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

iACT Hope Awards April 30

Join us Tuesday, April 30, from 6-9pm at the Bullock Texas State History Museum for one of Austin’s most uplifting evenings of the year – the iACT Hope Awards! We are proud to announce the 2019 Hope Award Honorees for their dedication to giving back and their tireless commitment to valuing friendships and building the Austin Community:

Earl Maxwell of St. David’s Foundation

Bobby Jenkins of ABC Home and Commercial Services

Ali Sait & Pria Gokhale of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Congregation Agudas Achim

The evening features an intimate conversation about friendship and giving back with two very inspiring givers, Earl Maxwell and Bobby Jenkins. Moderated by Rev. Joseph Parker.

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

Texas Impact – “Courts & Ports”

In early 2018, nine representatives of Rio Texas MFSA traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to learn more about actions being undertaken by the UMC’s El Valle District on immigration issues.  At our November meeting, we heard from Bee Morehead that Texas Impact has established the “Courts and Ports” program to allow others to take action on these issues.

From Texas Impact:  With the advent of the Administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, federal criminal courts on the southern border of the U.S. are overwhelmed with cases involving citizens of other countries crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S. in a location other than an official port of entry. Courts & Ports is a partnership between the Interfaith Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. Participants observe proceedings in federal criminal court, and record their observations for use by ACLU and other attorneys; meet with faith and policy experts working on the border; 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.

Participants in this program will travel to the RGV in teams for briefings, observations, site visits, and worship, typically beginning Sunday evening and traveling home on Wednesday.  Rio Texas MFSA urges all members and followers to go to the Courts & Ports website to learn more, and to register to attend this meaningful program.

A group of Rio Texas MFSA supporters are making plans to make a trip to the RGV for this program in the next few months.  Please contact Rowland Curry rcurry@austin.rr.com if you are interested in joining us!

Justice For Our Neighbors – JFON

Justice For Our Neighbors Annual Gala:

Families Belong Together

an event for the entire family

Please join us on Saturday, November 10th, 5:30-8:30pm

Crowne Plaza Hotel

6121 North IH-35

Austin, TX, 78752

for an inspirational family event of fellowship and awareness.

We are honored to announce Rev. Laura Merrill as our guest speaker. She will share with us her experience leading worship in the Tornillo immigrant detention center for minors and help us reflect on the growing need to serve immigrant families by helping them navigate the complicated and ever-changing U.S. immigration system.

Austin Region Justice For Our Neighbors is a United Methodist Hospitality Ministry that welcomes immigrants by providing free or low-cost, expert immigration legal services to qualifying immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Your ticket purchase helps us continue to provide free and low-cost legal services to immigrants.

With your help our attorneys will continue to represent immigrant children and families in court. Research shows most will be deported without representation. The need is great.

Support the work of Austin Region Justice for Our Neighbors by purchasing a Gala ticket or table today.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

San Antonio Justice for Our Neighbors

 An Evening with JFON-SA

Food for the Soul

Thursday, November 15, 2018  6:00-7:00pm

John Wesley Room, University UMC

5084 De Zavala Road, San Antonio, TX

Free Admittance

Hear how your generosity has helped immigrants in our area on their path to citizenship and hear our goals for 2019

RSVP to Matt Lohmeier by November 12,

Via telephone at 210-847-7249

From Texas Impact

RUN LIKE THE DEVIL, by award-winning independent film-maker Stephen Mims, documents the 2018 US Senate race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke.

A non-partisan deep dive that goes beyond the political campaigns, the film threads the stories of the candidates with those of their respective political parties during a historic period of national political tumult.

Participants include O’Rourke, Cruz, Evan Smith (Editor, Texas Tribune) Mark McKinnon (political consultant), David Richards (Ann Richard’s ex-husband and redistricting litigator) Bob Moore (former editor, El Paso Times) and Texas Impact’s own Josh Houston.

 

Courts & Ports

Witness with Texas Impact’s Border Initiative

Recently, Texas Impact staff and volunteers traveled to the border to witness the ongoing catastrophe of detention and deportation.

Now we’re inviting you to come with us on a two-day trip to the Rio Grande Valley to experience the crisis on the border for yourself–and return to share your experiences with your congregation and community.

Texas Impact’s Courts & Ports program features two full days of programming. Attendees will be trained by the ACLU and serve as court observers in federal court; receive a briefing from local advocates; visit a respite home for asylum-seekers; cross the bridge to stand with asylum-seekers attempting to enter the US; and participate in worship and discussion about the theological and practical implications of our nation’s current immigration policies.

To register for Courts & Ports or for more information, contact Project Coordinator Erica Nelson at erica@texasimpact.org.

 

From Third Coast Activist

“DO NOT RESIST” DOCUMENTARY SCREENING

Date: September 6, 2018

Time: 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown, “Do Not Resist” offers a look at the current state of policing in America and a glimpse into the future.

