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January 22nd, 2018

Meet Madelynn: New Ministry Intern!


We’re thrilled to have Madelynn join us as a ministry intern this year. Many of you, of course, know Madelynn and the presence she has had in our community for a few years. Read on, so you can get to know more about her, and her new role in the life of Austin Mustard Seed.
Madelynn has been discerning what her future holds, and considering church ministry as one of her specific interests. She came to us asking to get a firsthand experience of what day to day church ministry is like.
She is joining our staff meetings and ongoing conversations as much as she is able, but she is also taking on two primary responsibilities:

  1. She is serving as our week to week liturgy coordinator, scheduling roles in liturgy and making sure all of us who participate are on track each week.
  2. She is also leaning into some of her clear giftedness in connecting with diverse groups of people. She will be helping us explore what it looks like for our church community to form relationships with people from many different backgrounds who are curious about following Jesus.

 

Tell us about your relationship with Austin Mustard Seed? How did you land here? What do you love about it?

I’ve been with Austin Mustard Seed for about two and a half years now, and it’s part of what makes it so easy for me to call Austin my home. The first day I came to AMS, people noticed I was new and asked me to dinner that week. I could tell right off the bat they were a people who didn’t just go to church, they lived out their identity as the church in community.
I try to bring friends with me to church because I feel like the practice of Liturgy and the people of the church are apart of who I am now as well. Everyone I’ve brought to AMS, whether they’ve stuck around or not, has had a similar first experience to mine. I often hear from my friends that it felt like a family. Many of my friends are international students and come from cultures were family is central to their identity and sense of belonging. It is a high compliment that they have a familial experience of Mustard Seed.

What will you be doing as an intern? What part are you most excited about?

As an intern, I have a couple of roles. I organize the weekly volunteer teams for Liturgy, research and implement community outreach opportunities, facilitate community group discussions, personally follow up with visitors and members in our community, and explore areas of growth both personally and pastorally.
I am most excited to find ways AMS can more intentionally engage with communities outside of ours and be better neighbors.

Where are you from?

Cypress, TX- AKA the Northwest ‘burbs of Houston.

What was your favorite movie when you were six?

Probably something that had to do with dinosaurs or princesses.

What is your all-time favorite band you’ve seen or would like to see?

I was really excited to see John Mark McMillan in the fall, I feel like I’ve grown up with his music, and I pretty much played the borderlands album on loop while I was in Turkey last summer. Other than that, I think right now I’d love to see Chance the Rapper (also played his album on loop last summer).

What are three books you wish everyone at Austin Mustard Seed would read?

What are you passionate about?

I love bringing people together from different cultures and backgrounds. I think I’ve experienced the God’s vision and kingdom most richly around my kitchen table with my international friends, where we drink tea, eat dinner, and speculate about life and God and belonging. It’s one of the reasons why I connect so strongly with the person of Jesus: he invited people of radically different backgrounds and beliefs to sit around the same table, ask questions, laugh, cry. He was all about the mess and beauty of communing with others. I think the world needs more of that.

What are your favorite restaurants in Austin?

Lucy’s Fried Chicken is hands down my favorite. After that, anywhere that has solid tacos or southern home food.

What is a verse or story in scripture that gives you hope and why?

The woman weeping at Jesus’ feet in John 13. It displays Jesus’ radical, countercultural love in a way that makes me feel welcome in his presence. It also shows how well Jesus loved and accepted the people society pushed the fringes. It’s not only a display of the unconditional love available to us, it’s a call to extend that love to others as well, no matter how different or similar they may be.

Community
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:

Download the Reflection & Discussion Guide
Discuss more in a Community Group
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes

Podcast
January 16th, 2018

Stay Inside! Five Ways Connect with God & Your Church When it's Freezing


It’s cold outside! Ice is falling from the sky!
We’re always saying “see you throughout the week.” So how can you love God and serve your church community when you’re stuck inside?

Enjoy Some Screen-free “Practice” Time

Stuck at home and ready to veg out? Great! There’s nothing wrong the occasional Netflix or X-Box binge.
But how often do we bemoan how busyness keeps us from developing spiritual practices? Block out some time today to pray, read scripture, practice gratitude or practice a spiritual meditation.
A simple prayer practice that you can start using today is ACTS.
You might also tip your toe into Christian Meditation with this Lectio Divina inspired podcast.

Show Some Appreciation

As a part of Austin Mustard Seed you have likely benefitted from the hard volunteer work of other people. There are teachers who educate and love our kids, musicians who lead us in worship, hosts who create space for Community Groups and parties and many, many others!
Take a moment to write someone a text message letting them know you appreciate their love and service. Even better, write them an actual card (but walk to the mailbox until your sidewalks thaw.)

Check on Your Neighbors

Storms provide a tangible opportunity to love our neighbors. Take a moment to call, or if it’s safe enough, walk over and make sure your neighbor is doing well. This is especially important if your neighbors are elderly or have young children.

