We Are Still Taking Books for Conference!

We Need Your Books!

For several years, SWT-MFSA has sponsored a Book Fair at Annual Conference.  Members and friends box up their gently used religious and spiritual books, and we haul them to Corpus Christi.  It becomes like a treasure hunt at our tables!  People contribute to us according to what they think the books are worth to them.  It has been quite successful for the past 4 or 5 years, but to make it happen, we need your books!  Contact Rowland Curry (rcurry@austin.rr.com) and we will arrange to pick them up.

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Annual Conference and More!

annual-conf2013-gallery-7Annual Conference information

Pre-Conference Report

Hotel reservations:

If you cannot attend, you can support MFSA by donating to help defray the costs of the luncheon and education efforts at Annual Conference at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5854598261

UMCOR Supports US Disasters

UmcorThe United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe.  UMCOR’s work reaches people in more than 80 countries, including the United States.  We provide humanitarian relief when war, conflict, or natural disaster disrupt life to such an extent that communities are unable to recover on their own.

UMCOR is a ministry of The United Methodist Church, and our goal is to assist the most vulnerable persons affected by crisis or chronic need without regard to their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. We believe all people have God-given worth and dignity.

While UMCOR cooperates with other aid organizations to extend our reach, our most important partners are the people we serve. We are confident that successful solutions to emergency or chronic conditions begin with the affected population. UMCOR provides these survivors not only temporary relief but long-term education, training, and support.

UMCOR spends 100 percent of designated donations on the projects our donors specify. When UMCOR donors give their time, money, and supplies, they join UMCOR as the hands and feet of Christ.

Your donation to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670, will support UMCOR’s efforts to bring relief to the survivors of the recent tornadoes and other disasters.



Help Hope Food Pantry This Summer

If you find yourself with some free time this summer, please consider volunteering at Hope Food Pantry housed at Trinity UMC, 4001 Speedway.  Stephanie Humphreys would love to have your help as her volunteers take a summer vacation.  Give her a call at 420-0701.  Here are the weekly events at Hope Food Pantry:


Capital Area Food Bank pick up at 1:30p.m.

Need volunteers with larger vehicles for scheduled pick ups–minimum of one hour of service on a regular basis.

Tuesdays or Wednesdays

Prep for Distribution at 3:30 – 4:30p.m. during school year and 10a.m. during the summer.


Preparation 8:30 – 10a.m.

Intaking (process clients) – 8:30 – 10:30a.m.

Distribution 10 – 11:30a.m.

Need volunteers for all three areas. Comfort with computers and Spanish for intaking a plus.


Preparation 8:30 – 10a.m.

Intaking (process clients) 8:30 – 10:30a.m.

Distribution 10 – 11:30a.m.

Need volunteers for all three areas.  Comfort with computers and Spanish for intaking a plus.

Mark Your Calendars

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This year’s Austin Pride Parade will be held on Saturday, September 7, 2013: 8pm

Volunteer at Austin District Free Store

Volunteer Today

Volunteers work hard to make FreeStore Austin a radically hospitable place for all people. There are dozens of ways to serve this mission. Whether you feel most comfortable working “behind the scenes” or at the “front of the house,” there is a place for your gifts and energy here.


Some current volunteer opportunities:

  • sort clothing and household goods for the FreeStore
  • staff one of several upcoming events and fundraisers
  • promote special events and fundraisers through your social networks
  • And there are many, many more.  Fill out a volunteer registration form and tell us about your interests and particular skills.  There’s a way to serve this community today.


FreeStore Site                                    FreeStore Admin Office

1717 E. 12 St.                                       Austin District UMC

Austin, TX, 78702                                1221 West Ben White Blvd.

                                                                Suite 201-A

                                                                Austin, TX, 78704


                                                                fax: 512-444-6457



News from the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

TCADP Membership Meeting in Austin: June 5

tcadpTCADP is launching a new, bi-monthly membership luncheon in Austin and we want to see you there!  Please join us for the inaugural event on Wednesday, June 5th, from 12:00 to 2:00 PM at The Egg and I Restaurant, located at 2525 W. Anderson Ln., Austin TX, 78757, 512-452-3447.


TCADP staff and Lobby Corps members will discuss what happened with death penalty issues at the 83rd Texas Legislature and the implications for your local legislators; we also want to hear your ideas for future activities in Austin.

RSVP today and bring a friend! http://tcadp.org/austin-membership/


Did you know? Texas accounts for four of the ten executions carried out nationwide to date in 2013.  The State has executed 496 people since 1982. 


MFSA friend and pastor of University UMC, Rev. John Elford, testified on behalf of HB 1703 to abolish the death penalty in Texas during the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee hearing on April 30.  Watch his testimony at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcHE9jFuAvQ


The TCADP 2013 Spring Newsletter is available online.

iACT Red Bench – June 18

redbench_logo-300x79iACT Red Bench – June 18

June 18 – “Education – What is Education For?”

Does education have a moral purpose or is it merely about training for a career? What do we expect from our educational systems?