The screening, which begins at 6:30 pm and will be followed by a discussion, is part of the “Controversy & Conversation” series, a collaboration between the Austin Public Library and the Humanities Institute’s Difficult Dialogues Program at the University of Texas. More information online.

Location: Austin Public Library, Terrazas Branch, 1105 East Cesar Chavez St., Austin, 78702

 

“TEXAS IS GROUND ZERO FOR IMMIGRATION POLICY” PANEL DISCUSSION

Date: September 12, 2018

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Even as the horror of family separations fades from the news, hundreds of immigrants children are still separated from their parents and the Trump administration is moving forward with plans to build new prisons for asylum-seeking families.

Panelists will include state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, attorney Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch, Grassroots Leadership Immigration Programs Director Claudia Muñoz, and editor Forrest Wilder and immigration reporter Gus Bova from the Texas Observer. More information on the Facebook event page.

Location: Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E. 8th St., Austin, 78701

 

CENSUS 2020 WORKSHOP

Date: September 15, 2018

Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

A coalition of nonpartisan organizations will host a “Texas Counts: Census 2020 Workshop” to highlight the need for an accurate resident count in 2020. Speakers will include Austin Mayor Steve Adler, demographer Ryan Robinson, and Rebecca Briscoe from the US Census Bureau.

Census-derived data is the basis for political representation under the U.S. Constitution, determining the number of Texas representatives in Congress. Policymakers use census data to identify community needs and to distribute federal program dollars to states and localities.

For more info, contact Joanne Richards, joanne@cg4tx.org, or Maria Milner, maria@vocestejas.org.

Location: Agard-Lovinggood Administration Building, Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St, Austin, 78702

 

“CLIMATE CHANGE, EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS, AND INEQUALITY”

Date: October 16, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

A panel on “Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and Inequality” will feature Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, followed by reactions from local speakers. Klinenberg is the author of Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago and Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life.

The program is sponsored by the University of Texas Humanities Institute’s Difficult Dialogues program and Planet Texas 2050, an interdisciplinary collaboration and research around climate change, extreme weather, population, and resource management. RSVP online.

Location: Texas Union, Quadrangle Room, University of Texas, Austin

Refugee Services of Texas

LEARN MORE ABOUT RST’S UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN’S PROGRAM

An Unaccompanied Child (UC) is defined as a child under 18 years of age who has no immigration status and has been separated from their biological parent.  While there are UCs from all over the world, children from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have arrived at the Texas border with Mexico in record numbers in recent years.  By law, the United States Health and Human Services department must provide for the custody and care of these children unless a sponsor can be found while they go through the immigration process.  Less than 10% of UCs receives post release services.

MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, April 12

In January, a group of 9 people from the MFSA chapter in Austin went to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) on an educational tour of missions related to asylum-seekers and immigration.  At our upcoming meeting on April 12, we will provide a program on what we saw and learned on that trip.  Our special guest for the meeting is Deaconess Cindy Johnson, who is involved in several of the programs in the RGV and was our host for a portion of the fact-finding visit.  We will discuss what we encountered, and our next steps related to their missions.  Please join us for this timely discussion.

Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, with snacks and mingling at 6:30p and the program at 7p.  All are welcome!  Hope to see you there!

iACT Hope Awards May 1

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

We are excited to announce

the 2018 Hope Awards Honorees:

Luci Baines Johnson

Imam Mohamed Umer Esmail

A great evening is planned including a conversation with Overheard‘s Evan Smith and Luci Baines Johnson. More event details, including how you can purchase tickets and sponsorships, can be found here.

From Third Coast Activist

“AUSTIN AS A WELCOMING CITY: LOCAL RESPONSES TO FEDERAL IMMIGRATION POLICY”

Date: April 13, 2018

Time: 12:00 pm  to  1:30 pm

This University of Texas Opportunity Forum’s Lunch Series program will focus on “Austin as a Welcoming City: Local Responses to Federal Immigration Policy” with panelists Montserrat Garibay, Texas AFL-CIO; Barbara Hines, retired UT School of Law professor; and Tom Jawetz, Center for American Progress.

The event is free, with lunch provided, but seating is limited and an RSVP is required.

Location: University of Texas, LBJ School of Public Affairs, Room 3.122, 2315 Red River St., Austin

MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, March 1

The Rio Texas Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) will hold its March meeting one week earlier than usual.  Mark your calendars for the FIRST Thursday of the month, March 1.  Our program will feature speakers from Austin Sanctuary Network (ASN), a coalition of more than two dozen congregations and religious groups, three labor unions, several nonprofit groups and dozens of individual volunteers.  ASN helps provide shelter and protection for undocumented immigrants who are subject to deportation to their home countries.  Please join us for this timely discussion.

Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, with snacks and mingling at 6:30p and the program at 7p.  All are welcome!  Hope to see you there!

From Grassroots Leadership

Austin Advocates Call For Release Of Detained Migrant Woman

“Officials at Grassroots Leadership — an Austin-based national organization working against prison profiteering, mass incarceration and deportation — will ask Williamson County Commissioners Court members to intervene on behalf of an immigrant woman facing extreme hardship at a county detention center.