Gather Around some Bible Stories (all ages)

Some parts of scripture are best read as whole. If you have some unexpected freetime, you might consider opening up Philemon or the Gospel of Mark and reading them from beginning to end.
A “Snow Day” is also opportunity for exploring Bible Stories with your kids. Hopefully, you have a copy of the fantastic The Jesus Storybook Bible. If not, you can also use the app.

Dig Into this Week’s Reflection and Discussion Guide

Every Sunday we provide a Reflection and Discussion Guide for individuals and Community Groups. Your group may or may not meet, depending on weather. But you can dig into this week’s lesson. While you’re keeping warm, take a moment to listen back to John’s sermon and spend a few moments with this week’s reflection and discussion guide.

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:

Download the Reflection & Discussion Guide
Discuss more in a Community Group
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes

Podcast
January 12th, 2018

Sunday Lunch is a Family Meeting


Are you curious where you or your family fit into Austin Mustard Seed? Do you want your voice to be heard as we chart a course for the future?
During Sunday Lunch on January 14 we will hold a Family Meeting.
In this Family Meeting, you will discover:

Lunch and childcare will be available. Donations are encouraged.
When you RSVP on Facebook, it helps with planning!

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:

Download the Reflection & Discussion Guide
Discuss more in a Community Group
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes

Podcast
January 3rd, 2018

Our Mission & Methods // Winter 2018 Discussion Series


In the last four years, Austin Mustard Seed has established a core community striving to live a meaningful expression of Christianity in our time and place. Our Leadership Team has spent much time reflecting on the good that has happened so that we might imagine how our grow into the fullness of who we might be as a church community.
This has led to a fresh articulation of our Mission, and the Methods by which we pursue that mission. These weren’t formed out of ideas that sounded important or good, but out of our own story as a church, and what the best version of that story can be as we move into the future.
Two family meetings will offer extended conversation about how and why this all came about:

And, of course, we will devote time in Liturgy and Community Groups to these topics:

Week of January 7 || Our Mission

To form communities of Jesus who experience and expand God’s work of renewal together.
In the history related through the Bible, we see an invitation to humanity to partner in God’s purpose of setting things right in this world. As a church, we join that ongoing story too. We believe that the best thing we can offer one another is a sense of purpose in this world. We form communities, from smaller groups to new churches and everything in-between, so that we can walk alongside others as we partner with God.

Our Methods

Week of January 14 || Learn Practices
We learn practices of Jesus so that we can know, love and follow him.
We aim to experience and expand God’s work of renewal together, and we recognize that comes through following Jesus. We see Jesus as the fullest expression of who God created us to be. We learn from one another, and encourage one another, to take on the patterns of the Jesus way of living.
Week of January 21 || Cultivate Relationships
We cultivate relationships that lead to both friendship and formation.
God exists as a relationship, and so we too recognize that we are created to be in genuine connection with others. We long to have friendships that are both safe and stretching, so we prioritize embodied and committed relationships with one another.
Week of January 28 || Develop Connections
We develop connections that teach us to how to love those who are not a part of a community of Jesus.
God’s work of renewal isn’t limited to what happens in a church community, but is intended for all humanity and all of creation. We pay attention to how God is at work in neighborhoods and nations so that we can acknowledge and join in that restorative work through justice, evangelism, and care.
Week of February 4 || Seek Opportunities
We seek opportunities to expand beyond a fellowship of sameness to reflect the breadth of God’s kingdom.
Jesus recognized that all humans are created in the image of God, so he continually directed attention to those who were on the margin, those overlooked and unseen by others. We look for and celebrate voices that are not like our own because we recognize that every human offers a fuller way of seeing and understanding who God is and how God acts.
Week of February 11 || Raise Leaders
We raise leaders who have the capacity to form communities of Jesus.
With a focus on forming new communities large and small, we recognize that there will always be needs and spaces for leaders. We train, equip and empower leaders who can enable our mission as Austin Mustard Seed to expand and multiply new communities.

December 28th, 2017

This Sunday: New Year's Brunch!

Taste and See

This Sunday, we’ll celebrate all that God has done among us in 2017 and seek the Spirit’s guidance for 2018.
And eat brunch!

When and Where

Sunday Liturgy on New Year’s Day will take place at the home of Morgan & Rob Garza, 1008 Rebecca Dr.
Liturgy begins at 10:30, potluck brunch to follow.
Bring things that are good cold, or can be kept in a crockpot or the oven. Please bring a chair if you can, too.

What to Bring

Due to severe food allergies in our community, please sign up for a specific item.

Click HERE to sign up to bring a specific item

Click HERE to invite your Facebook friends

December 18th, 2017

Advent 3 – Love (2017.12.17 Sermon)


Chris Morton shares about love from the life of Jesus adopted father Joseph.
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes

Podcast
December 18th, 2017

Six People Who Need to be at Tonight's Lament Night


Lament Night is tonight at the Orange Chapel at 7 pm.
Grief is normal and natural. It’s often most difficult during the holidays.
“Sure…” you say. “But is Lament Night really for me?”
Lament Night is for (at least) six types of people.

That sounds like everyone!
If you have any questions, contact Kate or Daniel.
Childcare is available, but please let Kate know.
Click HERE to Invite Your Facebook Friends