Mission Group Reflections and Communiqués
2010 - Spring Medley
2009 - We have a Dream
2009 - Hospitality: Gift of the Holy Spirit
2008 - And the wall came tumbling down!
2008 - Being and Becoming
Spring 2008 -To Heal a Broken World
Doing Our Inner Work
May 2008 - Greening Wellspring
Fall 2007 - Gratitude as Gift
May 2007 - Radical Love
Colorful rainbows of birds are returning to Wellspring, warblers
and robins abound! A flock of Snow White Swans circle the Lake in
their migration towards the tundra. Buds are swelling on the magnolias
and silver maples; and yesterday the fox trotted easily across the
ball field, enjoying the warm day. What else can we do but rejoice
as spring unfolds in a beautiful creative display?
We rejoice, too, in the people who visit Wellspring. As old friends
return, and new groups enter into our life here, I marvel at the diversity
of those who find a welcome place here. On a recent weekend I opened
the doors of Wellspring for two new groups and one returning group.
The assortment of groups mirrors the medley of spring growth on the
At Siloam Cabin, a Korean community church group met at 9am. They
began with a common form of prayer where all who are gathered pray
aloud --simultaneously and vigorously! They have come twice a year
for days of prayer and fasting.
In the Center, a group of women who are congregational leaders of
an African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church arrived at 7:00 am to set
up for a day focused women's wellbeing: Body, Mind and Soul. Workshops
presented by women of color in the religious and business communities
covered life purpose in Christ, healthy foot ware, nutrition, and
yoga. They enjoyed homemade Wellspring meals.
Finally, in Jacob's Well, the Service-Learning Program of a local
community college held a Leadership Training for the students who
will be volunteering their skills to local non-profits.
We rejoice in the blooming springtime diversity of Wellspring's land
and people. Please join us in thanksgiving prayers for the bounty
of God's gifts. -SQ
for A New Year - 2010
O Holy One, all places where you reside with the gladness of your
Bless all who live there with the gift of your love;
And grant that each one may reveal and enflesh your love and justice
to the other
and to all whose lives they touch.
May all people grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you;
Guide, comfort, and strengthen us, Creator of light and life and love.
Watch over us and fill us with your peace
.. each day, every
day, wherever we are. Amen.
Inspired by the
Book of Occasional Services 1994
have a Dream......
The notes from Wellspring's September visioning time began: "WE
GIVE THANKS!" Guided by the capable and creative facilitation
of Marjory Bankson, fourteen people gathered to glance over our shoulders
at what has been, to examine what is now - and to dream about what
might rest beyond this moment - in our future. It was a time of remembering
and dreaming, appreciating and calling forth new possibilities.
All of those gathered were family: folks who were somehow connected
to a church or mission in the tradition of The Church of the Saviour.
Almost everyone who was present noted that they had come to The Church
of the Saviour through a Wellspring Event. Folks spoke of how important
Wellspring has been as a place for multigenerational work, play and
Almost two months later, we remember with gratitude the joy of sharing
with so many of you over the past 36 years - whether you are part
of the Church of the Saviour family or another expression of faithful
living. As our vision continues to unfold and we dream our dreams,
one thing has become crystal clear to us: we are not alone. We have
discovered that we need only to reach out, to speak to the need for
companionship on the journey and you are there. So what is our dream?
In part, it is the continuation of what we
have been doing in 2009 ~ partnering with others to do our part in
the work of mending the universe through our events. And then there
is the physical plant: buildings that have held our pain and joy,
our questions and revelations, our tears and our laughter, our silence
and our songs. We yearn to "green" our faithful structures
as we continue to repair and renew them.
We know that this place called Wellspring is indeed one of the "thin
places" in this world where the veil between humanity and the
mystery of creator meet.
Our dreaming and our work keep us rooted in gratitude for this gift
entrusted to us. And you are so much a part of that gratitude, for
without you, we would have no reason to carry on our dream. As you
consider how to spend the sacred gift of your time in 2010, it is
our hope that you will join us for one or more of our events.
