February Chapter Meeting – Thursday, February 14

BeeLooking for a unique way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? 

Come to the February MFSA meeting!!

The Southwest Texas chapter of the MFSA will meet Thursday, February 14 in Fellowship Hall at Saint John’s UMC.  The speaker for the evening will be Bee Moorhead, Executive Director of Texas Impact, a statewide interfaith (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) network that advocates at the Texas Legislature on behalf of commonly held social principles.  Bee will talk about the issues and bills we as people of faith should be aware of during the current session of the Legislature and how we can participate in that advocacy.

Come at 6:30 p.m. for snacks and mingling; the program begins at 7p.m. Invite your friends and neighbors – all are welcome.  And be prepared for some Valentine’s Day surprises!

Contact Anne Mund at 343-0803 (ennadnum@hotmail.com) if you have questions.

A Conversation With Rev. Gil Caldwell

Gil caldwellThe Southwest Texas MFSA Chapter and the Saint John’s UMC Risk-taking Mission and Service team invite you to attend “A Conversation with Rev. Gil Caldwell” on Saturday, February 9, at 12:30-2:30 p.m., in the Great Hall (lunch provided).  Rev. Caldwell is a retired United Methodist Minister and a 1951 graduate of Austin’s Anderson High School. He is a long-time activist in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Selma to Montgomery March, the March on Washington, D.C., and the March in Boston against school segregation.  Rev. Caldwell will share his insights on the topic of “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere” (MLK): Racism, Sexism, and Heterosexism.

As an introduction to our conversation, Rev. Caldwell writes, “My hope is that ours will be an environment of candor, reflection, weaving together the diverse fabrics of our distinctive journeys shaped by race, gender, sexual orientation, spirituality, politics, etc.  The “gridlock” of these moments, I believe, calls for some “radical bridging” between and among those who have different opinions and perspectives.  One of the limitations of the Civil Rights Movement of which I was a participant was that we allowed our focus on racism to so consume us that issues of sexism and heterosexism were far down on our lists, if they were on our lists at all.  And, I want to hear from you; what doth God expect from us re; economic and educational classism? “

Please join us for lunch and an important conversation with Rev. Caldwell.  Contact Janice Curry at jlcurry@austin.rr.com to confirm your attendance.

Recap of January Activities by Chapter Members

On January 10, our chapter welcomed Rev. Mike Manor to discuss his views on dismantling racism in Austin.  Rev. Manor is heavily involved in the “Building Bridges, Brick by Brick” program of the Travis County Sheriff’s Department.

We had good attendance, a meaningful discussion, and opened valuable communications links between his efforts and ours on behalf of social justice.  We are very pleased that Mike was able to be at this meeting.


First Saturday Courageous Conversations – 9:00-11:30am –at St. James Episcopal Church – 1941 Webbervile Rd.

First Saturday Town Hall Meetings – Eliminating Crime & Violence in the Travis County/Austin Capital Area – 1:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. at Simpson United Methodist Church: 1709 East 12th Street;
You can contact Rev. Manor at Mike.Manor@co.travis.tx.us


DSC01317Janice & Rowland Curry traveled to Washington DC as guests of Steve & Mary Lynn Clunn for the Presidential Inauguration January 18 – 23.  On Saturday, they attended the National Day of Service event on the Mall, and the Open House at MFSA’s offices.  On Sunday, they worshiped at Foundry UMC to hear Bishop Marcus Matthews give a special MLK Day message.  Then they joined Executive Director Chett Pritchett at an Interfaith Service sponsored by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

On Monday, they witnessed the Inauguration and Parade. What a weekend with many MFSA friends!

(More photos on our FaceBook Page, Southwest-TX-Chapter-MFSA)


photo 5Our MFSA chapter again had a visible presence at the MLK Day events in Austin on Monday, January 21.  Thanks to Anne Mund for organizing the event.

It’s great to walk together in solidarity with those who support social justice.

(More photos on our FaceBook Page, Southwest-TX-Chapter-MFSA)


UMWlegEventThe 2013 UMW Legislative Event was held in Austin, January 27-29.  Many of our SWTX churches were represented.  After hearing from legislative experts, the United Methodist Women decided on an agenda to take to our State Representatives and Senators at the end of the conference.  Those priorities included support for:  Extension of Medicaid to adults under 138% of Federal Poverty Level; Restoring Funding to Education, not allowing flow public money to private schools, and limiting statewide assessments; Begin funding long-term water needs; Sensible regulation of payday and auto-title lending to end cycle of debt; and Guarantee humane treatment of those in criminal justice system, especially women, children, and youth.


The Western Methodist Justice Movement held their first conference on January 30 in Las Vegas.  This conference is the continuation of the social justice grassroots movement that grew out of issues and relationships formed at the Love Your Neighbor Coalition Tabernacle in Tampa.  The SWTX Chapter felt that we should have a representative on hand at this conference, and asked Kenneth Henry to attend.  We believe that the WMJ Movement in the Western Jurisdiction will have an important impact on the landscape and structure of the UMC over the coming months, and look forward to Kenneth’s reports on this conference.

For more information, see www.wmjm.org.

Support The Hope Food Pantry!


