January Chapter Meeting – Thursday, January 10

Building Bridges: Race and Cultural Engagement

 Why are we uncomfortable talking about race?  What are the intended and unintended consequences of the Austin 1928 race codes?  Why are the UT Austin admission criteria contested by white students as “reverse racism”?  How does racism affect the white community?  What can we do about racism in our community?

Join us on January 10 as Rev. Mike Manor, of the Travis County Sherriff’s Building Bridges: Brick by Brick program, explores how to break down the walls of racism and race privilege, power and fear, to build strong bridges of unity across our community and law enforcement.

Rev. Manor, an Associate Minister at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, is a certified mediator with a MS in Social Work from the University of Texas.  Building Bridges is a community agenda initiative launched by Sheriff Greg Hamilton as a continuous effort at creating, accomplishing meaningful and sustainable conversations between Travis County residents, faith communities, public safety communities, and law enforcement.

Please join us on Thursday, January 10, at Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Rd., for this interesting program.   Snacks and visiting begin at 6:30pm; the program begins at 7:00.

Message from MFSA National

MFSA Responds to School Violence

Monday, December 17th, 2012 1:57 pm

PHOTO-CANDLESThe Methodist Federation for Social Action’s board, staff, and members continue to grieve the loss of life in Newtown, Connecticut this past Friday. “We stand firmly in our belief that violence, in all its forms, is anathema to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We encourage all people of faith to work for a world in which such violence is no longer commonplace,” stated Chett Pritchett, Interim Executive Director

MFSA encourages United Methodists to put into action General Conference Resolution 3426 (2008, 2012 Book of Resolutions) which encourages communities and congregations to address the issues of gun violence in schools and among children. “Advocating for stronger accountability in regards to gun ownership and greater access to mental health care are two ways to pro-actively work so that an event of this magnitude will not happen again,” stated Pritchett  “But beyond advocating for public policy changes, we must also change the way we address, or don’t address, these issues throughout our Church.”

Reconciling Ministries Workshop – January 18 -19

RMN logoYou are invited to participate in the January Reconciling Ministries workshop, Fri 1/18, and Sat 1/19 at Travis Park UMC in San Antonio.  This is a more in-depth training than the 2012 workshop and will involve learning how to help facilitate Reconciling processes in UMC groups and congregations.  Please contact Joy Butler joylbutler@gmail.com if you are interested in attending.

2013 MLK March & Festival– Monday, January 21

MLK marchThe Annual Community March 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 21, 2013 at 9 a.m. 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.  If you are interested in marching with the MFSA banner, please meet at the MLK Statue at 9am. Contact Anne Mund with questions – ennadnum@hotmail.com  or 343-0803.

Day of Service

Join State Representative Dawnna Dukes and United Way for Greater Austin at the 14th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Clean Up on Saturday, January 19, 2013. This year, the entire MLK Day of Service will be focused on cleaning MLK Blvd.

This event is family friendly! Volunteers will meet at JJ Seabrook Park to get cleaning supplies and refreshments and then set off to beautify the roadside of MLK Blvd. Volunteers are encouraged to wear clothing that can withstand the weather- whatever it may be and are encouraged to wear bright and comfortable clothing. Long pants or jeans are recommended. www.handsoncentraltexas.org

Southwest Texas Annual Conference – Called Session

Bishop James Dorff has called a January session of the Southwest Texas Annual Conference for Saturday, January 26, 2013, at University UMC in San Antonio.

University United Methodist Church, San Antonio
5084 DeZavala Rd.
San Antonio, TX  78249
(210) 696-1033

Preliminary Agenda

  • 9:00 am 10:00 am Gathering
  • 10:00 am 11:25 am Morning Session
  • Opening by Bishop Dorff
  • Worship Moment
  • UMM Eagle Scout Recognition
  • Methodist Children’s Home ‐ Waco
  • Worship Moment
  • 11:30 am 1:00 pm Great Thanksgiving and Lunch
  • 1:00 pm– 2:55 pm Afternoon Session
  • Worship
  • Methodist Healthcare Ministries with focus on Wesley Nurses
  • Morningside Ministries
  • Methodist Mission Home
  • Worship Moment
  • Huston ‐ Tillotson College;
  • Lydia Patterson Institute
  • Texas United Methodist College Association
  • Worship Moment
  • Report on Unification
  • New church Starts and Transformation

