Week of May 24, 2021 Click here to view as a webpage.
Ministry News and Events
Alternative Migrant Trail 2021: May 30 - June 6
Since 2004, individuals committed to human rights have gathered for “The Migrant Trail: We Walk for Life," a demonstration in May where hundreds of participants embark on a week-long, 75-mile walk from Sasabe, Sonora, Mexico to stand in solidarity with migrants across the globe and call for an end to migrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border. This year, the Migrant Trail continues virtually, May 30 - June 6, 2021. The alternative trail will feature morning reflections, videos, podcasts, featured speakers, and interactive discussions from a multinational endeavor of allies, faith backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities. To learn more or to register, click the link below.
Volunteer Child Advocate Training: June 5-6
Apply to volunteer as a Child Advocate for children facing deportation with the Young Center, San Antonio. Advocates meet with a child in governmental custody once a week, learning their story and advocating for their best interests alongside Young Center attorneys and social workers. Volunteers must attend a two-day training, be at least 21 years old, pass a health and background check, and speak Spanish. Applications are due May 31, and the training will take place online, June 5 and 6. Interested volunteers may contact the Young Center, at sanantoniovc@gmail.com or using the link below.
The Education Corner: Immigration Detention in the United States
The United States' immigration system is complex and often difficult to understand; however, it doesn't have to be. This week, The Education Corner features a resource provided by the National Immigration Forum explaining Immigration Detention and changes in the system from 2010 to today. Who is held in immigration detention? Why are people held and for how long? Access the resource by clicking the link below.
Immigration Ministries Launches Facebook Page
Immigration Ministries is proud to announce the launch of its Facebook Page, @DWTXImmigration! The page will feature photos, videos, prayers, and sneak peeks into day-to-day work on the ground. Follow the page to learn more about Immigration Ministries, to see how congregations near you are supporting and serving their neighbors, to read the latest ministry news, and to access developing support opportunities first. Click the link below to visit the page and give it a "Like"!
Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) Weekly Advocacy Conversation
The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations (OGR) hosts a weekly, 30-minute conversation introducing the policies and legislation The Episcopal Church is advocating for with the United States Congress and Federal Administration. Each Thursday from 12:00-12:30 p.m. CT, OGR staff will provide an overview of the political environment and legislative outlook, tips for advocacy, and time for questions from attendees. To register for upcoming calls, click here.
Online Screening: New American Economy Action Fund Film Club
The New American Economy Action Fund (NEA) invites you to join the NEA Film Club , a monthly, free online film screening focused on immigrant filmmakers and stories related to the immigrant experience in America. A virtual discussion with a key member of the film team will follow each movie. The next screening will take place on Thursday, June 10 featuring the film Donut King. To register for updates and access to film links and discussions, click here.
"Repairing the Breach: Building Beloved Community through Welcome:" June 10
Join Episcopal Migration Ministries on Thursday, June 10 at 3:00 p.m. CT for "Repairing the Breach: Building Beloved Community through Welcome," a 90-minute webinar highlighting the work to rebuild the refugee resettlement program, different faith tradition's perspectives, and the role of community support in welcoming newly arrived refugees. A question and answer session will follow, with the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, and other leaders from Episcopal Migration Ministries, the Kurdish American Medical Association, and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. To register, click here.
AsylumConnect Virtual 2021 Pride Fundraiser: June 12 - 13
In 80+ countries it is still illegal or unsafe to live openly as a LGBTQ+ person, and so thousands of queer and trans people seek asylum in a safer country every year. Join AsylumConnect, a nonprofit organization facilitating safe travel for LGBTQ+ people fleeing persecution, for the Virtual 2021 Pride Fundraiser on June 12 and 13. Hear from panelists about the pressing challenges faced by LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees, and AsylumConnect's groundbreaking process that connects vulnerable LGBTQ+ people with the verified safe legal, medical, mental health and social services. To learn more and register, click here.
"What's Really Happening at Our Southern Border?": June 13
With so much being said by politicians, the news, and social media about the U.S. Southern Border, how can we know what is real and what is true? On Sunday, June 13 from 6:00 p.m. CT, join Accompaniment & Sanctuary Coalition Colorado Springs and Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition for “What’s Really Happening at our Southern Border?” This online session will feature experts who live and work at the Southern Border and find out how you can offer support and get involved. To learn more, click here.
"Welcome: A Virtual Poetry Declaration for World Refugee Day:" June 19
Join the San Antonio Museum of Art on Saturday, June 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. CT, for "Welcome: A Virtual Poetry Declaration for World Refugee Day." This online event will feature original poems on displacement and resilience written and read by refugees, asylum seekers, and other forced migrants in collaboration with local poets and writers, presented by Catholic Charities, RAICES, Approach Place, NEISD, Cielo Unity in Action, SAMA, and the City of San Antonio Office of the Immigration Liaison. To register for this free virtual event, click here.
Episcopal Migration Ministry - Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day: June 20
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) will host an online prayer vigil for World Refugee Day on Sunday, June 20 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm CT. The prayer vigil will offer time for prayer, reflection, and celebration in honor of refugees worldwide. Broadcast live on the EMM Facebook page, a downloadable Order of Service will be made available prior to the event.To join the vigil in real time, click here on June 20 before 6:00 p.m.
An Evening In Support of EMM with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Iconographer Mr. Kelly Latimore: June 23
Join EMM and The Episcopal Church Office of Development on Thursday, June 23 at 5:00 p.m. CT to learn how religious iconography reinforces our call to become a vehicle for the work of social justice and racial reconciliation. Explore EMM’s history of responding to the needs of refugees through the iconic 'In the Name of These Refugees' poster from 1938 and learn about its future and current efforts. The 90-minute event will include a moderated panel discussion, followed by a Q & A session with special guests. Donations will be solicited, benefitting EMM’s life-saving resettlement and engagement work. Registration is free, but required. To register, click here. 
Action Center
All in-person volunteer opportunities will require a signed agreement to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
Diocesan Wide
New and Used Car Seats Requested
Most families seeking asylum include children under the age of 6, and so an urgent need for car seats has presented itself. To ensure the safety of young children during provided transportation, as well as compliance with Texas State Department of Transportation Laws, Immigration Ministries requests your support to supply these much-needed child safety seats. To donate a used car seat in good condition, click here. To purchase a new car seat from our registry, click here.
Food and Personal Protective Equipment Kits
Migrants traveling to their families across the United States this year have shared a sincere need for food and personal protective equipment (PPE) for their journey with local volunteers. Immigration Ministries has partnered with the Interfaith Welcome Coalition (IWC) and Team Brownsville to provide Food and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Kits in one-gallon Ziploc bags to asylum seeking families and individuals. Congregations can help by hosting a Food & PPE Kit Donation Drive or receiving kits assembled by individuals at their church.
Click here for more information about hosting a donation drive at your church. Click here to sign up as a drop off location for assembled kits. Diocesan staff will contact you with additional information.
San Antonio Area
Volunteer Drivers
Individual volunteers who live in the San Antonio area are needed to drive families and individuals seeking asylum to appointments and errands throughout San Antonio.
Click here for more information about serving our neighbors in this way.
Airport and Bus Station Outreach Volunteers
The Interfaith Welcome Coalition Outreach Programs include Bus Station Outreach & the Airport Outreach. Volunteers provide a warm San Antonio greeting and invaluable resources to families and individuals seeking asylum, who have been released from American detention centers and processing centers along the border. These outreach programs take place 365 days a year, from 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Volunteer shifts can be flexible, with some volunteers staying up to 8 hours and others for 2.
Click here for more information and to sign up to get involved.
Rio Grande Valley
Bus Station Volunteers (Brownsville)
Individual volunteers who live in the Rio Grande Valley region, or are interested in traveling to serve on the border, are needed to welcome asylum-seeking families and individuals at the Brownsville Bus Station.
Click here to sign up or request more information about serving as a bus station volunteer.
Catholic Charities Respite Center Volunteers (McAllen)
Individual volunteers are needed to welcome asylum-seeking families and individuals at the Brownsville Bus Station.
If you live in the Rio Grande Valley region or are interested in serving along the border, click here to request more information about welcoming families in McAllen.
Western Border Region
Volunteer at the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition (Del Rio)
Individuals who live in the Del Rio area or are interested in traveling to serve on the border are needed to welcome asylum-seeking families and individuals at the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition (VVBHC) respite center.
Click here to request more information about volunteering with the VVBHC.
Volunteer at Mission Border Hope (Eagle Pass)
Individuals who live in the Eagle Pass area or are interested in traveling to serve on the border are needed to welcome asylum-seeking families and individuals at the Mission Border Hope respite center. Click here to request more information about volunteering with Mission Border Hope.
Giving Opportunities
Immigration Ministries supports the work of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, its congregations, and ministry partners as they respond to the needs of families and individuals seeking asylum along the border - whether mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual in nature. Click here to partner with Immigration Ministries, helping us serve and empower our migrant neighbors.

