SWTX MFSA Participates in 19th Annual MLK March in Austin

Members of the SWTX MFSA met at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas Campus on Monday, January 16 to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.  After introduction of dignitaries, the audience experienced a program of praise and reflection, complete with inspiring music and speeches.  After the program, we marched to the Texas State Capitol for more inspirational Gospel Music.  The march continued to the Huston-Tillotson Campus for a Community Festival.

Love Your Neighbor Workshop Participants Plan for GC 2012

On Saturday, January 14, 2012, almost 100 United Methodists gathered at Trinity UMC in Austin for the Love Your Neighbor Workshop sponsored by the Coalition of RMN, MFSA, and Affirmation.  Participants shared stories and made plans for supporting full inclusion at the upcoming General Conference of the UMC in Tampa, April 24-May 4.  Audrey Krumbach, RMN National Organizer, and Joey Lopez, RMN Jurisdictional Organizer led the workshop.  Photos are posted at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/swtexasmfsa

MFSA Chapter Meeting – Thursday, January 12

Inclusivity in the UMC:  Pathway to Divorce or Reconciliation?

The United Methodist Church has been embroiled in a struggle over the issue of inclusion/equality/ homosexuality for 40 years now.  Many have threatened to leave the church, or they have hoped that those on the other side would leave.  What would that look like?  But what are other options? What if we agree to have both sides of the question as a part of our denomination?  What would that look like?  Would it become a “local option” and vary around the country?  Could we then move on to greater issues of concern to the Christian community?

Join MFSA in an exciting conversation about the future of the United Methodist Church.  Reverend Sid Hall from Trinity UMC and MFSA member Reverend Richard Bates will lead us in this thoughtful discussion.  The meeting will be in Saint John’s UMC Fellowship Hall.  We will gather at 6:30pm for snacks and mingling.  The program begins at 7:00.  We hope to see you there!

Rev. Dr. Sidney G. Hall, III is a United Methodist minister, a writer, an activist, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. He has served as the senior minister of Trinity United Methodist Church located in the Hyde Park Neighborhood of Austin, Texas since June 1988. Trinity voted to be a Reconciling Congregation (Welcoming of the LGBTQ community) in 1992 and continues in that public witness.   Rev. Hall was one of the original 15 signers of “In All Things Charity” in January of 1997 calling the United Methodist Church into full inclusion for sexual minorities.  He was arrested with other activists at the United Methodist General Conference in Cleveland in 2000 for protesting the church’s exclusive policies.   A native of Kokomo, Indiana, Hall has served United Methodist congregations in Indiana and Texas since 1978 and has been elected to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences Delegation from Southwest Texas for three quadrennials.   Read more about Rev. Hall at http://ucanbu.wordpress.com/staff/rev-dr-sid-hall-iii-minister-of-celebration/.

 Rev. Richard Bates is a retired United Methodist minister, a member of University UMC, and a long-time supporter of MFSA.  He attended Brite Divinity  School at Texas Christian University, and he has served as Associate Pastor of UM churches in Del Rio, San Antonio, and Seguin.  Rev. Bates took a five year Sabbatical to the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco (founded by United Methodist ministers).  Upon graduation, he returned to the SWT Conference to start a private practice (appointment beyond the local church) in the area of Human Sexuality, and to work with the City of Austin as an HIV Counselor.  He is now retired and is active at UUMC, currently serving as Chairperson of the Church and Society Council.

Love Your Neighbor Workshop

Join Us for the LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR workshop for Reconciling United Methodists (believing in full inclusion for LGBT members in the UMC) – A Partnership of Reconciling Ministries Network and MFSA for General Conference 2012.  Contact Joy Butler joylbutler@gmail.com for more information.


9am until 2pm

Trinity United Methodist Church

4001 Speedway, Austin TX


parking lot directly across street from church

FREE! – and brunch is provided!

What will you do at LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR workshop?

– Learn about 2012 General Conference strategies and messages

– Construct ways to talk about love and inclusiveness in your local church

– Find about about One-to-One organizing method

– Practice Advanced Storytelling skills

– Socialize with other Reconciling United Methodists

– Hear speakers with powerful personal stories to share with you

This workshop has something for all Reconciling United Methodists.  Those new to the workshop will learn how to share their stories (if desired), even if for the first time.  Experienced workshop attendees will learn how to “take it on the road” with outreach and witness to General Conference delegates, with follow-up support available after the workshop.  Two staff organizers from RMN national office in Chicago will be leading the workshop, and we will have two local guest speakers.  Sound exciting?  It is!  The Reconciling movement is growing in our SWTX conference, and you can be a part of helping our United Methodist Church experience a more inclusive future!

Mauzy To Present Policy History January 8

DAVID MAUZY Presents Part II of

“History of UMC Policy Regarding Homosexuality”

January 8, 2012

10am in Fellowship Hall

The Saint John’s UMC Reconciling Ministries Team invites you to attend a Second Sunday event this Sunday at Saint John’s.  David Mauzy will present the second part of History of UMC Policy Regarding Homosexuality.  David is a very interesting and informative speaker.  He has spent 6 years on the national RMN Board, served as a member of RMN’s legislative team at General Conference 2008, and will be one of the legislative team leaders for General Conference 2012.  As the former president of the Adelphi Sunday School class at FUMC in Austin, David led the class through the process of becoming the first Reconciled Sunday School class in the nation, making that process a model for dozens of Sunday School classes, UMW circles, church choirs, MFSA chapters, and other small groups.

Too Many Lives Candlelight Vigil – January 8, 2012

The Too Many Victims remembrances are part of a national effort inviting all Americans to light a candle on January 8, 2012 to honor the victims and survivors of the Tucson shootings and gun violence victims across the nation.