For Wellspring, for God's grace to serve in and through this "thin
place", for our yearnings and our dreams for the future, and
for all of you WE GIVE THANKS!
Gift of the Holy Spirit
I welcome pilgrims to Wellspring. Though mine is the privilege to
speak the words of welcome I know that role of host is not mine alone.
In truth, I am just one small part of the extravagant hospitality
The great host
is the One God, who welcomes each guest unconditionally. It is She
who provides this place of land, water and air--God's big book of
Scripture (as the Celtic Christians taught). God has given life to
ten thousand generations of chipmunk and deer, titmouse, vole and
hawk, worm, tick, mosquito, oak, moss and lichen who have been preparing
a welcome in this very place eons before our time.
There is little
we, the human stewards, can do to add to the welcome of this place
so gifted by the Holy Spirit. Yet, we seek to touch the heart and
all the senses of each pilgrim.
created simple buildings, with expansive views of nature and steeped
in love. We, the mission group have prayed for these pilgrims. We,
the staff have done our part to create a welcoming space.
A table with
fresh flowers greets them. The kitchens are shining, and the smell
of homemade bread awakens feelings of home. The fire is glowing in
the hearth. A simple bed, desk and chair are offered each guest.
And so, the welcome
table is prepared. Coming through the gate and down the gravel road,
pilgrims enter into the gift (some remark that they can feel the calm,
the grace of place). The ones who come early see the beauty of the
grounds in daylight; the ones who come late enter the mystery of night
in the woods. (top of column two)
We invite our readers to join us in offering hospitality through this
prayer for the pilgrims that come to Wellspring.
We pray, O God,
grant these pilgrims
rest from their labors.
Grant these pilgrims
release from the concerns that bow them down.
Grant these pilgrims respite
from the demands of culture.
Grant these pilgrims recognition of you
in the Earth Scripture around them.
Grant these pilgrims renewal of spirit
in the community they share.
Grant these pilgrims rebirth
into inspired followers of your way.
Grant that Wellspring may be home and hearth
for a little while.
Grant that Wellspring may be a welcome table
where they meet you.
May each pilgrim know your presence
in whatever language they speak. Amen
And the wall came tumbling
few months ago, Wellspring had the privilege of sharing what we do
best with a group of delightful people through one of our Becoming
the Gospel events. Not long after the event we received an email from
one of the participants telling us that one of the main walls in their
church had collapsed! Thankfully no one was buried under the stones.
Though tragic on some level, it would seem that the tumbling wall
would raise important questions: "What constitutes church? How
much of it has to do with physical structures? How are we to respond
when what we believe houses our lives of faith comes tumbling down?"
This type of event would certainly provide an opportunity to raise
anxiety, for many churches put a great deal of time, talent and treasure
into the maintenance of their place of worship. Especially given the
state of our economy, a costly capital expenditure to fix one's buildings
is not what we hope for. And yet, each time that we are presented
with a challenge of great magnitude, we are also provided with the
opportunity to plumb the depths of ourselves and our community a bit
more intentionally. A church leader preached these words to the congregation
about a month after the wall fell:
is an important turning point for you as a congregation. Instead of
calling it a Passover, you may call it "The Fall" or "The
Great Crumbling". Probably for at least the next hundred years,
people in [this parish] will look back on the decisions you will make
in response to the crumbling of your walls. This is a strategic fork-in-the-road
time for the life and mission of [this parish], both exciting and
a bit scary."
A bit scary? Hmmmm. As I pondered this part of his message I was reminded
of another sermon I'd heard recently, this one at Seeker's Church
in August of this year. The preacher that day spoke of how scary the
changes that accompany call can be and then she shared a delightful
insight: the words scared and sacred differ only through the reversal
of two letters!
Scared. Sacred. How do we move from one to the other? I suppose the
first question is: "Do we want to move away from our fears?"
If we can respond in the affirmative to that question then, perhaps,
we need to ask, "When have I been afraid and what has helped
me through that time?"
It has been my experience that when I'm scared I need God more than
ever but sometimes rather than living into that I fall into the temptation
to control my environment instead.
