Last year, St. Matthew’s added an exciting ministry to our outreach support. It’s Interfaith Action Central Texas, also known as IACT. IACT’s vision is to have a respectful, caring and inclusive community where people of diverse cultures and religions are actively involved in enhancing the quality of life in the Austin area. In our divided culture, this is certainly an important ministry. This group encourages a spirit of respect and understanding while they use their hands and hearts to better the Austin community.
IACT can involve us in many things:
- The CROP Walk (CROP=Community Responding to Overcome Poverty) - This walk, as well as getting the Austin community together, also raises money to combat hunger at home and worldwide.
- Hands on Housing - Each fall and spring we have an opportunity to repair houses for our fellow Austinites who are in need. The typical client is 70+ years old with an income of $10,000 or less per year.
- The Thanksgiving Celebration - gathers the whole community to celebrate together those things for which we are thankful. It is held in a different venue with a different religion in charge each year. There are many more things that unite us than divide us.
- The Abraham Walk - another way of fostering understanding. Last year the keynote speaker was Judea Pearl, father of Daniel Pearl.
- Classes for Refugees - These classes, as well as helping people learn English, also teach things that might seem strange or confusing to newcomers, ie. how to open a bank account, what different street signs mean, how to shop in a grocery store.