Reconciling Ministries Network 2009 Convocation

The 2009 Convocation, Justice & Joy, meets over Labor Day Weekend, from Friday, September 4 through Monday, September 7 at the beautiful YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado.  Gather with hundreds of Reconciling United Methodists in the wonder of God’s creation in the Rocky Mountains.

2nd National Conference on Restorative Justice

“Mainstreaming Restorative Justice: Empowering Communities, Restoring Responsibility”

University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus,  San Antonio, TX
May 13-15, 2009

This is an incredible conference filled with workshops, panels, special speakers, and more, here in our backyard.  If you are interested in restorative justice, look around the website shown below and be amazed at the breadth and depth of learning here.  There appears to be a registration fee of $280, a bargain for an extensive conference.

Objective: Familiarize justice system professionals and others with restorative and community justice.

Purpose: Promote more effective forms of justice through applications of restorative and community justice principles and practice.
For more information on the conference contact Dr. Michael J. Gilbert, Conference Coordinator at or call (210) 458-2683.  Also, see

Join the Vigils – Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Join the Vigils – Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
5:30 – 6:30 pm; On the Date of Scheduled Executions
Austin:  Congress Avenue at 11th St (south side of Capitol)
More information at:

On April 30, 2009,  Amnesty International released a new report on the death penalty in Texas.  Too much cruelty, too little clemency: Texas nears 200th execution under current governor focuses on some of the most egregious executions that have taken place in the last eight years in Texas, including those involving juvenile offenders, persons with severe mental illness, and foreign nationals. The report also looks forward to cases that are still pending and might result in execution during the administration of Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Scheduled Executions
May 19:  Michael Lynn Riley
June 2:  Terry Hankins

It’s Time to Renew Your Membership!

Please Help Us Continue Our Programs

If you have not yet paid your membership gift for 2009, please make plans to do so as soon as possible.  There are now two easy ways to join MFSA.  You can log onto the MFSA website, and follow the instructions there (you can safely use a credit card), or you can simply bring a check to the next meeting, made out to “MFSA” and we will see that it is registered in our account.  Either way, our local chapter gets a portion of the gift for our programs.  We continue to need funding for visibility within our communities and to advance our social action movement.

Benefits of membership:

  • Receive the MFSA newsletter (Social Questions Bulletin)
  • Receive the MFSA E-newsletter with action updates
  • Receive discounts on events sponsored by MFSA
  • Connect with other justice-seekers in your annual conference
  • Join with others in speaking up for justice in the UMC and world

Membership in MFSA is not predicated on ability to pay.  Any amount of money you are able to give is gratefully accepted.  Membership gifts to MFSA are tax deductible as provided by law.

Join us!

We Need Your Used Religious Books

2nd Annual MFSA Book Fair – SWT Annual Conference – June 3

Last year, we began a new activity by featuring a Book Fair at the Southwest Texas Annual Conference in Corpus Christi.  We asked people to give us any religious books that were being rotated out of their libraries, and we would sell them at Annual Conference.  While the effort was originally aimed at allowing retired ministers to reduce the size of their libraries, it became clear that lots of people wanted to clear their shelves (to allow newer books room to breathe!)

We made almost $300 with very little advance advertising.  This year we plan to do better, and we are again asking you for your used religious books – in good condition – that we may offer in the book fair.  We would rather not have pamphlet-style booklets this year or class workbooks; those don’t seem to sell well at all.
Bring your books to the May meeting, or call Rowland at 836-7004 and we will pick them up prior to Annual Conference.

MFSA Presence in the Austin Pride Parade

MFSA at the Austin Pride ParadeOur MFSA chapter will again be participating in the Austin Pride Parade on June 6.  Last year, we “did it up right” with a float, signs, and songs.  We plan to get a trailer again this year, decorate it – with serious and not-so-serious displays – and have a great time at the parade!  We always want to show support for GLBT inclusion, and this is a great time to do it!

We will be planning the details of this project at the May meeting as well, so if you are interested in helping, please show up.

MFSA Presence at Annual Conference

Our chapter is again purchasing tables and space in the exhibit area at Annual Conference in Corpus Christi June 3 – 6.  We need to plan the details, but right now we want to feature the following:  our tri-fold poster for MFSA; the energy efficiency display that was at our meeting in February; a slide show with Kerry’s Environmental Stewardship presentation; and our second annual Book Fair.  We will also be distributing material from MFSA on the constitutional amendments addressed above.

We will be planning the details of our displays at the May meeting, and discussing who will be available to oversee the set-up and staffing the displays and book fair.  If you are not a delegate and you are willing to work with us on this, please let Deana or Rowland know.

Constitutional Amendments Set for Vote at Annual Conference

When Annual Conferences meet this year, one of the major items of business will be voting on thirty-two (32) proposed amendments to the Constitution of The United Methodist Church.  This promises to be a daunting task, even for those Annual Conference members who were present at General Conference when these amendments were approved and referred to the Annual Conferences. The sheer number of amendments makes decision-making a challenge.  In an effort to help folks sort through the myriad of issues that are addressed in these proposed revisions, MFSA is providing resources, both in print and on the national office’s website at

Whether you are a delegate this year or only an interested member, you should plan to attend the May meeting to see what is proposed and hear MFSA’s positions on these important decisions for the United Methodist Church.

May 2009 Chapter Meeting

Meeting Announcement

May 14th, Thursday, 5:30-7:30 pm

Location: Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Rd, Austin

Questions? Call: 784-2951

Topics:  Discussion of Social Issues at Annual Conference

Planning for MFSA Exhibits in Corpus Christi

Planning for MFSA Float in Pride Parade

Saint John’s Great Hall (upstairs)

Hearty Snacks and Conversation: 5:30

Program: 6:00

Everyone interested is invited!

Call Deana (784-2951) if you need child care.