May 22nd, 2017
May 17th, 2017
Many of our Austin Mustard Seed community have been involved in work days to serve the residents of Community First! Village.
We have shoveled, weeded, gardened and built.
We have watched the Village grow from a few tents to a small city of integrated parts.
We have cried as new residents receive their housewarming basket and prayed blessings over their new homes.
For some of the residents, it is the first bed they have slept on in years. For many, the Village presents an opportunity for honest work and sustainable lifestyle.
Although it has been such a blessing to many of us to play a small part in the development of the Village, many of our AMS community have expressed interest in playing a part in the Village itself. We are asking the question “how can we become part of this amazing community where all of us come to the table as equals- regardless of material wealth, physical ability, or mental acuity?”
This is our opportunity to make it personal, to put names and faces and stories to the people we serve, and in return receive the blessing that only personal connection can bring. Community First has offered AMS opportunities for deepening our relationship with the Village.
To help answer this question we have developed a survey to help us gauge interest and commitment abilities of our community. The survey is short and sweet and leaves room for free text at the end so that you can share your ideas with us.
We want this to be a sustainable relationship with Community First, so please be realistic about what you can commit to. But also share your big dreams of how to share the gifts of Austin Mustard Seed with the residents at Community First.
Be watching for new opportunities to roll out this summer.
May 15th, 2017
John Chandler shares his hopes and desires for himself and the body of Austin Mustard Seed during his sabbatical.
May 8th, 2017
Our friend Gideon Tsang, from Vox Veniae, joins us with a challenge to change our minds.
Quotes and resources mentioned:
- When Jesus said, ‘(Change your minds),’ to his first disciples, he was calling them to change the direction in which they were looking for happiness. ‘(Changing our mind)’ is an invitation to grow up and become a fully mature human being. — Thomas Keating
- Powerlessness is our greatest treasure. Don’t try to get rid of it. Everything in us wants to get rid of it. Grace is sufficient for you, but not something you can understand. To be in too big a hurry to get over our difficulties is a mistake because you don’t know how valuable they are from God’s perspective, for without them you might never be transformed as deeply and as thoroughly. — Thomas Keating
- Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path. — Brene Brown
- Maturity is not the hallmark of our culture. Our culture is conspicuous for its obsession with ‘getting and spending’. Instead of becoming more, we either get more or do more. So it is not surprising that many people are offering to sell us maps for living better than we are without having to grow up: maps to financial security, sexual gratification, music appreciation, athletic prowess, a better car, a better job, a better education, a better vacation. As it turns out, the maps never get us to where we wanted to go: the more we get and do, the less we are. — Eugene Peterson
May 4th, 2017
Is this the place for me?
If you’ve visited Austin Mustard Seed, we hope you had fun and felt welcomed.
Chances are you’ve still got questions. You might be wondering:
- Who are these people?
- Why did they start a church?
- What is most important to them?
We will answer these questions and a lot more at our next Primer, this Sunday evening, May 7.
There will also be pizza from East Side Pies (it’s on us).
We’ll meet at the Kevin and Macy Baker’s house (7609 Eastcrest) at 6pm. We look forward to sharing a bit of our story and hearing a bit of yours.
We’ll also have lots of time to discuss any questions you might have.
Email Chris Morton to RSVP.
April 30th, 2017
April Karli invites us to the table found in Emmaus.
Quotes and resources mentioned:
- Never suppose that God is more “there” than “here,” or more “then” than
“now.” For the Father is always working—in all places, at all times, in all people. The steadfast love of God fills the entire earth (Psalm 33:15). — Greg Boyd in Present Perfect
- The Eucharist is a profoundly communal meal that reorients us from people who are merely individualistic consumers into people who are, together, capable of imaging Christ in the world. Of course, eating itself reminds us that none of us can stay alive on our own. If you are breathing, it’s because someone fed you. We are born hungry and completely dependent on others to meet our needs. In this way the act of eating reorients us from an atomistic, independent existence toward one that is interdependent. But the Eucharist goes even further. In it, we feast on Christ, and are thereby mysteriously formed together into one body, the body of Christ. — Tish Harrison Warren in Liturgy of the Ordinary
April 26th, 2017
Chris Morton shares about how Jesus meets people.
“The means of our communication needs to be gentle, because gentleness also characterizes the subject of our communication. What we are seeking to defend or explain is Jesus himself, who is a gentle, loving shepherd. If we are not gentle in how we present the good news, how will people encounter the gentle and loving Messiah we want to point to? And finally, in an age shaped by feuding intellectual commitments and cultural battles over religion, science, truth, and morality, how will we get a hearing by merely insisting that we have truth and reason on our side? Many have made these claims before us. Some in a spirit of aggression, some in fear, and some in arrogance. Our apologetic happens in a context, and that context is strewn with enmity, hostility, abuse, and other opposition, which ultimately contradict the very things our message lifts up. That is why our apologetic has to embody the message and person we want to communicate. Only with ‘gentleness and reverence’ will people be able to see, verify, and be persuaded to respond to what we have to say.”
Dallas Willard, The Allure of Gentleness
April 19th, 2017
A “disciple” is simply a learner.
We’re all called to be disciples. Those of us a little further down the road have the opportunity to disciple others.
One is the most obvious opportunities (especially at Austin Mustard Seed) is the opportunity to disciple our kids.
Whether you have are a parent, aunt, uncle or friend, you have the opportunity to help disciple our kids. This can be intimidating. Where do you even start?
One time, Jesus’ teaching was interrupted by eager parents who wanted him to pray for their kids.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Even if you aren’t a parent or a teacher, you can be like Jesus: present, available and excited to interact with our kids.
That’s where their discipleship starts.
Our next Family Meeting is Sunday, April 23 from 4-6 pm. April Karli has led an effort to interview all of us who interact with kids.
Her team will share their favorite stories and dreams about what we can each do to love and serve our kids.
The meeting will take place at the home of Levi, Abel and Ava Summers, 2200 Langford Cove.
Dinner will not be provided, but bring fruits and vegetables to share.
April 17th, 2017
John Chandler reminded us that, wherever we come from, it’s good for us to hear the Easter story again..
Quotes and links mentioned:
- The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
— Philip Larkin
- The resurrection life is a practice. It’s not something we practice like practicing musical scales or practicing our golf swing. It is practice in the more inclusive sense in which we say a physician has a practice—work that deﬁnes both his or her character and workday. — Eugene Peterson
- Prototype, by Jonathan Martin
April 13th, 2017
One of the things that excites me about teaching the kids on Sundays during liturgy is when they have lightbulb moments.
This past Sunday was the most recent one.
As we read the story of Passion Week, from Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem all the way to the cross, one of the kids, who I was certain was not paying attention, suddenly interrupted. “Oh! Oh! But Jesus didn’t stay dead. Right? He rose again!” he shouted, bright-eyed and eager to share his new discovery.
This was a lightbulb moment! He was putting the pieces together of a story he’d heard many times in his young life which, until Sunday, had been somewhat disjointed to him.
It was fun to watch that happen on Sunday.
On Sunday, April 23 we are having a Family Meeting to share more stories like that one. We’ll explore ways we can build meaningful relationships with the kids in our community as well as how we can walk alongside parents as they disciple their kids at home.
Family Meetings are for our ENTIRE church community. Whether you are a parent, a volunteer in our kids’ time or a regular participant in liturgy or a midweek group, your voice at this meeting is important.
The meeting is from 4-6pm at the home of Levi, Abel and Ava Summers’.
There won’t be childcare, but kids are invited and welcome.