Welcome Cindy Andrade Johnson at our next Chapter Meeting!

We will have our next virtual meeting on
Thursday, November 12, 2020   7pm

Our guest speaker is Cindy Andrade Johnson, a deaconess with the Rio Texas Conference.  She has worked tirelessly and made personal contact with the asylum seekers on the Rio Grande border.  Even in the middle of this election period she has been present for the people who are in the most need. The migrant camp in Mexico is causing harm to our migrant siblings because of inhumane US policies. 

Please join us as we discuss what we can do even if we cannot be present, and how we can support this issue.

Follow and support Cindy on her Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/cindy.johnson.94695 We’ll also spend some time catching up with each other!

Join Zoom Meeting

Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video an…

Meeting ID: 878 2358 0342

Passcode: 123659 Meeting Time:  7:00pm CST

Letter from Bishop Schnase to Gov. Abbott on Refugees

On January 21, Bishop Schnase wrote to Texas Governor Greg Abbott in response to Abbott’s decision to refuse resettlement of refugees in Texas.  Read the letter here.

Austin Presbyterian Seminary Mid-Winter Lectures

The Reverend Robert Schnase

Bishop of the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church

Read more.

“Border Crossing:
The Power of Narrative to Open Hearts and Change Conversations”

Robert Schnase was born, grew up, and served congregations along the US-Mexico border. His collection of stories, Border Crossing, provides the personal, intimate perspective of a pastor working in the intermingling, sometimes clashing, cultures of the border. After each story, Bishop Schnase will reflect on the power of narrative to create the liminal space for transformation and social change within communities, especially in contentious times.

Tuesday, February 4 – 10:45a

Wednesday, February 5 – 8:30

Register Here.

Texas Impact Information

Courts & Ports: Faithful Witness on the Texas-Mexico Border

Witness the Crisis First Hand

The Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact invites you to participate in Courts & Ports: Faithful Witness on the Texas-Mexico Border.

This 2-day immersion experience engages people of faith to witness first-hand the legal and law enforcement processes related to immigration, detention, and deportation occurring in South Texas. Participants observe proceedings in federal criminal court and record their observations for use by immigration attorneys. Participants also meet with faith and policy experts working on the border, and spend time with individuals who have pending asylum cases; engage in contextualizing discussion with Texas Impact pastoral staff and other faith leaders; plan and participate in worship; and become part of an online “alumni” community.

Register at: texasimpact.org/courts-ports/. To learn more email or call Erica Nelson: erica@texasimpact.org.

Click here for the: Courts & Ports One Pager

Letter to Gov. Abbott on Refugees

From Texas Impact:

Texans of faith were disappointed to learn Friday that Governor Greg Abbott rejected the resettlement of refugees in Texas in 2020, despite many congregations, faith-based refugee resettlement agencies and families investing time and resources preparing for their arrival.

Please join with us in encouraging a new course of action in 2021. We reject the Governor’s notion that Texas congregations and resettlement agencies do not have sufficient resources for this work. We do not believe the Governor should dictate to faith communities which vulnerable people they should serve.

Gov. Abbott: Don’t Slam the Door on Refugees

Please read and sign the letter below and invite your friends and neighbors to join you.

Dear Governor Abbott,

I disagree with your decision to refuse Texas hospitality to refugees. Texas has a well-established culture of welcome. We are home to a vast network of volunteer and professional teams whose very ministry is welcome. These Texans wake up every day with arms open to our siblings from around the globe, who come seeking safety and security from life-threatening circumstances.

I take profound exception to your pronouncement that Texas nonprofits have “the responsibility to dedicate available resources” only to certain types of vulnerable people. I worship a God of abundance, and I believe that there are sufficient resources to meet the needs of all God’s children.

Happily, your decision only applies to the current year. Now is the time to chart a different course for next year. Please commit to opening Texas’ doors to refugees again in 2021. Let Texas faith communities show that Texas has enough resources—and enough love—to welcome all who need us.

Sincerely,

Link to signature page.

Austin JFON Gala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM CST

Crowne Plaza Austin

6121 North Interstate Highway 35

Austin, TX 78752

Purchase tickets here!

Texas Impact Information

San Antonio Interfaith Advocacy Training

You are invited to Texas Impact’s San Antonio Interfaith Advocacy Training Sunday, November 17 from 2-5pm at First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Antonio.

