Question: Can Austin City Lutherans do “more, better, together”? Answer: Absolutely, because with God’s guidance and grace, all good things are possible. When it comes to food distribution and early childhood/family development – the two major areas of emphasis for Austin City Lutherans’ (ACL) combined ministry efforts – we’re grateful to report that our organization’s reach is expanding.
Mariposa Family Learning Center (MFLC) is ACL’s newly named and established effort in SE Austin to provide young families with high-quality child care, supplemented by parent education and support. MFLC will use a “2-Generation” approach – working simultaneously with children and their parents – with the goal of increasing each family’s access to economic, social, educational or spiritual resources. Located at the Montopolis Friendship Community Center on Vargas Road in Austin’s Montopolis neighborhood, MFLC should be operational sometime in the fall of 2019.
ACL’s leadership identifies Mariposa FLC as a transformational ministry, having the power to positively alter the trajectory of a child’s and their family’s life.
Individuals and families continue to receive fresh produce, frozen meat, eggs, bread, and canned goods every Monday evening at Bread For All (BFA) Food Pantry at Faith Presbyterian Church on E. Oltorf Street. On the second Monday morning of each month, BFA helps facilitate a similar distribution from a Central Texas Food Bank truck at Parker Lane United Methodist Church in SE Austin. Since 2013, BFA has served low-income workers, seniors on fixed incomes, disabled folks, homeless individuals, and children living in poverty.
ACL’s leadership refers to BFA as charity ministry, having the ability to provide quality food – along with water, the most basic of necessities – for an individual or family, whether in temporary or chronic need.
ACL is committed to doing its part to counter intergenerational poverty – a byproduct of entrenched American inequality – in response to Jesus’s teaching in “The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats:” Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me (Matthew 25:40).
We’re working with United Way-Austin, which serves as the coordinating organization for all 2-Generation efforts throughout the Austin area. Other important partners include Austin Parks and Recreation, Allison Elementary School, and the United Methodist women who have been doing community ministry from the Montopolis Friendship Community Center for more than sixty years.
Austin City Lutherans consists of the leaders and members of ELCA worshipping communities in and around Austin, Texas. Formed in 2011, the ACL moniker “More, Better, Together” was adopted early on to guide the organization’s activities.
Donations can be made to directly to Mariposa FLC (a 501.c.3 non-profit) at their website, http://www.mariposalearningcenter.org.