AUSTIN CITY LUTHERANS
More, Better, Together since 2011!
SUMMER 2021 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.”
ACL SUMMIT MEETING – JUNE 13 – TAKING ON HOMELESSNESS
Combatting homelessness might be the next “big thing” for Austin City Lutherans. At the Summit Meeting, conducted via Zoom, Travis County Court Commissioner Ann Howard gave an informed and impassioned presentation on what churches and other partners can do together to make homelessness “rare, short, and non-reoccurring.” Ann is the former executive director of ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition) and a longtime member of ACL congregation St. Martin’s.
ACL Director Tim Anderson will meet with pastors and ACL congregational leaders to survey ministry efforts that are already in place to combat homelessness at or through our churches. He’ll compile a report by mid-August and share the results with ACL congregations.
The New Testament uses the Greek word “kairos” to describe opportune times. In Mark’s opening chapter, Jesus says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom has come near” to announce the beginning of his ministry. With all the things coalescing around the homelessness issue in Austin—the recent summit meetings by city and county leaders, the Prop B vote, the availability of federal dollars—ACL’s leadership senses this is an opportune time for us to do our part in a larger coordinated, partnered, and effective strategy that helps move unhoused neighbors from the streets to permanent housing.
Visit the ACL website (address below) and click on the post titled “ACL 2021 Summit Meeting – VIDEO LINKED BELOW!” to view the recording of the meeting, including Ann Howard’s informed and moving presentation.
More info at www.austincitylutherans.org
BREAD FOR ALL FOOD PANTRY
BFA continues to serve neighbors every Monday with an outside distribution. Thanks for your ongoing great support of this ministry! Food and diaper donations, financial contributions and the good will of volunteers keep this ministry effort humming. The numbers of neighbors served has decreased as of late, and we hope that trend might continue even as eviction moratoria end as of August 1.
BFA distributes food every Monday, 5–6:30 p.m. at Faith Presbyterian Church, 1314 E. Oltorf St., right across from Travis High School.
MARIPOSA FAMILY LEARNING CENTER – EXPANSION ON THE HORIZON!
As reported by Director Sheila Pharis at ACL’s Summit Meeting, Mariposa is expanding. Mariposa has recently taken over ownership of the Centennial Building adjacent to our childcare center. Mariposa’s office space will be moved to the acquired building, opening up a second room in the childcare building for the care and education of more toddlers and infants. Target date for this expansion is December 2021.
We give thanks to our Methodist partners of the Montopolis Friendship Community Center who, since 1957, have run ministry operations from the Centennial Building. As an organization, Mariposa follows in the path that has been trod by our partners from more than 60 years!
More info at www.mariposalearningcenter.org.
FROM ACL PRESIDENT PR. BRAD HIGHUM:
Paul’s charge to the struggling Roman church—“be transformed by a renewing of your minds” (12:2)—is a challenge to Austin City Lutheran congregations: habitual ways of thinking will not solve habitual problems. We need to think in new ways to address problems like homelessness and related issues that are keeping so many in Austin from entering fully into meaningful life. We have addressed our collective spirit and energies to meet nutritional needs and to improve educational opportunities in the area of greatest need in our city… to solid, positive effect. We have important roles to play in tackling the challenge of re-homing and accompanying people as they step forward. Once again, we enter into prayer and discernment, seeking the guidance of the Spirit in shaping new shared ministry for the sake of the struggling and the suffering, for the sake of the world God loves. It is a blessing to share in this vital work with you!
ACL and Mariposa FLC are separate 501.c.3 non-profit organizations. Donations can be sent to 7210 Brush Country Road, Austin, TX 78749, made out to 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.