May 10, 2023
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Bishop Sue’s Sabbatical May 21st – July 9th

Bishop Sue will be on the final part of her sabbatical beginning Sunday, May 21st and concluding Sunday July 9th. She will be back in the office on July 10th. During that time she will be traveling, reading, spending time with family and friends and planning for the coming year. During this time, her email will be monitored by Deacon Darcy Mittelstaedt, Bishop’s Associate, and Deacon Darcy and Pastor Chris Steubing, Bishop’s Associate and Director of Evangelical Mission, will jointly be tending to “what comes in” to the Bishop’s Office that can’t wait until Bishop Sue’s return with the support of the other staff members. Please keep her and the staff in your prayers during this time, and we ask that if you have something that can wait until her return, that you not overburden the staff.
Share Your Mientras Tantos Story

As we mentioned at our assembly last weekend, there are mientras tanto/meanwhile stories of God’s activity all over our synod. We’d love to hear and share your story of God at work in/through you and your congregation.

If you have a story to share, please email us at and our “roving reporter”, Jamie Stark, will interview you and share your story with the wider synod. We look forward to hearing from you!
Growing Generosity

The 2023 Synod Assembly Offering, impacting ministries through the Evangelical Mission Endowment Fund, is off to a great start. We already have 69 individuals and 19 congregations who stepped forward with over $29,000!
Remember, two challenge gifts inspire giving.
  • The first $50,000 given through congregations will be matched, dollar for dollar. So far, over $24,000 has been received from 15 congregations/conferences! If your congregation has not had a chance to give a gift, it's not too late. It'll be matched!
  • When 100 people give a gift of any size directly to the Southwestern Texas Synod, a special gift of $25,000 will be released. Sixty-nine have taken part so far. Only 31 to go!

Now is the time to give. You may give online or by mailing a check to the Synod Office at 1090 Oestreich Dr., Seguin, TX 78155. Please make checks payable to Southwestern Texas Synod and write Assembly Offering on the memo line. 

“The Evangelical Mission Endowment Fund gives us the opportunity to really experiment with new ways of being church together.”
– Bishop Sue Briner 
Emanuel Nine Commemoration

On June 17, 2015, a shooting occurred at Emanuel Lutheran church in Charleston, South Carolina which claimed the lives of nine. This event, perpetrated by an ELCA Lutheran on an African Methodist Episcopal Church, is something we seek to recognize annually, not on our own but with our local AME communities as an act of remembering and reconciliation.

We will gather on June 18th at 3:30 pm in San Antonio, at Emmanuel AME Church for a service of prayer. All are welcome to come remember the loss and build relationships with our AME siblings in Christ.
Free Inclusivity Training!

May 13, 2023
9 am - 3 pm

None of us want to be oppressors, and all of us deserve the opportunity to learn how to be allies instead. In 2022, the Southwestern Texas Synod began offering our Anti-Oppression training to synod leaders. In 2023, we have decided that this is a foundational training that should be available to all members of our synod.

This training was built specifically with the Southwestern Texas Synod in mind and is offered in the hopes of aligning our synod regarding issues of oppression throughout the world and particularly in our synod territory. It centers around vocabulary, a brief look at history, and tools for allyship. This training is offered for free one-time only and will subsequently be offered with a registration cost. The facilitator for the May 13th training will be Rev. Katy Miles-Wallace, Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity Coordinator for the synod and pastor of Technicolor Ministries. We look forward to seeing you!

Mientras Tantos Story- Eagle Pass Frontera Ministries

Talking with Emma Espino Olvera reminds you we’re all called to be saints, that perhaps the only thing standing in our way is a willingness to say “yes” to the call. Since 2019, Emma has hosted migrants who need a welcoming place to arrive in the U.S., up to 40 people per day at the peak. She lives on site with her husband Julio Vasquez, the pastor of Iglesia Luterana San Lucas (St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, in English). They named their work Eagle Pass Frontera Ministries, located at San Lucas, on the border across from Piedras Negras, Mexico. 

