JFON Immigration Film Screening & Panel

On July 26, Justice for Our Neighbors and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services will host a screening of the film Which Way Home at Servant Church.
After the documentary, attorneys from both organizations will speak on the crisis of unaccompanied minors at the border.  RAICES is the organization that is providing legal services to the children housed at Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio.  JFON Austin offers low-cost immigration legal services and educates on immigrants’ rights.
Together, JFON and RAICES hope to shed light on the challenges of the current situation at the border, as well as the long term consequences. Anyone who is interested in finding out why these children make the journey, what their futures may hold, and ways you can get involved, please attend.
This event is FREE. Click here to RSVP!
Which Way Home

Sunday service day June 30th 2013

Service Day June 30th

Sunday Service Day: Worship through Work June 30th

On 5th Sundays, Servant Church serves together all around East Austin. Please join us and invite friends! There are lots of ways to serve but we hope everyone will choose a time slot before or after the 11:11am service. We’ll all meet together, as usual at 11:11 am for a shorter worship service and food!

9am-11am Serve with your Hands: Gardening, Painting, Trash Removal
11:11am-Noon Serve with your Hearts: Worship
Noon-1pm Serve with your Time: Free Meal for Everyone
1pm-3pm Serve with your Hands: Free Store Organizing, Meal Clean-Up, Rides to Apartments, Food Delivery

Sign up with abby@servantchurchaustin.org

Photo credit: scismgenie

God’s Grace

What struck me about Eric’s sermon last Sunday was the Tony Campolo story he told. I’ve heard this story several times before – of how Pastor Campolo once threw a surprise birthday party for a prostitute called Agnus at a late night diner in Honolulu.

Again, I was struck by how enabled folks were in the story by God’s grace – Campolo who has the inspiration, the owner who baked the cake, the owner’s wife who decorated the diner, the prostitutes who knew and loved agnus and who made sure the place was packed when Agnus walked in.

However, what struck me most this time was Agnus’ reaction. Instead of cutting the cake, Agnus took it home – two doors down – to show her mother, who was not at the party. Why was she not at the party? Perhaps she was old or infirm. Perhaps she was drunk. Perhaps no one thought to invite her. Perhaps she was simply asleep!

Whatever the case, Agnus’ reaction illustrates something found in many biblical stories and something that I’ve experienced in life: that people who have been reached out to, in turn reach out themselves.

Agnus’ reaction is stereotypically Holy Spirit! I’ve been helped, I’m gonna help; I’ve been forgiven, I’m gonna forgive; I’ve been invited, so I’m going to invite. Agnus’ reaction is essentially evangelistic – she has experienced the good news – through the actions of others – and she wants to share it with others still.

We talk a lot at Servant Church about inviting, demonstrating and becoming. Agnus was invited, her peers demonstrated and her response was to become – to become a passer-on, to involve those left out – no matter if they are weak, drunk, uninvited or asleep.

When are we inviting

Where does inviting fit into our lives? Being inviting, being one who possesses the gerund, the quality of inviting is different from the actual act itself. To walk up and speak and ask and convince and remember and follow up: these are the ways of inviting and they are a consistent challenge, the key word being consistent. To invite once or twice, to be open to others once in a while is completely manageable and understandable. In the threefold language of Servant Church (inviting, becoming, demonstrating) inviting seems the easiest way to set self-imposed limits. “We don’t want to overexpose,” we say to ourselves. “We don’t want to burn bridges,” we say to ourselves.

Perhaps it is the interior monologue found in personal responses to inviting that is most challenging. While becoming and demonstrating are obviously community based, it is only in our community that we, as individuals, can be truly inviting. When invitations are personal challenges, they do not describe how we live and move.

The where we go from here after two years in weekly service concerns deeply how embedded these habits continue to be and how we continue to transform our own personal as well as corporate habits to  blend with the growth and evolution of the Servant Church community

How to Reconcile

Sunday Reflections are short comments inspired by the preaching at Servant Church.

Why should we reconcile ourselves to others? Who are the others? It is very easy to point out differences and challenges and wrongs. Alone in this world, holding onto our wrongs like children hold onto toys. Since even before the Tower of Babel, humans have divided and divided and divided, often in the name of purity. We look to differentiate so clearly that we no longer have to think to long about who is us and who is them.

The Church in Corinth was like this as well. Paul wrote to them in love but wrote with clarity and specificity about what precisely was going wrong there, and there was a lot going wrong. They were divided over who had supreme authority, they were divided over the Lord’s Table, over marriage, over anything, it seemed, that they could think of. They were a divided body. But Paul, in his second letter to the corinthians, says that Jesus came precisely to stop this. The world was separated from God through sin, and the people in the world were separated from each other.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:16-20)

Therefor, there is no them, there is only us. God didn’t come to tell us to be nice people and then leave us to it. No. God left the Holy Spirit. Alone, we are no better than the Church in Corinth. Alone, we are no better than ourselves. It is with God, with the Spirit, with each other with humility that we can live out reconciliation daily.