A special message to MFSA supporters

To our social action supporters:

Our chapter needs your help.

As you may have read in the recent MFSA e-news, our chapter will have several social action events in motion at Annual Conference in Corpus in June.

  • Awards Luncheon – our main event, Growing the Heart of Methodism, in partnership with Reconciling Ministries Network and the Conference Board of Church and Society.  The purpose of this luncheon is to provide a spotlight on social justice, as well as exposure on the works of MFSA, RMN, and CBCS.  Our speaker, Dr. Joerg Rieger, is a professor at Perkins and a well-known author.  Because of his support for the principles of MFSA, he is willing to forego his usual honorarium for this event.  Steve Clunn, our MFSA/RMN Coalition Coordinator, will be in Corpus to promote Sing A New Song, the convocation in Ohio in August, as well as generating interest in General Conference 2012.  Our MFSA chapter will be presenting “Building a Just Community” awards to congregational and individual recipients.  We are planning for the luncheon itself to be self-supporting, and we do not have to pay for the convention center room because of our sponsorship by CBCS.
  • Book Fair – This has been a successful fundraiser for our chapter for several years.  We ask our members and friends to contribute their used books dealing with religious, spiritual, or social action topics, and then we offer them to Conference attendees in exchange for donations.  This has been our chapter’s major fundraiser during the past few years.  We will need two tables for the book fair, as that was successful last year.
  • Informational Table – This includes a display, brochures, photos, and other information about our MFSA chapter mission and projects.  This year, we will have added information on Sing a New Song as well as a description of issues and activities we will be working on for GC 2012.
  • BeadForLife – Back by popular demand, we will again sponsor the sale of beautiful hand-rolled beads which support Ugandan women and communities.  Conference-goers purchased almost $1,000 worth of beads last year, and several persons have asked that it be provided again.
  • Shower of Stoles – Our chapter will again co-sponsor this display with the Reconciling Ministries Network.  This is an extraordinary collection of stoles celebrating 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.  Even though we will not be using a table for it, we must purchase the space for this display in the exhibit area.

As you can imagine, we will experience expenses to make these efforts successful.  We estimate that the overall costs will be about $2,000.  The RMN team at First UMC has generously provided $500 to support the luncheon.  We need additional help, and this is why our chapter is seeking special contributions to cover the estimated expenses specified below.

Please let us know if you are able to help with one or more pieces of this special project.
Checks should be made out to “SWTX-MFSA” and should be sent to

Janice Curry, Chapter Treasurer
1509 Mearns Meadow Blvd.
Austin TX 78758

MFSA is a 501 (c) 3 organization and all contributions are tax deductible as provided by law.

Thanks for your continuing support.!
The MFSA Executive Committee

$450            Table/space rental for exhibit hall ($80 per table, $50 for electricity)
$500            Dr. Rieger’s travel and lodging reimbursement
$200            “Building a Just Community” award plaques
$100            Print color tri-fold MFSA chapter brochures
$200            Printing, advertising, posters to direct persons to luncheon
$200            Promotional products – pens, buttons,  ??
$50              Copies of UM Social Principles
$100            Shower of Stoles exhibit, shipping

Chapter Meeting – Thursday, March 10

The next meeting of the Southwest Texas Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action will be Thursday, March 10 at Emmanuel UMC, 200 Brushy Street, in downtown Austin.  The program will focus on immigration issues.  Special guests at the meeting will be members of the host church as well as a representative of the Central Texas Chapter of MFSA, which meets in Georgetown and has been advocating for immigrants for several years.  Ms. Marjorie Herbert, a retired attorney, will discuss what the Central Texas Chapter has learned about immigration and some of the actions the local congregations in Georgetown have taken.

If chapter members want to car pool from north central, we will be leaving Saint John’s at about 5:45 pm.  Respond to this message if you are interested.  For car pooling from Trinity UMC, contact Deana Henry (deakenhenry@yahoo.com) for more information.

The meeting will begin at 6:30pm for snacks and mingling.  The program begins at 7:00.

Join us!  Bring a friend!

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

Upcoming MFSA Chapter Meetings and Events

Saturday, April 2, – BOPA Recycling Event – 8 am to 10:30 am

MFSA will sponsor a BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze) Recycling Event at Trinity UMC, at E 40th and Speedway.

When our chapter conducted its last BOPA recycling event, we collected over 1,200 cans of paint, about 200 containers of oil or antifreeze, 31 car batteries, and lots of other material that was taken to the City’s recycling station.

More advertising to come later on this.

April 14 Chapter Meeting – Presentation on Reconciling Ministries Network efforts in Austin

Representatives from Reconciling Ministries Network and Methodist Churches in Austin who have Reconciling Ministries Teams will discuss their efforts to encourage congregations to affiliate with the Reconciling Ministries Network.

Growing the Heart of Methodism

MFSA will again be active at Annual Conference in Corpus Christi June 8 – 11.  We will sponsor an awards luncheon, Growing the Heart of Methodism (see below) in partnership with Reconciling Ministries Network and the Conference Board of Church and Society.  We plan to again sponsor the MFSA Book Fair, which has been a successful fundraiser for our chapter.  We will have our Informational Display about MFSA and its mission and activities.   We will again sponsor the sale of BeadForLife, which supports Ugandan women and communities.  And we will again co-sponsor a display of the Shower of Stoles, an extraordinary collection celebrating 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.

