Week of 5/26: Parents’ Night Out, Meet Pastor Kelly, Photos for Vogts, Baptisms & More

Around the Corner:

Last Parents’ Night Out Before Summer Break:
Saturday, 6/3, 5:30-9:30pm

Parents – Let SC help you enjoy a night out! PNO is open to children between ages 2-10 yrs. All are welcome (even non-Servant Church folks)!

  • Register at tinyurl.com/scPNOjune2017 and pay at tinyurl.com/SCAustinGive by Wednesday 5/31.
  • 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 any time before 9pm.
  • Dinner will be provided for children during this time.

Meet Pastor Kelly: Sunday 6/4
Before she officially begins as pastor of Servant Church on July 1st, Pastor Kelly Shoenfelt will be visiting us at Servant Church on Sunday, June 4th. Come meet Kelly as we celebrate baptisms and Pentecost together!

Photos for the Vogts: Saturday, 6/10
The Vogts’ time at Servant Church is drawing to a close at the end of June. But they want to take all the memories with them. Susie Meadows has graciously offered to put together a photo book for their family. We’d love photos of Life Groups, service projects, worship services, etc.  Will you please upload photos to Google drive here by June 10th so she can make them into a photo book?

Upcoming Baptisms: Sundays 6/4 & 6/11
We’ll have an adult and an infant baptism over the next two Sundays, June 4th and 11th. If you are interested in baptism at Servant Church, or have questions, please talk to Pastor Eric or Pastor Abby.

Volunteers Needed:

Meal Train for Stephanie Candrick and Taniyha

Stephanie Candrick and Taniyha have long been part of the Servant Church family. Recently, Stephanie was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has started chemotherapy through oral pills that are showing initial success. One way we can all support Stephanie and Taniyha during this time is by helping to provide healthy meals. Doctors need her overall health to improve so she can become a better candidate for surgery when the course of chemotherapy is completed. The doctors have encouraged a diet that is focused on fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats (no red meat). Taniyha’s parents are often living with Stephanie, that’s why we’re requesting enough food for 3 adults.

Please sign up for their meal train here: tinyurl.com/SCmealtrainStephanie.

Working with Servant Kids: Godly Play, Actors of Light
As Pastor Abby and Kristen highlighted last week, we need lots more help with our kids at Servant Church! We are so grateful for your commitment to helping for a season or at regular intervals. Both Godly Play and Actors of Light need teachers as well as “doorkeepers” who assist the teachers with organization. All new volunteers get background checks, repeated every few years. And we also provide occasional trainings in Safe Sanctuaries practices and methods for teaching and connecting with the kids. We also have needs for admin support volunteers to help organize our children’s programs. And we can always use the prayers of the community for our children and our volunteers!

If you’re at all interested, even if you don’t have experience with kids, please speak to Kristen Hillert, or email her at kristen@servantchurchaustin.org.

A New Ministry to Our Kensington Kiddo Neighbors
Interested in showing the love of Christ by showing up and playing games with kids at a local apt complex? Kristen Hillert is hoping to start a weekday outreach at Kensington Apartments centered on playing games and having a snack with the kids there. The work of Christ is always best done together, so if you’re interested, please email kristen@servantchurchaustin.org.

Save the Date:


Going Away Parties for the Vogts: 6/17 & 6/22
We want to give Eric, Valerie, Caleb, and Jacob a memorable Austin goodbye, so we have two ways to celebrate. On Saturday, June 17th we’ll have a backyard, kid friendly hanging out party from 10am til 2pm at the home of Dave and Jessie Rupert. And on Thursday, June 22nd, we’re having a more musical send off with the Gentle Wolves/Good Field at 8pm at Bar of Fun. Childcare will be provided at the church from 7-9:30pm for this evening of 6/22.

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!

