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.  http://interfaithtexas.org/hope/


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 at 6:00 pm.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.

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.

MFSA Annual Conference Luncheon

Life After Death Row – With Anthony Graves

Peace and Justice Luncheon

Corpus Christi, SWTX UMC Annual Conference, June 13

antony_gravesAnthony Charles Graves was convicted of the August 18, 1992 mass murder of six people in Somerville.  After spending 12 years on Death Row, Mr. Graves’ conviction was overturned on March 3, 2006 by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In an a unanimous opinion, the three-judge Court of Appeals held that the state’s case had hinged on perjured testimony by Robert Carter – the father of one of the victims.  The court concluded that 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.  After being implicated in the crime Carter was executed in May 2000 for his part in the murders – and in his final statement took sole responsibility for the crime.

Mr. 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.”

Luncheon Flyer: MFSA_Peace and Justice Luncheon 2014

We Need Your Books Again This Year!

DSC02328For 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.

MFSA Needs Your Help To Conduct Programs and Activities

How to join or support MFSA

Please join with us as we connect progressive United Methodists in putting faith into action!

Membership in MFSA is not predicated on ability to pay.  We do not have “dues”.  However, our Chapter and the National Office need funding each year for programs and activities.  Membership gifts and special giving are always appreciated. MFSA is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS.   Membership gifts to MFSA are tax deductible as provided by law.

There are several easy ways to join or support MFSA.

  • You can log onto the national MFSA website, http://www.mfsaweb.org and follow the instructions there (you can safely use a credit card). Please indicate that you are part of the SWTX Chapter.
  • Or, you can mail a check made out to “SWTX – MFSA” to our Treasurer, Janice Curry, at 1509 Mearns Meadow Blvd, Austin 78758.  The suggested donation is $60, but any amount is welcome.  Thanks for your support!

Historically, we have had eight monthly chapter meetings per year, generally on the second Thursday of the month (this may change in the future).  We communicate using monthly electronic newsletters & updates to our website and Facebook page.

Stay Connected with MFSA

MFSA – Chapter Website:  http://www.swtmfsa.wordpress.com

MFSA – National Site: http://www.mfsaweb.org

Check out our Facebook Page