Annual Fundraiser


Join us on Sunday, February 10, 5:30p.m., Tarrytown UMC 2601 Exposition Blvd. for a Mardi Gras celebration and help support the pantry and its mission to help alleviate hunger in our community.  Tom Spencer, CEO Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT) will be the keynote speaker.  Enjoy Cajun cooking from Nubian Queen Lola, mac and cheese from Hyde Park Bar and Grill, Maine Root beverages, the cool sounds of the Khabele School Jazz Band, and register for great raffle items.


Reserve your ticket by emailing to info@hopefoodpantryaustin.org.  $25 in advance/$30 at the door.


Other ways to help:


1. Volunteer once a month or more on Thursday or Friday a.m., comfortable with computers, and knowledge of spanish helpful.


2. Coordinate a Food Drive through a group/work/community.


3. Randall’s Remarkable card holders: place #3830 on your card and donate to Hope.  A Randall’s employee can help you.


Contact: Stephanie at info@hopefoodpantryaustin.org


Special KLRU Programs

MakersMakers: Women Who Make America

Tuesday February 26 | 7pm on KLRU. Meryl Streep narrates the compelling story of women’s advancement in America in the past 50 years.  It is a revolution that has unfolded in public and private, on grand stages like the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, and humbler ones like the boardroom and the bedroom. The series features the stories of those who led the fight, those who opposed it and those — both famous and unknown — caught up in its wake.  Meryl Streep narrates the three-hour stack, which features commentary and the stories of Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, Oprah Winfrey and Katie Couric, and Gloria Steinem and Phyllis Schlafly, among others.  Check out the Makers website for more information and to watch videos with trailblazing women.

Tuesday February 12 | 7pm.Join us for preview screening of this program in Studio 6A. KLRU, the UT Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders are joining together for Inspiring Women Leaders, a discussion about cultivating

Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT)


Tuesday, February 19th, 2013


Program starts promptly at Noon.

at Chez Zee (5406 Balcones Dr)

Lead Sponsorship: $2,500 (full table of 10)
Sponsors: $1,250 (half table of 5)
Individual Tickets: $200

Reserve your seat or become a sponsor today!

This year’s Friends in Faith Luncheon highlights a friendship forged in tragedy and bound by hope.

Join us for an intimate conversation that you will never forget, between friends who prove that anything is possible.


Nader Hassan and Kerry Cahill of the Nawal Foundation


A Friendship Forged from Tragedy.

Two Voices Raised Against Extremism.


Seating is limited so please reserve your seats today 


Created to provide a platform for Muslim-Americans to speak out against violence, the work of the Nawal Foundation is deeply informed by the friendship between its founder, Nader Hasan, cousin of the alleged Fort Hood Shooter of November 5, 2009, and Kerry Cahill, the daughter of Michael G. Cahill CWII (ret.) one of the thirteen who was killed in that tragedy.


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



Saturday, February 23, 2013

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

3001 South Congress Avenue Austin, Texas

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, 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

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

Faith Action for Women in Need – Healthcare Vigils


Faith Action for Women in Need (Fawn) cordially invites 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 Texas 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 Walk – March 3


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

Where:  Camp Mabry – 2200 W 35th Stcropart290

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/

Help Raise The Roof At Montopolis Center


The Montopolis Friendship Community Center is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation formed in 1957 as a United Methodist Women’s response to help meet some of the needs in the Montopolis community in southeast Austin.  FCC provides the following opportunities in the Montopolis area: Mother’s Day Out for children 2-4 years old; Clothing sales room open on the first and third Saturdays; Senior activities; and Rental space available for community events.  The Montopolis FCC desperately needs a new roof – the existing roof at Colorado Hall has been patched and re-patched.  The new roof, to be repaired by professionals, will cost $4,000.  Groups and individuals are being asked to contribute toward this need that is not covered as a part of MFCC’s annual budget.  You can help by buying one square foot of shingles for $3.33, or 3 sq ft for $10.00!

The goal is to raise the $4,000 by 3/30/2013.

Please make checks payable to Montopolis FCC and mail to:

MFCC Treasurer, Eva Jordan, P.O.Box 4691, Austin, TX  78765

Community Events


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


Faith in Action


The General Board of Church & Society published a Faith in Action newsletter on January 22 that included many good articles and actions around the issues of gun violence, Roe v. Wade, Gay marriage, and human trafficking.  Please take a look an add your name to the email list if interested.  http://umc-gbcs.org/faith-in-actionBlank

MFSA Issue Positions


MFSA has posted articles about issues of immigration, family planning, and gun violence on their website http://mfsaweb.org/

Join Us At Southwest Texas Annual Conference in June

Group ArleneMark your calendars for June 7-9 to attend the Southwest Texas UMC Annual Conference in Corpus Christi.  Our MFSA/RMN “compound” has become a great place to meet, mingle, learn, and express our views on social justice.

Our Peace and Justice Luncheon will feature Rev. Lorenza Andrade-Smith, who will share her experiences on her journey with the homeless. More details to follow.

Mark Your Calendars – RMN Convocation Aug 30 – Sept 2


This is more than just another conference.  Join hundreds of others getting involved in the movement for LGBTQ inclusion in the United Methodist Church through worship, conversation, and action.

National 4-H Youth Conference Center
Chevy Chase, Maryland
(just outside of Washington, DC)

Meet & Hear Words of Inspiration by:

Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey
Rev. Vicki Flippin
Marcus Briggs-Cloud
Joseph Tolton
Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto
Bishop Melvin Talbert
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson
Rev. Dr. Cheryl Anderson

And more!

More details and registration at:


Make Plans To Join Us!