March 26th, 2017
Mason Parva guided us through reading and reflection on John 9:1-12 for this fourth week of lent.
Art and poetry used:
the ARTWORSHIP project by Jamie and Jeremy Wells
“The Sorrowful Saint” by Scott Erickson.
the ARTWORSHIP project by Jamie and Jeremy Wells
Eucharist // Robert Deeble
Second round before the count,
the gloves went off, we both went down.
Blindsided by the distance you were just in reach.
I watched the towers fall on your TV.
Stumbling Hands and burning eyes,
we hold our own, then compromise
I just want to begin again,
I just want to live in our own skin.
I think it’s kind of strange,
we get so close we get estranged.
We get so close, we get estranged.
Forty days and forty nights,
Noah watched the river rise.
You flood again, I go for wood,
all our years misunderstood.
We get so close we get estranged.
Walk into mass, the ceilings high with loftiness
and lowered eyes.
The sound of choirs, a slow caress,
covers wounds my heart has dressed.
A Lover’s quarrel, all in duress,
I fold my arms for Eucharist
We fell in love – we got enmeshed,
bless me father I’m a mess…
Bless me father I’m a mess.
to grow deaf ears // Mason Parva
Days like today I awake to find
another beside me in my sheets,
who greets me and whispers into my ear
quiet words of unworthiness.
I toss to my side, blanketing face
to shield it from the sun,
pretend to have fallen back asleep
and never to have heard,
hoping to be left alone a little longer.
Outside the birds chirp all at once
As if none could wait to take its turn
to deliver an urgent message to me.
I listen and I hear it again –
murmured words of unworthiness.
In the kitchen the teapot cries
Like a boy with pavement on his elbow,
And the cabinets croak like weathered smokers,
And the dishes chink and meet together,
And the microwave hums
And the microwave pops
And the microwave beeps
And all I hear are words –
the same, sad words –
louder words of unworthiness.
At the window seat I spoon my oats
And watch a neighbor waddle outside,
hugging a heaping laundry bag to her chest,
leaving a trail of garments behind
lest she lose her way back home.
The spoon rings as I scrape it
against an empty bowl — gathering
remainders like a man gathers dropped
change at the bus station kiosk —
Ceramic and silver in a shouting match
raising words ever louder
painful, hurtful words,
I turn from the window to hide myself
and pause before I double
to wash the bowl without a faucet.
I cup my eyes like someone waiting
for permission to see a gift
Then wiping down to dry on my shirt
I hear myself join the chorus,
and aloud I am yelling words,
screaming all these words
I give it time before I stand
bowl and spoon drop in the sink —
cabinets slam —
blinds tumble —
I let them speak however they would.
Days like today I curse and wonder
If any places are silent places
If there is any great way to escape the noise,
the painful noise that comes with hearing
If ever a man could grow deaf ears,
for him who has ears
to learn not to hear
(words of unworthiness)
Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/1252682038/playlist/41sO3RsElJuNKuupBeeerR
March 20th, 2017
Chris Morton shared some thoughts on worshipping in Spirit and in truth.
March 12th, 2017
Shane Blackshear continues our Lenten reflections with one of the most famous sections of the Bible.
Quotes and resources mentioned:
- “…the Plan of Salvation can be preached apart from the story(of Israel). When the plan gets separated from the story, the plan almost always becomes abstract, propositional, logical, rational, and philosophical and, most importantly, de-storified and unbiblical. When we separate the Plan of Salvation from the story, we cut ourselves off the story that identifies us and tells our past and tells our future. We separate ourselves from Jesus and turn the Christian faith into a System of Salvation. | There’s more. We are tempted to turn the story of what God is doing in this world through Israel and Jesus Christ into a story about me and my own personal salvation. In other words, the plan has a way of cutting the story from a story about God and God’s Messiah and God’s people into a story about God and one person — me — and in this the story shifts from Christ and community to individualism.” -Scot McKnight, King Jesus Gospel
- “It is ironic that America, with its history of injustice to the poor, especially the black man and the Indian, prides itself on being a Christian nation.” -James Cone
- “I’m looking for a second reformation. The first reformation of the church 500 years ago was about beliefs. This one is going to be about behavior. The first one was about creeds. This one is going to be about deeds. It is not going to be about what does the church believe, but about what is the church doing.” — Rick Warren
March 8th, 2017
Spring Midweek Groups kick off this Sunday at the Midweek Group Scrimmage. Here are three things you can expect this quarter.
Five New(ish) Groups
For the last few quarters we’ve had four group meeting throughout Austin and Round Rock. Some of these will be returning, and some will be changing.
The three groups that will be returning are:
- Round Rock/North Austin (at the Blackwells)
- Northwest Austin (at the Allens)
- Northeast Austin (at the Summers)
We’re also starting two central groups. This will incorporate our existing central group as well as help us expand and create space for new participants.
Four Ways to Participate
Jesus once taught that we should not swear, but let our “yes be yes” and our “no be no.” While the circumstances have changed, this principle is as important than ever. Our culture of instant access makes it easy not to commit.
On the other hand, depending on our season of life, commitment is difficult. Babies, new job, commutes and more may mean we have to “bow out” of participating right now.
- Host—Open your home during some or all of the 10 week quarter for Midweek Groups to gather.
- Facilitator—Communicate with Midweek Groups to ensure participants know when and where they will gather and that someone leads discussion times.
