Meeting Reminder – Thursday, April 8

This Thursday, we will continue our exploration of the root causes of poverty at Saint John’s UMC at 6:30 p.m.  Sharon Lowe, Executive Director of Foundation for the Homeless (FFH), will share that organization’s mission to mobilize communities of faith and other resources to end homelessness in Austin.  Three major initiatives of the organization include the following:

  • Family Promise/Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) is a shelter program based on a national model that provides transitional shelter for families experiencing homelessness. (Saint John’s is a participating church.)
  • The Feed My People Program (at First UMC) is a collaboration of 11 religious congregations in the Austin community that provide the facilities, volunteers, and donations necessary to serve the guests.
  • A Day Resource Center provides families access to resources and work with staff on goals toward self-sufficiency.

For more information about FFH, please see http://www.foundationhomeless.org.

The meeting will begin at 6:30p with snacks and visiting.
The program will begin at 7:00p.

Join us!

Congratulations Tara and Eric!

For those who haven’t heard yet, our former Chapter President, Tara Thronson, gave birth on April 1 (no fooling) to a beautiful baby boy, Elias Julian.   Way to go, Tara and Eric!

Thank you St. John’s

Thanks to Saint John’s UMC for donating their March communion rail offering to our MFSA chapter!  Thanks so much for your support!

MFSA at Annual Conference – Corpus Christi – June 2-5

We Need Your Books!

Our MFSA Chapter will again sponsor a book fair at Annual Conference in early June.  As a fund-raising event, we offer new and gently used religious or spiritual books for donations at our booth in the exhibit hall.  If you need to clean out your bookcase of lightly-used religious books, please bring them to the next meeting, or call Janice or Rowland Curry at 836-7004 so we can arrange to pick them up.

Shower of Stoles

MFSA will team with Reconciling Ministries Network to sponsor an exhibit of the Shower of Stoles at Annual Conference.  The Shower of Stoles is a collection of over a thousand liturgical stoles and other sacred items representing the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of faith.  (We will only have a portion of these stoles, not the entire thousand!)  These religious leaders have served in thirty-two denominations and faith traditions, in six countries, and on three continents. Each stole contains the story of a GLBT person who is active in the life and leadership of their faith community in some way: minister, elder, deacon, teacher, missionary, musician, administrator, or active layperson.

This extraordinary collection celebrates the gifts of GLBT persons who serve God in countless ways, while also lifting up those who have been excluded from service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The collection bears witness to the huge loss of leadership that the church has brought upon itself because of its own unjust policies.

We Need Your Help

In order to sponsor a “booth” in the Annual Conference exhibit area, we must pay for the space ($320) and have enough volunteers to staff the MFSA exhibit and book fair.  In addition, we are in need of two large garment hanging stands on which to place the stoles display.  Let us know if you are able to help financially, can travel to Corpus to help with the exhibit, or if you have a garment stand.

Imagine No Malaria Launch Party – April 25

Want to: get a cupcake, learn how to drum, hear the Huston Tillotson Gospel choir, see a concert by Jars of Clay, assemble a health kit, knit 1/4 of a baby blanket, have a slice of pizza, watch your kids enjoy the ‘jumpy thing’ and the ‘rock climber’, join the blesssing of hundreds of confirmands, see a bevy of Bishops, get a cup of coffee, and while doing all this – be a real live ‘actor’ in the most important movie you’ll ever make!

The Imagine No Malaria Launch Party will inspire the United Methodist denomination – all 11 million of  us – to eradicate this disease.

Don’t miss it. Capitol grounds, April 25, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Park in the garage at 13th and Lavaca.

You’re Invited to a Bead Party!

Be inspired by hardworking Ugandan women lifting themselves from poverty!

Purchase jewelry handmade from colorful recycled paper…and help others a world away!

Learn how you can make a difference and have fun doing it!

Where: MFSA meetings in April and May.  In response to our focus on the eradicating poverty, we offer this opportunity to help women and families in other countries.

BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads.  The beads become income, food, medicine, school fees — and hope.  It is a small miracle that connects and enriches everyone in the Bead Circle. All net profits from BeadforLife are invested in community development projects that help people work their way out of poverty.  www.BeadforLife.org

Austin Area Interreligious Ministries (AAIM) Events

The Red Bench – After a brief respite, The Red Bench returns with the theme of Courage — Tuesday, April 27.  Please mark your calendars and above all, invite a friend!  Help us expand our Red Bench community of participants.  Information and registration can be found at:  www.aaimaustin.org/redbench.html.  We will be sending out an RSVP for April 27 in the coming weeks.

Immaculee in Austin – May 1 – A special visit by Immaculee Ilibagiza, a New York Times bestselling author and a survivor of the Rwandan holocaust — proceeds from this event at the Paramount Theatre will benefit the Austin Refugee Roundtable, bringing together congregations and service agencies to help refugees resettled in Austin.

2010 AAIM Hope Awards – May 20 – AAIM’s biggest fundraising event of the year featuring former CBS News Anchor and 60 Minutes Correspondent, Dan Rather (interviewed by Texas Tribune Editor, Evan Smith).  This year we honor Patricia & Robert Ayres, Donna & Phillip Berber of A Glimmer of Hope Foundation, and Jennifer & Ashton Cumberbatch — all of whom have put Hope in Action here in Austin and across the world.

For more information, see www.aaimaustin.org.