Chapter Meeting Thursday, March 27 Joint Meeting of SWTX MFSA and Central TX MFSA

mfsa plumblineThis combined meeting of both Chapters will be held at Palm Valley Lutheran Church, 2500 Palm Valley Blvd.(aka Hwy 79), Round Rock, TX.

The Thursday, March 27, meeting will replace our usual 2nd Thursday MFSA Chapter meeting.

Jose Orta, LULAC* member and community activist (from Taylor) will present the program focusing on conditions of immigrant workers (documented and undocumented).
*League of United Latin American Citizens

He may be joined by a representative from the Austin Worker’s Defense League.

One unique aspect of this meeting will be the presence of the Hispanic community served by Palm Valley Lutheran Church.  One of the Central Texas MFSA members goes to that church and arranged for us to meet there.  (An added benefit is that if one likes to practice your Spanish, this will be a good opportunity to converse with a number of Spanish-speaking people.)  We should also be able to provide updated info about the Austin JFON, as they hope to open their clinic sometime in April.

Refreshments at 6:30; program at 7:00

Carpool will leave Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale at 5:45pm on Thursday, March 27. If you are interested in carpooling, please contact Jan Dawes, or 512-450-1620.

Neighborhood Voter Registration Drive

register to VOTE 2Neighborhood Voter Registration Drive
On the Grounds of Saint John’s UMC

Saturday, March 8, 10am-2pm

To encourage our Austin neighbors to register to vote, UMW Miriam Circle is offering Voter Registration to our neighbors and passers-by on Saturday, March 8, 10am-2pm, at Saint John’s.


We will set up tables outside and invite others to stop by and register. We plan to do other voter registration drives at Saint John’s in the months ahead.

If you know anyone who needs to get registered or change some of their voter registration information, please invite them to stop by on Saturday, March 8.  Contact Janice Curry,, with questions.

Robert Redford’s “Death Row Stories” to Premiere on CNN – March 9

“Death Row Stories” is a new 8-part series premiering on March 9 on CNN that will examine actual death penalty cases.  The show is produced by Robert Redford and narrated by Dead Man Walking star Susan Sarandon.  Redford said, “This series is about the search for justice and truth, we are pleased to … tell these important stories and give a voice to these cases.”  Prior to the premiere, CNN is offering interested parties an opportunity for a preview and the ability to participate in a Google Hangout featuring a discussion by the producers and law professors John Blume of Cornell and Robert Blecker of New York Law School.  The Google Hangout will be held March 5 at 6 pm EST and is open to the public, but an RSVP is required.

A promo for the show can be found here.  (CNN, “Death Row Stories,” Press materials; DPIC posted Feb. 21, 2014).

E-Cycling Drive – Saturday, March 22nd

Hosted by the Student Engineering Council (SEC) at The University of Texas at Austin.

E-Cycling is an annual E-waste recycling drive open to the greater Austin area,  as well as to the UT community. The goal of E-Cycling is to try and create a more sustainable world by recycling old electronics: this includes anything from old cell phones and laptops to microwaves and refrigerators. 

This year the drive will be held on Saturday, March 22nd, from 8am-4pm in the LBJ Library parking lot.  In the past years the amount of tonnage we have recycled has been around 12-14 tons; we would like to increase that number this year! For more information about what can be recycled, visit .

CROP Walk – Sunday, March 23

CROPLogo2010HiRes-300x195This year’s Austin CROP Hunger Walk will be Sunday, March 23rd, at Camp Mabry (2200 West 35th St). As always, 75% of funds raised go to Church World Service to help alleviate hunger around the world and 25% of funds stay in the Austin area.  The local agencies chosen to receive funds this year are:  Sustainable Food Center, Capital Area Food Bank, iACT for Refugees, and Micah 6.

If you prefer to make a donation online, go to

BOPA Recycling Event March 29

MFSA Will Sponsor 5th BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze)
Recycling Event  Saturday, March 29,– 8 am to 10:30 am

We need Volunteers!    We need your items for recycling!

???????????????????????????????Start cleaning the garage and find those batteries, oil, paint, and antifreeze and bring them to the MFSA BOPA event on Saturday, March 29, at Crestview UMC, 1300 Morrow Street, Austin, from 8:00 – 10:30 am. 

At the BOPA event last April, we collected 1,335 gallons of paint, 36 gallons of oil/antifreeze, and 225 lbs of batteries.

If you can volunteer or you have questions, please contact Anne Mund at

An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story


Sunday, March 30, at 5:30pm

Saint John’s UMC, Austin

The Saint John’s Risking-Taking Mission & Service Committee and the Methodist Federation for Social Action will partner to bring the movie, An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story, to Saint John’s on Sunday, March 30, at 5:30pm in the Fellowship Hall.  Barbara Holmes will be the moderator for questions and answers following the movie.

Directed by Al Reinert, this inspiring film portrays the harrowing true tale of Michael Morton.  Wrongly convicted of the brutal murder of his young wife, Morton spent a quarter century in the Texas prison system, cut off from his only child, who believed him to be guilty of destroying their family. Collaborating with his attorney and the Innocence Project, Morton cleared himself through DNA testing.  In the process he brought to bear the plight of America’s unjust imprisonments.

