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On Saturday, September 24th, Rev. Sam Brannon attended the 4th Annual RGV Equal Voice Regional Summit in Harlingen, Texas. The event was sponsored by the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Equal Voice Network, a network of ten community based organizations committed to bringing the Rio Grande Valley's families' voices to the decision making table.

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ID 11208403 © Sam D\'cruz | DR CONGO - NOV 2ND : Refugees cross from DR Congo into Uganda at the border village of Busanza in Kisoro district on 2nd November 2008

“What Limits Does Faith Place on Love?”

Updated with new faith leader statements.

Update: Watch the archived press conference on Youtube.

 Leaders of the interfaith organization Texas Impact today issued the following statement protesting the decision of state policymakers to withdraw from Texas’ longstanding participation in the federal Refugee Resettlement Program.

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Texas Impact's Board of Directors, representing more than two-dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim denominational bodies, as well as hundreds of local congregations, ministerial alliances and interfaith networks, and thousands of people of faith throughout Texas, adopted the statement below on September 13 at their biennial legislative board retreat.

Click here to add your name to the letter.

Dear Texas Lawmakers:

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On September 12-13, Texas religious leaders from across Texas gathered in New Braunfels to deliberate on Texas Impact's legislative agenda for the 85th Texas Legislature. Board members received policy updates and discussed legislative strategy with Texas Impact staff. At the conclusion of the meeting, the legislative agenda, a culmination of months of discussion and revision, was adopted unanimously.

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The past week at the Capitol has been busy with legislative committees finishing up the last of their interim hearings. In Texas’s biennial legislature, a legislative session occurs in odd-numbered years beginning the second Tuesday in January, and running for 140 days straight. After each legislative session, the presiding officers of the House and the Senate assign “interim charges,” or topics for study, to their committees in preparation for the next session.

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On Sunday, September 11, Texas Impact staff and dozens of Texas Impact members and supporters joined retired United Methodist Bishop Joel Martinez along with several hundred other participants to march four miles from St. Edward’s University to the Capitol for the 50th Anniversary Commemorative March for Farm Workers rights. See Texas Impact's videos, recorded live from the march, on Facebook.

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In her 260 page decision declaring that Texas violated the constitutional right of foster children to be free from “an unreasonable risk of harm,” U.S. District Court Judge Janis Graham Jack quoted another Texas judge to describe what happens to the children that stay in Texas’s care for more than 18 months: “these are the children even God has forgotten.” Since Judge Jack’s December 17, 2015 decision, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has been under intense scrutiny.

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From August 31 to Sept 2, Methodists from around the world met in Houston, Texas for the 21st World Conference of Methodists. This international body convenes every five years for fellowship, education, fun, and a little parliamentary work. The organizers provide numerous break-out sessions on issues ranging from healing and prayer to worship matters and community organization.   

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