San Antonio Mennonite Church is a joyful and welcoming community that does justice, loves mercy, and walks humbly with God. Our church is an urban church with a diverse, vibrant community of people who work towards service for one another and walk the path of love, healing, and transformation in ourselves and as a church body.
Our ministry at SAMC is focused on providing healing hospitality for all families in our congregation and community. We have an ongoing collaboration with the Interfaith Welcome Coalition (IWC) and support them in their work with immigrants. IWC has offices in our church building and we anticipate extending our collaboration to provide space for them to operate a respite center in our fellowship hall. They would be able to receive immigrant families for a few hours at a time. Families needing to stay longer would have the option to stay at our hospitality house, La Casa de Maria y Marta. There we provide a safe place to stay, basic necessities, and a loving community. We have a collaboration with UT Health San Antonio to support medical care for our families. For families that end up staying we offer job training and connections to the community through our coffee trailer, Café Cotidiano, that operates in our church parking lot.
The café provides an opportunity for families staying in our church community longer than a few days to contribute to our community, to create, to have opportunities to interact in a dominant culture setting, and to earn a small amount of spending money. We are working to expand the cafe concept from coffee and baked goods to including a craft area of goods made by the people coming through our hospitality house. In conjunction, we are working to create a crafting area in the upstairs of La Casa.
The following are desired qualifications for an intern joining our community:
- Experience working with or living with people of different cultures and backgrounds
- Medium to proficient Spanish fluency
- Comfort sharing spaces with other volunteers and immigrant families
- Comfort with change and unpredictability, a high degree of flexibility
The following are desired orientations for an intern joining our community:
- An interest in participating in our broader church community: attending worship services at least three times a month, learning about and connecting with prayer groups and other small groups
- An interest in living in intentional community with other volunteers, church families, and immigrant families
- An interest in spiritual growth through the spiritual disciplines: including particularly keeping Sabbath and rest
- An interest in learning about immigration issues, trauma and crisis ministry, intentional community
- An interest in building relationships with and within our community
- An interest in working with people of all ages from babies to the elderly
The intern will be primarily responsible for supporting the operation of all aspects of our immigrant ministry that are not centered at La Casa. They will work closely with IWC and coordinate all logistics of supporting the work of IWC through our church building and community. They will also work with our Cafe Manager in supporting long-term support of families that are remaining in our area and connected to our church.
It is important to remember that while the immigrant families coming through any part of our ministry have often experienced significant traumas, we are not attempting to heal them of their trauma in their time here. Rather we are providing a safe environment and loving community where they can begin to feel comfortable enough to allow the healing process to take root on its own. Our focus is on creating mental, emotional, and physical safety. Our ministry is founded on the idea of service and healing
with families rather than
for families. Interns will be trained in and provided ongoing support in trauma-informed care.
The intern's responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Collaborate with IWC to support operations of the respite center. Ensuring that all necessary supplies are accessible and that the space is conducive to the needs of families
- Coordinating volunteers from our church community to support the respite center through direct interactions with families and also maintaining the space well
- As needed, coordinating activities led by volunteers such as art, reading time for kids, or a basic English class
- Collaborate with our cafe manager to support the operations of our cafe and plaza area including inventory, logistics, events, and updates
- Collaborate with our cafe manager to support families staying long term who work at the trailer including identifying needs, arranging appointments, and transport.
- Support the running of the craft rooms at La Casa, manage all supplies and areas, keep the rooms tidy and clean, organize volunteers to teach small groups
- Weekly meeting with the MVS supervisor and Local Program Coordinator
- Monthly meeting with MVS committee
- The intern will report to the pastors and will collaborate with other volunteers, the cafe/case manager, and our church's administrative assistant.