A medium shot of the city of Austin from the South Congress bridge.
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A medium shot of the city of Austin from the South Congress bridge.
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Mobilizing the church to help people, particularly the marginalized and vulnerable

Year Established
2009

About Us

We mobilize, train, and support disciples, leaders, and congregations to love our city through mercy and justice.

For the City is an outpouring of The Austin Stone's mission to love the city God has called us to. Through internal initiatives and external partnerships with local nonprofits, churches, and other organizations, we help empower and equip the church to care for our neighbors.

Our desire is for the body of Christ to be actively and compassionately engaged with issues of brokenness and injustice in our city. Specifically, we strive to join in and develop initiatives that support the holistic development and flourishing of the marginalized and vulnerable.

What We Do

For the City helps lead the church to respond to God's call to care for the needs of the vulnerable—not for our own glory, but for His name to be magnified. We want to be a people who are defined by Christ-centered sacrifice and service. To this end, we identify opportunities for people to engage with and address our city's needs.

What We Do

Development

Child Welfare - Supporting foster children, adopted children, and the families that care for them

Education Empowerment - Supporting students facing barriers to educational access and achievement

Family Support - Helping parents at risk of losing parental rights develop increased stability and grow through educational opportunities

Sanctity of Life - Advocating for the unborn and supporting under-resourced parents of young children

Neighbor Care

Adaptive Community - Empowering and facilitating community with those uniquely created with different abilities

Homeless Care - Caring for our homeless and recently-housed neighbors

Immigrant Care - Caring for vulnerable immigrants in Austin, including refugees and asylees

Restoration

Anti-Human Trafficking - Combating human trafficking and its causes while supporting survivors

Disaster Response - Mobilizing the church body to respond when disasters occur

Prisoner Grace - Demonstrating God’s grace to current and former inmates

Racial Justice - Supporting the church in affirming the dignity and worth of every image-bearer regardless of race, ethnicity, or nationality

For the City Portfolio

We work to develop internal initiatives and external partnerships to provide sustainable, holistic solutions to meet the needs of our city.

Programs

Child Welfare Support Program

The Child Welfare Support Program exists to cast vision for, celebrate, and create awareness surrounding foster care and adoption. As a church that actively works to respond to God’s heart for vulnerable children and families, this program works to help equip and sustain current foster and adoptive families in their calling and empower more parents to enter into this space. Learn more about the program by exploring the brochure below.

Academy 4 Mentorship

In partnership with Academy 4, we work to provide consistent mentors to fourth-grade students at Pickle Elementary and Houston Elementary. Through these relationships, we’re able to help instill leadership skills in students during a particularly impactful time in their cognitive and social development. Click the button below to see how The Austin Stone made a difference in the lives of students in 2022-2023 and to explore how you can get involved for the 2023-2024 school year!

St. John Refugee Food Drive

When Refugee Services of Texas closed in the spring of 2023, many refugee families struggled to meet basic needs due to an interruption in financial support. In response, our St. John Congregation collected food to help an organization called More than Welcome aid these families. Click the button below to learn more about how our St. John Congregation served our refugee neighbors.

Back to School

Before the start of the school year, Austin Stone congregations made a collective effort to support schools and nonprofit organizations that serve students facing barriers to educational access and achievement. As a result, families and teachers were provided with the necessary supplies they needed for their students—setting both them and their kids up for success in the new school year. Click the button below to see how each congregation contributed.

Christmas Serve

In partnership with Austin Stone congregations, we work with nonprofit organizations to bless the marginalized in our city through donations of supplies, gift cards, and presents. Check out the impact of the 2023 Christmas Serve project by clicking the button below.

Dobbs Decision

In July 2022, The Austin Stone rallied together to provide support for life-affirming pregnancy resource centers and women's health clinics within the greater Austin area in response to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. These resources included a variety of items, from car seats and onesies to formula and wipes. Click the button below for more info!