To contribute by mail, please send checks payable to "Diocese of West Texas," with "Immigration Ministries" on the memo line, to the following address:
Diocese of West Texas
Attn: Immigration Ministries
P.O. Box 6885
San Antonio, TX 78209
The Diocese and Immigration Ministries would like to extend a special prayer of thanksgiving for members of St. Mark's, San Antonio; Christ Church, San Antonio's JOY (Just Older Youth) Group; St. Luke's, San Antonio; and Trinity by the Sea, Port Aransas who assembled and collected over 397 shelf-stable food kits and 576 PPE kits for people seeking asylum served by Team Brownsville. We are grateful for your support and answer to God's call to serve our neighbors.
Prayer Requests
Verse of the Week: "Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ (Matthew 25:44)

Please keep these families and individuals in your prayers: For the thousands of men, women, and children who continue seeking asylum in camps, shelters, and detention centers throughout the U.S. and beyond. For those affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota. For the new administration and members of the U.S. Government as they make decisions affecting migrants across the globe, and for the volunteers who serve these communities, let us pray to the Lord. Amen.

O Holy Spirit of comfort and eternal presence: spread over us, your weary and anxious people, your protective and reassuring wings, that we might be delivered from our fears of one another: that we might experience the exhilarating freedom of welcoming even strangers without defensiveness, hostility, or suspicion, but rather with openness, hospitality, and the expectation of friendship. In the Name of Jesus, who welcomes all. Amen.
-Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia
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