After a brief sending service near the McCord Community Christmas tree, several cars rolled out of the Austin Seminary parking lot around 2:00 p.m. today as members of the community head to the border between Texas and Mexico. In response to what they called “moving calls to action” by Dr. Jennifer Owens-Jofré (visiting assistant professor of constructive theology) and Dr. Gregory Cuéllar (associate professor of Old Testament) in chapel six weeks ago, Austin Seminary students organized a delegation—what they are calling a “Wall of Welcome”—to McAllen, Texas, December 14-16.
The delegation—comprised of Owens-Jofré and Cuéllar, thirty-five students, other Presbyterians, and representatives from Mission Presbytery, the Synod of the Sun, and the Office of General Assembly—will stay at First Presbyterian Church in McAllen where they hope to build relationships with Sacred Heart Humanitarian Respite Center. For several weeks prior to their departure, the students conducted a drive for supplies needed by the center. On Saturday afternoon (12-15), they plan to hold a public worship service to “acknowledge the Spirit’s presence and movement on the Texas-Mexico border,” according to one student organizer, Angela Williams (Rock Hill, South Carolina). “My role is to be there, in steadfast, loving solidarity,” added junior student Jonathan Freeman (Tucker, Georgia). Williams adds, “Please pray for all who are attending and everyone they will encounter as they bear witness to the current climate in the borderlands.”
Read today's Presbyterian Outlook article on Dr. Cuéllar's work with migrant children.