MSA is Flourishing
The last several months at MSA have been exciting and full! We are in a great season of growth with many exciting opportunities to accomplish our mission of unleashing people’s creative potential to live lives characterized by shalom.
The MSA team is focusing on four major areas in which we want to encourage creativity. We are looking for collaborators, interns and partners to help us with this important work.
Reimagining Spiritual Practices for the Future
Followers of Jesus increasingly look for spiritual practices that help them connect their everyday life to their faith. They are searching for a spirituality that weaves through all of life and encourages them to connect to the presence of God in every experience.
Mustard Seed E-School is now open. Our initial courses include reimagining how we pray with Christine Sine, learning how to simplify life with Mark Scandrette, and exploring questions about God and faith with Brian McLaren, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Bruce Reyes-Chow and others. New courses, to enable all of us to imagine new ways to express our faith and integrate it more fully with our lives will be added each month.
- Our Celtic retreat, Columba and the Reconciling Power of God, at the Mustard Seed Village August 7-9th will give further opportunities to explore spiritual practices that can strengthen and encourage faith.
- Brigit and the Hospitality of God, a CD with liturgies and worship from last year’s retreat, will also be launched in August to enable those who cannot attend the retreat to join with us in prayer and worship.
Encouraging creativity and imagination in spiritual practices continues to be the emphasis of Godspace and the MSA blog. Our Lenten focus on reconciliation has sparked much discussion and comment. Andy Wade’s challenge in Open Hire: A Pathway Toward Reconciliation, to expand our understanding of reconciliation spoke deeply to my heart. Idelette McVicker’s story Communion in Mombasa is a particularly powerful and vulnerable message to all of us. As Cornelius Okeke commented:
it is such a powerful truth that we until we get reconnected to our roots and to the whole world, we remain estranged from our inner soul where we are one with God and with each of God’s children.
Reimagining Housing for the Future
The increasing cost of housing and the growing urban sprawl is unsustainable. Many people are looking for ways to live more simply, sustainably and economically. Tiny houses are the wave of the future and we’re already planning how to join in the fun.
- Our tiny house project is a four stage project, headed by Forrest Inslee and in collaboration with Vandervort Architects. It will draw together a focus group of those interested in alternative housing, including architects and young people who will creatively brainstorm how to make tiny houses a viable option for more people. We will incubate new affordable tiny house designs based on this discussion and construct a demo model from one of these designs. This will create a focus for future discussions on lifestyle, housing and community.
Reimagining Church Properties for Changing Times
Churches everywhere are going out of business or are underutilized. Many are being sold for apartments, shopping malls or community centers. A new project spearheaded by Tom Sine will develop a futures creativity process to enable shrinking congregations and denominational executives to proactively reimagine and repurpose church buildings to engage some of the new opportunities in the community in which they are located. Dwight Friesen, from Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, will join Tom on May 8th to conduct an initial consultation with St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Ballard, WA.
Reimagining Soil, Supper, and Spirituality
There is growing concern in our society about where our food comes from and how those that produce and process it are treated. At MSA we are increasingly asking: how could placing the Eucharist table at the center of our eating transform the way we look at this ordinary, every day event? How can we reimagine common meals with Christ as the center?
- Andy Wade will head this initiative, conducting a Justice at the Table seminar in October. This project sets out to define some of the questions that people (especially younger generations) are asking about food, justice and faith and to help them create innovative approaches to tackle these the issues.
- Spirituality of gardening seminars, To Garden With God, and the extensive vegetable garden at the Mustard Seed House, which one of our garden community described recently as a small CSA are existing projects that address these concerns as well. This year seminars will be held:
Mustard Seed Village Update
Our first Mustard Seed Village building continues to take shape. Last week the cedar siding was added and the door was framed. Pray for us as we complete this building and work on bringing electricity, power and water to the property.
We are still looking for interns for the summer or, in fact, for any season of the year. If you would like to become a more active part of the MSA team, we would love to hear from you.
We appreciate your prayers and supportiveness.
Executive Director MSA.