I am looking outside at a changing landscape. The leaves are turning red and gold, the grass is green from the autumn rains, and I keep looking towards the mountains hoping for the first glimpse of snow. Change is in the air and it’s time to get ready to celebrate.
Many years ago a friend suggested that the best way to get ready for change is to identify the stability points and affirm those things that will not change. It is some of the best advice I have ever received. Last weekend Tom and I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in Tsawwassen B.C and our MSA team are all looking forward to American Thanksgiving November 26th. All of us are getting ready for the seasons of Advent and Christmas and looking forward to the end of the year. These are anchors for our faith, our lives and our year. The ways we celebrate may change, but the need for celebration of these important stability points does not.
Celebrate the Change with our New Resources
In anticipation of our celebrations, the MSA team has produced new resources we believe will help anchor all our souls during this season of reflection and hospitality.
Brigit and the Hospitality of God – This beautiful MP3 includes litanies and songs inspired by ancient Celtic prayers and African American folk music. It also responds to the desire of many of us to enter more regularly into the Celtic style worship we experience at our annual retreats. Enjoy the hospitality of our generous God as you recite the responsive readings and imagine yourself worshipping amongst God’s wonderful creation or sitting with the Celtic saint, Brigit, at the banquet feast of God.
Rest in the Moment: Prayers Throughout the Day – an inspiring set of new prayer cards. Pausing to sit in the presence of God for a few minutes at regular intervals is good for our physical, emotional and spiritual health. As the Christmas season rushes towards us, it is essential. These cards are designed to assist you in establishing a daily rhythm of prayer and reflection. There are three morning, three evening, and four general prayers for the day. Each prayer is paired with a photo to help you focus and enter into that still place where you can hear God’s voice. On the back of each card is a short reflection/activity to deepen the impact of the prayer.
Celebrate by Leaning Towards the Light on Godspace
On Godspace we are gearing up for Advent and Christmas with a new focus – Leaning Towards the Light. In our celebration of Jesus’ birth we often forget that the light of Christ already shines in our world. We spend so much time and energy on preparing for Christmas that we do not allow the season to prepare us for the coming year.
How do we lean into the light of Christ that will shine through us and out into God’s broken world over this coming year?
In the northern hemisphere, as we pass through the darkest season of the year and look towards the coming of the Christ light, we may be aware that darkness is the place in which new seeds germinate. In the southern hemisphere, where Advent and Christmas are marked by the long days of summer, leaning towards the light might engender images of growth and harvest.
Join the celebration. Read the daily reflections, add your comments, or contribute your own reflection to the series. We are still open for submissions.
Celebrate with Our Photo Challenge
We also invite you to celebrate the season of Advent by participating in our photo challenge – Reflections of Hope – prepared by Jean Andrianoff. This exciting spiritual practice invites us into another experience of photography, a contemplative practice which beckons us to slow down, take notice, savour what we see, and enter into a sacred encounter with our God. The free booklet with scriptures and prompts for each day will be available mid-November. Share your reflections and photos with us. Be inspired and inspire others with your thoughts and images.
Celebrate with a Retreat
One way that all of us can prepare for the season of Advent and Christmas is by going on retreat. As the season of Advent approaches, many of us are conflicted. There are so many calls to slow down, declutter our lives, and relax, yet we are easily caught up in the consumer frenzy and the fast paced life that races at us as we move towards Christmas and the end of the year. We feel stressed out, overwhelmed and guilty. How can we find that peaceful pace that God intends for us?
We encourage you to plan your own retreat, participate in the Reimagine How We Pray e-course, or join us at Union Church in Seattle, on November 21st 9:30 – 12:30 for Discerning Our Way through Advent. At this retreat we will explore the conflicting pressures of the season. Through a process of discussion, discernment, and reflection we will create together practices that can help us find God’s rhythm for our lives. Cost is $20.
For more information and to register,
Celebrate the Change
There are other exciting changes coming at Mustard Seed Associates too which we look forward to sharing with you in the coming months. We are changing, we are growing, we are evolving. It is an encouraging, fulfilling and challenging time.
We appreciate your prayers and continued support of all we do.