e-News / Methodist Federation for Social Action Rio Texas Conference Mobilizing people within the United Methodist Church to act on issues of justice, peace, and reconciliation in the church, nation, and world.

2018-2019 Theme:

Addressing Systemic Injustice

Inside and Outside the Church

No Meeting in February; Monthly Meetings Resume in March

Several of our Rio Texas MFSA – Austin supporters are focused on the Special UMC General Conference and will be traveling to St. Louis later this month to participate with the Love Your Neighbor Coalition there.  We urge you to participate in at least one social justice action event in February.

 

Special Session of General Conference in February 2019

For more than 40 years, The United Methodist Church has faced serious internal disagreement over how accepting to be of homosexuality, with ordination of gay persons and same-sex unions as flashpoints.

The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose will be to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The 32-member Commission was authorized by General Conference 2016 and appointed by the Council of Bishops to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.

In addition to delegates and alternates, many followers of Rio Texas MFSA will be traveling to the frozen north (St. Louis) in February as observers and workers of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC).  If you wish to volunteer with LYNC, you should register on their website.  For more information, contact rcurry@austin.rr.com.

General Conference 2019 links

Daily Christian Advocate: http://cdnfiles.umc.org/Website_Properties/general-conference/2019/documents/general-conference-2019-adca-english.pdf

UM News:  https://www.umnews.org/en/category/general-conference

Subject: 1st day of GC – http://s3.amazonaws.com/Website_Properties/council-of-bishops/news_and_statements/documents/2019_GC.Prayer_Schedule_(002).pdf

Rio Texas Conference – General Conference 2019 Webinar

Wednesday, February 20 at 12 noon

Via Live Zoom Webinar

Do you want to know more about what will be happening as delegates gather for General Conference 2019 in February? Join members of your Rio Texas delegation to General Conference 2019 as they review the plans presented by The Commission on a Way Forward. Each plan will be presented by a member of the delegation with time for question and answer.

Registration is required. Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Click here to register for the February 20 webinar.

 

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

TCADP 2019 Annual Conference

TCADP’s Annual Conference is a one-day event geared towards anyone interested in learning about the death penalty and becoming involved in our efforts.  It features a panel discussion, workshops, a keynote address, and the presentation of our annual awards.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with advocates from across the state and hear about the progress we are making towards ending the death penalty in Texas!
The TCADP 2019 Annual Conference will take place on Saturday, February 16, 2019 in downtown Austin. Registration includes breakfast and the awards luncheon.  Tickets are available for the luncheon and keynote address for those who can attend only part of the day. We accept cash, check, or credit card as payment.

 

You can also register for the conference through your TCADP profile in the givi app.

Contact khoule@tcadp.org if you have any problems with this registration form or questions about the conference.

Texas Impact Weekly Witness Program

In response to growing demand from clergy and members around the state, Texas Impact launched Weekly Witness during the 2015 Legislative Session as a way of keeping our membership informed about important issues in the Texas Legislature and how they could get involved.

This initiative is designed to give clergy and other religious professionals opportunities for ongoing interaction with legislators and their staffs through the rest of the current legislative session and beyond.

Every Monday at noon (unless otherwise announced) Texas Impact staff and faith or policy leaders will have a conversation at the First United Methodist Church Murchison Chapel. This conversation will also be made available by Facebook Live, webinar and podcast. Search for Texas Impact Weekly Witness in iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

During Session, we will have an “issue of the week” followed by a legislative briefing and Action Alert from Texas Impact staff. Participants will be encouraged to walk to the Capitol after, or make a telephone call to their legislators Monday afternoon.

We hope you’ll join us for Weekly Witness Mondays, especially during Session live or in person. For those not in Austin, consider bringing a group from your congregation, friend network or judicatory. Let us know you are coming, and we can plan on spending some extra time with you that afternoon.

Contact Outreach Director Scott Atnip for more information at scott@texasimpact.org.

Upcoming Issues:

  • February 11 – Foster Care and Domestic Violence
  • February 18 – Voting
  • February 25 – Religious Freedom
  • March 4 – Health: Medicaid Expansion and Insurance Market

More Information here.

Texas Impact – “Courts & Ports”

In early 2018, nine representatives of Rio Texas MFSA traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to learn more about actions being undertaken by the UMC’s El Valle District on immigration issues.  At our November meeting, we heard from Bee Morehead that Texas Impact has established the “Courts and Ports” program to allow others to take action on these issues.

From Texas Impact:  With the advent of the Administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, federal criminal courts on the southern border of the U.S. are overwhelmed with cases involving citizens of other countries crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S. in a location other than an official port of entry. Courts & Ports is a partnership between the Interfaith Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. Participants observe proceedings in federal criminal court, and record their observations for use by ACLU and other attorneys; meet with faith and policy experts working on the border; spend time with individuals who have pending asylum cases; engage in contextualizing discussion with Texas Impact pastoral staff and other faith leaders; plan and participate in worship; and become part of an online “alumni” community.

Participants in this program will travel to the RGV in teams for briefings, observations, site visits, and worship, typically beginning Sunday evening and traveling home on Wednesday.  Rio Texas MFSA urges all members and followers to go to the Courts & Ports website to learn more, and to register to attend this meaningful program.

A group of Rio Texas MFSA supporters are making plans to make a trip to the RGV for this program in the next few months.  Please contact Rowland Curry rcurry@austin.rr.com if you are interested in joining us!

CROP Hunger Walk

Austin CROP Hunger Walk

Sunday, February 24
2:00 p.m. Registration and 2:30 Step-off

Camp Mabry, 2200 West 35th Street

 

The Austin CROP Hunger Walk is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, February 24 at Camp Mabry. This is a family-friendly interfaith community event raising funds for hungry people around the world and right here in Austin. This year the CROP Hunger Walk is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Walk.

https://www.crophungerwalk.org/austintx

Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT)

The Red Bench: Humor

 

 

Join us on Tuesday, February 26  from 6:30pm-8:30pm for a courageous conversation on the topic of Humor at Triumphant Love Lutheran Church (9508 Great Hills Trail, Austin, TX 78759).

 

If you plan to attend, please RSVP.