3:00 pm ‐ 4:00 pm Closing Worship

United Methodist Women in Texas Legislative Event

UMW leg

Program planned and produced by Texas Impact 

 JANUARY 27-29, 2013

Austin, Texas 

Holiday Inn Austin Midtown
6000 Middle Fiskville

Monday Evening Keynote Speaker:

Harriett Jane Olson, United Methodist –

Women’s Deputy General Secretary





Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Annual Conference – February 23


“Changing the Conversation”

 Saturday, February 23, 2013

St. Edward’s University 8:00am – 5:30pm

3001 South Congress Avenue Austin, Texas

Download 2013 Annual Conference flyer with complete information – Print and Share!

TCADP Announces Annual Award Winners!

The TCADP Board of Directors is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2013 TCADP Annual Awards.  These individuals and organizations will be recognized at the TCADP 2013 Annual Conference – Changing the Conversation – on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.  Please make plans to join us in celebrating these extraordinary individuals and organizations!

  • AppreciationJC Dufresne, who played an instrumental role in the Texas Democratic Party’s decision to endorse abolition of the death penalty in its 2012 Platform.
  • Appreciation: Methodist Federation for Social Action-Southwest Texas Chapter, for their years of involvement and ongoing contributions to the abolition movement.
  • Media: Joe Bailey, Jr. and Steve Mims (pictured), Filmmakers of “Incendiary”, a documentary about the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 despite serious flaws in the forensic science used to convict him and doubts about his guilt.

Plenary Session
In addition to the annual awards luncheon, the conference will feature a plenary session on how instances of wrongful convictions and evidence of wrongful executions are changing the conversation on the death penalty. Confirmed panelists are:

  • Karen Boudrie, an award-winning journalist, news director, and public relations consultant who covered the trial of Carlos DeLuna in Corpus Christi in 1983 and was the last person to speak with him before his wrongful execution in 1989;
  • Anthony Graves, a motivational speaker and legal consultant who spent 12.5 years on death row before being exonerated in 2010; and
  • Professor James Liebman, Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Law, Columbia University School of Law, and the lead author of Los Tocayos Carlos: An Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution

Pre-register for the conference today and book your hotel by February 1!  Special rates are available for TCADP members and students. https://secure.qgiv.com/for/tcadp/event/15076/

Faith Action for Women in Need – Healthcare Vigils

Faith Action for Women in Need (Fawn) cordially invite your faith community to participate in The Interfaith Prayer/Meditation Vigil for Healthcare Funding each Saturday, 8:00-10:00am at the Governor’s Mansion.  Because 26% of Texas citizens lack health insurance and TFAWNexas ranks worst in the nation for health care coverage, we are seeking:

·         Acceptance of all available Medicaid fund.

·         Reinstatement of Planned Parenthood into the Women’s Health Program

·         Expansion of Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act

·         Restoration of cuts to program designed to encourage doctors to stay in Texas and to enter General Practice.

The prayer vigil will be ongoing until our goal is achieved.  The vigil is interfaith, and secularists are welcome.   Contact Cindy Noland at cgnoland03@yahoo.com or 512-636-1333 with questions. Also on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Faith-Action-for-Women-in-Need-FAWN/478234135535473?fref=ts

Save the Date – Crop Hunger Walker – March 3


When:  March 3, 2013 @ 1:45 PM – 5:00 PM 

Where:  Camp Mabry – 2200 W 35th St

Contact:  Desaree Williams  (512) 386-9145 ext. 308


Sunday, March 3, 2013, starting at 1:45 p.m.

Camp Mabry, 2200 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703

Recruiter Orientation on Saturday, January 12 at 9:30 a.m.
First United Methodist Church in Wesley Hall, 1201 Lavaca St, 78701

Please visit the Austin CROP Hunger Walk website for more information on registering for the walk and ways to participate.  http://austincrophungerwalk.org/

Building Bridges-Conversations on Race


Simpson United Methodist Church

1701 E 12th St
Eliminating Crime & Violence in the Travis County/Austin Capital Area

From #3 to #1 Safest Community Area in the United States by 2015 & Beyond

January 4

First Saturday Town Halls 

1:30 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Presenters are:

