St. James Wherever You Are Gala Celebrates History of Racial Reconciliation and Community Building in East Austin

December 3, 2013

St. James’ Episcopal Church and its rector, the Rev. Lisa Saunders are inviting the community to attend the 2013 Wherever You Are Gala on December 7, 2013 to celebrate 70 plus years of racial reconciliation and community building in East Austin and to prepare for St. James’ future.

A wide cross-section of the Austin community will attend, both parishioners and other supporters of the mission of St. James’ and its important role in the community.  The attendees of the Wherever You Are gala will represent the diversity and welcome that St. James’ is known for.

This celebration is an important fundraiser for St. James’ and will support its ongoing community outreach and ministries of racial reconciliation and community building in East Austin and beyond.  Among the church’s ministries are St. James’ Episcopal School, an early childhood education facility that shares the church campus; Welcome Table Inc., a basic needs ministry providing food and clothing, financial assistance and counseling, and health and wellness education to Austinites in need; and Jazz at St. James’, the church’s annual celebration of African-American musical traditions and the richness of Austin’s musical community and heritage.

UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Henna Chevrolet and other generous benefactors are sponsoring this event.

Held at the AT&T Executive Center, guests will begin their evening browsing the silent auction and enjoying festivities appropriate for the holiday season.  They will then move on to a dinner banquet.  A live auction will follow, offering guests the opportunity to bid on multiple items including an all-expenses paid vacation to Rome.  Guests will wind up the evening on the dance floor, accompanied by the music of Dysfunkshun Junkshun.


About St. JamesEpiscopal Church, Austin, TX

St. James’ Episcopal Church was founded on December 7, 1941 as Austin’s first African-American Episcopal congregation.  It is a multicultural and intentionally inclusive community community of faith committed to diversity, radical hospitality and engagement with the people and issues of Austin and the world. St. James supports the Welcome Table Ministry, a nonprofit organization

that provides assistance to families in east Austin to improve their lives through better nutrition, better health care, healthier lifestyles, and cultural diversity activities.  Welcome Table sponsors:

  • Neighbor 2 Neighbor – a basic needs ministry providing food and clothing, financial assistance and counseling to Austinites in need
  • Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools – provides summer enrichment through a research based and multicultural curriculum that supports children and families.  It helps children and young adults to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves and in their families and their communities. 
  • Race Talk –  dedicated to holding courageous conversations in the community about race issues that affect us today.  The project schedules seminars, workshops, and speeches to further racial reconciliation.
  • East Austin Wellness Center – To promote the health and wellness of the whole person in body, mind and spirit.
  • Community Garden – located on St. James’ property,  this is a cooperative effort with parents from Norman Elementary School and Marathon Kids.  The produce from the garden is given to Norman Elementary parents and other neighborhood families.


For more information about St. James’ Episcopal Church, Austin, visit. and like St. James’ Episcopal on Facebook (

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