March 14 Meeting to Reflect on GC2019, Future of the UMC

As you should all know by now, the Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church was held in St. Louis February 23-26.  Many Rio Texas MFSA supporters attended, as delegates and observers, and witnessed as part of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC).  LYNC offered worship, counseling, and support during the pain-filled meeting.  The result of conference was devastating to those who support equal rights for our LGBTQI+ members.  The delegates voted to continue – and worsen – the UMC’s ban on same-gender weddings and options for clergy.  The “Traditional” Plan passed by 53%, but several portions of the plan have been challenged as violative of the UMC Constitution.  The Judicial Council is expected rule on the challenges in late April.

So what do we do now?  Many churches have made it known that they will leave the UMC; others have indicated they will stay and resist the discriminatory policies.  Many Rio Texas churches are not even aware of the raging debate.

Join us on Thursday, March 14, as a panel of Rio Texas MFSA supporters, observers and delegates offer their perspectives about GC2019 and the future of the UMC.  We have invited Jay Brim, Sid Hall, Joy Butler, Shelley Walters and others to share their experiences.  We will share what various churches inside and outside of Rio Texas are discussing.

The meeting will be at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, at 2140 Allandale Road, in Austin.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

Contact rcurry@austin.rr.com for more information

All In For Equality Advocacy Day

Join us at the Texas Capitol for All In For Equality Advocacy Day on Monday, March 18, 2019. This is an opportunity for YOU to ask state leaders to pass inclusive policies that protect all Texans, including our children; and end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Registration sign-in begins at 9am. Lunch will be provided.

We want to make sure that everyone is able to participate in Advocacy Day. If you need to request a waiver for the $5 registration fee, please email Robert Salcido at robert.salcido@equalitytexas.org.

Monday, March 18, 2019 @ 9:00 AM

First UMC Family Life Center, 1300 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701 Read the rest of this entry »

Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze (BOPA) Recycling

BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze) Recycling in the parking lot of Crestview United Methodist Church, 1300 Morrow St, Austin, TX on Saturday March 23, starting at 8 am. We’ll close at 10:30 am or when our trailers are full, whichever comes first.  Bring Batteries, Oil, Paint and Antifreeze (the last three in closed containers). We can accept only these items! No aerosols!  The items will be taken to the city’s hazardous waste recycling depot. Just drive up, give your zip code (requested by the city) and volunteers will unload your vehicle.

Bring your stuff, or volunteer to help!

 

Contact ennadnum@hotmail.com for more information.

Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT)

Red Bench: Genocide

Please join us on Sunday, March 24, 2019 for a special Red Bench conversation on the topic of Genocide at Congregation Agudas Achim (7300 Hart Lane, Austin, TX 78731) from 3-5pm. Our special guest will be Eva Schloss, one of the last touring survivors of the Holocaust and step-sister of Anne Frank, who will speak of her World War II death camp experiences and the consequences of indifference to justice.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend this conversation

New Story Festival

A Bold Experiment in Making a Better Story for a Better World

Embodying Creativity, Spirituality, Social Action, & Playful Connection

with

Music, Art, and Stories

Inspiring Speakers and Practical Workshops

Laughter and Dancing, Mindfulness and Meditation

Intimate Conversations and New Friends

Amplifying the good work of ACTIVISTS, ARTISTS, NON-PROFITS,

HAEALTH/WHOLENESS PRACTIONERS, AND FAITH COMMUNITIES

In Central Texas and beyond

Hosted by Huston-Tillotson University

https://www.newstoryfestival.com/

NADIA BOLZ-WEBER, REV. ANGEL KYODO WILLIAMS, CHARLES EISENSTEIN, CARRIE RODRIGUEZ, BRIAN MCLAREN, AMPARO GARCIA-CROW, and more

iACT Hope Awards April 30

Join us Tuesday, April 30, from 6-9pm at the Bullock Texas State History Museum for one of Austin’s most uplifting evenings of the year – the iACT Hope Awards! We are proud to announce the 2019 Hope Award Honorees for their dedication to giving back and their tireless commitment to valuing friendships and building the Austin Community:

Earl Maxwell of St. David’s Foundation

Bobby Jenkins of ABC Home and Commercial Services

Ali Sait & Pria Gokhale of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Congregation Agudas Achim

The evening features an intimate conversation about friendship and giving back with two very inspiring givers, Earl Maxwell and Bobby Jenkins. Moderated by Rev. Joseph Parker.

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Alfred Dewayne Brown deemed “actually innocent”

Alfred Dewayne Brown was declared “actually innocent” today by the Harris County District Attorney’s (DA) Office.   DA Kim Ogg accepted the findings of a special prosecutor appointed by her office in May 2018 to investigate the case.

Brown was released from death row in 2015 after prosecutors dismissed the charges against him.  In 2014, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) overturned his conviction due to evidence of prosecutorial misconduct.  Since then, he has fought for compensation from the State of Texas for his wrongful incarceration.  Although phone records withheld by the prosecution corroborated Brown’s alibi, he was not declared officially innocent (until today) and was thereby ineligible for compensation.

Brown spent a decade on death row for the murder of Houston Police Officer Charles R. Clark at a check-cashing business in 2003.  He is the 13th person exonerated and released from death row in Texas.  Nationally, 164 people have been exonerated and released from death row.

Read the statement from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office here:
https://app.dao.hctx.net/special-prosecutors-report-state-texas-v-alfred-dewayne-brown

Read the full report from Special Prosecutor John Raley here:
http://2019-03-01 Report of Special Prosecutor re Brown_Final_.pdf 

Read coverage of today’s developments from the Texas Tribune:
https://www.texastribune.org/2019/03/01/alfred-dewayne-brown-innocent-death-row/