An Update from Mustard Seed Associates

Last week we held an exciting meeting here at the Mustard Seed House.  Our Mustard Seed team gathered with our Celtic Project team to discuss possibilities for moving forward towards the development of a Celtic monastic community on Camano Island.  We are in the beginning stages of negotiations with Christian educational and sustainability organizations who are potential partners in this endeavor.

Those of you who have journeyed with Mustard Seed Associates over a number of years know that our dream has always been to establish two communities – one a small urban community in Seattle, the other a larger rural community that can model something of God’s kingdom values and principles.   These communities will also provide a place for people to gather not just to discuss issues facing individuals, churches and our world in the volatile and turbulent future into which we are moving, but also to develop creative and innovative new models of life, faith and community to address these challenges.  The development of the property on Camano Island will also serve the broader MSA community by developing new resources and educational programs to equip us to live and serve God in the future.

We are very grateful for the incredible work done by our architect David Vandervort and for the addition to the MSA team of Cindy Todd.  Cindy recently completed an MBA at Eastern University and is working on a business plan for this project.  Both of them have volunteered long hours that have enabled us to make this beginning.

The development of the Celtic project is not the only activity MSA is involved in.  The last couple of months have been very busy but satisfying ones for all of us at Mustard Seed Associates.  Tom and I have spoken in a number of venues including to Mennonite Educators, Communitas in Abbotsford B.C. and First United Church of Denton Texas.  Eliacin continues to network attended the Emerging Christianity conference in Albuquerque NM, and travelled to Portland OR with his family where he and Ricci in collaboration with Mark Van Steenwyk, Pastor of Missio Dei in Minneapolis, facilitated:  “You Say You Want a Revolution? Creating Liberated Spaces in the Empire” Read a report by Quaker pastor Wess Daniels here Next weekend Eliacin will facilitate a similar workshop at the TransForm Conference in Washington DC.

As well as this, MSA has hosted a number of events at the Mustard Seed House – including workshops on Rhythms of Grace, Justice at the Table and Spirituality of Gardening.  Attendees loved the great food and the combination of practical resources, reflection and presentation.  Those at the Justice at the Table event were particularly inspired by Ricci Kilmer’s  suggestion that communion/Eucharist is a spiritual framework to structure justice issues around.

These events have spawned other events and the development of creative new resources.  This last week I completed an article entitled Creating a Faith Based Community Garden, which will provide additional resources to those already available in To Garden with God. In the next couple of weeks we also expect to launch Ricci Kilmer’s resource Justice at the Table.

We are very grateful for Andrew Wade, our new Seed Sampler co-ordinator.   Andy has focused each edition of the Seed Sampler intentionally on the theme: 2010 to 2020- New Challenges- New Possibilities.  Each issue identifies a new challenge likely to impact our lives and God’s world in this volatile new decade and shares creative ways people are responding to these challenges.  Another exciting aspect of Andy’s Seed Sampler vision is to follow each edition with updated posts on the MSA blog throughout the month.  In conjunction with this, we have created a Futures Watch Team to help supply information on both new challenges and creative responses for both our ezine and other projects.

Prayer Requests for May

  • The development of the facility and community on Camano Island is a huge step for Mustard Seed Associates.  We covet your prayers as we move forward:
    • Pray for the Celtic project team as we seek to discern the next steps for this project
    • Pray for our discussions with organizations that are potential partners in this process
    • Pray for our architect David Vandervort as he meet with Island County to obtain approval for these plans
    • Pray for Cindy Todd as she develops our business plan
  • Pray for Andrew Wade and upcoming Seed Samplers published at the start of each month:
    • May: Social Entrepreneurship/Micro-enterprise and development
    • June: New Forms of Community – both secular and sacred
    • July: Biometrics and Biomimicry – the spiritual/ethical implications
    • Aug. Education
    • Sept. Family life and creative celebrations
    • Pray for Andrew’s ongoing financial support as we work to raise funds to enable him to work with MSA full time.
  • Pray for our travels and speaking events:
    • Tom and Andrew in Liberty Missouri: April 29 – May 2
    • Christine in New Haven CT: May 2 – 7
    • Eliacin in Washington DC: April 29 – May 2
  • Pray for upcoming MSA events:
    • Spirituality of Gardening: May 22nd in Lynden WA, May 29th Rosewood Manor Edmonds
    • Community gathering and discussion June 26th
    • Celtic Retreat August 14th on Camano Island
  • Pray for the effectiveness of new resources
    • Justice at the Table
    • Creating a Faith Based Community Garden
  • Continue to pray for the MSA financial needs. We would love to be able to bring both Andrew and Cindy on board as full time staff members.  Please pray about the possibility of joining our support group at this time.

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