The group is acting on behalf of Laura Monterrosa, an asylum seeker from El Salvador being detained at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, which in actuality is a detention center for immigrant women. Advocates say the woman’s mental and physical health continue to decline after she was driven to attempt suicide at the detention center in early January. Monterrosa has spent nearly nine months at the detention center where she previously spoke out about being sexually assaulted by a guard.

Since her outcry, the woman has been subjected to what Grassroots Leadership officials say is a pattern of retaliation — including being placed in solitary confinement for 60 hours earlier this month in what her advocates say was vengeance for her outcry.”

Actions this Weekend:

Sunday, (2/25) 3-5 PM, T. Don Hutto Detention Center: Laura remains under constant threat of solitary confinement and other forms of retaliation.  Sunday we’ll gather outside the detention center to visit with Laura in the largest mass visitation event yet!  Let’s protect Laura with our presence and show the growing support from her community to pressure ICE for her release.

 

Bring the Fight to Williamson County Commissioners

Tuesday, (2/27) 9 AM, Williamson County Commissioners Court: Last week we testified to County Commissioners asking them to take urgent action to intercede on Laura’s case or provide 90 day notice to pull out of the detention center contract.  As party to the contract with private prison company CoreCivic and ICE, Williamson County is liable for the many rights abuses that take place in Hutto: from sexual assault to labor violations.  Laura remains detained, so we will be back to communicate the urgency that Commissioners act immediately.

Events from Third Coast Activist

PANEL ON REDISTRICTING, THE CENSUS, AND THE FAIR MAPS PROJECT

Date: March 3, 2018

Time: 2:00 pm  to  4:00 pm

Speakers will discuss the 2020 census, redistricting in 2021, and the Fair Maps for Texas coalition, which aims to ensure fair districts and representation. Panelists will include Stephanie Swanson, League of Women Voters; Michael Sarahan, Software Engineer; Anthony Gutierrez, Common Cause Texas; and moderator Mike Ignatowski.

The event is sponsored by Common Ground for Texans., a nonpartisan nonprofit based in Austin, Texas.

Location: Old Quarry Branch Library, 7051 Village Center, Austin

READING: “GODDESS OF ANARCHY: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LUCY PARSONS, AMERICAN RADICAL”

Date: March 5, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm  to  8:00 pm

University of Texas history professor Jacqueline Jones will discuss her new book, Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical. The book tells the story of the militant writer, orator, and agitator Lucy Parsons. Born to an enslaved woman in Virginia in 1851, she was raised in Texas, where she met her husband, the Haymarket martyr Albert Parsons. Lucy Parsons was a fearless advocate of First Amendment rights, a champion of the working classes, and one of the most prominent figures of African descent of her era. Her life also was riddled with contradictions—she advocated violence without apology, concocted a Hispanic-Indian identity for herself, and ignored the plight of African Americans.

Jones, who is chair of UT’s History Department and a former MacArthur Fellow, teaches courses in American history and is author of numerous other books, including A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America.

Location: BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, 78703

SCREENING OF “LAMERICA”

Date: March 6, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The film will be introduced by University of Texas professor Chelsi West Ohueri.

The screening is part of the “Faces of Migration” series presented by “Not Even Past,” Department of History, and Institute of Historical Studies.

Location: University of Texas at Austin campus, CLA 1.302B, Julius Glickman Conference Center (first floor, CLA Building). Paid parking in the Brazos Garage, 210 E. MLK Blvd.

#METOO / #YOTAMBIÉN: SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Date: March 7, 2018

Time: 6:30 pm  to  8:30 pm

This panel focusing on how sexual assault and domestic violence affect immigrant communities is sponsored by Asian Family Support Services of Austin, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, United We Dream, Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project, and YWCA ATX. More information on the Facebook event page.

Location: St. Edward’s University, Carter Auditorium, Austin

SCREENING OF “LONE STAR”

Date: March 27, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The film will be introduced by University of Texas professor Ward Keeler.

The screening is part of the “Faces of Migration” series presented by “Not Even Past,” Department of History, and Institute of Historical Studies.

Location: University of Texas at Austin campus, CLA 1.302B, Julius Glickman Conference Center (first floor, CLA Building). Paid parking in the Brazos Garage, 210 E. MLK Blvd.

AUSTIN SANCTUARY NETWORK BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURING CARRIE NEWCOMER

Date: April 20, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm  to  10:00 pm

Singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer will perform at a benefit concert for the Austin Sanctuary Network, a coalition of faith communities, immigrants, and other organizations that support immigrants fleeing violence or in danger of deportation.

The evening begins with a regional art show at 7 pm and the concert at 8 p.m. The Austin Sanctuary Network. Buy tickets online.

Location: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 14311 Wells Port Drive (exit off I-35, west on Wells Branch Parkway)