When the very air that we breathe seems infected with anxiety over
war, poverty, the state of the economy and its effect on millions
of people, an upcoming election, and so much more, it's no wonder
that many people find themselves scared.
It is during days like these that we discover how a place of beauty
and respite such as Wellspring is no longer a luxury but rather more
of a necessity.
On a good day we may turn to scripture, a meditative walk or a talk
with a spiritual director or therapist or trusted friend. At other
times we need to actually remove ourselves from the source of our
fear, out of this culture of violence and underlying panic to a place
where we are invited to drink of tranquility in the source of all
In this place that we call Wellspring, we invite you to name your
pain and to claim the source of your deepest joy. We invite you to
drink deeply from our well of hospitality, to rest from your labors.
We invite you to form bonds of community that assist you in doing
whatever work of the Spirit you and God have in mind for you. We provide
you with a place that creates portals in the reality of our lives
for the entrance of the Holy Spirit who longs to do her work of transformation.
Though each one of us is responsible for our own actions, single-handedly,
you and I cannot make changes in this world that will give birth to
God's justice which is our path to peace. But, corporately, we can
hear the call to serve more clearly, we can form bonds of connectivity
that will breed justice, life and peace.
And so we invite you to make as many retreats from the craziness of
your life as you need to transform the parts of your life that whisper,
"I'm scared" to become "I'm sacred." We are here
to offer you hospitality and gentle guidance according to your need.
So if the walls of your church or your life feel as though they might
come tumbling down, perhaps you can find a way to take some time to
rest in God. Relax, renew your spirit. The people in your life are
counting upon you to make wise decisions that will serve you and them
well into the future.
We are here to support you in your efforts to grow more and more fully
into the person that God calls you to be. We are here to help the
church to be the church - even when her lovely stone walls come tumbling
Scared. Sacred. If you need a place to experience holy rest that will
transform the former into the latter, do call us! alhm+
Our group joined in song as we came out of 15 hours in the Great
Silence. Slowly, one person after another got up for tea and scones.
As the last person rose, a spirit of joy was released. Jokes and good
humor and easy laughs were exchanged. We gathered in a tight bunch
with our hot mugs, closer together now than at any other time in the
event. I did not want that time to end. Was it being alone with the
Divine in silence that drove us closer to one another?
For many being silent and waiting for God is a chance to reconnect,
to remember who God is. It can be an experience of BEING with the
Source of all Being. And, God's grace abounds in the encounter. As
I seek to know God, God has guided me to deeper knowledge about who
I am. BEING with God leads me to a deeper BECOMING my true self.
This is just one example of the many unpredictable and liberating
leadings of the Spirit that seem to grace our Becoming the Gospel
events. I want to share these experiences with more and more people.
We give ourselves to each other in the four days of the event. We
journey together through the inward, outward and community experiences.
And the outcome in God's hands is unfailingly surprising and deep.
I have begun asking those I meet, "When is the last time that
you took time apart with God? What helped you to sustain your focus
on being present in the Presence?" How would you
answer? If it has been a while, why not join us for our up-coming
event this fall, or in 2009. Make a date with God. Put it on your
calendar, and join us in BEING with God and BECOMING the ones God
creates us to be. - Susan Q
To Heal a Broken World
..Doing Our Inner Work
to Start Fixing the World" This recent headline from the Washington
Post referred to a meeting of economic ministers from the world's
richest countries. They will try but they will not be able to fix
the world and they know it. At best, they will put a Band-Aid on it
and temporarily stop the bleeding. Now that millions are starving
and food riots are breaking out in many parts of the world, they are
getting worried and realize that their management of the world's financial
markets is breaking down.
But economic ministers
and the administrations that they represent can't heal the broken
world because they are breaking the Biblical economic law: "Nobody
shall have too little and nobody shall have too much." God prescribed
this law of manna through Moses for God's people. It is basic and
universal and applies today, especially to the power brokers who run
today's economy. Their system will continue to hold for a while, but
when too many have too little and too many have too much, which is
the case today, it will break down. God's plan of economic justice
will prevail in the long run. (continued on column