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 Anne Mund at

CROP Walk – March 3-4

It’s not too late to get involved with the 7th largest CROP Hunger Walk in the country and the largest interfaith event in Austin! You can start a team with your spiritual community, your co-workers, or a group of your friends. With online fundraising it’s easy to get sponsors so that you can support local and global hunger agencies.

Walk materials can be picked up at the Church World Service office (call first – 512-451-2062, 6633 Highway 290 East, Suite 108, Austin, TX 78723), or at the Capital Area Food Bank (M-F, 9am-4pm, 8201 S. Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78745).

The Austin CROP Hunger Walk will be at Walter E Long Park (6614 Blue Bluff Rd., Austin, TX 78724) on Saturday, March 3rd (registration at 9:30am) and Sunday, March 4th (registration at 1:45pm). You can walk on either day you choose. For more detailed event information, please click here.  About $85,000 was raised in 2011 to alleviate hunger in our community and around the world.

If you have any questions or need some support to make your CROP Hunger Walk experience successful, you can contact Trevor Maloney (415-774-6644,

SWTX UMC Conference Event – ReThink Green – March 3

     Saturday March 3, 2012 9am to 4pm @ Gruene UMC

Part of being good stewards is taking care of God’s creation, the earth. This fun, informative event will not only inspire, but will give participants real, practical things they can do at their local church and in their daily life. The event starts with a morning worship and plenary session for everyone, followed by six breakout sessions. Have kids, bring them! Child care will be provided for the young ones, and a special program for elementary age kids will be offered that ties into the main event.

Keynote Speaker:  John Hill, Director for Economic and Environmental Justice for the

UMC General Board of Church and Society

Cost: $15 if registered by February 16, 2012
$20 after that and at the door.  Childcare will be provided.

For more information, go to



Date/Time: March 8, 2012, 7:00pm

Simpson United Methodist Church

1701 East 12th Street

Austin, Texas 78702


Simpson United Methodist Church of Austin invites you to this nationally celebrated service on March 8, 2012.  The focus of this year’s festivities is developing partnerships between the Faith and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) Communities. The service will include messages of encouragement: rising above HIV; inclusiveness; and the love of Jesus Christ.  Pastor Charles Stephens will bring a word of encouragement following the keynote address from Conscious, a dynamic HIV-positive woman who has risen above extraordinarily difficult circumstances and now shares her journey through acting, presentations, and her book, “Getting Unstuck”.  In addition to the March 8th celebration service, several other events will take place during the week including a Pastor’s HIV Testing Day (a public event in which local pastors lead by example), prayer vigils, and other exciting events currently being coordinated.

The National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS is the coming together of all people of faith to unite with purpose, compassion and hope. Through the power of God’s love we will educate every American about HIV prevention facts; encourage and support HIV testing; advocate for the availability of compassionate care and treatment for all those living with the disease in every community in America; and love unconditionally all persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Short Biography of Conscious: From difficult childhood to homeless to HIV – Conscious has mastered the art of “Getting Unstuck”, the title of her nationally acclaimed book of spoken word expression.  As a lesbian artist, actor, writer, and former bodyguard to celebrities, she has served as the Music Manager for the Queen Latifah Show and hosted Oxygen Media’s talk show She-Commerce.  Conscious now travels the country delivering a poignant message about HIV, AIDS, and recovery. A Native of Harlem, New York, Conscious currently resides in Los Angeles, California and Miami, Florida.

Sponsors: The Black Faith-based Health Initiative, based in Austin, Texas has teamed up with AIDS Services of Austin, Simpson United Methodist Church, the City of Austin Care Program, Wright House Wellness Center, Hill Country Ride for AIDS, and The Care Communities, and several other important community partners to assemble a coalition of diverse organizations with one goal in mind: to open up the lines of communication, fellowship, and blessing between people of faith, local AIDS Service Organizations (ASO’s), people in the LGBT community, and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

New Reconciling Communities in TN, TX and NC!

  • United Methodist Student Association of Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville Tennessee
  • Journey Sunday School Class of Saint John’s United Methodist Church in Austin, Texas
  • UMW Unit of Saint John’s United Methodist Church, Austin, Texas
  • Amity United Methodist Church of Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Upcoming Chapter Meetings – Mark Your Calendars

March 8 – In lieu of our normal chapter meeting, we encourage everyone to attend the service of celebration of The National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS at Simpson UMC Austin, as previously described.

April 12 – The program will be brought to us by Jay Brim, the SWTX Conference Lay Leader and the leader of laity delegates to General Conference, on the foremost issues to be addressed by GC2012 in Tampa.

General Conference 2012 – Tampa, FL

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church meets every four years (quadrennium). Legislative changes are recorded in The Book of Discipline which is revised after each General Conference.  Non-legislative resolutions are recorded in the Book of Resolutions, which is published after each General Conference, and expire after eight years unless passed again by a subsequent session of General Conference.  The last General Conference was held in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2008.  The next General Conference will be April 25 – May 4, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.

The UM General Conference essentially sets all policies and direction of the denomination.  There currently exist certain aspects of the denomination’s policies that are opposed by progressive groups such as MFSA.  The General Conference in Tampa will be the place where such policies are changed or retained.  For information on GC, the legislative process, and proposed changes to the Book of Discipline and the Book of Resolutions, follow this link.

MFSA is offering three petitions to General Conference 2012 as an alternative vision to the “Call to Action” proposals. It is our hope that together we might find once again what it means to be a connectional people of God’s grace and love at work in the world.  Click here to view the 3 models of UMC structure before us: Current Structure, the Call to Action proposal, and A New United Methodist Administrative Order.

Once again the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA), the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) and Affirmation will be coordinating housing and volunteer activities. Many plans are still being worked out.  Volunteer opportunities abound for progressive United Methodists who are committed to justice and are willing/able to attend General Conference in Florida.

Some SWTX members are planning to attend all or portions of General Conference.  If you are interested in attending or volunteering, go to the websites below or contact

For more information, go to, or