Chapter Meeting – Thursday, April 14

Austin District Reconciling Ministries Communities

The April meeting of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) will be held Thursday, April 14 in the Saint John’s UMC Fellowship Hall.  The program will be about the Reconciling Ministries Network.  RMN is a Methodist movement whose purpose is to foster increased inclusivity in the United Methodist Church.  Representatives from First UMC Austin, University UMC Austin, Trinity UMC Austin, and Saint John’s UMC will discuss the process they are in (or have been in) to become connected to the Reconciling movement.

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

Join us!  Bring a friend!

“God’s Agenda” Workshop April 9-10

Join peace and justice advocate Rev. Bill McElvaney at University UMC for a series of justice workshops. Bill is Professor Emeritus at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, and he is a longtime peace and justice advocate. Each gathering will begin with an opening prayer and a brief justice reading from Bill.  Featured readings will be:

·  Life After Mississippi – by James Autry
·  The Justice Project – by Brian McLaren et al
·  Justice – by Nicholas Wolterstorff
·  The Last Week – by Marcus Borg & John Dominic Crossan
·  Blessed Are the Peacemakers, a Lenten meditation – by Bill McElvaney

On Saturday morning, Bill will outline his reasons for writing the book Becoming a Justice Seeking Congregation: Responding to God’s Justice Initiative, experiences with the book, and some general observations about justice. Saturday afternoon will include participation in a justice exercise.

On Sunday afternoon, we will consider where UUMC is in doing justice, including existing and possible new challenges. The sessions on both Saturday and Sunday will proceed with narrative of doing justice, followed by discussion (action and reflection). The sessions will conclude with Bill McElvaney’s reflections on a chapter of the book. Along the way, we will consider questions at the end of each chapter. Books will be available for sale for $10.

PLEASE REGISTER AHEAD OF TIME FOR THE WORKSHOPS. DEADLINE IS TUESDAY, APRIL 5 AT 5:00 P.M. Email Rev. Susan Sprague at or call 512-478-9387 to RSVP. A $15 fee includes breakfast & lunch on Saturday.

BOPA Recycling Event Was a Success!!

Our MFSA chapter sponsored a BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze) Recycling Event at Trinity UMC on Saturday, April 2.

We collected over 967 gallons of paint, 93 gallons of oil, 11 car batteries, 160 pounds of smaller batteries, 12 gallons of antifreeze, 47 spray paint cans, and lots of other material that was taken to the City’s recycling station. Thanks to all who volunteered and those who took the time from their Saturday morning to take care of our earth.

March Meeting Recap

Our March 10 meeting on immigration, held at Emmanuel UMC, was well received.  The program focused on immigration issues.  Ms. Marjorie Herbert, a retired attorney, discussed what the Central Texas Chapter has learned about immigration and some of the actions the local congregations in Georgetown have taken.  We met new friends interested in this issue.  Those in attendance have created an email list to communicate ideas and opportunities.  Reverend Madeline Carrasco Henners, Associate Pastor at Northwest Hills UMC, has scheduled  training to lead the faith-based immigration study, “Transcending Borders,” in your local congregation.  Laity and clergy who are interested in starting conversations about immigration in their local church are invited to this training.  The 6 week study topics are as follows:

–      Session 1: Getting Started
–      Session 2: Immigrants of the Bible
–      Session 3: The Alien, Orphan & Widow
–      Session 4: Welcoming the Stranger
–      Session 5: Citizens of Heaven
–      Session 6: Our Christian Response

The training will be from May 15th – June 19th, Sundays from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, Family Life Center.  Please register by emailing  The cost of printing the document is the only fee, $10.  For more information contact Rev. Madeline C. Henners at (512)345-1743 or via the email noted above.

“To refuse to welcome migrants to this country—and to stand by in silence while families are separated, individual freedoms ignored, and the migrant community in the United States is demonized by members of Congress and the media—is complicity to sin.”
— The Book of Resolutions 2008

May 12 Chapter Meeting

The May program will focus on how we can reduce poverty, both locally and around the world.  We will refer back to our study on poverty last year.  Kerry Stevens, Bethany UMC, will talk about Bethany’s program to work with World Vision in Kenya.  More details later.

MFSA Chapter Activities Planned for Annual Conference

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 Peace & Justice 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:
Negotiating 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.

The luncheon cost is $12.00 per person if paid by May 10, $15.00 afterward.  Registration Deadline is June 1.

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