From the Rev. Tim Anderson, Community Development Director for ACL – March 12, 2018
It’s a new day for Austin City Lutherans! From our humble start in 2011 as churches attempting to implement the idea “more, better, together,” we’ve grown in ambition and ability. The volunteer-led Bread For All food pantry, going strong most every Monday evening since the fall of 2013, continues to be a focal point of service in Christ’s name for a part of our city that experiences want and need.
Now in 2018, ACL’s Southeast Austin Early Childhood Development initiative calls us to put our heads, hearts, and pocketbooks together for a cause of great importance. I quote the sociologist Robert Putnam, a person of faith, from his book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis (Simon & Schuster, 2015):
This is not the first time in our national history that widening socioeconomic gaps have threatened our economy, our democracy, and our values. The specific responses we have pursued to successfully overcome these challenges and restore opportunity have varied in detail, but underlying all of them was a commitment to invest in other people’s children. And underlying the commitment was a deeper sense that those kids, too, were our kids. (Emboldened words mine.)
We have a long way to go but we know the guideposts on the path toward the initiative’s implementation: lots of listening through research and conversations, interviews with school leaders and parents living in southeast Austin, planning and strategizing with team leaders, and much more. I’m on the ground in southeast Austin and we’re trusting for the Spirit’s guidance as we delve deeper into this process.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” He made the time to bless them, and so can we.