Merry Christmas from the Sines

by Christine Sine

Christmas Greetings to friends and family as we race towards a turbulent 2024. 

Christine & Tom

Ten years ago in 2014, we sent out greetings reflecting on a great visit to Australia to be with Christine’s family and some of her medical school buddies as well as driving along the beautiful coast to Brisbane. Back then our world seemed like a relatively calm and pleasant place. 

However, we have all experienced much change in the past decade. We discovered that predictions on the first Earth Day over 50 years ago accurately predicted accelerating environmental challenges. We also, in the past decade, encountered huge tech expansion with many benefits but also with new challenges. Clearly, as we race into 2024 many of our churches are headed into some very daunting times a well. 

In spite of all the challenges, it has been a very good year. We now have 2 delightful young couples living with us in our small Mustard Seed House community and enjoy a meal together each week, as well as garden time once a month. With their help, the garden produced an impressive harvest of 280 lbs of tomatoes, 500 lbs of apples, 100 lbs of Asian pears and 40 lbs of peaches as well as lots of greens, squash, garlic and beans. We had a wonderful time processing apples and even managed to rent an apple press to make cider. As well as that, we delighted in a magnificent display of flowers, beginning with daffodils and tulips. The dahlias in particular looked spectacular over the summer filling our hearts with joy every time we wandered around the back yard. 

Mustard Seed House

We are now a three dog family, as each couple owns a dog. Fortunately they all get on very well together. It is fun to watch them romp and frolic together out in the back yard, though the grass has definitely suffered as a result. 

Over the summer we enjoyed doing hospitality again after a long break, inviting friends over for our first BBQs in several years. We also visited our good friends Tom and Kim in Canada. In February Christine travelled to Australia to see her family, a much needed visit after 3 years away. In October we visited San Francisco where Tom grew up. We visited lots of friends and walked around that beautiful city. It was a real treat. Tom shared at an important workshop with Tod Bolsinger, using his book 2020s Foresight: Three Vital Practices for Thriving in a Decade of Accelerating Change. It is a very relevant book for today as it describes three vital steps for racing into a time of accelerating change. It outlines ways to not only anticipate new waves of change but also innovative responses that reflect the ways of Jesus.

New Podcast coming soon

Christine’s website continues to flourish with visitors from 200 countries during the year. In January 2024 she expects to start a podcast “Liturgical Rebels” for people who want to reimagine and reconstruct their faith and spiritual practices; those who want to reshape belief and journey closer to God’s wholeness with peace, justice and flourishing not just for themselves but for the earth and all its inhabitants.” We are both really excited about this new venture. It really grew out of her book The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God and the encouragement to consider new and creative ways to express our faith and our awe and wonder in the world around us.

Christine is again cooking up a huge array of Christmas goodies – shortbread, English fruit cake, lemon bars and pecan bars – to send out in packages to friends and family as well as for our own hospitality. She loves to make an apple/cranberry punch to go with these as we entertain friends over the Christmas season. We just wish that we could invite you all over to celebrate the season and share these delicious goodies with us. 

We both wish you and your loved ones a joyous Christmas and New Year of loving change-making. 

Christine and Tom Sine at the Mustard Seed House in Seattle


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