“We started to see groups of kids, just sitting on the corner waiting, waiting for nothing,” Emma said. “Whole families were there, with nothing to eat.”

Holy Land Trip 
January 14-25, 2024
Join with Bishop Sue and others from around the synod on our Living Stones Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We will renew our baptismal vows in the Jordan River, explore holy sites, learn from local guides and leaders, and connect with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

Annual Congregation Report Online System Closes May 31

The ELCA churchwide organization will close the online system for filing Forms A and C on Wednesday, May 31.

These forms should be submitted electronically before 5:00 pm CST on May 31 to be included in the 2022 ELCA statistics and synod reports.

Support Plaza de Paz Respite Center

We have recently become very busy at the Plaza de Paz respite center for migrants in San Antonio, receiving up to 100 individuals daily, particularly families. Here are some of our immediate needs: 

  • Men’s clothing: jeans (sizes 30, 32, and 34), pants/joggers (Small and Medium), T-shirts (Medium), Underwear/boxers (small and medium), Tennis shoes (sizes 8, 8 ½, 9, 9 ½ , 10), pullover sweaters/sweatshirts (small, medium, and large), and jackets (small, medium, and large).
  • Women’s clothing: Pants/jeans (small and medium), Bras (size 32, 34, and 36), Tennis shoes (size 7, 7.5, 8, and 8.5), Pullover sweaters (small and medium), and jackets (small and medium).
  • Boy’s clothing: Pants and shorts (sizes 4-6, 8-10, 12-14, 16), Pullover sweaters/sweatshirts (small, medium, and large), and jackets (small, medium, and large).
  • Girl’s clothing: Pants and shorts (4-6, 8-10, 12-14, 16), underwear (4-6-8-10-12), pullover sweaters/sweatshirts (small, medium, and large), and jackets (small, medium, and large). 
  • Baby/toddler (boys and girls): clothing (6 months – 2 years), and baby food.
  • Toiletry items: feminine pads

We are also looking for donations of meal kits. Please click here for more information on registering to volunteer or to prepare the meal kit. Then, scroll to the information under Plaza de Paz Respite Center.

We are also looking for volunteers to help at the center and/or to organize and serve a meal. Please feel free to contact Deacon Lisa Diana at for more information. Thank you.  
Is There Room at the Inn?

Border Servant Corps (BSC) is launching their "Is There Room at the Inn?" campaign! They’re hoping to connect with congregations, shelters, and community organizations all over the US to expand the network of places where their guests can land if they have nowhere to go when they reach the US. Under this campaign, BSC has 3 "asks" for partners in the interior of the US. They need organizations who are willing to open their doors and hearts to either sponsor a an individual or family seeking asylum for up to a year, receive a bus of 50 asylum seekers and provide basic needs for 24-72 hours while they connect with their sponsors, or provide financial support to border shelters.
BSC is asking any interested parties to please fill out this Partnership Referral Form. Filling out the form doesn't mean you are committing to anything, it's just a way for them to track interest and be able to respond.
College of Pastoral Leaders Cohort Grants

The College of Pastoral Leaders, sponsored by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, is once again offering multi-year grants to cohorts of 4-6 pastors to create self-designed experiences of renewal and refreshment for the practice of ministry. This is a competitive grant. Staff are happy to answer questions and help interested pastors complete the application process.

The application deadline is May 12, 2023.


Gather:Austin is a small group for young adults (folks in their 20s-30s) who gather for food, fellowship, and faith formation on the first Thursday of each month.

Gather meets at 7 pm on the big deck outside of the cafe at Central Market (4001 North Lamar). This is a group for young adults, led by young adults, and focused on creating connections with young adults throughout the Austin area. Gather is a networked community, and welcomes all people across race, faith background, gender, sexuality, and perspective. 
For more information about Gather:Austin, check out our website. You can follow Gather on Instagram as well (@gather_austin) and reach a Gather leader via email at
Job Opportunities

  • Triumphant Love, Austin hiring Children's Ministry CoordinatorContact

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