As we pray for comfort for the families of victims, we can also pray for our elected leaders to show the moral courage necessary to protect public safety and not allow any more people to be victimized by gun violence.

Austin Vigil – Sunday, January 8
7:00 PM until 8:30 PM – South steps of the State Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave
Host: Brady Campaign Texas

Note: Please only bring FLAMELESS ELECTRIC CANDLES. Open flames are not allowed on the Capitol grounds. Some flameless electric candles will be available for guests to use at no cost. In case of severe weather the vigil will be held at the First United Methodist Church at 1201 Lavaca. Please keep an eye on TooManyVictims.org and our Brady Campaign Texas Facebook

Concert to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15th

First Church will host a concert in celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in our sanctuary on Sunday, January 15th, at 6:00 p.m.

This concert will feature the choir of Northeast Community United Methodist Church of San Antonio, under the direction of the Reverend Emerson Allen. This choir gave a rousing performance at the regional Passionate Worship Conference held in San Antonio this past September. You will be powerfully blessed by their message in song.

As a community of faith, let us give thanks for the prophetic and transformative legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Austin’s MLK “Sunday Supper” – January 15

“Austin’s Sunday Supper”

A MLK Holiday Celebration and Peace Through Pie Social

Trinity UMC, 4001 Speedway, Austin, TX

Sunday, January 15, 5 – 7:30pm

Meet neighbors and discover opportunities to develop a sustainable community food system in Austin.

Bring your “peace pie” (sweet or savory) and share your recipe for peace.

For more info, contact SundaySupper@tumc.org

2012 MLK March and Festival Monday – January 16

The 19th Annual Community March in Austin celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multi-culturalism in our city. The MLK Community March kicks off on Monday, January 16, 2012 at 9 am with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus.  We will then march to the Capitol for Gospel music and then on to historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned. Find the MFSA banner at the MLK Statue and march with us in celebration of Dr. King’s legacy.  Contact Janice Curry jlcurry@austin.rr.com if you are interested in joining us.


24th Annual United Methodist Women’s Legislative Event

Online registration is now open for the 24th Annual Texas United Methodist Women’s Legislative Event, January 22-24, 2012, at the Doubletree at the Capitol in Austin.

Texas State University Chancellor Brian McCall, Senator John Whitmire, campaign finance guru Craig McDonald and theologian Dr. Monya Stubbs are among the great speakers who will help make UMW 2012 one of the best events ever. The event will also feature a breakfast at the Capitol where Texas Impact will present our first-ever Legislative Leadership Awards.

Visit Texas Impact’s website to see the agenda and other helpful information.  Legislative Event registration is open to members of United Methodist Women and Wesley nurses. Call Texas Impact at (512) 472-3903 or email cara@texasimpact..org for more information.

National MFSA Board Meets in Austin in January!

Saint John’s UMC Austin will be the site of the spring meeting of the MFSA Board of Directors on January 27 and 28.  Approximately 20 board members and MFSA staff will meet to determine the organization’s course through Tampa and beyond.  SWTX Chapter members will be teaming up to house, transport, and feed the visitors from throughout the U.S.  We hope to find time to show our friends some Texas hospitality here in Austin.

This meeting is open to all MFSA members and supporters (unless we have short closed sessions for personnel issues, of course).  If you would like to meet board members, the Executive Director, or staff, come by and sit in on the meetings.  No agenda is available as yet.

Thanks to those who have volunteered thus far.  If you would like to help with housing, food, or transportation, please contact rcurry@austin.rr.com.

Texas Freedom Network Conference in Houston

Free Symposium

James A. Baker III Hall, Rice University

6100 Main Street, Houston

January 25, 1-4:30pm

An Evening with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist – Leonard Pitts

Congregation Emanu El

1500 Sunset Boulevard, Houston

January 25, 7pm

Tickets – $20


2012 TCADP Annual Conference in San Antonio

Seizing the Momentum … Creating the Climate for Change
February 18, 2012
University of Incarnate Word Sky Room
847 E Hildebrand, San Antonio

General Membership Meeting
Networking with TCADP  Members and Allies
Exhibitors and Door Prizes
Panel Discussion: Impact of Texas’ Changing Demographics on the Death Penalty

 Bishop Joe Wilson to Receive the TCADP Founder’s Award

Bishop Joe Wilson, retired Bishop of the United Methodist Church, is a persistent voice for justice on multiple issues who works to raise awareness and advocate for change. Bishop Joe Wilson expressed concern about Karla Faye Tucker’s scheduled execution in 1998, and then again in 2000 to then-Governor George Bush about the high number of executions in Texas.  He has been a steadfast supporter of TCADP for many years and can always be counted on to participate in clergy-focused efforts. Bishop Wilson currently serves as Bishop-in-Residence at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.  More information at:  http://tcadp.org/what-we-do/annual-conference/

Nationwide Drop in Death Sentences, Executions in 2011

On December 15, the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) released its annual report, The Death Penalty in 2011: Year End Report. According to the report, the number of both new death sentences and executions nationwide experienced significant declines in 2011 compared to previous years, with the number of new death sentences dropping below 100 for the first time since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

In DPIC’s official press release, the organization’s Executive Director Richard Dieter stated:

This year, the use of the death penalty continued to decline by almost every measure. Executions, death sentences, public support, the number of states with the death penalty all dropped from previous years.  Whether it’s concerns about unfairness, executing the innocent, the high costs of the death penalty, or the general feeling that the government just can’t get it right, Americans moved further away from capital punishment in 2011.

BOPA Recycling Event in March

Saturday, March 3, – BOPA Recycling Event – 8 am to 10:30 am

MFSA will sponsor our 3rd 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 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. If you would like to volunteer for this event, please contact Rowland Curry at rcurry@austin.rr.com.