Travis County Sheriff’s Office/Travis County Services

Location: 1709 East 12th Street

Austin, Texas 78702 512/472-8818

Town Hall Moderator: Kenneth Thompson, Sr. –KAZI Talk Show Host

 Community Advisor: Nelson Linder Business Owner; President, NAACP Austin Branch

For more information, contact:  Mike Manor, LCSW, ACSW, c/o:

Travis County Sheriff’s Office Building Bridges: Brick by Brick, (512) 854-9172



Courageous Conversations on Race

Saturday, January 4 – The TX Health & Human Services Center for Elimination of Disproportionality & Disparities hosts: First Saturday’s Courageous Conversations on Race

“Courageous Conversation” the first Saturday of each month fosters dialogue among people throughout the community to develop better understanding and to dispel stereotypes. St. James Episcopal Church Founder’s Hall, 1941 Webberville Rd., 9 -11:30.  Town Hall meeting from 1:30 – 4:00pm.


Community Events


Date: January 19, 2013

Time: 1:00 pm  to  10:00 pm

Activate Austin hosts a day of knowledge sharing and music, featuring Lisa Fithian, CommonSpark Collective, local folk band The Sparrowmakers, and singer songwriter, David Rovics.

Highlights of the day include “Deconstructing Empire, Building for the Long Haul’ with Lisa Fithian at 1 pm; “Decolonizing the Commons, The Rising of Collective Power” with Ellen Friedman, Megan Keith & Jim Casey of CommonSpark Collective at 4 pm; and dinner at 5:30 pm. Music begins at 7 pm with The Sparrowmakers, followed by David Rovics at 8 pm.

Full event tickets start at $25 (sliding scale) and concert only tickets start at $10.

Anyone interested in tabling, volunteering, sponsoring, or donating a raffle prize should contact activateaustin@riseup.net.

The Festival of the Commons is a benefit for CommonSpark Collective’s Commons Library Project and the Orun Center for Cultural Arts.  For more information, check online and at Facebook.

Location: Daytime events at Orun Center of Cultural Arts, 1720 East 12th St., Austin. Evening music at The Annex at 1808, 1808 East 12th St., Austin



Date: January 27, 2013

Time: 12:15 pm  to  2:00 pm

Peggy Kelsey, director of the Afghan Women’s Project, will discuss her book Gathering Strength: Conversations with Afghan Women. She created the project in 2002 after meeting with a delegation 14 Afghan women who came to Austin. She visited Afghanistan in 2003 and 2010 to photograph and interview women.


Location: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 14311 Wells Port Drive (exit off I-35, west on Wells Branch Parkway)



Date: February 7, 2013

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

Economist James K. Galbraith,  one of the country’s leading analysts of the financial crisis, will speak on the link between the growing inequality and economic instability. Galbraith, a professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, will focus on the argument in his new book, Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just before the Great Crisis, which demonstrates that increased inequality is a product of the rise of windfall profits in finance and the deregulation of markets. For an exploration of these ideas, watch Bill Moyers’ interview with Galbraith online.

Galbraith, a frequent commentator in the media and adviser to policymakers, is also the author of The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too and Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay. In addition to his teaching and research, Galbraith has served in several positions on the staff of the U.S. Congress, including Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee.

At UT, Galbraith directs the Inequality Project.

A suggested donation of $10 (no one turned away for lack funds) will support the work of 5604 Manor. For more information, contact Robert Jensen, rjensen@austin.utexas.edu.

Location: 5604 Manor, 5604 Manor Road, Austin, 78723



Date: February 7, 2013

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The Workers Defense Project will partner with Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s student group, Corpus Christi, to discuss how the faith community can get more involved with efforts in support of workers and immigrants. Speakers will include faith leaders from the Austin community and worker members of Workers Defense Project.

Location: Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, McCord Center, Stotts Hall, 100 East 27th Street  Austin 78705



Texas Impact

Partnership for the Common Good: Texas Impact’s Guide to the Issues 2013

TxImpactDownload “Partnership For The Common Good” in PDF Format. (right-click and choose “Save As…” to download the PDF)

Note: In addition to this legislative agenda, Texas Impact holds historic legislative positions based on long-affirmed social principles of our member denominations. Read a brief overview of our legislative principles here.


Texas faith communities know that government is essential, but for public programs to be effective we need real partnerships—between local communities and state programs, between concerned individuals and institutions, and between for-profit service providers and the charitable community. Texas can prepare for the future by building robust partnerships that ensure we are moving forward on a strong foundation, with an ethic of shared responsibility and a true sense of community.