COVID-Impact Care Program

In response to the pandemic, For the City initiated the COVID-Impact Care Program to provide counseling and fitness memberships to nurses, teachers, social workers, and nonprofit professionals. Through this program, we were able to care for these professionals and express our gratitude for their faithful service during a time that was uniquely challenging. Click the button below to learn more!

Winter Storm Response

In 2021, we mobilized to provide disaster relief and aid for those impacted by the winter storm. These efforts included supplying and delivering food, water, and other essentials, providing monetary support to organizations serving those most affected, and organizing rescue rides for those unable to travel due to roadway conditions.

Refugee Community ESL at St. John

For over a year, For the City supported a weekly ESL class for refugees. Over the course of this program, volunteers helped refugees learn English through conversation in a supportive environment. More than 20 refugees were served by this program!

a man standing in front of a classroom full of students
a man and a little girl in a room

2022 Annual Report

volunteered

1,053

People Volunteered
donated

1,362

People Donated Resources
learning & community

640

Class & Community Engagement Attendees

Our Team

Josh Burke

Local Mission Associate Director
Director Ministry Strategies Leadership Local Mission Associate Director For the City

Wilson Echols

Local Mission Program Manager
Manager Ministry Strategies Leadership Local Mission Program Manager For the City

Heather Foss

Local Mission Program Coordinator
Coordinator Ministry Strategies Local Mission Program Coordinator For the City

Brittani Oglesbee

Local Mission Resident
Ministry Strategies Second Year Resident Local Mission Resident For the City

Madeline Preston

Local Mission Program Manager
North
Manager Ministry Strategies Local Mission Program Manager North For the City

Sarah Zarr

Local Mission Program Manager
Manager Ministry Strategies Leadership Local Mission Program Manager For the City

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is For the City?

The Austin Stone's mission is to love God, love the church, love the city, and love the nations. The For the City Team is the initiative of The Austin Stone tasked with stewarding the "love the city" aspect of the mission by mobilizing and equipping the church to help marginalized and vulnerable people.

For the City is not a separate entity from The Austin Stone. In the past, the For the City Network was a separate 501(c)(3), but that entity has been dissolved.

Why does the church care about helping the marginalized and vulnerable?

The simple answer is, because God says so!

God makes His desire for His people to love their neighbors and pursue justice and mercy clear in both the Old and New Testament. Through the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus says that His disciples should follow the example of the Good Samaritan and show compassion by meeting the needs of our neighbors in need (Luke 10:25-37). Furthermore, God repeatedly cautions His people that He rejects worship and religious practices when the church is failing to pursue justice and mercy (Isaiah 58:1-12; James 2: 14-26). The Bible also reveals that generosity and kindness in His name is a powerful witness to the world (Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 2:42-47).

What are some of the For the City team's core values?

  • We center efforts around the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable.
  • We dignify the people we serve.
  • We join in efforts where God is already at work.
  • We value holistic transformation.
  • We value operational excellence.
  • We strive to be a trustworthy partner.

How does For the City work with nonprofits?

We collaborate with and support nonprofits by promoting their service and donation opportunities, providing education opportunities for people to learn more about ongoing efforts, and providing financial support.

When working alongside organizations, our primary focus is centering efforts to address the needs of those being served. As such, we often support non-faith-based organizations that are effectively serving marginalized communities.

How can I stay up to date on volunteer opportunities and classes?

The best way to stay informed about volunteer opportunities, classes, and donation opportunities  are to subscribe to our newsletter and follow For the City on Instagram.

Also, congregation emails and social feeds frequently include information about For the City activities as well.

Can I give directly to For the City?

Yes! You can make a one-time or recurring donation to the Local Mission Fund by clicking here. Financial gifts given to this fund are put toward partnering with nonprofits, meeting tangible needs in our city, and proactively working to address barriers to human flourishing.

Stay Up to Date with For the City

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

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