Our Downtown Eastside Neighborhood

Guest SpeakerCliffNotes, Frontpage News

This week’s CliffNotes is a guest post by Erika Kraus.

Dear Christ Church,

My name is Erika Kraus and I have been facilitating a working group called the Neighborhood Engagement Team alongside Christine Warner this year. We are tasked with helping our church faithfully engage our new neighborhood, to understand its history and complexities, and also enjoy its beauty. When it comes to our move to the Downtown Eastside, the “end is in sight”! For many of you who have prayed and invested for years, the next few months will feel like a long-awaited homecoming. Others of us, who are newer to the Christ Church family, are excited also, getting to join a fantastic story of God’s faithfulness, and enjoy the camaraderie of getting to do this together!

As we begin this fresh chapter, we are mindful of the preceding chapters that we’ve inherited from those who gathered to worship Jesus on our property before us. If you haven’t heard the story of the church called PIBA (Primera Iglesia Bautista de Austin) that loved our neighborhood for decades and sold us a piece of property (but really passed on a baton as well), make sure you do! This season holds new opportunities to love and enjoy one another, listen and learn, open our doors a little wider, and do justice. We will continue to be together, to be formed and to be sent while joining a longer story of God at work, bringing life to the neighborhood we’ll call home.

It was fun meeting up with many of you at Lazarus a couple of weeks ago! Coming up soon is the hard hat tour and Memorial Day Picnic on May 28th. We hope you all can make it out! Many of you have been joining the Tejano Trail tours and getting to know the history of the Cesar Chavez neighborhood (if you’d like to make a tour in June, sign up here). And some of you have already started giving your time to a few of the local organizations we are beginning to serve. If you’re interested in serving some of our partner organizations this summer or fall, email us at neighborhood@christchurchofaustin.org and we’ll help you get connected!

This Sunday we will be sending you home with some fun “Explore the DT Eastside” maps, as well as a list of ways to pray, and a brief history of the neighborhood. We’re so excited about these next few months! Be on the lookout for more opportunities to learn, serve, and hangout together in the Downtown Eastside.


P.S. We look forward to celebrating the end of our three-year pledge period to Deep Roots New Season (DRNS) this Sunday!  Together we want to rejoice in God’s provision and kindness to us as we hear reports on the vision of DRNS and Christ Church’s call to [1] plant a new Anglican parish, Church of the Cross, in Northeast Austin (achieved already and thriving!); [2] renovate 112 Medina St. for God’s mission (happening now!); and [3] “love where we live” as we move into the Downtown Eastside (coming soon!).