pad. Next week the roof beams will be secured. Watching this slowly emerging structure with our dreams of new educational programs and resources it will facilitate, is an exciting and rewarding experience.

Practicing Sustainability in Seattle and Beyond

Tom planting tomatoesAt the Mustard Seed House we are ready for the Spirituality of Gardening seminar May 18th. Our garden is bulging with early salad greens. Peas, broccoli and cauliflowers are slowly developing and we now have 30 tomato plants and a number of summer squash and beans in the ground. Our community garden team gathered last week to rebuild the compost pile, ably directed by master composters Judy Naegeli and Ellie McDermott. The amount of food we can grow on a small urban lot never ceases to amaze me.

Those on the Kitsap Peninsula might like to join Tom and me in Port Townsend My 25th. I will conduct a To Garden with God: the Spirituality of Gardening seminar at Grace Lutheran Church. Later that evening from 6:00PM-8:00PM, Tom will speak on Port Townsend 2018: Reimagining Life and Faith in Changing Times, at First Presbyterian Church. For more information contact Coe Hutchison

The MSA garden network is growing, not just here in Seattle, but throughout the Pacific N.W. and beyond. The faith based community garden movement is still gaining momentum and we want to do what we can to network and resource this exciting move of God. We enjoy encouraging people everywhere to rip up their lawns and church parking lots to plant vegetables. In the process many discover a new intimacy with their God and new understanding of the story of God.

Next year we expect to facilitate Garden with God seminars in Hood River and Portland, Oregon, and Pittsburg, with other possibilities still emerging. If you are interested in hosting a seminar, or would like to learn to facilitate an ongoing program in your area please contact me.

Expanding Resources and Opportunities for Sustainable Living

bullittThe Mustard Seed and Godspace blogs continue to provide resources for those interested in living simply and sustainably. On Earth Day, Tom was privileged to attend the opening of the Bullitt building, reportedly the greenest building on the planet. Read his reflections here.

We are almost at the end of The Overflow Project’s 50-Day Challenge. It has stirred all of us to reconsider our call to live simply. In his reflections Andy Wade challenges all of us to consider the broader consequences of simplicity in his compelling reflection 50 challenging days.

For those who missed this challenge, or who are looking for an ongoing challenge of simplicity, consider joining Morris Stuart and our friends at the Mutunga Partnership. They hope to engage 7,000 households across Australia, the UK, Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand.

The idea is that a household lives on a food budget of $2.00 a day, per person for a week. The money saved from the normal household budget is then donated to The Mutunga Partnership. This idea doesn’t require finding extra cash – just a temporary change in lifestyle. It’s a challenge!’

One billion people live on a dollar a day or less! The Mutunga Partnership is trying to turn this tragic statistic into a tool for raising awareness, for building a sense of community with the poor, and for raising funds for micro-credit development.
At Godspace we are encouraging people to reimagine the concept of sacred space. The post, What is a Sacred Space?, has been particularly popular. New posts will be added to this series in the couple of weeks that I think you will find particularly thought provoking.

Much to Pray For

  • Pray for the Mustard Seed team as we develop new resources. We have three writing projects in various stages of development – a Lenten devotional guide, a new resource with practical advice and spiritual reflections for those starting faith based community gardens, and a new book on creativity and by Tom Sine.
  • Pray for the completion of our first building and ongoing development of the Mustard Seed Village. This exciting venture is so strategic to the ongoing development of MSA.
  • Pray for us as we rethink the Godspace website. Its growing popularity for those wanting creative, out of the ordinary, resources for spiritual formation, liturgy and worship encourages us to expand its capability. The requests for retreat and online spiritual formation processes related to my book, Return to Our Senses, nudge us to develop an even broader array of offerings to meet this demand.

We are so grateful for the hundreds of mustard seed associates around the world who want to make a difference in God’s world. We are privileged to provide mentoring, support and creative resources that continue to move many toward a whole life faith. And we are appreciative of your supportiveness in making this possible

God bless,

Christine Sine
Executive Director
Mustard Seed Associates