Justice For Our Neighbors

Austin Region JFON has announced that Virginia Raymond will be the new ARJFON legal director.

“We expect Virginia to be a very capable leader.  In addition to having years of legal experience in the immigration field, Virginia also has a diverse educational and professional background.  In addition to her law degree, Virginia has an MA and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas Department of English.  In addition to practicing law, she also taught at UT, St. Edwards, and Austin Community College, among others.

We’re very excited about all that Virginia brings to JFON.”

Free Store / Common Good Community Development

The Free Store is back!

The Free Store found a new home at Memorial UMC, 6100 Berkman Drive, Austin.  On Wednesday, March 8, we’ll have our first shopping day in the new space.

You can follow all the news about the Free Store’s relocation at our website:  www.freestoreaustin.org

From District Lay Leader Brooks Schuelke:  When we started the Free Store, we never wanted it to be a ministry by itself.  Instead, we created Common Good Community Development, Inc.  We imagined it as a hub and spoke type arrangement.  Common Good was the hub. The Free Store was the first spoke, but it was never intended to be the only spoke.

Over the years, we’ve been approached by a number of different groups with different ideas about how they could also partner with Common Good and the Free Store.  Up until now, we’ve not found the right fit.

Until now.

I am happy to say that our first real partner, and the next spoke in our hub, is the Hope Food Pantry.

Many of you are already familiar with the Hope Food Pantry.  It’s housed in Trinity and is supported by a number of our churches throughout the district.

In many ways, nothing will change.  Hope Food Pantry will continue to operate as it has.

But our working and coordinating together also brings endless possibilities of how Hope and the Free Store can work together.  We don’t know exactly what that will look like, but we’re all excited about the future.

To learn more about us, visit our website:  http://www.commongoodaustin.org/

Texas Impact Weekly Witness: Mondays at the Capitol

The 2017 legislative session promises to be a time of high stakes and hard choices.  It’s never been more important for people of faith to be informed and engaged.

Texas Impact Weekly Witness is your opportunity to put faith into action and advocate for the common good at a time when your state needs it! Here’s the game plan:

Every Monday at noon starting on January 16, Texas Impact will hold a short, focused advocacy training in Murchison Chapel at First United Methodist Church, Austin. We–and often colleagues from our partner organizations–will present timely, insider information on a “focus issue of the day,” as well as updates and next steps on other issues that are on our legislative agenda.

Following the training, participants will make scheduled or unscheduled legislative visits with their own legislators and other key members, and sometimes attend committee meetings or take advantage of other timely opportunities.

Weekly Witness will take place in Murchison Chapel at First United Methodist Church, Austin (directions).

Check out the 2017 Texas Impact Legislative Priorities – https://texasimpact.org/Priorities

Weekly Schedule:

We will provide additional issues for emphasis in our next newsletter, or get them online.

Alms and Advocacy

Texas Impact serves as a resource to bridge the gap between you and your neighbors across the state. Through our Weekly Witness briefings, our Lobby Days at the Capitol, our Rapid Response Calls-to-Action, and more, we provide concrete ways for you to make a difference.

For the next forty days, join Texas Impact in our 2017 Lenten initiative “Alms and Advocacy.” Each day, we’ll be posting seasonal prayers, reflections and legislative calls to action on our Facebook page. We hope you’ll make use of these resources in your own Lenten discipline, and that you find advocacy for God’s children to be a meaningful addition to your spiritual practice. To commemorate the Lenten discipline of charitable giving, we encourage you to support our work financially as well.

Alms and Advocacy will culminate in Texas Interfaith Advocacy Day on April 20. Join people of all faiths at the Capitol to learn about the Legislature and advocate for issues that matter to you.

Hope Food Pantry

Join us on Sunday, April 2, 2017, 5:30p.m., Trinity Church of Austin for a dinner and silent auction to support the pantry and its mission to help alleviate hunger in our community.  Tickets will go on sale in February/March 2017.

If you have a silent auction item to contribute please contact Stephanie at email below.

Other ways to help:
1. Volunteer once a month or more on Thursday or Friday a.m.
2. Coordinate a Food Drive through a group/work/community.
3. Randall’s Remarkable card holders: place #3830 on your card and donate to Hope.  A Randall’s employee can help you.

Contact: Stephanie at info@hopefoodpantryaustin.org