This is Who We Are: Emily Parks

November 12th, 2014 | John Chandler

This is Who We Are is an interview series where the women and men of Austin Mustard Seed introduce themselves. If you’d like to participate, send an email to Chris Morton.


We’re back after a short hiatus in the This is Who We Are Series and happy to introduce you to Emily, one of the friendly faces that makes Austin Mustard Seed feel like home.

Where is the most exciting place you have traveled? Colorado is one of my favorite getaways, but I’m usually most excited about whichever destination I’m packing for next. My explorations have included whitewater rafting in the Swiss Alps, hiking to backcountry teahouses in the Canadian Rockies, trying my hand at fly fishing on the Gunnison River, beach camping on a remote Panamanian Island, and solo-backpacking through parts of Europe. New Zealand is at the top of my wish list to go someday!

What was the last movie you watched that you really enjoyed? I recently watched “Chef,” starring Jon Favreau. It indulged my love of food, road trips, Austin-y cameos, and… did I mention food?? Pro tip: Do not try to watch this movie hungry.

What hobbies do you have? My active Wheaten mix demands to be my main hobby, so it’s a good thing I adore her! My family still prioritizes a cherished weekly get-together. In addition, I enjoy leisurely day hikes, music, film, coffee houses, and exploring new places around town. I’m a supporter of Habitat for Humanity (ask me about Habitat Young Professionals) and a brand new fitness member of the Camp Gladiator community (eek!).

Where did you grow up? I’m a native Austinite, which I’ve been told basically makes me a rare unicorn ‘round here. (Something about transplants infiltrating this city at a rate of ~158/day. Just kidding, welcome! Have some delicious tacos!) Feel free to ask me Austin-y questions, or better yet, fill me in on what it’s like to live elsewhere!

Where did you go to school? My immediate family is composed of Longhorns, but I broke the mold by studying Marketing at Baylor. Keep Waco wacko! Sic’em, bears! Keep winning the footballs!

What is your favorite story or verse in scripture? Romans 8 is full of goodness, but I’m particularly grateful for verses 26-27 as a simple but beautiful picture of how God meets us in our weakness and inadequacy:

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (NASB) Romans 8:26-27

What is one thing you love about Austin Mustard Seed? (Only one thing??! You’re killing me, Smalls.) I was immediately grateful for the simplicity and intentionality of the liturgy and rituals at aMS. I’ve been to plenty of churches that are trapped in the exhausting, vicious cycle of over-producing or out-performing the week before. In contrast, the gatherings at aMS leave space and energy for focus on relationships (with some really wonderful people, by the way) and thoughtful messages. Thanks for being awesome, aMS!

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