Upcoming MFSA Chapter Meetings and Events

March 10 – Presentation and discussion on immigration issues in Texas
Tentative plans to hold this meeting at Emmanuel UMC, and we are hoping to
include a report by the Central Texas MFSA Chapter on their immigration study.

April 14 – Presentation on Reconciling Ministries Network efforts in Austin
Representatives from Reconciling Ministries Network and Methodist Churches in Austin who have  Reconciling Ministries Teams.

Saturday, April 2 – BOPA Recycling Event
MFSA will sponsor a BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze) Recycling Event at Trinity UMC.

Texas Impact – Legislative Update

LEADD: Leadership Education Advancing Democracy and Diversity
Training the next generation of citizen leaders

Texas Impact, iACT, the Interfaith Alliance and First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin are excited to bring the nationally recognized high school leadership program, LEADD (Leadership Education Advancing Democracy & Diversity), to Central Texas, May 6-8, 2011.
Students who attend LEADD become immersed in the history of the First Amendment, particularly its Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses, and learn about current policy, legislative and legal issues regarding religious freedom.

2011 Interfaith Environmental Conference Calls
February 22

Please join us on Tuesday, February 22nd at 10:00 a.m. for our next monthly interfaith conference call. In our monthly environmental calls, we seek to connect faith leaders around the state who are engaged in the work of caring for creation; provide updates about environmental legislation and opportunities for involvement in the legislative session; keep you current on new programs and initiatives; and create a space for sharing hopes and frustrations, plans and ideas, stories and prayers.


Other Dates to Remember:

March 15: Alliance for Clean Texas (ACT) Lobby Day
March 30: “Cover Texas Now” Health Lobby Day
April 12, 2011: “Texas Forward” State Budget Lobby Day
April 19, 2011: ACT Lobby Day– Earth Day Edition

Texas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (TCADP) News

TCADP Annual Conference in Austin, February 19
Seizing the Momentum… Advancing Statewide Vision through Local Action

Schmidt-Jones Family Life Center, First United Methodist Church
13th and Lavaca, Austin, Texas

The Panel Discussion on the impact of the death penalty on a county level will include:

  • Sam Millsap, former Bexar County District Attorney
  • Dennis Reeves, Assistant Public Defender of the Regional Public Defenders Office for Capital Cases
  • Karen Peissinger, El Paso TCADP Chapter Leader
  • Sachin Chheda, NCADP Deputy Director (moderator)

New offering this year!  Afternoon training will feature legislative workshops designed specifically to your legislative district Register today.  More information and flier  (Download PDF)

Scheduled Executions

February 15: Michael Wayne Hall
February 22: Timothy Adams

Learn more about responding to these scheduled executions at the link.

TCADP Lobby Day – HB 819

On Monday, January 24, 2011, State Representative Jessica Farrar filed House Bill 819 calling for repeal of the Texas death penalty.

What you can do to support this bill:

  1. Telephone your State Representative and tell them:
    • you support repeal of the death penalty in Texas, and
    • you support Rep. Farrar’s H.B. 819.
  2. Ask your Representative to co-sponsor H.B. 819.
  3. RSVP for the TCADP Lobby Day to be held on March 8 at the Capitol!
  4. More information on contacting your lawmakers, including talking points, is available at the link.

If you do not know who your State Representative is, you can find out at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/.
You can follow the progress of H.B. 819 at http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=HB819. Now is the time to make your voice heard by your elected Representative. Please make your call this week.  Let TCADP know the results of your conversation!

Recent Editorials on the Texas Death Penalty

Both the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently published editorials calling on members of the Texas Legislature to examine the serious flaws and failures of the state’s death penalty system.  In “Death penalty debate should start, not end,” (January 15, 2011) the Star-Telegram notes that “The capital punishment system is troubled and expensive.  The Legislature needs to debate how to fix it – and whether it can adequately be fixed at all.”  Read more from the Star-Telegram and Morning News.
TCADP members throughout the state hold respectful vigils on the days of executions in Texas. Attend a Vigil in your area!

See http://tcadp.org/ for locations and times.

Believe Out Loud Workshop – Saturday, February 12

“Believe Out Loud” Workshop

You are invited to a “Believe Out Loud” Workshop for Reconciling United Methodists on Saturday, February 12th, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the First UMC Family Life Center. This event is hosted by the SWTC Annual Conference RM Team. Please RSVP to Stefanie Gray Greiner at sggreiner@gmail.com or 210-566-7230. Lunch will be provided.

The purpose of the gathering is to:

  1. “Believe Out Loud Together” to help the United Methodist “Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors” theme have true meaning.
  2. Meet and network with other United Methodists who believe true inclusiveness is God’s desire for our church.
  3. Share ideas about making our voices heard at the 2011 Annual Conference.
  4. Brainstorm ways to elect General Conference delegates who desire true inclusiveness in the Church so that we can play a role in UM policy changes.

Hope Food Pantry Fundraiser – Sunday, February 20

Come hear an award winning young jazz band from the Khabele school, eat great food, be serenaded, and take a stab a “winning” some awesome silent auction services and items donated by local businesses and artists.

Tickets are $12.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door.  Email info@hopefoodpantry.org to reserve your $12 ticket and it will be waiting at the door for you.

Get the word out about a local business by submitting an item or service to the silent auction.  Email Stephanie at info@hopefoodpantryaustin.org for more information.

Immigration Forum at University UMC – Sunday, March 6

March 6, 2011
2.00pm – 4.00pm
University UMC- 2409 Guadalupe Street

The UMW of University UMC invites everyone to attend an Immigration Forum to discuss this critical civil rights issue.  Hear two leading experts discuss the critical elements of this issue as the Texas Legislature is bringing controversial bills for debate.

  • Prof. Dr Ray Marshall, LBJ School of Public Affairs and former Secretary for Labor in Carter’s cabinet and a tireless advocate for Immigration reform,
  • Prof Barbara Hines, Director of the Immigration Clinic at the UT Law School, will lead the workshop on this important issue.

Our Chapter of MFSA is co-sponsoring this workshop along with the Amos Commission of UUMC, Church and Society UUMC, Parker Lane UMC, and Texas Impact.
RSVP UUMC (512) 478-9387

SWTC Board of Global Mission Event – April 1-2

Global Mission Celebration
A global village of gifts & learning about intercultural communication, richness of diversity, poverty of spirit all in one conference-wide celebration of God’s mission in the world. Workshops, resources for clergy and laity of all ages, children thru seniors, to worship, learn, witness, share, and become energized & motivated with the passion to follow “God’s Command, God’s Commission, Our Call.”  Keynoter Rev. Jeremy Basset, Director UMVIM, Oklahoma Conference, Sponsored by SWTC Board of Global Ministries and hosted by Windcrest UMC, San Antonio.  Contact Susan Hellums,   shellums@mcfirst.com 956.686.3784