As many of you know, my husband Tom and I have just returned from a consultation with the executive staff of Serve Globally, the umbrella organization for the Evangelical Covenant Church’s overseas mission initiatives. Using our MSA process of spiritual reflection, group discernment and creativity we encouraged them to consider new and innovative possibilities for the future of their organization.
Join the Changemaking Celebration
Tom inspired participants with material on new forms of changemaking and encouraged them to view discipleship as a new design opportunity to create a better way of life. This material was based on his upcoming book Live Like You Give A Damn! Join the Changemaking Celebration. The manuscript will go to the publisher at the end of September, with an anticipated publication date of April 2016.
In May, in conjunction with Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, Tom and Forrest Inslee facilitated a similar process to that conducted with Serve Globally, with a local church facing an uncertain future. We are excited to see the implementation of ideas from this consultation in the development of new ministries and opportunities for the church facilities.
Over the summer many of you participated in yet another practice of enquiry and discernment as we enlisted your help through this newsletter and social media to address the challenges posed by vandalism on Camano Island. The responsiveness to all these situations has been far greater than we ever anticipated, affirming for us the value of the MSA process, which is at the heart of our developing Center for Imagination and Innovation.
We have ordered the mini-cabin that will be constructed next month on Camano Island as an off the grid caretaker dwelling. It has already stirred our architect to sketch out new possible designs for affordable but more sustainable tiny houses, and we are excited about where this project will lead us through further discussion and discernment. Please consider contributing to this special project.
Andy Wade continues to develop the idea of gardening with God and neighbour in mind. He challenges us all to think beyond community gardens and start a revolution, reimagining our yards, neighbourhoods and communities with the production of food at the centre. This has garnered a lot of interest. Andy ran two classes at the annual gathering of Pacific NW Mennonite Churches in Albany, Oregon in June, inspiring us to make this seminar available through the MSA website.
A Busy Season Coming Up
Our Fall retreat, Rest in the Moment, will be held at the Mustard Seed House in Seattle this coming Saturday, September 26th. As we zoom towards the busyness of end of the year celebrations, all of us need to take time for retreat and refreshment. There is still time to sign up and join us. Or if you live outside the Seattle area, consider your own retreat day using our e-course Return to Our Senses.
Justice at the Table with Andy Wade on October 24th is another exciting opportunity. Join us as we explore together the intricate connections between our faith, fellowship and the food we eat.
New Resources Coming Soon
In the next few weeks we will launch two new MSA resources:
- Our new prayer card series Rest in the Moment will be available next week. This series of ten cards invites us to pause for morning, midday and evening prayers with short reflections on the back that invite us to enter into the presence of God. For many of us this will provide an important and rich new spiritual practice for the coming season.
- Our long-awaited recording Brigit and the Hospitality of God, composed of songs, liturgies and responsive readings adapted from last year’s Celtic retreat, will also be available for download at the beginning of October. This is a wonderful way for those of you who cannot join us in person to participate in our worship and celebration.
On Godspace, too, as I mentioned in an earlier post, new resources will prepare us for the upcoming season. October and November will focus on journey and pilgrimage, and for Advent our theme will be Leaning towards the Light. Not only do we expect to post daily reflections, but we will also offer a daily photo challenge: Reflections of Hope. MSA collaborator Jean Andrianoff will provide a word for each day along with an Old and New Testament reading that inspire us to take photographs as we reflect on the theme. So keep your eyes open and your cameras ready. The information about this challenge will be available next month.
Thank you for your continued support, prayers and encouragement for all of us at MSA.