ACL’s Fall 2020 Newsletter

AUSTIN CITY LUTHERANS

More, Better, Together since 2011!     

FALL 2020 Update

GREETINGS IN CHRIST’S NAME FROM AUSTIN CITY LUTHERANS!

We are the ELCA congregations in and around the Texas capital city—and that includes you. Since its inception in 2011, ACL has sought ways to fellowship and minister in Austin following the simple moniker that we can do “more, better, together.”

BREAD FOR ALL FOOD PANTRY – DELIVERING FOOD AND RENT ASSISTANCE DURING A PANDEMIC

Thanks to your great support and an influx of new volunteers, Bread For All (BFA) Food Pantry has delivered food to neighbors every Monday this year (except for major holidays) without having to close because of the pandemic. In 2019, BFA served some 700 separate households. This year that number has increased significantly to more than 1000 separate households – and the year and the pandemic are not yet over.

Thanks also to special funding from St. David’s Foundation, BFA is expanding its “basic needs” ministry to include rent assistance. In December, some 30 families will receive a one-time rent assistance stipend of $650 (estimated). This figure is half the average monthly rent in Zip Code 78741, where the majority of BFA neighbors reside.

BFA will continue to write grant requests for “basic needs” special funding and is considering ways to further expand its ministries in service of families living in poverty in our city.

Volunteer are needed at BFA on Mondays for afternoon set-up and evening distribution. We have an outside distribution and require volunteers and neighbors to follow social distancing, mask, and sanitizer protocols. Contact Pastor Tim Anderson (512)-653-7115 for more info.

More info at www.austincitylutherans.org

MARIPOSA FAMILY LEARNING CENTER

Mariposa FLC reopened its doors to families the beginning of August! The childcare center had been closed since March 13, due to city and county orders. Director Sheila Pharis and her staff have instituted new safety protocols because of the pandemic and are welcoming new families to our program.

An outdoor classroom was constructed in August to allow Mariposa students and teachers to spend more time outside. This option not only helps during a pandemic like this one, it also aligns with Mariposa’s overall philosophy that emphasizes outdoor play and learning.

St. David’s Foundation also awarded Mariposa with a generous grant to support its subsidy-tuition model for families. Mariposa’s “2-Gen” programming will start in January as parents will participate in educational and support classes designed to strengthen the economic prospects and overall well-being of each family in Mariposa’s program.

Tom Grevlos, Pastor of Shepherd of the Hills, serves as Mariposa’s board president. Secretary Mike Riggs (Abiding Love), Treasurer Brad Seidel (Shepherd of the Hills), and Vice-President Jan Richards (Triumphant Love) also serve on Mariposa’s board. Dick Moeller serves as Mariposa’s non-profit development consultant, and ACL board members Tim Anderson and Brad Highum help coordinate efforts between the two organizations.

More info at www.mariposalearningcenter.org.

FROM ACL PRESIDENT BRAD HIGHUM: Working together as Austin City Lutherans gives us all the opportunity to pursue shared ministry that may well be beyond the scope of our individual congregations. I am happy to report that we have approved a plan to continue the work of Pr. Tim Anderson as our Director of Development for 2021. To address its particular needs and opportunities, we have established Mariposa FLC as a separate corporation. Pr. Tim will be working across operations: leading development of new services we can provide through our BFA Food Pantry and continuing work in fundraising and expansion for Mariposa, all under the auspices and umbrella of ACL. We are looking forward to substantial growth in the coming year, thanks to you and your continued support and participation!

ACL BOARD MEMBERS: President Brad Highum (Abiding Love), Treasurer Steve Zwernemann (Faith), Tim Anderson (ACL Director, Abiding Love), Secretary Dee Jackson (Shepherd of the Hills), Vice-President Janis Coltin (Triumphant Love). Dick Moeller (Triumphant Love) and Tom Grevlos (Shepherd of the Hills) help coordinate efforts between the two organizations.

ACL and Mariposa FLC are separate 501.c.3 non-profit organizations. Donations can be sent to Abiding Love Lutheran Church, 7210 Brush Country Rd, Austin, TX 78749, earmarked either “ACL” or “Bread For All.” Donations for Mariposa FLC can be sent to 403 Vargas Road, Austin, TX 78741. Talk with your pastor, stewardship or outreach chairperson about your congregation’s support of ACL and Mariposa FLC.

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