This is shaping up to be an exciting time!  Join us!

Growing the Heart of Methodism

A Luncheon Sponsored by

Southwest Texas Conference Board of Church and Society
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Reconciling Ministries Network


Professor Joerg Rieger
Perkins School of Theology
On his new book:
Grace Under Pressure:
Renegotiating the Heart of the
Methodist Traditions

This is our chapter’s first large-scale event to be held during Annual Conference in Corpus Christi.  It is being planned at lunchtime on June 10, and will consist of a luncheon, the presentation by Dr. Rieger, and awards for special recognition for Building a Just Community.  We will also have a presentation by Steve Clunn, the MFSA/RMN National Coalition Coordinator regarding national issues and Sing a New Song (see below).

We owe a great deal of thanks to Dr. Rieger for his willingness to rearrange his busy schedule to be with us for this event.  He is extremely supportive of MFSA and its mission.

We do need volunteers to help with the planning of this luncheon.  We will need help in a number of areas, both in advance arrangements and on site:  publicity, program, awards, financing, and logistics.  If you can help out, please respond to Rowland Curry, rcurry@austin.rr.com.

The luncheon cost is tentatively $12.00 per person.  More info later.

This should be a great event to share MFSA’s message with others at Southwest Texas Annual Conference.

Books, Books, Books!

We plan to again sponsor the MFSA Book Fair during Annual Conference in June.  We ask our members and friends to contribute their used books dealing with religious, spiritual, or social action topics, and then we offer them to Conference attendees in exchange for donations.  This has been our chapter’s major fundraiser during the past few years.  As a result of your kind donations of books and the generosity of the buyers, we made over $700 at the 2010 event.  As you are doing your spring cleaning or going through your library to discard these treasures, please keep us in mind.  In most cases, we can make arrangements to pick them up.  Please let Rowland Curry (rcurry@austin.rr.com) know if you have books to contribute.

CROP Hunger Walk – March 5 and 6

CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty. CROP Hunger Walks are community fund-raising events sponsored by Church World Service (CWS), an international relief, development, and refugee resettlement agency.  The CROP Hunger Walk here in Austin is co-sponsored by I-ACT (formerly AAIM).  Please support walkers from your congregation, or collect donations and participate in the walk yourself. You can walk on either Saturday, March 5 beginning at 10 am or Sunday March 6 at 2:30 pm.  The location is Walter E. Long Park (6614 Blue Bluff Road).
For more info on the walk, see:  http://austincrophungerwalk.org/

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty – Lobby Day

On Tuesday, March 8, TCADP members will gather at the State Capitol to lobby on behalf of House Bill 819, which calls for repeal of the Texas death penalty.  State Representatives Jessica Farrar and Marisa Marquez authored the bill; it has been referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
For more information, see:  http://www.tcadp.org/

Stand Up for Texas Schools at the Texas Capitol

Saturday, March 12
Save Texas Schools will hold a rally and march at the State Capitol on March 12, 2011.  They are expecting thousands of parents, teachers, students, community members, business owners, and faith organizations to attend.  The proposed legislative cuts to public education funding are unacceptable.  Stand with this group at the Capitol on March 12 to say YES to a strong public education system that supports our children, our communities and our future.
Read more at:  http://savetxschools.org/

Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) Lobby Day

Monday March 14 – Networking and Training, First UMC Austin – begins 4 pm
Tuesday March 15 – Full schedule of speakers and legislative visits
The goal of lobby day is to educate our representatives about the public health and environmental challenges facing our state and important legislation that will address these problems.
Read more:  http://www.acttexas.org/

The Culture Wars: Owning What You Know

Featured Speaker:  Leonard Pitts, Jr. – Pulitzer Prize winning columnist
Presented by the Texas Freedom Network – TFN Lobby Day 2011
Monday, March 21
First United Methodist Church
Family Life Center
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
More information and registration at:  http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer?pagename=TFN_homepage

Austin Refugee Roundtable Training

Saturday, March 26, 2011,  9:00 am to Noon
Central Presbyterian Church, Smoot Hall
200 East 8th St, Austin
For information, registration, see http://www.aaimaustin.org/roundtable.html

Children’s Health Insurance Program Lobby Day – March 30

Join Texas Impact and other healthcare advocates as they lobby for better health insurance for kids and all Texans.  9 am to 5 pm.
More details to be posted at:  http://texasimpact.org/

Mission Matters

Join Bishop Dorff, Rev. Jeremy Bassett, Dr. Robert Hunt and others as you worship, learn, witness, share, and become energized and motivated with the passion to follow God’s Command, God’s Commission, Our Call.  This event includes numerous workshops and resources for clergy and laity.
Who: SWTX Conference Board of Global Ministries
What: Two day event on “Why Mission Matters” and how you can get involved
When: Friday and Saturday, April 1 & 2, 2011
Where: Windcrest UMC, 8101  Midcrown, San Antonio TX 78239
Brochure and Registration:  http://www.umcswtx.org/mission-matters

United Methodists Volunteers in Mission – UMVIM Training

Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Bethany United Methodist Church
10010 Anderson Mill Road
Austin, TX   (512) 258-6017
Contact Julie Hutcherson, RN, International VIM Coordinator, SWTX UM Conference (830) 685-3562