Joy And Sorrow Intertwined

MSA Imaginings – August 2013 Newsletter

Here in the Pacific NW, summer is drawing to a close. The days are shortening, the mornings are cooling, and the tomatoes are ripening. It is a bitter sweet season, a time of fruitfulness but also one in which we say goodbye to that which is passing and learn to nurture that which will grow and flourish through the coming seasons.

Saying Goodbye to What Is Passing

aroney.family.smIt is just over a week since I returned from Australia. At the beginning of July I learned that my mother had pancreatic cancer and was in her final days. I had the privilege of sitting beside her, reading to her, praying with her and crying for her as I watched her life ebb away. It was a bittersweet season which I will always thank God for.

Interestingly, at our MSA staff meeting just before my trip, we had discussed the importance of our families and how they impact our work. Our families shape not just who we are, but also what we are as an organization. I am very aware of that as I reflect on how my mother influenced my life. I am so grateful to God for her and the ways that she helped shape all I am and do. Even in her death she continues to influence me and shape the life of others. I am also grateful to the many of you who have prayed and comforted me over these days and for the encouragement from those of you who have drawn strength and faith as I shared my journey.

If you would like to join my journey and check out the prayers and reflections I have posted you can do so here: Our Families Shape Not Just Us But Our Organizations.

Nurturing What Is Flourishing

Worship led by Ryan MarshDuring my absence, MSA held its annual Celtic retreat. It was a wonderful success. Ryan Marsh shaped beautiful liturgies for the morning and evening sessions and Kendra Long crafted our children’s programme. Andy Wade led times of Lectio Divina, which inspired long- term Mustard Seed Associate Gil George to write these wonderful poems. In the afternoon everyone collaborated in painting murals, walking the labyrinth and prayer trails, and dedicating our new building.

Check out what others have to say about the retreat:

Classroom.2013Our first building at the Mustard Seed Village is growing too.  A week before the retreat, we raised the last of the support beams for this structure. There are still plenty of opportunities to help with this project. Next up, we need to get the roof on as soon as possible. If you would like to volunteer your construction talents or contribute financially, please contact us and let us know.

Return to Our Senses: Reimagining How We Pray continues to inspire and encourage many. It rated a featured review in Englewood Review of Books  and you might also like to check out this helpful review by April Yamasaki. We are in the process of developing ongoing resources that flow out of this book and appreciate your prayers and your patience in this process.

Other writing projects are in progress:

  • We are working on new resources for Advent as well as a new platform for providing daily prayers and are excitedly looking forward to the publication of A Journey Into Wholeness: Daily reflections for Lent and Easter, which will be available at the end of the year.
  • Andy Wade and I have begun work on a new resource for those developing faith-based community gardens
  • and Tom Sine is in full research mode for a new book on innovation.

We appreciate your prayers for each of these projects which we believe will help all of us strengthen our faith and be more effective as followers of Christ in this volatile world.

Pray for the flourishing of MSA

  • Pray for the MSA team and Board as we continue to work together to discern God’s purposes for the future of MSA.
  • Pray for the ongoing construction of the Mustard Seed Village and the finances needed to complete it.
  • Pray for the reshaping of the MSA website and Godspace which will continue over the next few months.
  • Pray for the writing projects we are embarking on, that they may develop according to God’s plan and touch the lives of those God intends.

We pray God’s richest blessing on all of you over this next month.

Yours in Christ,
Christine Sine
Executive Director MSA