This last Saturday we drove up to Camano Island to share lunch on the land that we plan to build a community centre as a place where people can explore different Christian traditions and develop a spiritual rhythm for their lives.
Since Tom first visited the island of Iona off the West Coast of Scotland in the mid 198s he has felt a strong connection to this ancient Christian tradition. All of us at Mustard Seed Associates are attracted by this form of Christianity that permeated every part of a believer’s life. For Celtic Christians faith impacted every part of life and not surprisingly believers developed prayers for every activity from lighting the fire to milking the cows. This Christian tradition was evangelistic and charismatic in expression. It also showed a deep love of creation and an incredible belief in the all encompassing presence of Christ
In 1989 Tom purchased 40 acres on Camano Island just north of Seattle intending to create a Celtic Retreat Site. The flame has been kept alive as Mustard Seed Associates has held their annual Celtic Prayer retreat on the island first at the Washington state park and then on the land itself. Our next Celtic retreat will be August 17th – 19th
Now the vision is starting to take shape and a small planning group is meeting regularly to pray and flesh out the vision. We are also visiting the land each month to work, pray and get a sense of God’s presence on the land. If you are interested in ways that you could be a part of this group please let us know.
Tom’s son Wes has been working on our prayer trails and we were able to set up prayers on one of the trails as a prelude to the retreat. Jeff Johnson who will be doing our music for us joined us with his wife Susie. Jeff’s music is some of my favourite for meditation and in spite of the challenge of not having any electricity we are excited about the possibilities.
Some of us plan to spend the whole weekend camping on the land. Ricci is already well prepared with this playpen cum changing station for Gabriel. We have also cleared an area as a chapel – more like a cathedral in the midst of God’s creation. Judy took time to check it out.
I always love the opportunity to get away into God’s good creation. To walk through the ancient forests and inhale the fresh clean air is exhilarating. Nothing makes me feel closer to God than this. I wish you could all join us for the retreat. I find that they are some of my best prayer times.
Our theme this year is community. We are developing a liturgy and prayers that help connect us not just to God but also to God’s worldwide community.