Newsletter: Week of 5/8/17


Pastor Eric’s Sabbatical
What a blessing it has been for Eric to have a time of rest, reading, and renewal. Eric spent a little over a week in Seattle prayerfully reflecting on his time as the Senior Pastor at Servant Church. This week he is on a cruise to Alaska, the last state for him to visit all fifty states! Next week he’ll attend a preaching conference in San Antonio. Eric and I (Valerie) are grateful for this time. Pastors in the United Methodist Church are encouraged to take time away every four years for renewal, and we are so thankful he could have these four weeks away. It is a gift to take a Sabbatical before he ends his time with Servant Church and begins his ministry with Travis Park in San Antonio beginning July 1st.

Sermon Series: Servant Church Stories
During these four weeks of Eric’s Sabbatical we’ve engaged in a preaching series about our individual stories as people of faith and about the story of Servant Church. During our first week Pastor Valerie preached about the importance of listening to each other’s stories and the blessing of being involved in a Life Group. Diana Rudd and Nathan Jerkins shared why they value being in a Life Group. Katie Coleman preached about living a great story on Sunday May 7th. Pastor Abby will preach this upcoming Sunday and then Rev. Teresa Welborn, our District Superintendent, will preach on the 21st. Pastor Eric will return to the pulpit on May 28th.

Church Retreat Photos
Once again, we had an amazing time camping and glamping at our Second Annual All Church Retreat this past weekend. Check out some photos of all the fun at our Facebook hashtag #SCRetreat2017.

Around the Corner:

Cocktails and Conversation – SC Ladies: 5/13
Join the ladies of the Thurs Night Life Group for cocktails, conversations and even swimming if it’s warm enough! Sips and snacks provided, feel free to bring your favorites to add to the spread. For details and to RSVP, email Kristen Hillert or Sam Watkiss.

Adults’ Night Out: Saturday, 5/20, 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Connect with other people from Servant Church for some catch-up, conversation, and a drink of your choice. We’ll be meeting at the Tamale House East (on East 6th St.) for some drinks and food from 6:30pm – 9:00pm. Need child care? See below.

Parents’ Night Out: Saturday, 5/20, 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Parents – Let SC help you enjoy a night out! Parent’s Night Out is open to children between the ages of 2-10 yrs. All are welcome (you do not have to be part of Servant Church)!

  • Register here and pay here by Wednesday 5/17.
  • Suggested donation is $25 for first child, $10 for each additional child, $40 max per family.
  • Drop off starts at 5:30pm, and pickup is anytime before 9pm.
  • Dinner will be provided for children during this time.

Following Jesus in 2027 – An Evening with Tom Sine:
Sunday, 5/21, 5:00pm

How Churches and Families Can Thrive in a Rapidly Changing World – An Evening with Tom Sine

Author and Christian Missions Consultant Tom Sine, and his wife Christine will be visiting Austin from Seattle to lead a brainstorming session on how to follow Jesus in 2027. This informal hangout session will be held at Austin Mustard Seed Church, and is hosted by Austin Mustard Seed and the V3 – Church Planting Movement. For more information and to RSVP, see the event page here or the Facebook page here.

Volunteers Needed:

Maplewood Elementary Spring Fling:
Saturday, 5/13, 9:30am – 2:00pm

It’s time for the Maplewood Spring Fling and they need some Servant Church help.  Let’s be great neighbors and show up to love our neighborhood school.  They ESPECIALLY need help with the things we are good at: food service and grilling 🙂 But, there are many booths to help man and lots of shifts between 9:30am and 2:00pm so find a time that works for you and your family!

Info and signup here.

JFON Austin’s 3rd Birthday Party:
Saturday, 5/20, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Saturday, May 20th, JFON Austin will be celebrating its 3rd birthday with a party, in order to give their clients, friends and volunteers hope and comfort as well as a reason to celebrate in this time of political chaos. There will be Music, a Potluck, and lots of fun activities for the kids. All are welcome to attend.

Volunteers are needed for some of the following:

  • Event set up and tear down
  • Moon Bounce (bouncy house) supervision
  • Photo booth assistance
  • Face painting assistance
  • Piñata assistance

And JFON folks could still use donations or help locating some of the following:

  • 2 piñatas
  • a Moon Bounce castle
  • backyard tent
  • ping pong table
  • 4 face painters
  • candy for piñata
  • balloons/helium
  • soccer goal nets
  • a DJ/band/artist/poet/musician/dancer or other performers willing to donate their talents
  • and a professional photographer.

If you’d like to donate your time, talents, or treasure to make this party a success, please email

More About JFON Austin
For the past several years, Servant Church has partnered with other area churches, and a coalition of attorneys called JFON (Justice for Our Neighbors) to provide free or low-cost immigration consultation clinics to those in need. We work with the local chapter of JFON, which is a national network of more than 15 locally funded and managed sites that operate approximately 40 church-based immigration legal clinics serving more than 3,000 low-income clients a year.

​JFON sites take on a wide range of immigration cases, including asylum cases for those seeking protection from persecution or even death, survivors of human trafficking who  apply for protection, detention cases, and many more.  The Justice For Our Neighbors network also leads immigrant communities to better understand their rights and equip faith communities to respond quickly to emerging threats, such as workplace raids or emerging ministry opportunities created by changes in immigration policy or practice.

Save the Date:

Son Days Camp: Monday 6/26 – Friday 6/30
Arts, crafts, sports, water balloons, water slide and worship, along with fellowship and activities using the many amenities of Cross Roads are sure to be a memorable and rewarding experience for your child. This year marks the 2nd year of Son Days Overnight Camp at Cross Roads Retreat Center and we are thrilled!

Register here for $290 before May 1st or $320 after May 1st.
Need-based camp scholarships available.
Email for more info.