Video From Texas Coalition To Abolish The Death Penalty

Racial bias has no place in the administration of justice – tell that to Harris County, Texas. Duane Buck, sentenced to death in Harris County in 1997, may soon be at risk of execution despite the fact that his death sentence is the clear product of racial discrimination.

A powerful new video – narrated by former Texas Governor Mark White and featuring interviews with Texas civil rights leaders, legislators, the surviving victim in Mr. Buck’s case, one of the trial prosecutors, and Mr. Buck’s family members – exposes the outrageous discrimination in Mr. Buck’s case.

Watch “A Broken Promise in Texas: Race, the Death Penalty and the Duane Buck Case” today and share it with your social media networks.

The video’s release comes at a critical juncture as Mr. Buck awaits a ruling from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on his petition for a new, fair sentencing hearing.

As the video shows, at Mr. Buck’s 1997 capital sentencing hearing in Harris County, the trial prosecutor elicited testimony from a psychologist that Mr. Buck posed a future danger because he is black. The prosecutor relied on this testimony in arguing in favor of a death sentence. The jury then found Mr. Buck would be a future danger and sentenced him to death.

Three years later, then-Texas Attorney General (now U.S. Senator) John Cornyn identified seven cases in which Texas improperly relied on testimony linking race to future dangerousness, including Mr. Buck’s. The Attorney General promised not to oppose new sentencing hearings for these seven defendants. Texas upheld this promise in all of the cases – except for Mr. Buck’s.

It is high time for Texas to keep its promise and ensure that Mr. Buck receives the fair, colorblind sentencing that all defendants deserve.


Mark Your Calendars

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

Mark Your Calendars – RMN Convocation Aug 30 – Sept 2

ChurchquakeThis 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!



National MFSA recent newsletter:


Reconciling Ministries recent newsletter:


General Board of Church & Society – Faith in Action

Make Plans to Join MFSA in Corpus Christi at the Southwest Texas Annual Conference Luncheon, June 7

There is still time to make your reservation for the Peace and Justice Luncheon on Friday, June 7 in Corpus Christi.  The luncheon, sponsored by SWTX – MFSA and the SWTX Board of Church and Society, will feature Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith, a UMC pastor who is living her ministry on the streets in solidarity with the poor and marginalized.  Registration information follows. Early registration closes on June 1. There will be a limited number of tickets available at $15 on site.  To pay by check, see the registration form at our website link. To pay online, use this link:

Don’t have time to get this in the mail before June 1?  Just reply to this email that you would like to attend the luncheon.  Be sure to tell us if you have any special dietary needs.  Come by the MFSA vendor booth and pay at Annual Conference.


LorenzaFriday, June 7, 2013 – Noon

American Bank Convention Center
Garrett Pre-Function Area
Corpus Christi, Texas

A Peace & Justice Luncheon Sponsored by

Southwest Texas Conference Board of Church & Society

Methodist Federation for Social Action, SWTX Chapter


           Rev. Lorenza Andrade-Smith

Rev. Andrade-Smith is a UMC pastor, who is living on the streets in solidarity with the poor.  Her mission is to minister with the poor and marginalized, advocating for systemic changes.  You can follow her ministry journey on Facebook at:

Join your friends for this on-site luncheon.  In addition, we’ll honor the recipients of the MFSA “Building a Just Community” Awards.


Luncheon Registration Information

Cost:   $12.00 in advance (by June 1) – Check or cash

            $15.00 at the door (limited number available)

Or, pay by credit card* –


For the full luncheon invitation, go to our website link.

Come Hear Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith’s Story

Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith stands just 4 feet 11 inches tall, but she carries a high profile and lifts the hearts of many, through her highly unusual ministry of living on the streets. Ms. Smith, 43, lobbied for and finally obtained from Bishop Jim Dorff an appointment to street ministry. In the summer of 2011, she opened up the parsonage where she’d been living, invited her congregation, family and friends to help themselves to her possessions, sold her car, and began living on the San Antonio streets, with no salary.  (Source: United Methodist Reporter, 5/16/13)

Prior to her current ministry, Rev. Smith has led several lives:  a US Air Force Cadet, a housewife and mother, and a pastor of a Westlawn UMC congregation in San Antonio.  She has been a long-time advocate for social justice, beginning in her small Brownsville church.  Even before her street ministry, Rev. Smith was arrested in a Dream Act sit-in. She also spent a night in jail after being ticketed for sleeping on a park bench. She is a passionate voice on homelessness and immigration issues.  If you can’t attend Annual Conference and would like to know about Rev. Smith’s ministry, join her on Facebook:

We are so pleased that Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith will share some of her journey with us at the Peace and Justice Luncheon!

Donation to be Made to Corpus Christi Metro Ministries

MFSA will dedicate a portion of each Peace and Justice Luncheon ticket to Corpus Christi Metro Ministries.  The mission of Corpus Christi Metro Ministries is “to help create a community that is free from hunger and homelessness.”  They have five distinct programs:  Rainbow House for Women and Children; the Walter Rustic House for Men; Loaves and Fishes Cafeteria; The Gabbard Memorial Health Clinic; and, Vineyard Social Services & Employment Assistance.  Eight Corpus Christi area United Methodist Churches are member congregations that support the work of the organization.  Patty Clark, CEO of CCMM will attend the luncheon and will accept the donation.  .