Mishkhah was founded in January 2010 by Kate Eaton to reveal the mystery of Christ by stirring the senses and opening the heart. Through careful integration of music, images, textures, found objects, light, movement and prayer, we are invited to rediscover the landscape of our souls as we encounter the Holy.
Mishkhah is grounded in the beauty and wonder of the tradition, sacraments and architecture of Anglicanism. Kate brings her experience in directing the arts and music for the first 20 seasons of the Wilderness, a Sunday night service at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver, CO. Since 2007, the Wilderness has drawn hundreds of new worshipers and regularly gathers a congregation of 100+.
Since founding Mishkhah, Kate has partnered with churches, conventions, conferences and a seminary to share her experience in creating worship environments. Her passion lies in returning to the rhythm of the liturgy and to spiritual practices that have shaped people’s lives over centuries. She has found that imagining new environments for worship does not need to compete with the current worship of the community. Mishkhah encourages an exploration of the history of the community and a reconnection with the wisdom of its founders. It is here in this meeting of past and present that something new can be born.
The name “Mishkhah” is reminiscent of the ancient Aramaic and Hebrew words for “anointing.” On pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Kate observed a monk pouring oil on “the stone of anointing” while saying his prayers in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This stone marks the traditional site of the preparation of Jesus’ body for burial. As she came closer, she noticed the oil had a wonderful fragrance. The monk was soaking it up into numerous small pieces of fabric and placing them into his satchel, to take home to friends and relatives. Kate found this oil in a small store and discovered that it was myrrh, a precious oil used as one of the burial spices for the body of Jesus.
Kate began including these kinds of sacred encounters in the spiritual environments she created for the Wilderness and that now are at the heart of Mishkhah. Each gathering that Mishkhah creates opens the door to a mystical encounter with God, as people are invited to move around the worship space and to engage all the senses. Kate designs these spaces to support the liturgy or prayer service by incorporating the themes of feast days, seasons and readings from the Scriptures.
Mishkhah fosters worship and prayer environments that enable us to fall into the embrace of our Creator. New rhythms in our breathing open us to ancient truths. We sense the possibility of healing and move out into the world again, restored and hopeful.