Next Chapter Meeting – Thursday, September 13

 September MFSA Meeting Will Focus on

Who votesWho decidesStay tuned! 

Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Rd, Austin, TX 78756

September 13, 7:00pm

Rebecca Robertson, Legal and Policy Director of the ACLU of Texas, will share with us information about the recent voter identification laws and the possible impact of these laws in disenfranchising voters.  Last week, the D.C. District Court denied the State of Texas request to preclear the requirement that all voters show one of a limited number of photo IDs at the polls. The Texas ID requirements that have been in effect for several years will continue to be in effect at the polls for the Nov. 6 General Election. The ruling came just two days after a federal panel said lawmakers had violated the Voting Rights Act in drawing boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts.  U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer, appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2002, sat on both panels and joined both rulings. Opponents of the voter ID laws say that they unlawfully reduce the ability of the poor, minority, and disabled to effectively exercise their electoral rights.

Jan Dawes will share information about opportunities to be trained to register voters and to assist in voter registration efforts in Travis County. The deadline for registering to vote in the 2012 Presidential Election is October 9.  For more information visit  An excellent source of voter information is the League of Women Voters website

We will gather at in the Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Rd, Austin at 6:30pm for snacks & mingling.  The program begins at 7:00.  We hope to see you there!

Austin’s Pride Parade 2012 – Saturday, September 22 at 8pm

In Support of Inclusivity


The SWTX Reconciling Ministries Team and SWTX MFSA will participate in the 2012 Austin Pride Parade on Saturday, Sept 22 at 8pm!  Walkers will walk in support of full inclusion of LGBT persons in the United Methodist Church and in society.

This year, entries will line up at the State Capitol and proudly march down Congress Avenue and through the 4th Street Warehouse District. Limited free parking available at First UMC lot, and also at the surface lot next to the Texas Oil and Gas Association building, next to the FUMC Family Life Center, 13th and Lavaca.  Carpooling is encouraged. For more information visit Austin Pride Parade:!events.

The deadline for registering for the parade has passed, but a few spots remain. Contact Joy Butler if you are interested in participating and you have not registered.  .

From the SWTX RM Team-MFSA Pride Parade Organizing Team:

“We are looking forward to a wonderful Pride Parade.  We are expecting at least 150 Methodists to march this year, a significant increase over last year’s 44.  Please bear with us as we “gear up” to meet the challenges of organizing this larger group.  Please contact us with any questions or concerns. THANK YOU for your support!!”

Save the Date – RMN WORKSHOP JANUARY 18-19  

Reconciling Ministries is looking for lay people who can spend a Friday afternoon and Saturday learning how to be a Reconciling coach for other churches.  Travis Park UMC will host this event.   Seating is limited to 40 and many spots are already reserved. To reserve your seat, contact Joy Butler:

SWTX Reconciling Ministries Team Facebook  –

Bethany UMC – Step Up for Africa Run & Walk – September 15

5K Run/1 Mile Family Fun Walk

Saturday, September 15, 2012, 8:30 am

Brushy Creek Lake Park, Cypress Pavilion

3300 Brushy Creek Road
Cedar Park, Texas, 78613

You are invited to Step Up for Africa 5K Run/1 Mile Family Fun Walk, commemorating our 2011 Step Into Africa event and the beginning of Bethany’s long-term partnership with the community of Matete, Kenya.  Our goal is to inspire healthy lifestyle changes and develop generosity of spirit while training for this event, changing the lives of givers and recipients in Austin and in Africa. Proceeds from Step Up For Africa will help provide clean water in Matete. This is a timed, no-frills 5K and a one-mile family fun walk. Invite your friends and neighbors!


  • Carry water-filled containers used every day in Africa
  • Play on inflatables
  • Learn about the need for clean water
  • Listen to live music by Messengers of Grace
  • Learn about our first year of partnering with Matete
  • Assemble Bags of Grace for Austin’s homeless
  • Sponsor a child from Matete

Registration & a training devotional are available at:

$15 for 5K, $25 per family for 1 Mile Fun Walk.

Financial sponsorship of the event is also available.

Questions? Contact Cindi Deviney at or 918-2058. Thank you!

