Walk in Love border tour starts in San Antonio

Humanitarian crisis draws Episcopal church leaders

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter, Luis Cienfuegos - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - The humanitarian crisis on the border has drawn Episcopal church leaders from across the country to San Antonio, where they’ve begun what they’re calling the Walk in Love border tour.

The Rev. Ann Fraser, associate rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church downtown, said the tour is based on Ephesians 5:2, which reads, “Walk in love, as Christ loved us.”

“Whether they’re asylum seekers, ranchers, Border Patrol agents, everybody is in a terrible struggle right now,” said Bishop Anne Hodges-Copple, who is with the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina but is originally from Texas.

The bishop said they hope to find “the humanity in this humanitarian crisis.”

Hosted by the West Texas diocese, the tour began by walking from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church downtown to the bus station a block away, where migrant families are met by the Interfaith Welcome Coalition. Only a half block away is the city-operated shelter that’s seen 8,000 men, women and children since it opened March 30 less than two months ago, according to a spokesman for the city’s Department of Human Services.

The group also visited Travis Park Methodist Church in the next block, which also has a migrant family ministry.

“It’s a tremendous blessing in our community that we see these groups coming together in this way,” Fraser said.

She said the city has helped coordinate social service organizations, faith-based groups and city services, including Goodwill — which has provided clothing — Catholic Charities, the San Antonio Food Bank and other organizations.

Fraser also said that, despite the political climate over immigration, “We have volunteers from all points of the political spectrum who are willing and able to serve.”

She said the approach is simply “to treat others the way we would hope to be treated in our hour of need.”

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