Register online at https://texasimpact.org/texas-impacts-san-antonio-interfaith-advocacy-training-registration-page/.

Registration is free, but helpful in event planning.

Join us for a faith leader panel, Advocacy 101 training and breakout sessions.. Policy presentations will focus on immigration reform, public education/literacy, and health policy.

Additional topics, speakers and event sponsors will be listed here as they become available.

Email scott@texasimpact.org if you are interested in supporting the event or have ideas/suggestions to share.


Elgin Interfaith Advocacy Training

You are invited to Texas Impact’s San Antonio Interfaith Advocacy Training Saturday, November 16 from 10am-12pm at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Elgin. Register online at https://texasimpact.org/elgin-interfaith-advocacy-training-registration-form/. Registration is free, but helpful in event planning.

Join us for a faith leader panel, Advocacy 101 training and breakout sessions.. Policy presentations will focus on public education/literacy and rural health policy.

Additional topics, speakers and event sponsors will be listed here as they become available.

Email scott@texasimpact.org if you are interested in supporting the event or have ideas/suggestions to share.


Courts & Ports: Faithful Witness on the Texas-Mexico Border

Witness the Crisis First Hand

The Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact invites you to participate in Courts & Ports: Faithful Witness on the Texas-Mexico Border.

This 2-day immersion experience engages people of faith to witness first-hand the legal and law enforcement processes related to immigration, detention, and deportation occurring in South Texas.

Click here for the: Courts & Ports One Pager

Ministry at the Texas-Mexico Border

Thanks to a team from Trinity Church in Austin that went to the Brownsville to work with Team Brownsville to feed over 1,000 asylum seekers in Matamoros on November 2.  Teams of volunteers do this every evening.

This note was posted to Facebook by Janet Cook, organizer of the Trinity Church group: “Just returned from the border after my Trinity Team Brownsville mates and I prepared and cooked casseroles at Good Neighbor Settlement House in Brownsville for 50 homeless, next did the same for 500 asylum-seekers trapped in Matamoros, took the meals across the border by pulling wagons, and served the food with another team that cooked for 700.

The migrants are living in donated tents touching other tents and are generally dependent upon others for food, water, clothing and bedding.  Healthcare primarily comes from volunteers.  There are thirty pregnant women and five newborns.  All this leads me once again to look deeply at the root causes of this humanitarian crisis and how to help change things for the better.

This weekend, I also saw much love in faces and actions.  I saw the needs and benefits of working together with others on levels that are both spiritual and material.  Am very grateful for this experience.”

You can help by donating to Team Brownsville on the facebook link below.  They provide breakfast and dinner at the bridge each day, provide a sidewalk school for children on Sundays, assist asylum seekers at the bus station, and provide for non-potable water to be hauled into the camp.

Thanks to Team Brownsville and thank you Trinity Church of Austin!  You can follow Team Brownsville on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamBrownsville/.

Texas Impact Information

 

 

 

San Antonio Interfaith Advocacy Training

You are invited to Texas Impact’s San Antonio Interfaith Advocacy Training Sunday, November 17 from 2-5pm at First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Antonio.

Register online at https://texasimpact.org/texas-impacts-san-antonio-interfaith-advocacy-training-registration-page/.

Registration is free, but helpful in event planning.

Join us for a faith leader panel, Advocacy 101 training and breakout sessions.. Policy presentations will focus on immigration reform, public education/literacy, and health policy.

Additional topics, speakers and event sponsors will be listed here as they become available.

Email scott@texasimpact.org if you are interested in supporting the event or have ideas/suggestions to share.

____________________________________________________________________

Elgin Interfaith Advocacy Training

You are invited to Texas Impact’s San Antonio Interfaith Advocacy Training Saturday, November 16 from 10am-12pm at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Elgin. Register online at https://texasimpact.org/elgin-interfaith-advocacy-training-registration-form/. Registration is free, but helpful in event planning.

Join us for a faith leader panel, Advocacy 101 training and breakout sessions.. Policy presentations will focus on public education/literacy and rural health policy.

Additional topics, speakers and event sponsors will be listed here as they become available.

Email scott@texasimpact.org if you are interested in supporting the event or have ideas/suggestions to share.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

These Little Lights of Ours

by Bee Moorhead | Sep 13, 2019 | Bee’s BlogImmigrationnewsUncategorized |

On August 29-30, a group of 100 Texas faith leaders traveled from all over the state to learn about current American immigration policy and meet with migrants camped in Matamoros, Mexico, awaiting the opportunity to beg for asylum in the US. The faith leaders—most of them Christian pastors—returned from their field trip exhausted, frustrated, heartbroken.

Watch the video about their trip here

They’re also mad, and that’s good. They should be. Every American should be incensed that the Administration has managed to hijack and subvert our entire national narrative, in the processing destroying countless lives of vulnerable people from conflict zones around the globe.

And we should be furious that Congress has watched it all unraveling in real time and done nothing to stop it. Nothing. Not legislated protections for children. Not asserted budget authority. Not invited in UN human rights monitors into the meat-locker detention facilities.

During their time at the border, the pastors sang “This Little Light of Mine” a few different times. In the video, it’s pretty sad to see how optimistically they sang before they crossed the bridge, and how subdued they sound after they get back.

I suspect a lot of those pastors feel like their own little light is insufficient to illuminate the vast darkness they looked into in Matamoros. Some of them clearly feel like their particular light is struggling for oxygen. Evidence suggests a lot of members of Congress are having a hard time keeping their little lights shining, too.

It’s especially hard to keep your light shining when you insist on doing it all by yourself. A stiff breeze or a cloudburst will extinguish it, and then it’s no good to anyone.

Let’s put our lights together. Put them together on the ground, and gently add some dry leaves and twigs. Let’s make each of our lights part of a bigger flame that will be harder to extinguish–one that will cast a bright light on the shadows at the border. A light big enough to warm even the deep darkness at the heart of the Administration’s border policy.

Save the Date – Austin JFON Gala

Austin JFON Gala 2019 – Save the Date

 November 10

September 12 Meeting – Stories from the Border

This summer, many MFSA supporters traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to witness, observe, and learn about conditions on the border.  We met with ACLU representatives, spoke with workers at three respite centers in the RGV, and helped feed migrants in the tent city in Matamoros.  We attended hearings in Federal Court for many detained for illegal border crossings.  The Courts & Ports program organized by the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact (see more below) allows civilians to witness a small fraction of the hardships being experienced daily by migrants.

Other supporters traveled to the border independently or as a part of other groups to assist with other humanitarian programs that assist migrants and asylum seekers.

Join us on Thursday, September 12, as a group of those who have participated in this important witness share their stories about the chaos that currently exists at our southern border.

The meeting will be at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, at 2140 Allandale Road, in Austin.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

The meeting will be at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, at 2140 Allandale Road, in Austin.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

Courts & Ports

Witness the Crisis First Hand

The Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact invites you to participate in Courts & Ports: Faithful Witness on the Texas-Mexico Border.

This 2-day immersion experience engages people of faith to witness first-hand the legal and law enforcement processes related to immigration, detention, and deportation occurring in South Texas.

Click here for the: Courts & Ports One Pager

Faith Leaders Outraged by Gutting of Flores Agreement, Harm to Migrant Children

In 1997, the federal government reached a settlement to set standards of treatment for migrant children in federal detention. This settlement set standards of care for children in detention centers.

This week, the Trump Administration unveiled a new rule that would override those protections to allow migrant children to be detained indefinitely.

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition and representatives from many denominational and faith groups released a statement condemning the move. See their full statement here, with excerpts below.

“These changes would expand the number of children who will be detained and are in direct opposition to the child-friendly provisions in the Flores agreement,” said Anna Gallagher, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. “This rule would destroy long-term child protection standards created by our government and the courts. There is no justification to keep families and children in immigration jails longer. Separation of children from their parents is inherently wrong. The same is true for keeping children in detention. Clinical studies demonstrate that the mitigating presence of parents does not negate or lighten the serious and adverse effect of detention on the physical and mental health of children.”

“The Trump administration is recommending gutting the Flores agreement so that immigrant children will be held in detention centers indefinitely. This is wrong, full stop. As Jews, we are taught kavod ha’briot – that all people deserve respect and dignity. We will not remain silent while immigrants, including children, continue to be persecuted by our government,” said Sheila Katz, National Council of Jewish Women, CEO.

