Servant Song Ministries

 Where it all began...

   Where it all began is really difficult to say. But the ''seed'' of an ecumenical retreat house and spirituality center in Waynesburg-planted in our hearts over 20 years earlier-began to germinate around New Year's Day 2005. The thought of it all just wouldn't go away. So with much prayer, reflection, spiritual direction, and discernment, we stepped onto the new path that would lead us to Servant Song Ministries.

   We had stepped onto this path three times in earlier years, but each time doors closed before us and we knew the time was ''not yet." So we waited....and waited....and waited. This time was different--God literally made a way where there was no way! Each day God made us aware of what needed to be done and how we ought to do it. Sometimes we just had a sense that we should do something--not really understanding why--only to find it to be a necessary piece of the whole plan.

   Daily we marveled at the unfolding! On Ash Wednesday, February 9, 2005, Larry and I filed incorporation papers creating Servant Song Ministries. On February 14, 2005, Servant Song Ministries became a registered PA nonprofit corporation in Pennsylvania. A board of directors and a core ministry team was assembled. The next task at-hand was to find an appropriate facility to call ''home.'' In May, through a very generous sales offer and equity donation from the property's previous owners, Tom and Gretel Smith, Servant Song was able to purchase the house that would become its retreat house and spirituality center. With the sale completed in early July, renovations began to transform the 105-year old Victorian home into a facility that would accommodate a number of overnight retreat guests and provide the meeting and quiet spaces needed, while maintaining the home's traditional appeal.

   In November, seven months after our initial application, we received IRS designation as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization, retroactive to February 14, 2005, our date of incorporation. As a public charity, Servant Song could now receive charitable contributions that would be tax-deductible to donors.

   While renovations took longer than originally anticipated, with God's grace, guidance, and His gifts of unbelievable strength and endurance in family and friends who helped, the house was finally ready to open. The New Year was busy with final preparations to actively begin the ''work'' we've been called to.

   With great rejoicing, Servant Song Ministries officially opened its Retreat House and Spirituality Center with a blessing service and dedication on January 28, 2006, followed by an open house and catered reception that continued Sunday, January 29th. It was awesome! The first prayer in the service began ''Almighty and everlasting God, grant to this home the grace of Your presence . . . ." God certainly answered that prayer as we heard comments throughout the weekend, ''you can feel the presence of God when you walk in the door!'' Everyone enjoyed the fellowship and delicious refreshments too.

   Our regular weekly ministry events began immediately, and overnight retreats soon followed. People who come to Servant Song are met with welcome, listening hearts, compassionate understanding, love, and acceptance. Many have said that during their time here, they have experienced profound peace, joy, forgiveness, and a fresh realization of his/her preciousness before God. Others have experienced improvement/healing in physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

   From the beginning, a future plan at Servant Song was to someday utilize a second, small cottage on the property that was rented to a private individual. We trusted God would let us know when the time was "right" to do so . . . . Events began to unfold in August and September 2015, which led our board to believe that "now" was perhaps that time. Through much prayerful discernment and "listening", our board made the decision that we believe was God-directed to open the cottage on October 1, 2015, to provide additional retreat space that allows us to accommodate larger (as many as 20) and/or multiple retreats!

"The Burning Bush" was chosen as the name for the cottage. Our choice, which mirrors Servant Song's vision statement, was based on Exodus 3: 2, 4-5, 7-8: 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. . . 4God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”. . . 7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people . . . I have heard them crying out . . . I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them . . . and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land. . . Using the ordinary, God did extraordinary things. . . . We expect the same in this holy place!

   Our name ''Servant Song'' comes from the First Song of the Servant, Isaiah 42:6-8. This is our call--this is our vision. Our logo symbolizes a heart afire--we are ''servants'' with hearts afire to serve God and one another.

   The very existence of Servant Song itself is witness to the power of God as described in Ephesians 3:20, ''Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine."

All for the Glory of God!                                                                                                                                    Donna Koller, Co-Founder