Welcome to Lent

ash.foreheadLent has begun. On Wednesday many of us attended Ash Wednesday services and committed ourselves to a season of denial and self examination. What are we giving up and why?

My co-worker Andy Wade poses this question for us to grapple with as we enter the season:

A couple of years ago I was feeling like the whole practice of giving up something for Lent was rather random. What was the purpose? I began reframing, asking, “What habits or things in my life are getting in the way of my relationship with God and with others?” This simple question led me to see that whatever I give up for Lent should be something I need to just give up completely, focusing instead on the things that make for life and peace in myself and in others.

  • What makes for life and peace for you in this season of Lent?
  • What needs to be transformed within you to bring wholeness to your relationship with God?
  • Where do you need to be reconciled to those around you in order to walk in the ways of life and peace?
  • How do you need to be reconciled to God’s purposes for renewal and restoration of creation?

These are some of the issues we will grapple with on the MSA and Godspace blogs, and we hope that you will join us.

Our pre-Lent retreat was a wonderful opportunity to focus our lives for the season. Sundee Frazier commented:

lent.1I so appreciated the breakout times to reflect, and I love my finger labyrinth! The retreat was a very helpful time in terms of focusing myself on the season to come and taking God up on the invitation to go deeper in our relationship and in my understanding of the rhythms of the liturgical year. Thank you so much for your great input and leadership and for trusting the Spirit’s ability to speak to all of us individually and corporately — even among and between people who’d never met!

On the Web

At Godspace our theme is Stop Playing Games: Join God’s Reconciling Work for Lent. We began the journey with this Ash Wednesday prayer, and a reminder from Kerry Dearborn of the work of the Holy Spirit in stirring our imaginations towards reconciliation. Our international team will enrich us over the coming weeks with their insights on many aspects of reconciliation.

On the MSA blog our theme is Igniting Imagination for Reconciliation and New Creation. Tom Sine believes that many people suffer from malnutrition of creativity because they’re simply not aware of the amazing ways God is igniting people’s imaginations. He invites us to a feast of innovation as he shares creative examples change from around the world. If you would like to add your stories to this feast,please contact us.

spirit.adoption 2New resources at the MSA Store

  • The Spirit of Adoption explores many of the complexities inherent in adoption and its relationship to spirituality. MSA’s Forrest Inslee is one of several contributors, sharing his own story as an adoptive single Dad. It is a heart warming account that encourages us to look beyond mythologies about adoption to consider the more difficult questions it raises about the nature of God, family, culture, loss and joy.
  • Boats Without Oars is the story of a five month boats.w-o.oarsAdventure Michael and Kristin Carroccino, members of the Mustard Seed House community and MSA volunteers, embarked on with their kids in 2012. They set out to catch Episcopalians in the act of sharing their faith. On this journey they gained a new understanding of evangelism and fresh insights into what it means to share the Good News.

New Opportunities to Join the MSA Team

  • March 14th join our hammer-wielding volunteer team and help us put siding on the Mustard Seed Village first classroom.
  • The Celtic retreat is coming August 7-9th. Save the date, book your tickets, and if you don’t want to camp, check out Camano Island Inn or motels in Mt. Vernon or Marysville.
  • Sign up for a summer internship with MSA. This is an amazing opportunity to spend time in the Mustard Seed House community, work in the garden, help plan and facilitate the Celtic retreat, be mentored by Tom and Christine Sine and deepen your faith.

The Spirituality of Gardening seminar is on the move: April 12th in Bellingham, WA; May 30th in Denver, Colorado; and other possibilities for Calgary, Alberta in June; British Columbia in July; and Melbourne, Australia in October.

This is an exciting year for us at MSA. We appreciate your prayers and supportiveness as we continue to grow the mustard seeds God is planting and move forward together.

God bless,

Christine Sine
Executive Director