Sunday, February 16, 2014 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

University United Methodist Church

2409 Guadalupe Street

Austin, TX 78705

service-of-love-featured-event-171x174University UMC welcomes all couples — straight, gay and transgendered — who would like to have their relationships blessed to a “Service of Love & Recommitment” in our historic Harris Chapel. For questions, please contact Church Office, 512-478-9387 or E-mail

TCADP Annual Conference Scheduled for February


2014 TCADP Annual Conference – Lighting the Way

Save the Date:  Saturday, February 22, 2014

Location: University Christian Church, Fort Worth, Texas

Register Today!

Sponsorship opportunities

TCADP is well-known for hosting a professional and affordable conference with inspiring speakers, informative workshops and great networking opportunities!

The TCADP Annual Conference will be held at University Christian Church, Fort Worth, Texas on the edge of the beautiful TCU campus and within miles of the Fort Worth Botanical Garden.

The 2014 Keynote Speaker during the Award Luncheon will be Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders.  Bob Ray Sanders is often criticized for writing about things he could not have experienced because, some readers say, “he can’t be that old.” The truth is Bob Ray has been a professional journalist for 40 years and in three media: newspaper, television and radio. A Fort Worth native who knows and cares about his community, and those with whom he shares this planet, this is a columnist who is not afraid to speak out on behalf of downtrodden people.


Special early bird registration rates are available for students, members, and supporters now!  Register Today!

Sponsorship Opportunities:  Consider ways your organization, faith community, or business can engage with TCADP conference attendees. Download PDF

Conference Hotel:  Block rate of $109 a night – Springhill Suites Fort Worth University – 3250 Lovell Avenue, Fort Worth, TX  76107-5730 Book your Group Rate Hotel Room

Stay tuned for more details!  TCADP members receive a discounted registration rate, so be sure to stay current.

Hope Food Pantry Dinner and Fundraiser – Feb 23

An Evening of Hope: Feed Your Neighbors, Feed Your Soul
Austinites can join a community effort to feed their neighbors in need during a Mardi Gras fundraiser dinner, complete with award-winning jazz and Cajun food. Hope Food Pantry Austin’s 7th Annual Fundraiser will be at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, February 23, 2014 at Tarrytown United Methodist Church , 2601 Exposition Blvd. Advance tickets are $25 per person or $30 at the door.

The Red Bench – Compassion

CompassionFebruary 25

6:30PM – 8:30PM


The Red Bench is a dialogue program centered on moderated small group discussions that are genuinely respectful and safe. No one is expected to be an expert on the topics, but all are invited to share from their personal experiences and listen with their hearts.

CROP Walk – Sunday, March 23

CROPLogo2010HiRes-300x195Please mark your calendars for the 2014 CROP Hunger Walk. This annual walk is a fun and engaging way for Austin-area faith communities to join together to combat hunger and poverty in the city of Austin and globally.

The 2014 CROP Hunger Walk will be held on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at Camp Mabry, 2200 W. 35 St, Austin, TX 78703. Please check the Austin CROP Walk website in the upcoming months for more information.

The Austin CROP Hunger Walk is one of the top fundraising walks in the nation. The 2013 walk raised over $94,000! Let’s aim to be the #1 fundraiser next year. If your faith community already has a team, please join them! If you would like to organize a team in your congregation, please consider volunteering to become a recruiter! Let’s join together for the CROP Hunger Walk – Ending Hunger One Step at a Time.

Visit the website or contact the Recruiter Coordinator, Desareé W. McKinney at dwilliams@interfaithtexas.org or 512-386-9145 ext. 308 for more information on the walk or being a fundraising recruiter.

Dr. Marcus Borg to Speak in April

Marcus Borg Weekend at University UMC, Austin

April 4-6 

University United Methodist Church invites you to join us for a weekend of teaching and conversation with Dr. Marcus Borg, MarcusBorgone of the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity. The weekend event – “What Does It Mean To Be Christian Today?” – includes a Friday lecture on “Reclaiming Christian Language” at 7 pm, and two Saturday lectures on “Where Do We Meet the Sacred?” and “Radical Discipleship in an Unjust World” at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm. Borg will preach at UUMC’s Sanctuary worship service at 11 am on Sun. April 6.

