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February 5th, 2018

Seek Opportunities (2018.02.04 Sermon)


John Chandler continues our new Mission & Methods series with a teaching on our fourth method: We seek opportunities to expand beyond a fellowship of sameness to reflect the breadth of God’s kingdom.
Quotes & Resources Mentioned:

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January 29th, 2018

Develop Connections (2018.01.28 Sermon)


John Chandler continues our new Mission & Methods series with a teaching on our third method: We develop connections that teach us to how to love those who are not a part of a community of Jesus.
Quotes & Resources Mentioned:

  • You Made it Weird: Penn Jillette
  • Eternity in Their Hearts, by Don Richardson
  • Reclaiming Conversation, by Sherry Turkle
  • …it was often the case that I had more questions than answers.  Therefore, we are looking for a church that is Christ-centered where people are free to wrestle with God and theology, and hence where there is freedom for theological diversity in the non-essentials (of course, this begs the question of how we are to distinguish between essentials and nonessentials).  It seemed to us from our one visit Sunday that this is the kind of church that Mustard Seed may be.   — Kevin Jordan
  • Having a large group of friends who don’t identity as Christian has been one of the most enriching experiences in my life. When I posture myself to listen and receive their stories as valuable and lovingly woven by God, I learn so much about his character through them. Not only that, I learn about myself. When we sit around the table with all our laughter and tears and questions, I experience something of the community I’d like to think Jesus envisioned for us. When I sit across from “the other” and choose to see God in the fabric of their being, I’m reminded that they too are my sister, my brother. I see a facet of God I could not have seen had I only engaged with people of similar thoughts and experiences to mine. — Madelynn Marlow
  • If you don’t feel like you have to evangelize someone away from their team and onto yours, you can speak of Jesus much more freely, and thus, more effectively. — Carl Medearis in Speaking of Jesus

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January 22nd, 2018

Cultivate Relationships (2018.01.21 Sermon)


John Chandler continues our new Mission & Methods series with a teaching on our second method: We cultivate relationships that lead to both friendship and formation.
Quotes & Resources Mentioned:

  • It’s time for Apple to make a less addictive iPhone — New York Times
  • Time Well Spent: We are building a new organization dedicated to reversing the digital attention crisis and realigning technology with humanity’s best interests.
  • How a handful of companies control billions of minds every day — Tristan Harris TED Talk
  • What if we thought of ourselves in simpler terms: friends together in the Kingdom of God. We’d have much more patience with one another. We’d give each other a break. We’d follow Jesus’s words in his sermon on the mount: Be easy on people. We’d laugh more often. We’d have plenty of gentle space for people to move among us without our clinging to them or expecting them to fill some role for us or for our church. Nothing would be at stake. When I’m with a true friend, I’m free to ponder out loud, to both wonder and wander, to head in the wrong direction, to be foolish—because love sustains us. — Winn Collier in Love Big, Be Well
  • As a life-long lone-wolfer and introvert, my goals used to involve never being “needy” and I thought I was doing something heroic by taking on life with just me and God. Leaning into community and vulnerability to experience God in a deeper way was never really something I thought I wanted or needed. (Arrogant much?!) Through a strong community group, some brilliant and gracious friends, combined with the eye-opening words of Brene Brown (mostly “Daring Greatly”), I believe that being “needy” is synonymous with being human and I’m a better mom/wife/friend/human within the context of community than I could ever dream of being without. — Rachel Allen
  • Perhaps the most significant way that relational connection has been formational for me is through receiving genuine love and care from people when I’ve been most vulnerable. Experiences where people have seen my innermost, imperfect self and still loved me have been deeply healing to me. Becoming a more whole person has increased my capacity know others, their stories, their vulnerabilties, and offer them love and care, which, hopefully, brings healing to them too. — April Karli
  • We have a tendency to associate and categorize people into groups as it makes us feel safe. There is low risk of vulnerability when you are part of a group. As a Christian I am learning that choosing to be in relationship requires intentionality. Relationship requires vulnerability and it is through relationship that we are able to see past the group identity and connect with the individual (Imago Dei). It is through relationship with the individual, that I learn more about God and what it means to love the Imago Dei. — Jason Carrion
  • Vulnerability is something we instinctively reject because we are taught from kindergarten on that we must protect ourselves, control her behavior and our lives. But in becoming man for us, Christ made himself totally vulnerable for us in Jesus of Nazareth, and it is not possible to be a Christian while refusing to be vulnerable. — Madeleine L’Engle in Walking on Water

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January 15th, 2018

Learn Practices (2017.01.14 Sermon)


John Chandler continues our new Mission & Methods series with a teaching on our first method: We learn practices of Jesus so that we can know, love and follow him.
Quotes & Resources Mentioned:

