Next Chapter Meeting May 8

We will not have a monthly chapter meeting in April.

Our May 8 meeting will feature a conversation with Reverend Edward Garcia, Pastor of Emmanuel UMC in Austin.  We will be discussing the Unification Plan for the Southwest Texas and the Rio Grande Conferences.  Specifically, what is the role of the Transforming Communities Team, including the role of the restructured Board of Church and Society in the Unification Plan?

The meeting will be held at Saint John’s UMC – Austin on May 8 at 7:00 pm, with social gathering at 6:30.  Look for more details in the next e-News.

Report on Busy Week for SWTX Chapter

Meeting With Central Texas Chapter

On March 27, the Southwest Texas Chapter joined the Central Texas Chapter for a meeting on immigration issues at the Palm Valley Lutheran Church in Round Rock.  The speakers from the Austin Workers Defense Project discussed the plight of both documented and undocumented construction workers in the Austin area.  Immigration reform is sorely needed.  Please go to WDP’s web site for additional information and upcoming events.

BOPA Recycling

DSC04067MFSA sponsored our 6th annual BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze) recycling event on Saturday at Crestview UMC.  We had 86 vehicles bringing items from 14 different zip codes.  (We do not have the official counts yet, but we collected well over 400 gallons of paint, plus hundreds of pounds of batteries!)  Thanks to the Crestview United Methodist Men and Rev. Linda Elford, as well as many MFSA volunteers. Thanks to Kerry Stevens for leading this event!

An Unreal Dream – The Michael Morton Story

Our MFSA Chapter teamed up with Saint John’s UMC’s Risk-Taking Mission & Service committee to provide a screening of An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story at Saint John’s on Sunday evening.  This inspiring film portrays the harrowing true tale of Michael Morton of Georgetown.  Wrongly convicted of the brutal murder of his young wife, Morton spent twenty-five years in the Texas prison system.  Collaborating with his attorney and the Innocence Project, Morton was cleared through DNA testing.  In the process he brought to bear the plight of America’s unjust imprisonments.

Dr. Marcus Borg this Weekend


Dr. Marcus Borg:

What Does It Mean To Be A Christian Today?

University UMC
April 4-6, 2014


University 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.

A major figure in scholarship related to the Historical Jesus, Dr. 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 pmWhere: 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

Justice for Our Neighbors Acoustic Music Benefit

Justice for Our Neighbors Fundraiser – Carousel Lounge

1110 East 52nd Street, Austin, Texas 78723

Saturday, April 53:00-8:00pm

Steve Brooks, Kim Simpson, Lili and Walter, Hannah and Diana, Ben Wright, Katy Evans, and Ryan Pickop will play at a benefit for justice for our neighbors, an outreach of the United Methodist Church that offers free legal services to immigrants and refugees.   $10 suggested donation.

Servant Church is sponsoring the event.

If you’re on facebook, RSVP and share the event at

UT Panel on Sustainability and Divestment

Bill McKibben on UT Panel on Sustainability and Divestment

Date: April 9, 2014

Time: 5:00 pm  to  7:00 pm

Location: KLRU Studio 6A, CMB Building, University of Texas, Austin

A panel featuring environmentalist Bill McKibben and finance professors Keith Brown and Laura Starks will discuss the national movement to pressure colleges and universities to divest their endowment funds from fossil fuels.

McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with the first book for a general audience on climate change, The End of Nature in 1989. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign

Doors open at 4:30 pm for refreshments and the event starts at 5 pm. More information online.

– See more at:

The Trial of Jesus – Manchaca UMC

Manchaca United Methodist ChurchSunday, April 13 at 2:00pm.

In this powerful presentation, two Christian attorneys, Mark Osler and Jeanne Bishop, stage a mock death penalty trial of Jesus based on current Texas law.  The unscripted courtroom drama features legal arguments and live witnesses testifying about whether Jesus should live or die.  A judge presides and the audience is the jury.

Mark Osler is the author of Jesus on Death Row: The Trial of Jesus and American Capital Punishment.  A former federal prosecutor, he teaches criminal law and sentencing at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis.

Jeanne Bishop is a felony trial attorney with the Office of the Cook County Public Defender in Chicago and an adjunct professor of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law.  She is also the sister of Nancy Bishop Langert, who was murdered with her husband and their unborn child in 1990.

All are welcome.  For More Information call: 512-282-7274

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