Registration for the Friday and Saturday events is $40. Student registration is $20. Online registration will begin in February. There will be question-and-answer sessions and book signing opportunities during the weekend. Online registration will begin in February.

A major figure in scholarship related to the Historical Jesus, Borg is the author of 20 books and serves as Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Ore. Described by The New York Times as “a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars,” Borg has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and “Dateline,” PBS’s “NewsHour,” ABC’s “Evening News” and “Primetime,” NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and several National Geographic programs. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, he has been national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Registration at: http://www.uumc.org/borg/

Rev. Frank Schaefer – First UMC Austin – April 27

frankschaeferIt has just been announced that Rev. Frank Schaefer will be the speaker at First UMC Austin’s Reconciling Service on April 27.

Rev. Schaefer was put on trial in 2013 by the UMC for performing the marriage ceremony for his own son in 2007.  He was found guilty of violating the UMC’s discriminatory rules, and his ministerial credentials were revoked.  His case is the latest in a series of church trials that are strongly opposed by MFSA.

Rev. Gil Caldwell officiates his first same-sex wedding

by Rev. Gil Caldwell – RMN Blog, January 29, 2014  caldwell_weddingAs a Civil Rights Movement “foot soldier,” I have used these words of Martin Luther King to guide my activism, not just for people of African descent, but for all justice struggles; “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

My officiating at my first same-sex marriage took place on the Martin Luther King week-end, the Sunday before the official holiday, January 19, 2014. The couple whom I married, Drew Giddings and Dennis Hall are African American men, and they agreed to my acknowledging the significance of their marriage as a response to the justice leadership of Martin Luther King.

– See more at: http://www.rmnblog.org/2014/01/caldwell.htm

An Excellent Essay by Rev. Monte Marshall


Pastor Monte Marshall has written an essay to be shared by the Southwest Texas Reconciling Ministries Team.

Rev. Marshall highlights Acts 10 – the dream of Peter – to show why adherence to man’s rules is not necessarily pleasing to God.  An excerpt:

RMN logo“My deeply held concern is that, if strict adherence to denominational rules and reliance on biblical interpretations that are adverse to homosexuality are at the forefront in the consideration of Mary Ann Barclay’s candidacy for ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church, a more basic and fundamental question will be missed:  How is God’s Spirit at work in Mary Ann Barclay’s life?”           

“In my estimation, this is the most important question to be asked and answered, not for Mary Ann alone, but for every person desiring to pursue ordained ministry in our church, regardless of sexual orientation.  The discernment resulting from this deeper level of inquiry might even prove sufficient to overrule the Book of Discipline and any particular biblical interpretations that might otherwise work against Mary Ann’s candidacy.”

Click here to read the full essay online. http://swtxreconciling.com/2014/01/16/an-appeal-for-deeper-discernment-an-essay-in-support-of-the-candidacy-of-mary-ann-barclay/


Peace and Justice Luncheon

Anthony Graves, exonerated death row inmate, will be the speaker at this year’s SWTX MFSA Peace and Justice Luncheon
in Corpus Christi, SWTX UMC Annual Conference, June 12-15 (day to be determined).

antony_gravesAnthony Charles Graves was convicted of the August 18, 1992 mass murder of six people in Somerville, after being implicated in the crime by Robert Carter – the father of one of the victims. Carter was executed in May 2000 for his part in the crime – and in his final statement took sole responsibility for the crime.

After spending 12 years on Death Row, Graves’ conviction was overturned on March 3, 2006 by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals when, in an a unanimous opinion, a three judge panel held that the state’s case had hinged on Carter’s perjured testimony, and concluded that the Prosecutor, Charles Sebesta, had intentionally withheld evidence that could have helped Graves; most notably that Carter had recanted right before he testified at Grave’s August 1992 trial.

Graves was held for an additional four years in solitary confinement in the Burleson County jail awaiting retrial until October 27, 2010, when he was released after all charges were dismissed by Burleson County Special Prosecutor Kelly Siegler, who concluded, “He’s an innocent man. There is nothing that connects Anthony Graves to this crime.”

More News From MFSA And Friends

MFSA Fall 2013 Progressive Voice is available for download at:

Reconciling Ministries recent newsletter:

Current Faith in Action from General Board of Church & Society –