Every week in worship, many of our congregations pray for the concerns of the whole world. In the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught us that the commandment to love our neighbor transcends geography, ethnicity and religion. Our "neighbor" is whoever has a need that God brings to our attention.
A few weeks ago, our congregation's partnership with Episcopal Migration Ministries/Refugee Services of Texas bore fruit. A father, mother and two teenage daughters landed at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and settled into the apartment furnished and stocked for them. They are Muslim, Iraqi and legal immigrants.
Our congregation is helping this family adjust to life in the United States by providing practical help as well as our friendship and moral support.
Another aspect of global ministry was reflected in a recent visit from The Right Rev.James Tengatenga of the Anglican Diocese of Southern Malawi.
Tengatenga has Austin roots: He married at St. David's Church in 1984 while he was studying at the Seminary of the Southwest. He is also a very high-ranking member of the global Anglican hierarchy as the chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, which facilitates the cooperative work of the churches of the Anglican Communion throughout the world.
In 2010, the Diocese of Texas entered into a partnership agreement with Tengatenga's home diocese, the Anglican Diocese of Southern Malawi. Warm Heart International, a nonprofit agency based in Austin, fundraises to bring clean water, educational services, and health facilities in Southern Malawi.