1. Favorite local joint(s) in Austin?
East Village Cafe and Uchi
2. If you had one book to read for the rest of your life (other than the Bible), what would it be?
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
3. Guiltiest pleasure?
Dr. Pepper float with Blue Bell Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
4. 3 items on a desert island?
A bed, hot water, and baby powder to get the sand off.
5. How do you spend your free Saturdays?
Sleeping in, eating eggs with Shane, wandering about Austin, and hanging out with friends
Kate Blackshear is one of the new members of leadership at Mosaic, as well as serving as the Outreach Coordinator. Kate has always been interested in ministry. She loves people and loves working in missions oriented roles. Most of her adult life has been spent in some sort of outreach vocation. She earned her Masters of Divinity from Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor, with an emphasis in global missions. After graduating she worked at Howard Payne University as the Baptist Student Ministry director. After getting married in 2007, she and her husband Shane moved to Brownwood, Texas and started a church plant. He was the lead pastor and she was on leadership. Since it was a small church everyone did everything, but her main job was to help with small groups and neighborhood outreach.That experience helped shape both her and her views and ideas about church. “It was hard in a lot of ways.” She says, “We screwed a lot of things up. And we figured things out together.”
They were a part of that church for five years. In their last year there she was ordained by the church. She admits that, “It was somewhat controversial for a woman to be ordained. It was a small town.” But she says that her church fully embraced her role and was excited to ordain a woman. Shortly after that though she and her husband decided it was time to move on to something different. They chose Austin.
She pursued ministry options upon moving to Austin but said that nothing really seemed to work out. “In the meantime we felt really at home at Mosaic.” She says, “So when I was nominated for the leadership team it felt really good and right and that I was ready. I think that Shane and I both felt that we should take a break from leading things when we first got here.”
Since being in Austin her personal passions, interests and sense of calling have come to fruition in new and diverse ways. “I’ve really started to see myself as a connector of strengths,” she says, “specifically in [matching] ministry, gifts, strengths, passions of the body of Christ, with need. I know that I have, and have been affirmed, with the gift of mercy: feeling, seeing, observing and paying attention to need.” This ethos is incorporated into her current job as Volunteer and Development Associate at the BeHive Austin, a local non-profit that serves low income children on the east side.
In the context of her new roles in Mosaic she says, “I’m really excited about the missions role, the missional meet-up and all of that.” She wants to help facilitate and find answers to questions like, “Who are we as Mosaic? Where are we strong? And how can we use what we have to connect with need around us?” She says, “That is really the heart of who I am, and who I’m supposed to be in different leadership roles. And that fits really well with BeHive and really well with leadership and missions.”
This last year, though providing new and challenging vocational roles, has come with a lot of personal loss and heartache. But she says that in many ways that has helped deepen her awareness of other people in pain and in need of hope. Offering hope is at the core of her missional vision. “To me the gospel message, who Jesus is, and what we have to offer, is hope to people who are hopeless for various reasons.” She explains, “To me missions comes down to sharing, serving, loving in a way that demonstrates hope. Of course we all have the bad examples of Christians and missions to fight against, like hate and harsh words. I think [missions] is the opposite of that. It’s grace and mercy and lots more listening than talking. And just being with people.”