Legislators took positive steps toward community partnerships in 2011, and those steps are bearing fruit. Faith and community-based organizations, local governments, business and state agencies are coming together to feed hungry Texans, support at-risk youth, conserve precious resources, and other strategies to advance the common good.

Texas Impact urges the 83rd Texas Legislature to continue its investment in community partnership programs and policies. The following specific strategies will build the capacity of all Texans to work in partnership for a vibrant, prosperous and healthy Texas.

Strategies for Building Community Partnerships in 2013

  • Promote family financial stability
  • Improve access to healthy, affordable food
  • Ensure Texans have access to quality, affordable health insurance
  • Strengthen Texas’ public education system
  • Build capacity for service in local communities
  • Improve law enforcement and criminal justice outcomes for individuals with mental illness
  • Promote clean, reliable, affordable energy
  • Build an accountable-stewardship foundation for water policy
  • Take an appropriate and balanced approach to immigration issues
  • Strengthen the state revenue system


Arm Chair Activism

General Board of Church and Society

Women’s Advocacy

Lives of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
brothers and sisters in Uganda are in jeopardy

Take a stand to protect the lives and safety of our brothers and sisters in Uganda
The Uganda Parliament will be considering a bill that would outlaw homosexuality in that country, putting LBGT individuals and their families at great risk.  It has been called the “world’s most harsh and comprehensively homophobic law.”

December 12, 2012

Oppose Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law

Within The United Methodist Church, we have had significant disagreements over issues of human sexuality. We have been unified in our commitment to non-violence, however, and to the protection of LBGT individuals from discrimination and harm. As our Book of Discipline clearly states, we believe that “all persons, regardless of …sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured and to be protected against violence.”

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which could be considered by the Uganda Parliament any day now, makes homosexuality punishable by imprisonment and endangers LGBT individuals and their loved ones. Please take a moment to sign these petitions to Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Uganda Parliament Speaker Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga to urge them to drop this discriminatory legislation, and instead engage in open dialogue about human sexuality.

Yours in Christ’s love for all God’s creation,

Amee Paparella
Director of Women’s Advocacy

action alert!

On Christmas Eve, another gun-related tragedy struck: two firefighters in a New York town were shot and killed by a man with a semi-automatic assault rifle. When will our lawmakers step up to stop the violence?


Congress: Protecting Americans IS Bipartisan

On Christmas Eve, yet another town in America fell victim to gun violence. An ex-convict, armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle, set fire to his house in Webster, New York and then killed two of the firefighters who showed up to protect him — one of whom was just 19 years old.

How many more needless gun deaths must Americans watch before our elected leaders take action?

Aurora. Sandy Hook. And now Webster. After every massacre, Americans ask the same question — what laws can we pass to protect our families? And every time, the answer’s the same: nothing. Time after time, the discussion gets derailed by needless partisan bickering.

It’s high time that we as Americans declared “Enough is enough.” There is no reason for any member of Congress to maintain that military-grade weaponry should be available on the market, no matter which party they belong to.

Tell Congress to prioritize our country’s safety ahead of political games, before more innocent people die.

Thank you for taking action,Kathleen
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team


action alert!

It’s not too late to make a Donation to MFSA!

How to join or support MFSA

 Please join with us as we connect progressive United Methodists in putting faith into action!

mfsa plumblineMembership in MFSA is not predicated on ability to pay.  We do not have “dues”.  However, our Chapter and the National Office need funding each year for programs and activities.  Membership gifts and special giving are always appreciated. MFSA is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS.   Membership gifts to MFSA are tax deductible as provided by law.

There are several easy ways to join or support MFSA.

  • You can log onto the national MFSA website, http://www.mfsaweb.org and follow the instructions there (you can safely use a credit card). Please indicate that you are part of the SWTX Chapter.
  • Or, you can mail a check made out to “SWTX – MFSA” to our Treasurer, Janice Curry, at 1509 Mearns Meadow Blvd, Austin 78758.  The suggested donation is $60, but any amount is welcome.  Thanks for your support!

We have eight monthly meetings per year, generally on the second Thursday of the month.  We communicate using monthly electronic newsletters & updates to our website and Facebook page.