Week of 5/22: Memorial Service, Parents’ Night Out, Pastor Kelly Visit

Around the Corner:

Memorial Service for Arthur Benjamin Christians:
Friday, 5/26, 6:00pm

On Friday, May 26th, there will be a memorial service for Rebecca and Adam Christian’s infant son Arthur Benjamin who tragically passed away before he ever opened his eyes or took a breath. At this somber occasion, our community continues to surround the Christians with our love and mourn with them in their grief. *Child care will be provided at the church for this event.

Last Parents’ Night Out Before Summer Break:
Saturday, 6/3, 5:30-9:30pm

Parents – Let SC help you enjoy a night out! PNO is open to children between ages 2-10 yrs. All are welcome (even non-Servant Church folks)!

  • Register at tinyurl.com/scPNOjune2017 and pay at tinyurl.com/SCAustinGive by Wednesday 5/31.
  • 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 any time before 9pm.
  • Dinner will be provided for children during this time.

Meet Pastor Kelly: Sunday 6/4
Before she officially begins as pastor of Servant Church on July 1st, Pastor Kelly Shoenfelt will be visiting us at Servant Church on Sunday, June 4th. Come meet Kelly as we celebrate baptisms and Pentecost together!

 

Volunteers Needed:

Meal Train for Stephanie Candrick and Taniyha

Stephanie Candrick and Taniyha have long been part of the Servant Church family. Recently, Stephanie was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has started chemotherapy through oral pills that are showing initial success. One way we can all support Stephanie and Taniyha during this time is by helping to provide healthy meals. Doctors need her overall health to improve so she can become a better candidate for surgery when the course of chemotherapy is completed. The doctors have encouraged a diet that is focused on fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats (no red meat). Taniyha’s parents are often living with Stephanie, that’s why we’re requesting enough food for 3 adults.

Please sign up for their meal train here: tinyurl.com/SCmealtrainStephanie.

Working with Servant Kids: Godly Play, Actors of Light
As Pastor Abby and Kristen highlighted last week, we need lots more help with our kids at Servant Church! We are so grateful for your commitment to helping for a season or at regular intervals. Both Godly Play and Actors of Light need teachers as well as “doorkeepers” who assist the teachers with organization. All new volunteers get background checks, repeated every few years. And we also provide occasional trainings in Safe Sanctuaries practices and methods for teaching and connecting with the kids. We also have needs for admin support volunteers to help organize our children’s programs. And we can always use the prayers of the community for our children and our volunteers!

If you’re at all interested, even if you don’t have experience with kids, please speak to Kristen Hillert, or email her at kristen@servantchurchaustin.org.

A New Ministry to Our Kensington Kiddo Neighbors
Interested in showing the love of Christ by showing up and playing games with kids at a local apt complex? Kristen Hillert is hoping to start a weekday outreach at Kensington Apartments centered on playing games and having a snack with the kids there. The work of Christ is always best done together, so if you’re interested, please email kristen@servantchurchaustin.org.

Save the Date:


Going Away Parties for the Vogts: 6/17 & 6/22
We want to give Eric, Valerie, Caleb, and Jacob a memorable Austin goodbye, so we have two ways to celebrate. On Saturday, June 17th we’ll have a backyard, kid friendly hanging out party from 10am til 2pm at the home of Diana and Taylor Rudd. And on Thursday, June 22nd, we’re having a more musical send off with the Gentle Wolves/Good Field at 8pm at Bar of Fun. Childcare will be provided at the church from 7-9:30pm for this evening of 6/22.

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!

Week Of 5/8: Retreat Photos, Ladies’ Cocktails & Conversation, Adults’ & Parents’ Night Out

Ongoing:

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 volunteer@jfonaustin.org.

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 cdchildren@capitaldistrictumc.org for more info.

Welcoming New Pastor Kelly Shoenfelt!

EricKellyAbby ShoenfeltFamily

Dear Servant Church family,

We are excited to announce that Rev. Kelly Shoenfelt will be our new lead pastor, starting July 1st. From our introductory meeting last night, if feels like Kelly will be a great fit, bringing many gifts and graces that will help us as a church.