  • Peter was overwhelmed by the “otherness” of Jesus. Holiness is, fundamentally, otherness or separateness from the ordinary realm of human existence in which we believe we know what we are doing and what is going on. It is the idea of “something else,” in current terminology. Peter was saying, “Lord you are something else altogether from me! How can you stand to be around me?” This “something else” presented in Jesus and his gospel makes it starkly clear that we are something dreadfully less. It is the burning sense of this that both breaks our pride and confidence and makes us long to be a disciple. — Dallas Willard
  • Willingness to leave “everything” behind—one’s family, possessions, status, economic security, and identity itself—in order to join in Jesus’ ministry of the good news of God’s reign characterizes all of Jesus’ followers. It has implications for the nature and norms of the new community being formed around Jesus, which form the basis of the church. — Sharon Ringe
  • Kristin and I have learned a great deal by practicing the spiritual disciplines of being present and self-aware. Practicing self awareness allows us to focus less on defending our hearts by slipping into coping strategies and more on living with open hearts, full of life and trust in God and others. — Ross Gebhart

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January 8th, 2018

Our Mission (2018.01.07 Sermon)


John Chandler leads into our new Mission & Methods series with a look our updated mission statement: To form communities of Jesus who experience and expand God’s work of renewal together.
Quotes & Resources Mentioned:

  • “In what sense, then, can he be said to have finished his work? In the light of all we can know about the preaching and practice of Paul, we would have to answer that through his preaching and through the work of the Holy Spirit there have been formed throughout the region communities of men and women who are being offered acceptably to God as the firstfruit of the Gentiles.” — Lesslie Newbigin in The Open Secret
  • “We are now well on our way to becoming a classless society. These will be the classes in the classless society. There will be the very small group of people like us, here at this table, who control the screens and the tablets and the phones and the monitor shades that people use to view and manipulate their world. Then there will be the normals, everyone else, who’ve ceded a fragment of their will to power to us…” — a character in Version Control by Dexter Palmer

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December 11th, 2017

Advent 2 — Joy (2017.12.10 Sermon)


Gideon Tsang, our friend and pastor of Vox Veniae, continued our Advent reflections with an invitation to live with joy.
Quotes and Resources:

  • “If I do not feel a sense of joy in God’s creation, if I forget to offer the world back to God with thankfulness, I have advanced very little upon the Way. I have not yet learnt to be truly human. For it is only through thanksgiving that I can become myself.” — Kallistos Ware
  • “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” — Meister Eckhart
  • “My own personal task is not simply that of poet and writer; it is basically to praise God out of an inner center of silence, gratitude, and ‘awareness.’…my task is simply the breathing of this gratitude from day to day, in simplicity, and for the rest turning my hand to whatever comes, work being part of praise, whether splitting logs or writing poems, or best of all simple notes.” — Thomas Merton
  • “Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about God.” — Thomas Merton
  • “I don’t think you can make a decision that ‘I’m going to be present.’ What does that mean?… But if you’re actively noticing things – so you’re going to go home tonight and, if you live with somebody, notice five new things about that person. And what will happen is, the person will start to come alive for you again, and that facilitates the relationship… And this person that you thought you knew will feel different, and that person will respond to you differently.” — Ellen Langer
  • “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”

  • TED Talk: Megan Phelps-Roper

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December 3rd, 2017

Advent 1 — Mark 1:1-3 (2017.12.03 Sermon)


John Chandler Advent, and the new Christian year, with a look at the arrival of Jesus as told by the Gospel of Mark.
Quotes and Resources:

  • “proclaiming Jesus is not a philosophical concept or the most recent speculative homiletical theory. It means that proclaiming Jesus to generate hope is grounded in this world and should have an impact on this world.” — Luke Powery
  • Wikipedia: Triumphal Arch article

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November 30th, 2017

Catechesis: Community Questions Bonus Round Podcast


Chris Morton and John Chandler close out our Catechesis series with another round of questions that didn’t make it into the sermon on Sunday.
Questions Responded to:

  • What is heaven/what might the kingdom of God coming look like?
  • Did Jesus die to save us and be a sacrifice for our sin or was it something else?
  • What is salvation?
  • What is hell? Does it exist?
  • Is God sovereign?

Other resources mentioned:

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November 27th, 2017

Catechesis: Community Questions (2017.11.26 Sermon)


April Karli, Shane Blackshear, and John Chandler close out our eight week discussion series, “Catechesis: What the Church Has Always Believed”, by responding to questions submitted by our community.
Questions Responded to:

  • What are the essential beliefs a church should hold to be considered Christian?
  • In what sense is the bible “inspired” by God? We often hear about how the bible is both human and divine in its origin. Does that mean part of the bible is from human origin and part is from a divine origin? If so, how do we decide which part is divine and which is human?
  • It sometimes frustrates me that God, who wants all Christians “to be one”, chose to communicate to us through a book that is so old, so ingrained in ancient cultures and worldviews, and so easy to misunderstand and misinterpret, or to interpret in more ways than one. What are we to do with all that? Why did God go about communicating to us in this way?
  • How should we approach the debate between creationism and evolution?
  • Who should we pray to in the Trinity? Father, son, or spirit?
  • How does God as Trinity inform our relationships to God, the earth, and other humans?
  • What about Revelation and end times?

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