This year, 2016, MICAH turns 15 and we reflect on a few milestones in our journey thus far.
Where does a story start?
Threads of our lives reach back into the misty past, seemingly with no end. Every beginning preceded by another story that sets the stage for what emerges next. And which starting point we choose effects the way a story is seen and told and heard.
This year (2016) the Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing (MICAH) turns 15. Also this year, Dan and Debra celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. One place to begin the MICAH story is with their wedding. Because for presents, they asked for donations to a healing and retreat center that didn’t exist but was their dream. Fifteen years later MICAH, which wasn’t the first attempt, began.
Ironically, by the time they moved to Crookston, they’d given up on the Center idea. They had tried it elsewhere, and tried to find other places to join but nothing stuck. So the new plan was to settle into jobs and family life, get the kids launched into the world and then reassess.
Yet during the Advent season of 2001 Dan began having dreams whose message was ‘build my Center.’ Since answering ‘No’ appeared to result in sleepless nights, Dan reluctantly agreed to start the endeavor, but with no expectation of success.
This time, things took off. The Crookston Presbyterian Church was extremely supportive. People came to the weekly ‘MICAH meetings,’ prayer and discernment gatherings that are the heart of the MICAH process. Others in the community appeared when help was needed.
Then 10 years ago, the Everett family - Trey, Corene and their kids - moved to Crookston where they have been part of the MICAH process every since.
The MICAH Experience
As plans took shape, the MICAH team noticed that when they shared their visions the first response from folks was usually, “Wow.” Over time, we’ve used this reaction as a gauge to help us know whether we’re on track or not. Years later the first thing people most often say when they walk into our retreat house is “Wow.”
Many activities and programs have been part of the MICAH experience. Yet these are not the ‘heart of the matter,’ the core of what MICAH is about. Rather, the practice of contemplation in community is the essence of what we seek to do and be in the world.
Committed to spiritual life and leadership, healing, and the arts we engage in these endeavors out of the ground of our practice, the deep listening for the wisdom of the Spirit. Through this process we hope to follow and manifest God’s call for healing and wholeness in a broken world.
What is Success?
Although we don’t judge ourselves by statistics, it is certainly one lens that the world around us uses to assess ‘success.’ Thus at 15 we can reflect on a few milestones which appear to indicate that we’ve been some help to the world.
Since we began we have:
- Acquired 240 acres of beautiful land by the Red Lake River where we eventually built a sustainable design retreat house. Many people contributed hundreds of hours towards the creation of this healing space.
- Provided almost $2 million in free or reduced cost healthcare.
- Had almost 500,000 people visit us through our website.
- Reached tens of thousands of people directly though various retreats and other programs both nationally and internationally.
- Reached tens of thousands of people indirectly through publications.
- Hosted two conferences on cutting edge issues: Science and Theology and Religious
We are proud of these activities, but even more happy that we’ve been able to gather and be still and listen with so many over this span of time.
We wish for a better world. We pray for peace and for a healing of the great alienation that effects us all. We thank all who have been part of the MICAH story so far and we welcome you to join us as we walk the path together.
The MICAH team
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3811 10th Ave S.
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