Kelly graduated with a business degree from UT and spent the first part of her career in the Marketing department of Southwest Airlines. Most of her time spent there was focused on the digital and web space for the airline, and she still considers herself a fan of the company and its famous culture of servant leadership and fun.

In 2012, Kelly began seminary at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and graduated in 2016 with her Master of Divinity. During seminary and beyond, Kelly has been appointed to Bethany UMC Austin in a variety of roles including worship leadership, planning a generosity campaign, and pastoral care. Most recently, she has been actively trying to create a culture of small groups called Grow Groups.

Kelly’s husband Adam grew up in Austin and currently works as a Planner at Apple. Together, they are parents to two wonderful sons: Andrew, age 8, a 2nd grader and Longhorn Baseball prospect for the 2027 season, as well as Brooks, a 2-yr old who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to tell you.

Pastor Kelly wrote this morning, saying : “God is clearly at work through the people at Servant Church. I am energized hearing of the creative ways that you are being led to serve the community and one another. It is a blessing and privilege that my family and I are joining in the transformative work taking place within this Body of Christ.“

We look forward to welcoming Kelly Shoenfelt and her family in this new season together in the life of Servant Church.

Joy and peace to you,
Ellen Bond Harsch & Elysia Van Deusen
Co-chairs of the Personnel Team

Week Of 3/20: Lent, Water Is Life, Transgender & The Bible, Service Survey, Guatemala Signup

Around the Corner:

Water is Life – An Interfaith Conversation: Sunday 3/26, 4pm

Next Sunday, Servant Church is co-hosting an Interfaith Conversation called “Water is Life” with Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (APTS) and Interfaith Action of Central Texas (IACT). The event will take place on at 4pm at our church space. “Water is Life” is an interfaith conversation with a variety of faith leaders and traditions about the importance of water in our respective communities and in shared work for justice and creation care in our world. More info is available here on Facebook.

Transgender and the Bible – Theology Pub: Sunday 3/26, 7:30pm
Also next Sunday, Servant Church’s Mike Clawson will host the next regular, monthly theology pub discussion. This is specifically geared for people from different faith backgrounds or no faith background, so bring friends with questions and curiosity around spiritual matters. This month’s topic follows up on our sexuality series, going into further depth about “Transgender and the Bible,” and how faith communities can better learn from, partner with, and care for transgender folks. As usual, it will be held at 7:30pm at Opa Coffee & Wine (2050 S. Lamar, 78704). For more information, see here on Facebook, or email Mike.

Abby’s Service Survey: This Week
On Sunday, Abby asked us to “give her a drink of water” by filling out this survey as a way to help us serve better together and live into the name Servant Church. The survey only takes 5 minutes and you can find it here.

Pilgrimage to Guatemala: Sign up by Monday, March 26th!
We’re going to Guatemala July 2nd-9th to be inspired and challenged by the work we will encounter, strengthened in faith and set aside time for God and one another.  A pilgrimage is a holy walk centered on listening and learning.  We’ll be staying in the highlands of Guatemala learning from women and children there about education, entrepreneurship, health and nutrition, reforestation, immigration, and trade.  See our website here for more info.  Contact Abby at abby@servantchurchaustin.org if you want in or want more information.  We’ll have a brief meeting Sunday, March 26 at 10am.

Service Sunday: Sunday 4/2, 10am-12:30pm
We’ll be worshipping by working with our neighbors at parks all over Cherrywood doing hard labor as well as more easy-going things like weeding and pruning. There is something for everyone, so invite friends too! Sign up here!Children are welcome at all activities but childcare is available at the Church and will include lessons on caring for creation as well as creating bags to hand out to our homeless neighbors around the city. We’ll need volunteers to help wrangle kiddos, make cookies, and create bags full of treats.

