MISSION OUTREACH & JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Chair for 2020:
Andries Coetzee, email@example.com
The Mission Outreach and Justice Committee (MOJC) encourages, supports, networks with connectional mission and ministry partnerships among congregations, regions, ecumenical and interfaith organizations to participate in the witness of the church of God's activity of Jesus Christ in the world through its life for others and to, promote and enable ministries of social, racial, and general justice, peacemaking, and self-empowerment throughout the congregations of MIssion Presbytery.
2020 Meeting Dates:
February 6, 2019 - Regular MOJC Meeting - Mission Presbytery office
March 6-7 - Presbytery Meeting (Westlake Hills, Austin) - Staff the Mission table (at least 3 members)
March 20 - Special MOJC Meeting - By call-in
May 6 - Regular MOJC Meeting - Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
June 5-6 - Presbytery Meeting - Staff the Mission table (at least 3 members)
June 12 - Special MOJC Meeting - By call-in
September 17 - Regular MOJC Meeting - Location TBA
October 23-24 - Presbytery Meeting (John Knox Ranch) - Staff the Mission table (at least 3 members)
October 29 - Special MOJC Meeting - By call-in
Mission Outreach and Justice Applications and Guidelines
When members of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Austin traveled to McAllen and the Humanitarian Respite Center, they learned that meeting basic human needs for thousands requires a miracle for the many saints in long lines.
Mission Presbytery is at Ground Zero for Refugees Entering the USA
The question is not, what will the President do about it?
The question is not, what will Congress do about it?
The question is, what will you and I do about it?
“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” Exodus 22:21.
Can anyone keep silent at times like these?
The answer is, there are opportunities for those who want to reach out to our neighbors.
For lawyers and translators, here is one opportunity:
Families and individuals who are detained, pending deportation, should have legal counsel. Many are eligible for consideration as “refugees.” Lawyers, even those who have never handled an immigration case, can be a great help to an asylum applicant. First, a lawyer may be able to work out a bond arrangement, for release to willing relatives or an agency. Second, a lawyer can assist with preparation and prosecution of an asylum application, in appropriate cases. I can testify to the great joy in assisting someone, who has been in acute distress, to stay where he or she will be safe.
What is involved? Applicants are expected to answer questions about themselves and their families, and about their claims of abuse, Form I-589. Applicants frequently need help documenting their personal information or their claims. Research is usually needed to show that conditions claimed are documented in government reports and newspaper stories and published research papers. The kind of support work needed is like the work required of many lawyers in trial work, real estate transactions, corporate work and criminal defense. In short, any great lawyer can do this. Once the Application is submitted, counsel can usually plan to appear in Houston, or onsite at a Detention Center, at an interview with an immigration officer, called a “Reasonable Fear” Interview.
What support is involved for volunteer lawyers?
American Gateways, http://www.americangateways.org/, (located in Austin and San Antonio) provides initial orientation (with CLE credit). Mentoring and supervision and support, access to translation, and insurance. If legal research tools are not otherwise available to you, Probono Texas will give you access to Westlaw to do your research. https://probonotexas.org/get-support
What will you and I do about the families who come into our country seeking caring community?
Please let me know what you decide:
Tom O’Meara, firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Attorney, American Gateways
Moderator, Mission Presbytery, Mission Outreach and Justice Committee
Ruling Elder, Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church, Austin