The Value of Building Slowly
October MSA Imaginings
This last weekend Tom and I visited Camano Island where the cross beams on our first building are being installed. It is another small but exciting milestone, but progress seems so slow. Yet because of that slowness it is all the more valuable and the unexpected rewards of new friends, new vision and new possibilities are amazing.
We live in a world that tells us fast-paced action is the only way to go, yet slow is often better. We now have slow food movements, slow parenting movements, slow church movements and slow money movements. MSA is definitely part of the trend. Slowly we are transitioning to a new MSA with exciting new possibilities.
Building Slowly toward Advent and Christmas
Last month I introduced you to our Advent theme Coming Home: Uncovering Our Roots in the Advent Story, An Invitation to Participate, and invited your participation in the daily reflections that will be posted on Godspace. I commented that we all desperately crave more meaningful, less cluttered lives yet rarely take the time to slow down and give up the urgent for the important.
I also quoted from Joan Chittister who says:
The function of Advent is to remind us what we’re waiting for as we go through life too busy with things that do not matter to remember the things that do …. Advent asks the question, what is it for which you are spending your life?
What are you spending your life for? As we race towards the holiday season we offer you a variety of opportunities to stop and reflect on this question.
I invite you to join me November 9th as I facilitate a unique conversation with The Overflow Project about the impact of simple living on our local and global communities. During this half-day retreat, we will explore ways to simplify our lives for the betterment of God’s worldwide community, connect with others with a similar passion and discover ways to engage our community in transformative simple living. This promises to be an exciting morning of learning, reflection and engagement.
November 16th I will facilitate another retreat, Stop the Madness: Return to Our Senses in Advent, here at the Mustard Seed. We all desperately crave more meaningful, less cluttered lives, yet rarely take time to slow down and ask this question. We invite you to prepare for Advent and Christmas by refocusing your life on what really matters. This is an ideal follow up to the simplicity conversation. Take time to renew, refresh and restore your priorities in preparation for the coming of Christ.
Building Slowly Through Advent and Christmas
Advent itself begins December 1st. In addition to the daily reflections on Godspace, we are planning a series of weekly podcasts hosted by Ryan Marsh from Church of the Beloved, and me. Each week will focus on a different aspect of the coming home of Advent:
- the first week will focus on how we come home to the birth of Christ.
- the second week on how we live into his presence now.
- the third on how we anticipate his coming at the end of time.
- In the final week Tom Sine will reflect on all three comings which as Joan Chittister explains come together at the end of time in one long sigh of the soul.
These will include music, interviews, reflections and fun. We hope that you will join us and invite your friends to share Advent and Christmas with us.
Building Slowly into the New Year
The MSA team is slowly changing and developing too. Cindy Todd has resigned as administrative assistant, though she continues as part of our Mustard Seed Village Task committee and as a much valued friend. She assured us that this is a better use of her gifts and entrepreneurial skills. We will miss her smiling face around the office, but are pleased to welcome our new assistant Katie Metzger who has already whipped our office into shape.
Andy Wade is in the midst of raising support to move from part time to full time with MSA. His behind-the-scenes work on our websites and MSA store is invaluable. We are also delighted at the growing opportunities he has to work with churches on sustainability and spirituality, as well as contribute to the MSA blog with important articles like this one. We desperately need his skills, expertise and full engagement, which his full-time involvement will make possible. If you would like to become part of Andy’s support team please sign up here.
We have some other exciting new projects on the drawing board for the next few months and into 2014:
- Pray for Tom Sine as he works on his book, “The Changemaking Revolution”.
- Pray for the completion of our “Prayer for the Journey” prayer cards, a new tool for meditation and prayer, which will be available next month.
- Prayer for the completion of our Lenten daily devotional, “A Journey into Wholeness”, based on our popular Lenten guide of the same name. We expect to publish it early January 2014.
- Pray for our team as we plan workshops, retreats and events both in Seattle and Oregon next year.
- Pray for the ongoing work of Godspace, the MSA blog, as well as our Facebook pages Light for the Journey, To Garden With God, and Mustard Seed Associates, all of which continue to grow and change. Their impact in shaping the lives of people of faith from many backgrounds is very encouraging for us.
Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers for all of us on the MSA team.
Executive Director MSA.