- Participant—To the best of your ability, regularly attend, listen to others, help with meals and kids.
- Take a Break—During this season of life, you won’t be committing to a Spring midweek group. Choosing this option is a simple way of saying “not this time, thank you!”
An Essential Scrimmage
We’re committed to being a church that “Practices the Way of Jesus.” Sometimes that requires a literal practice session.
Back by popular demand, April Karli will present on practical ways to include kids in your Midweek Group.
Drawing on pastoral and counseling experience, Kevin Jordan provide us with practical guidance on how to better listen to each other.
Sign Up for Your Spring Midweek Group Below:
March 5th, 2017
John Chandler invites us to embrace the wilderness that comes with the season of Lent.
Quotes and resources mentioned:
- Lenten penitence engages the dark places in our lives that we may come face to face with them, name them, understand them, and seek forgiveness for them. It is not about guilt. It is about freedom from the control that our fears and insecurities have over us all, about the amendment of life and new beginnings. — Maryetta Anschutz
- The tragedy for us, of course, is that we continually forget who we are. We catch a glimpse of our belovedness, but without the gift of the wilderness—those times of silence and solitude when we come face-to-face with ourselves and with God—it doesn’t always stick. So as we re-immerse ourselves in the world of flashing screens, buzzing smartphones, and competing voices, we’re prone to sliding back into doubt, discouragement, and disillusionment. We don’t always hear the voice of the devil as it sounds in the wilderness—disjointed, absurd, obvious, easy to detect against the sparse landscape of solitude. — Jonathan Martin
March 3rd, 2017
Sunday Liturgy moves to The Orange Chapel beginning this Sunday! We’ll meet at the Rosedale Baptist Church building at 4400 Maybelle at 10:30 am for community, confession and coffee.
There’s a lot of work to do to get ready, so we hope you’ll join us on Saturday at 2pm for the Setup and Cleaning Party.
There are also costs involved. Learn how you can help with “Spacewarming” here.
See you Sunday!
March 3rd, 2017
Chris Morton ties up our study of Philippians.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” Philippians 4:8
March 2nd, 2017
This weekend, we’ll be having our first Sunday Liturgy in our new space at “The Orange Chapel” at 4400 Maybelle.
We have a great opportunity to make this space a home.
One big need is for specific items for our kid’s classrooms. Below is a list or what we’ll need.
To donate a specific item from the list, contact April Karli.
To donate financially, click HERE.
- Glider/Rocking Chair
- Changing table (2)
- Diaper genie (2)
- Floor cushions/bean bags
March 1st, 2017
I watched as smoke from my cigar ascended like Elijah and dissipated into dead space. So were my thoughts on that lonely night in Idaho – disembodied and estranged from myself.
I thought about my life that night — about my past experiences, my future ambitions. I thought about a God above and the ground below. I thought about the ash from my cigar — fragile, heather flakes reminding me of what I’d become.
I thought about how Time has a way of ridding us – it takes its finger and taps us away until we are dust on the earth. It gives itself to us then its gone. It smothers us into earth’s ash trays, tossing us upon heaps of what once was. I thought about how one day I’d simply be what once was.
As I thought I became anxious and as I became anxious, afraid. With each thought Time was working on me. The moment I felt I measured Time’s work I found I was short: as I stopped to mark it – for even the briefest moment — Time had continued its labor without me! Even as I sat in the void of Idaho — the empty vacuum of Idaho! — Time was burning my life and I couldn’t control it. As hard as I tried there wasn’t a thing I could do to stop it, to change it, to slow it down. With each moment, another little ash flake was falling off and floating down to earth. With every thought I was closer to being gone.
I tried to save hope that night. I thought about when Time would have its final say. Having no way to stop it, to slow it, to divert it or distract it and utterly no way to know how much of myself was left to burn, I wondered if there was anything at all worthy of hope. I wondered how I’d consider my life on my deathbed, should I ever get such a luxury. I wondered how my loved ones, how God would consider my life. I decided the hope of my life — the single hope — is that it would taste sweet upon its exhale in the moments before it vanishes and is forgotten.
And so it was in Idaho that night that I considered the age old saying “ash to ash, dust to dust.” And how is it that at such a thought I could ever see myself the same?
February 21st, 2017
In March, Austin Mustard Seed will begin gathering for Sunday liturgy in the building of Rosedale Baptist Church. We are thankful for their hospitality, and excited for the opportunity to create a space that best serves our “work of the people.”
Here’s what we look forward to in this new season of Austin Mustard Seed:
- A space to gather that we can arrange and decorate to best serve our liturgy… and that we can leave setup most weeks.
- Classrooms of our own that we can furnish and equip to be inviting and safe… and a much shorter walk from the chapel.
- A snug room for young families to care for their little ones…or maybe just let their kids toddle a bit.
- Space to grow as we invite others to share in our liturgy… and with a cup of coffee in hand throughout.
But we’ll need some help to make the most of these spaces:
- We’ve never had classrooms of our own, so we’ll require furnishings and fun stuff for each of them.
- We’ll make sure to have plenty of new signs to help people find their way.
- We need some additional equipment and decor to make ourselves at home in the chapel.
We want to raise $10,000 to make the best use of this space. If you are part of our community, we hope you’ll consider participating beyond your regular giving. If you are a friend of our community, thanks for considering how you might join us in this opportunity.
Here’s how you can participate: