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.