“It is dangerous, cruel and inhumane to keep children locked up indefinitely, especially when we know that this subjects them to trauma, sickness and unimaginable heartbreak. Children belong with their family. In the midst of a family separation crisis of its own making, and with hundreds of children still separated from their parents, the new “Flores Rule” is the latest move by this Administration to take away immigrant access to due process, dignity and safety. As a network of immigration legal service providers grounded in the United Methodist faith, we will do everything possible to lift our voice against this new regulation and to serve our most vulnerable neighbors,” stated Rob Rutland-Brown, Executive Director, National Justice for Our Neighbors.

Find Additional Texas Impact Immigration Talking Points Here

 

 

 

Conference at Travis Park

 No Need Among You Conference
September 11-13

 Travis Park Church
230 E Travis St | San Antonio, TX 78205
Less than a quarter mile from the Alamo & Riverwalk

No Need Among You Conference is sponsored by the Texas Christian Community Development Network (TxCCDN).  The Texas Christian Community Development Network is called to bring healing and hope to disadvantaged communities, neighborhoods and residents of the Lone Star State by connecting, educating, training and advocating for the poor and marginalized in Texas. https://txccdn.net/event/nnay/keynotes/

Presenters:

  • Alan Graham – founder and CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF), a social outreach ministry that provides food and clothing, cultivates community and promotes dignity to homeless men and women in need.
  • Dr. Lorena Garza Gonzalez is the Vice-President for Urban Strategies, a social enterprise that works to improve the health, educational, social, and economic condition of marginalized populations, in San Antonio.
  • Sister Norma Pimentel is a Sister with the Missionaries of Jesus. As Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley for over 12 years, she oversees the charitable arm of the Diocese of Brownsville, providing oversight of the different ministries & services in the areas of the Rio Grande Valley through emergency assistance, homelessness prevention, disaster relief, clinical counseling, pregnancy care, food program(s), and the Humanitarian Respite Center.
  • Dr. Albert L. Reyes is President and CEO of Buckner International, a non-profit international ministry that transforms the lives of orphans, vulnerable children, families and elders.
  • Jonathan Brooks is a lifelong resident of Chicago, IL. He currently serves as Senior Pastor at Canaan Community Church in the West Englewood neighborhood. He is also the Director of the joint degree program in theology at Northern Seminary, in cooperation with Trinity Christian College and as adjunct faculty for Chicago Semester, an off-campus program that provides students the opportunity to live, learn, and work in Chicago.

For more information and to register visit:  https://txccdn.net/event/nnay/

 

 

Travis Park Church Migrant Ministry

Thank you Travis Park Church for your Migrant Ministry

Travis Park Church is a designated shelter for migrants on their journey through San Antonio..
19,724 – The number of migrants sheltered at Travis Park Church between March 30 and August 7, 2019…an average of more than 195 a night.

Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) program that meets monthly on the second Sunday of each month at noon. MFSA mobilizes clergy and laity within The United Methodist Church to take action on issues of peace, poverty and people’s rights within the church, the nation and the world.

Working primarily through the ministries of the United Methodist Church, MFSA supports and augments peace and justice ministries at the local, conference, and national levels.  As an independent organization, we call our church to expand its understanding of the radical call of the Gospel to be the inclusive, justice-seeking, risk-taking Body of Christ.

MFSA lives out our belief that to be faithful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be involved in the transformation of the social order.

Moreover, MFSA affirms the vital importance of theological reflection as the Church weighs great issues of faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the Gospel in United Methodist worship, governance and witness. We offer to following paragraphs as a point of departure for reflection and discussion.

For information on this committee, email John Patterson.

Texas Impact – “Courts & Ports”

The Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact invites you to participate in Courts & Ports: Faithful Witness on the Texas-Mexico Border.

This 2-day immersion experience engages people of faith to witness first-hand the legal and law enforcement processes related to immigration, detention, and deportation occurring in South Texas.

REGISTER FOR COURTS & PORTS

To find out about registering a group for a Courts & Ports trip, email erica@texasimpact.org

To schedule an informational presentation about Courts & Ports, email  scott@texasimpact.org 

Watch video testimonials at facebook.com/texasimpact