The Red Bench: Interfaith Conversations that Matter is a dialogue program centered on moderated small group discussions that are genuinely respectful and safe. No one has to be an expert – individual participants are invited to share from their personal experiences and listen with their hearts.

The Red Bench meets at the “Family Life Center” of First United Methodist Church at 1300 Lavaca Street in downtown Austin. A light meal is served from 6:30-7:00 PM and the conversation runs from 7:00-8:30 PM. http://interfaithtexas.org/dialogue/the-red-bench/more-info/

News From National MFSA

Former Seminary Dean Charged with Performing Son’s Wedding

“Marrying Tom and Nick was for me a profoundly personal and quintessentially pastoral act.”  –   Rev. Thomas Ogletree

These words from Rev. Thomas Ogletree, former Dean of Drew University Theological School and Yale Divinity School, encapsulate an act of ecclesiastical disobedience to unjust church policy – an act that is inherently one of Biblical Obedience.

Ogletree served as a Seminary professor and dean over his 50 year career. He has shown a lifelong commitment to social justice, as evidenced by his involvement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. His first civil disobedience arrest was at a segregated lunch counter with African-American colleagues, including Congressman John Lewis.

MFSA will continue to update as the case progresses and share ways you can educate others and support clergy who engage in acts of Biblical Obedience.

New York Times article
Washington Post article
Methodists in New Directions (MIND-NY) statement
Reconciling Ministries Network statement

Follow #UMConTrial on Twitter

Consider signing the Altar for All Statement – show your support for marriage equality!


Fellowship of Reconciliation Gathering

“Harnessing Outrage and Compassion:

Awakening the Power of Nonviolence”

Join other peace-seekers for an exciting Pacific Northwest peacemaking conference this July 4-7!
Enjoy workshops, keynotes, music, fun, and fellowship in a beautiful natural setting:
Seabeck Conference Center on Hood Canal with the Olympic Mountains as a dramatic backdrop.
“Harnessing Outrage and Compassion:  Awakening the Power of Nonviolence”

Join other peace-seekers for an exciting Pacific Northwest peacemaking conference this July 4-7!  Enjoy workshops, keynotes, music, fun, and fellowship in a beautiful natural setting:  Seabeck Conference Center on Hood Canal with the Olympic Mountains as a dramatic backdrop.

Interested in attending? (You know you are!)  More information is available – JUST CLICK HERE.



National MFSA recent newsletter:



Reconciling Ministries recent newsletter:  https://aws.predictiveresponse.net/view_as_a_page/index.php?org=475&lea=26-10000017710-8&ite=429

General Board of Church & Society – Faith in Action


Third Coast Activist

Get Apocalyptic: Why Radical is the New Normal

by Robert Jensen

In the summer issue of YES! Magazine, UT Professor Robert Jensen suggests that the central illusion of the industrial world’s extractive economy is the naive belief that we can maintain indefinitely a large-scale human presence on the earth at something like current First-World levels of consumption. Our task is to face a tough truth:

The high-energy/high-technology life of affluent societies is a dead end. We can’t predict with precision how resource competition and ecological degradation will play out in the coming decades, but it is ecocidal to treat the planet as nothing more than a mine from which we extract and a landfill into which we dump.

Suggesting that “it’s time to get apocalyptic, or get out of the way,” Jensen argues:

To adopt an apocalyptic worldview is not to abandon hope but to affirm life. As James Baldwin put it decades ago, we must remember “that life is the only touchstone and that life is dangerous, and that without the joyful acceptance of this danger, there can never be any safety for anyone, ever, anywhere.” By avoiding the stark reality of our moment in history we don’t make ourselves safe, we undermine the potential of struggles for justice and sustainability.

Jensen develops these ideas in more detail in We Are All Apocalyptic Now: On the Responsibilities of Teaching, Preaching, Reporting, Writing, and Speaking Out. He also is the author of the new book Arguing for Our Lives: A User’s Guide to Constructive Dialog.

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!

Nuns on the Bus Tour Comes to Texas!

Nuns on the Bus for immigration reform will travel 6,500 miles across 15 states and have 53 events in 40 cities.  The Sisters will be making several stops in Texas including Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Laredo.  For more information: http://www.networklobby.org/bus/events/detail?city=&date[min][date]=2013-06-08&date[max][date]=2013-06-09.
Date / Type of Visit / Place
Jun 8, 2013 (9:00 AM)     Lobby Visit/Rally

Office of Senator Ted Cruz

1919 Smith Street, Houston, TX 77002

Jun 8, 2013 (3:00 PM)     Site Visit

Catholic Charities Immigration and Legal Services

9461 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX 75243

Jun 8, 2013 (8:30 PM)     Friendraiser

St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church Family Center

126 West Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704

Jun 9, 2013 (TBD (AM))  Mass

TBD – Austin, TX

Jun 9, 2013 (2:00 PM)     Rally for Reform

St Leonard Parish

8510 S Zarzamora St, San Antonio, TX 78224

Jun 9, 2013 (7:00 PM)     Friendraiser

Mercy Ministries of Laredo Clinic and Admin Ofc Site

2500 Zacatecas Street, Laredo, TX 78041

See the Immigration Reform Fact Sheet at: