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Wednesday: Women’s Story Night

June 26th, 2017

Chris Morton

The summer is upon us and that means Story Nights!

Our first Women’s Story Night is Wednesday at 6:30pm, at the home of Melissa Summers. (For address and information, email us at info@austinmustardseed.org.)

We’ll do two things at Women’s Story Night:

  1. Eat Food
  2. Listen to each other

How Story Night Works

Story Night is a chance for one person to share a story, and for the rest of us to practice listening. This is a sacred space where we grow closer, and where we learn to hear the guidance of God’s Spirit. 

Two storytellers are needed to share about a recent or powerful moment in their lives that they are still processing. You can read a one page description of how the storytelling works herePlease email us and let us know if you’d like to participate.

Wednesday: Men’s Story Night

June 13th, 2017

Chris Morton

The summer is upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Our first Men’s Story Night is Wednesday at 6:30pm, at the home of Kevin Baker (details here_).

We’ll do two things at Men’s Story Night:

  1. Grill Food
  2. Listen to each other

About Grilling

Kevin will have the grill fired up, but we need to bring the fajita makings! Please email Chris and let us know what you can bring. We need:

  • Protein (Mushrooms, Beans, Chicken, Steak or Surprise Us)
  • Vegetables
  • Buns
  • Sides
  • Drinks (for all ages)
  • Chips
  • Salsa/Guacamole/Queso
  • Dessert

About Story Night

Story Night is a chance for one person to share a story, and for the rest of us to practice listening. This is a sacred space where we grow closer, and where we learn to hear the guidance of God’s Spirit. 

Two storytellers are needed to share about a recent or powerful moment in their lives that they are still processing. You can read a one page description of how the storytelling works herePlease let Chris know if you’d like to participate.

Story Night: 3 Reasons You Do NOT Want to Come

June 12th, 2017

Chris Morton

Every Summer at Austin Mustard Seed, we gather in groups of all men and all women, for the purpose of telling stories. The goal is that by telling stories, you’ll learn what God is calling you to do, and how you might do that.

We’ve done this now for four summers. It is consistently a sacred space where we encounter God and discover more about our vocation.

But it’s hard—and it’s not for everyone.

Here are three reasons you should NOT come to Story Night this Summer.

You Don’t Like Eating

At Story Nights, we always share a potluck meal. Sometimes we grill mounds of meat and vegetables. Other times we make fancy brunches of sous vide eggs, french toast, and breakfast tacos.

If you hate eating good food, you might not like Story Nights. If you aren’t a fan of relaxed times to build relationships while sitting together and having a tasty beverage, then you should not come.

You Hate Listening

At Story Night, we ask two people to share a story from their lives. Afterward, we try to discern what that person can learn. The way we do that is by asking open-ended, non-directive questions. During this time, no one can share their personal opinion—just listen.

Listening is so hard that most of us never do it. You can get better at listening by coming to Story Night and practicing. If the hard work of learning to listen is too much for you, then you might want to stay home.

You Have All the Tools You Need

One goal of Story Night is to equip us to have important conversations throughout the week at Austin Mustard Seed. You’ll leave with a new skill for helping your friends answer the question “what is God calling me to do?”

Perhaps you don’t want any new tools for helping others. If you are already great at this—don’t waste your time by coming.

If You Have to Come

If you absolutely have to come to Story Night, here’s what you need to know:

The next Men’s Story Night is June 14 6:30pm, at the home of Kevin Baker. You can bring a grillable to share.

The next Women’s Story Night is June 28 6:30pm, at the home of Melissa Summers.

See you throughout the week (if you want…)

This Sunday: Walking Meditation

June 7th, 2017

Chris Morton

In Matthew 28, Jesus says “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

That means that everywhere we go Jesus is up to something—and we get to join him!

Unfortunately, we don’t always know how to notice what is happening all around us.

This Sunday we’ll order lunch from Chipotle and practice a “walking meditation” in the neighborhood. The goal is to help us start prayerfully looking for where Jesus is already up to something, so that we can join him.

This is Who We Are: Madelynn Marlow

May 30th, 2017

Chris Morton

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.

This week we have the pleasure of introducing you to Madelynn Marlow.

Madelynn is currently spending the summer in Turkey. You can follow her adventures HERE.

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled?

Definitely Kenya. The people were the sweetest, and the nature was so beautiful, from the Savannah to the mountains.

What is the most influential book you have ever read?

This is my favorite but hardest question to answer- probably East of Eden or To Kill a Mockingbird.

Who are some of your heroes and why?

My great-grandmother, because she was a strong woman who tirelessly loved everyone she encountered. She was like a Texan Mother Teresa (another one of my heroes, for the same reason), but more feisty.

Why do you follow Jesus?

Because Jesus embodies love. He is approachable, relational, and the truest thing I know. I also love that he meets us where we are, we don’t have to work hard or be polished to sit in his presence.

What is your favorite story or verse in scripture?

The story of the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50). It kinda goes back to what I said about why I follow Jesus- I feel like this story really shows his radical, countercultural love.

Who has had the greatest influence in your life?

My mom- she taught me how to be strong, laugh, and enjoy life. She is my best friend and my favorite travel buddy. She’s the best.

What is one thing you love about Austin Mustard Seed?

I love that I can bring friends to our Liturgy who have never been in a church and that they walk away saying, “Wow, that felt like a family.”

Shoveling. Weeding. Crying.

May 17th, 2017

jessica

I hope you can set a side a few minutes to fill out the survey below… here’s why:

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.

Sunday Night: A Primer on Austin Mustard Seed

May 4th, 2017

Chris Morton

 

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.

Is There Anything You Can Do to Disciple Our Kids?

April 19th, 2017

Chris Morton

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.

Jesus response?

“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.

What’s your favorite memory of all our kids? 👶👧👶👧

April 13th, 2017

April Karli

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.

Lament Night is This Sunday

April 7th, 2017

Chris Morton

We believe it’s important and good to give space and energy to lamenting and grieving together as a community.

Grief is the natural response to a loss of any kind, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, the loss of one’s hopes and dreams. At Lament Night, we create a “grief circle”, a safe space to gather with your Austin Mustard Seed community to give and receive support in those losses.

Our next Lament Night Gathering will be this Sunday, April 9 from 6:30-8:30pm at the home of Jonathan and Alison Baker (6106 Bull Creek Rd) If you have any questions about Lament Night or, maybe what to expect, please email Daniel.