TCADP – Month of Faith in Action on the Death Penalty

A House Concert with Sara Hickman and Shelley King

Sunday, September 16, 2012, 5:00 to 7:00 PM

The Home of Sara Hickman and Lance Schriner, Austin, Texas 78704

Please join the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP) and friends on Sunday, September 16, 2012 for a special night of music, food, and fellowship! Singer-songwriter and TCADP Advisory Board Member Sara Hickman and her family will graciously open their home that evening for a house concert featuring the music of Sara and fellow songstress Shelley King.  You won’t want to miss these two former Official Texas State Musicians when their powerful voices for love, peace, & justice come together!!

Seating is limited, so purchase your tickets today!  Proceeds from this house concert will benefit TCADP and its upcoming event featuring Sister Helen Prejean, the noted speaker and author of Dead Man Walking. That event (which is free of charge and open to the public) will take place on Friday, October 12, 2012 at 7:00 at St. Edward’s University.  A limited number of VIP packages are available and include front-row seating at the concert and an invitation to a private reception with Sister Helen.

General Admission Tickets (1 per person) are $50. Four VIP packages are available for $200 – these include front-row seating at the house concert for two people plus admission to an intimate reception with Sister Helen Prejean before her speaking event on Friday, October 12 at St. Edward’s University in Austin. This small, invitation-only reception will take place from 5:45 to 6:45 PM at St. Ed’s.

Tickets and VIP packages can be purchased online from TCADP or by sending a check, payable to TCADP, to: 2709 S. Lamar, Austin, TX 78704.  If paying by check, please indicate “Sara Hickman concert” in the memo line and tell us how many seats you’d like to reserve; also, please provide an email address and/or phone number with your check so that we can contact you with more details about the concert.  Seating is limited, so purchase your tickets today!

A Faithful Conversation with Sr. Helen Prejean on the Death Penalty

On October 12 at St. Edward’s University, Jones Auditorium at 7:00pm,  Sr. Helen Prejean will host a conversation with Dr. John Elford, Senior Pastor of University United Methodist Church and Rev. Nestor Menjivar, pastor of Principe de Paz (Prince of Peace) Baptist Church.

The conversation will include the challenges of moving Texas away from a culture of vengeance toward a culture of accountability that does not rely on the death penalty; how faith leaders and people of faith can take a more proactive role in educating their congregations about this issue;  and  the challenges of addressing the death penalty from the pulpit.  As Sr. Helen states, “I realize that I cannot stand by silently as my government executes its citizens. If I do not speak out and resist, I am an accomplice.”

Reserve your tickets today! Free to the public.  You will receive a confirmation email that will serve as your ticket!

RSVP-A Faithful Conversation on the Death Penalty w/ Sr. Helen Prejean

Miss Representation – A Documentary on Women & Media

 The documentary, Miss Representation, by Jennifer Siebel Newsom premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and aired on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The film explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.

ACC East View Campus auditorium – 3401 Webberville Road,  Austin, TX 78702

Tuesday, Sept. 25 – 6:00 pm

Presented by Austin Women VoteOur goal is to register and inform young women about voting. Our coalition includes the League of Women Voters, National Women’s Political Caucus Education Foundation, American Association of University Women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Austin Alumnae Chapter,Travis County Women Lawyers Association, and Las Comadres.


Join the conversation! Register to Vote! Free Food and drinks!


What in the World is a Single Member District? 10-1 or 8-2-1?

Tuesday, September 11

6:30 pm

Southwest Key

6002 Jain Lane, Austin

Did you know that Austin residents will be voting on single-member districts for Austin City Council representation on November 6?   There are two plans on the ballot—the 10-1 plan—and the hybrid 8-2-1 plan.  The grassroots citizen group Austinites for Geographic Representation (AGR) gathered 30,000 signatures in support of 10-1, which automatically placed the plan on November’s ballot.  On Tuesday, September 11, join the Southwest Key meeting to explore, What in the World is a Single Member District?  Find out what it means for YOU at a Town Hall meeting. Contact Daniel Llanes –, or Valerie Joiner 462-2181 for more information.