2019-2020 Theme: Stand Up! Speak Out! Take Action! October 10 Meeting – Finding Hope

Given the increase in violent acts, hateful rhetoric, and lack of empathy for people in need, it is hard not to become discouraged.  Rio Texas MFSA is presenting an opportunity for central Texans to hear a message of hope from area church leaders.

Our October program features a panel of local church leaders who will share how they personally remain optimistic, how they inspire congregations to maintain hope, and what positive steps we can take in times such as these.  Audience members may offer comments and/or ask questions at appropriate times throughout the panel discussion.

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.

One Human Race Workshop

9 AM – 5:30 PM  October 12,  St. James’ Episcopal Church

This free one-day workshop provides a safe, open, and productive environment to learn and share about race. Snacks and lunch are provided. We’ll watch Race: The Power of an Illusion, examine concepts from Eric Law’s The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb, and share in small groups. Registration is required. Reserve your place here.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

Constitutional Amendment Order Decided For November 5 Election

The November 2019 Election season is here and we’re working hard to get citizens registered, informed, and out to vote. This November we will be voting on ten (10) Texas Constitutional Amendments. There are also several local municipality elections throughout Travis and Williamson Counties including Propositions, Bond Measures, and Council Member races.

Register to vote by October 7, 2019 to vote in the November 5 election

On November 5, 2019, Texans will have the opportunity to vote on nine amendments with a majority vote. See details at State of Texas website

https://www.sos.state.tx.us/about/newsreleases/2019/072319.shtml

Interfaith Action of Central Texas

The Red Bench – “Self-Compassion”

Please join us for a Red Bench conversation on the topic of Self-Compassion on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 from 6:30-8:30pm at St. Luke United Methodist Church (1306 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703).  Parking is available on the premises and a light vegetarian meal will be served.  If you would like to attend, please be sure to RSVP.

Hands on Housing

Our next big housing repair project will be the Raise the Roof on Saturday, October 19, 2019.  We will be painting and doing minor repair work to a number of homes in Austin.  If you are ready to register a team for this event, please fill out this form.  If you would like to volunteer for this event as an individual, there is no need for you to register, but please be sure to contact us at hoh@interfaithtexas.org so we can assign you to a home.

 

Austin Channing Brown at University UMC Austin!

Join us as Brown helps us unpack what it means to be a progressive in the fight for equality, challenging us to look inward to address our daily prejudices as we strive for an actively anti-racist community.

Bio

Austin Channing Brown began her journey as a racial reconciler in college with an experience called Sankofa–a three-day bus trip exploring black history sites throughout the South. On this pilgrimage that she came face-to-face with her history, shared the experience with others, and for the first time in her life watched friends become transformed by learning about African American history and racism.

Austin earned a master’s degree in social justice from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan. Building on her Sankofa experience and the foundation of her graduate work, she has directed a short-term missions site on the west side of Chicago, creating interactive opportunities for youth to engage issues of poverty, injustice. She also served on staff with Willow Creek Community Church, developing strategies and programming around multiculturalism. Currently, she serves as resident director and multicultural liaison for Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Austin travels the country throughout the year sharing her message at colleges, universities, conferences, and churches. She has been featured at the Justice Conference, Why Christian? Conference, Christians for Biblical Equality International Conference, the University of Northwestern, the CCDA National Conference, the Salvation Army ONE Conference and Focus on the Family: Focus Leadership Institute, to name just a few.

Event Details

LOCATION :

University United Methodist Church
2409 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX 78705

TIME

Doors at 6:30 pm
Starts at 7:00 pm
Approximate Run-time is 90 mins

PARKING

There are several paid parking options available including street parking, a surface lot across the street or a parking garage on San Antonio street.

Ride sharing services such as Uber or Lift are an encouraged alternative option.

POLICIES

University UMC is a smoke free and weapon free campus.

Proposals for GC 2020

In February 2019 the United Methodist Church, assembled in St. Louis at a special General Conference, adopted the Traditionalist Plan which strengthened the anti-LGBTQ stance of the denomination.  In the months since, there has been intense discussion about the future of the church.  Several groups have drafted plans dealing with changes to the denomination’s laws, the Book of Discipline.  In May 2020, the global UMC will have a General Conference in Minneapolis where it will consider further changes.  In order for a resolution to be considered in 2020, the proposal must have been filed by September 18, 2019.

If you are interested in the discussions about the future of our denomination, stay alert!

Progressive Resources:

United Methodist News Service:  https://www.umnews.org/en/

Mainstream UMC:  https://mainstreamumc.com/

UMC Next:  https://umcnext.com/

Hacking Christianity:  http://hackingchristianity.net/

UM Insight:  https://um-insight.net/

UM Forward:  https://um-forward.org/

ACLU of Texas

 Austin Redistricting Postcard Party

OCTOBER 21, 2019 @ 6:00 PM –
@ 8:00 PM

For years, politicians have counted on Texans tuning out during this convoluted process — choosing to conduct their business behind closed doors and out of the public eye. The result? Partisan and racially gerrymandered districts where manipulated boundaries limit the power of voters. The time is now to keep the pressure on lawmakers to ensure a fair and transparent redistricting process.

A few weeks ago, lawmakers held a redistricting town hall in Austin to listen to residents’ thoughts on the redistricting process, but we want to make sure this isn’t the last they hear from you! If you weren’t able to make your testimony in person, you’ll have the chance to send the redistricting committee members a message at our postcard party on Monday, October 21.

 

Redistricting

By Terri Burke, Executive Director, ACLU

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 – 3:00PM

I’ve got a secret for you, one that some Lone Star State politicians might not want you to know. An important statewide process is getting started ahead of the 2021 legislative session, a process that happens once every 10 years.

It’s called redistricting, or the redrawing of the districts that make up the legislative and congressional maps in Texas, and it matters more than you may know.

Redistricting is simple enough to grasp when you compare it to other things we replace every few years, like, say, an old car. When it just isn’t working like it used to or doesn’t meet your needs anymore, it’s time to think about getting a new model.

Similarly, redistricting should lead to new and improved electoral maps that reflect the growth and demographic changes that Texas communities undergo with time. Every 10 years, after the U.S. census determines how our communities have expanded and contracted, the Texas Legislature gets the task of redrawing fair maps that are inclusive of everyone.

Except it doesn’t always quite work that way, because, unfortunately, redistricting isn’t as easy as going to the dealership and riding out with a shiny, new F-150 two hours later.

The process is often fraught with complications, like lack of transparency and self-interest. Unlike in some other states, where an independent redistricting commission redraws the electoral maps, Texas legislators redraw and approve their own districts. If that seems backward, it should — after all, shouldn’t voters be the ones who select their elected officials, and not the other way around?

To make matters more complicated for the 2021 process, there have been a number of court battles as a result of the state redistricting that happened in 2011. The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that Texas won’t need future federal oversight, as it has had for decades, to ensure that partisan gerrymandering — the intentional drawing of districts to benefit one party over another — doesn’t occur. All this despite immediate concerns from federal court judges about Texas’ past actions in redrawing its maps illegally.

This means that in 2021, redistricting will be totally in the hands of state legislators with no one to look over their shoulders, with costly litigation seemingly the only fix if things go awry.

 

Read more at: https://www.aclutx.org/en/news/redistricting-will-shape-our-next-10-years