Morton had a religious epiphany in jail, and credits his newfound inner peace with the knowledge that God “loves me.”  He says he forgives a prosecutor who failed to share evidence in his trial.  Watch the trailer at:

Dr. Marcus Borg to Speak in April

Marcus Borg Weekend at University UMC, Austin

April 4-6 

MarcusBorgUniversity United Methodist Church invites you to join us for a weekend of teaching and conversation with Dr. Marcus Borg, one 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:

Unconscious Bias: Discovering Racism of the Well-intentioned

Friday, April 4th, 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Where: VUKA, (411 Monroe St., Austin, TX)

Price: $52.00

GAFDI Happy hour @ 5 pm, El Chile (1816 S. 1st st., Austin, TX )

This workshop will help participants better understand how unconscious bias influences hiring practices, evaluation, service implementation, and leadership styles. There will be an opportunity to improve decision making, diminish unconscious bias, and reduce micro-inequalities.

Presenter: Dr. Kazique J. Prince is founder and chief executive officer at Jelani Consulting, LLC providing executive consultation and coaching services focused on cultural competency.

Co-sponsored by the Greater Austin Forum for Diversity & Inclusion (GAFDI) and Austin Multicultural Friends Redux

Register online: Meetup: Austin Multicultural friends redux

iACT 2014 Hope Awards On April 24


iACT’s 2014 Hope Awards

Thursday, April 24, 2014

6:00 – 9:00 PM
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
98 San Jacinto Boulevard

With over 300 guests expected to attend, including some of the Central Texas area’s most prominent business, faith and community leaders, the Hope Awards is Interfaith Action of Central Texas’ (iACT) premier fundraising event to support our outstanding community service programs. Please join us in bringing hope to those we serve: impoverished seniors, disabled individuals and newly arrived refugees from around the world.

Hill Country Ride For AIDS

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The Hill Country Ride for AIDS is an annual cycling event throughout beautiful Central Texas. The Hill Country Ride for AIDS seeks to provide financial support to ten beneficiary agencies through a fun and imaginative annual cycling event open to a broad range of participants and thereby also to promote awareness, education, community, and volunteerism. This year’s ride will be on April 26.

First UMC Reconciling Ministries Service – Sunday, April 27

frankschaefer2To celebrate the first anniversary of the decision made by First UMC, Austin to affiliate as a congregation with the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), they have invited the Reverend Frank Schaefer to share his witness at their Reconciling Ministries Service at First Church on Sunday, April 27 in the evening.

In February 2013, First Church Austin chose to add its voice to the struggle for full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in a year in which opposition to such inclusion has hardened in The United Methodist Church.  For example, the Reverend Frank Schaefer, pastor of a small United Methodist Church in eastern Pennsylvania, officiated at the private marriage ceremony for his gay son and partner in Massachusetts in 2007 –not as an act of protest, but as an act of love and pastoral care for his son. In this past year, he was brought up on charges of disobedience to the Discipline of The United Methodist Church and found guilty. The prosecution for the church argued that the severest penalty should be imposed on the Reverend Schaefer to serve as a deterrent to other ministers. Consequently, he was “defrocked,” i.e., he had to surrender his ministerial credentials.  Plan to attend and hear his powerful witness.

Rev. Jen Stuart: Why I Am Leaving My Conference

jenStuartRev. Jen Stuart is the Associate Pastor at First UMC, Austin.  She recently wrote this letter to her congregation to explain why she is transferring from the Southwest Texas Conference to the Pacific Northwest Conference.

(Excerpt) “I do not wish to make sacred ordination vows in a place where I cannot clearly speak my mind about the equality of all people in the eyes of God…I am very aware that there are many other issues that the church must deal with, but none of them involve excluding a wide swath of the population from ministry and marriage.”

Christian Unity Gathering May 18-20

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Council of Churches (NCC) will host a Christian Unity Gathering (CUG), Sunday through Tuesday, May 18-20, at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport here.

Primary focus will be on the scourge of mass incarceration.

The gathering is to convene people of faith to explore the widening revelation of God’s love and challenge us to deepen our commitment to work with people marginalized and disenfranchised from opportunities God desires everyone to enjoy.

At this gathering the primary focus will be on the scourge of mass incarceration and what the ecumenical community is already doing and can do together to combat a justice system that warehouses and disposes disproportionate numbers of people of color.

Featured speakers

Featured speakers include the following:

  • Dr. Iva Carruthers, general secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference;
  • Dr. Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund;
  • Dr. Harold Dean Trulear, national director of Healing Communities; and
  • Jim Wallis, president/editor-in-chief of Sojourners.

The Rev. A. Roy Medley, general secretary, American Baptist Churches – USA, will lead a Bible study.  In addition, new NCC General Secretary/President Jim Winkler will offer his vision for the organization during a service of celebration. For more information, visit the CUG webpage for the full roster of presenters, schedule and registration.

Summary of February 13 Chapter Meeting

40778_10150245520365481_1191201_nThanks to Carolyn Boyle for her presentation about Texas Parent PAC, for which she is a founding member.  Texas Parent PAC is a bipartisan political action committee for anyone who supports high quality public education. Endorsed candidates reflect traditional mainstream American values that honor and support children and their families, quality public education, strong communities, unlimited opportunities, and maximum citizen participation in our democracy. All endorsed candidates support the Texas Parent PAC Guiding Principles.  Read more about Texas Parent PAC at