Lenten Resources
We are now in the church calendar season of Lent, a period of preparation for Easter that lasts for 40 days of fasting (plus 6 Sundays, which are feast days). Lent is also an echo of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert. Christians have historically engaged in a variety of practices during this season including fasting, penitence, prayer, meditation and reflection. During this Lenten season, Servant Church will be focusing on re-engaging with our baptismal vows with a new sermon series to prepare ourselves for the resurrection.

If you would like to learn more about Lent as individuals or with your life groups, here are a few good resources recommended by our Pastors:

Settling for Less, by Barbara Brown Taylor
The Trouble (and Blessing) of Lent, by David Lose
Waiting and Yearning in Lent, by The Alban Institute
An Illustrated Lent for Families, by Illustrated Children’s Ministry
2017 Lenten Practices Calendar, by Pastor Abby Parker-Herrera

Servants Needed:


Servant Church Meal Train for the Jerkins
At Servant Church, we love to share hospitality, and meal trains are one of the tangible ways we do this. Melissa and Nathan Jerkins just welcomed baby Joanna into their family and there are few days still open on their meal train here. So please sign up!

We also have several other families getting ready to welcome new members, so keep your eyes peeled for more meal trains to come! And meal trains needn’t only be for births. Know another Servant Church friend (or yourself) in need of a meal train? Email Valerie and let her know!

JFON Immigration Clinic: Saturday 3/25, 10am-12pm
Creating Justice with Immigrants: Each month we have a legal clinic for immigrants who want to see a lawyer and learn what they can do to receive documentation. They also learn about their rights while enjoying extravagant hospitality and a loving environment for their children. Your help is needed, even if you do not speak Spanish.  Sign up here to work with Justice For Our Neighbors.

Giving Gears Car Clinic: Saturday 3/25, 10am-1pm
After our winter hibernation, Lent is the perfect time to ramp back up our service work, including helping our community and neighbors with simple car maintenance and repairs. Come on out and bring your tools. RSVP here: tinyurl.com/GGmarch2017.

Save the Date:


Church Work Day: Saturday 4/8, 9am-12pm
We’ll be gathering once again for our quarterly volunteer day to fix and maintain a variety of things around our church property or premises. This time around, we’ll be focusing on cleaning out the gutters, spreading some mulch in the beds in front of the church, cutting down some overgrowth in the back of our property, and cleaning up the chapel space.

If you have tools, we need rakes, shovels and other garden tools for the mulch, as well as ladders (6ft and taller) for cleaning gutters! We also have jobs that require small tools, so bring those if you have them.

Sign up info coming soon, but please save the date!

Holy Week Gatherings
Lent is right around the corner. Be sure to save the dates for the following services and events. (See Ash Wednesday services and activities above).

  • Holy Week
    • Holy Thursday, April 13th, 6pm – Holy Thursday meals at homes and Servant Church
    • Good Friday, April 14th, 7pm – Good Friday Service
    • Holy Saturday, April 15th, 10am – Easter Egg Hunt at Patterson Park
  • Easter Sunday, April 16th
    • 9:15am – Family Friendly Easter Gathering
    • 10:15am – Breakfast
    • 11:11am – Easter Gathering

Childcare provided at all of the above events except for 7am ashes on Ash Wednesday at Cherrywood Coffee House, and Holy Saturday Easter Egg Hunt.

Second Annual – All Church Retreat: Fri. 5/5 – Sun. 5/7
We’re already excited about this year’s Second Annual – All Church Retreat on the weekend of Friday May 5th through Sunday May 7th. Once again, we will be camping and glamping at Bastrop State Park with a ton of fun activities for kids from 1 to 101. There will be lots of meals and prayer together, guided hikes and yoga, swimming and kayaking in the nearby lake, yoga, and plenty of camp fires and s’mores in the evenings. Both cabins and tent-camping spots are available, but cabins are limited and first-come-first-serve. So please check out the links below for more information and to register/pay.

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 cdchildren@capitaldistrictumc.org for more info.