'With what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth- yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in the shade.'
Mark 4:30-32

The Mustard Seeds Blog bears witness to the what and the why of Christian service- those small seeds which can grow into the Kingdom of God. Read and subscribe to read our authors' accounts of what Christian mission looks like in the modern world, and why our Christian faith calls us to fight the injustice entrenched in our society.

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Posted by: Ed Watson on 6/16/2016 | 0 Comments
For the past eleven months or so, I've been working as Missioner-in-Residence at Saint John's Cathedral, Denver. I realised that I was in over my head almost immediately after I arrived. This was a new role, not just at Saint John's, but (I think) in the Episcopal Church—the role of a young lay-person charged with trying to facilitate encounter between diverse groups of people, both within and outside the Cathedral, in the hope of empowering those loving relationships which manifest the Kingdom of God. There wasn't much of a blueprint to work from!
Posted by: Ed Watson on 6/9/2016 | 0 Comments
Over the last year, I have been the lucky participant in many aspects of St. John’s Faith in Action work. Over and over I have been blown away with the hard work and the strength of faith shown by parishioners at St. John’s doing this work. I feel so blessed (and humbled) to be part of a community that is working this hard to make Denver a more just and compassionate place.
Posted by: Ed Watson on 6/2/2016 | 0 Comments
Our picture of the poor and underserved in America has become pixelated when it comes to access to health care. There is no clearly defined profile of those with no or limited access to affordable healthcare. But how can those who can’t afford it find quality health care that is provided with compassion and embraces the patient’s dignity?
Posted by: Ed Watson on 5/26/2016 | 0 Comments
Imagine coming together with a group of 90-120 strangers with the purpose of seeking deeper understanding, with the desire to learn more about the faith that animates another's life. That is just the kind of experience that we have had during the past six months in a series of sustained, facilitated interfaith dialogues, hosted by the Abrahamic Initiative.
Posted by: Ed Watson on 5/20/2016 | 0 Comments
Kevin is a slight, middle-aged man with a neatly trimmed beard and bright, dark eyes, which hint he may have seen more than his share of trouble. He’s a regular at the Network Coffeehouse, a block from the cathedral at 14th and Pearl, where Capitol Hill’s homeless gather for free coffee and camaraderie. Last Tuesday, our conversation ranged all over the map—from a book Kevin is reading about the Civil War to healthcare policy. He mentioned that his health insurance is great and showed me his plastic Medicaid card, which clearly carries symbolic importance to him. He depends on a portable oxygen tank, and access to healthcare is his lifeline.
Posted by: Ed Watson on 5/12/2016 | 0 Comments
It was August when we arrived in Denver from my longtime home of Washington, D.C. My husband and daughter attended Saint John’s without me at first. I stayed home with The New York Times. “Pray for me,” I told their departing backs. “We will,” they replied, closing the door. They returned, I could see, refreshed.
Posted by: Ed Watson on 5/5/2016 | 0 Comments
The question I have been asked to address is how Christian service and Christian worship are related. How does the one flow from the other and return again to inform and enrich it? It is not that the moral response to the needs of others was born in Christian worship—we have this innate response both defined and refined in the Hebrew scriptures. It was there within the Christian community from the outset. We are a people of service. Jesus commanded his followers to do the works he did.
Posted by: Ed Watson on 4/28/2016 | 0 Comments
My journey from fear to love began over 75 years ago. Orphaned and homeless at 18-months-of-age produced its own DNA: fear of annihilation. Simultaneously with my childhood experience of losing home and parent came the blessing of two homes and families. One was my aunt and uncle’s home & family. One was a church home and family. The two were a powerful pair.
Posted by: Ed Watson on 4/21/2016 | 0 Comments
I’ve only been in Denver for about eight months, but I have discovered and been fortunate to become part of one of the most interesting Church services in the city. At 8:00 am, every Sunday morning at the St. Francis Center, we gather for a Eucharist that is shared with people in the shelter.
Posted by: Ed Watson on 4/14/2016 | 0 Comments
The Missioner-in-Residence job is a constantly evolving thing. Some of its aspects are more visible than others—this blog, for example, or leading classes and the odd Dean's forum. Then there are the slightly less visible aspects, such as The Imitation of Christ Book Club and working with our partners at The Saint Francis Centre, MetroCaring, and The Network Cafe.
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