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.

Berryman to Preach at University UMC Austin May 18

Matt Berryman, Executive Director of the Reconciling Ministries Network, will preach at University UMC – Austin on May 18.

matt_berrymanPrior to joining the staff of RMN, Matt spent three years in law school at the Florida Coastal School during which time he worked for churches, law firms, and LexisNexis as a legal editor.  From 2002-2009, Matt served United Methodist congregations in the Jacksonville area of the Florida Conference.  In addition to serving churches in the United Kingdom, he has led training events and workshops for The United Methodist Church, The Fund for Theological Education, Emory University, and the Fellowship of United Methodists for Music and Worship Arts.  He received a B.A. from the University of South Carolina and a M.Div. from Emory University.

MFSA Plans Witness at SWTX Annual Conference

The SWTX Chapter of MFSA will be active at Annual Conference in June in Corpus Christi.

We will again serve as a gathering point for progressive-minded Methodists in the exhibit hall, providing information and selling chocolate and books.  We will again team up with the conference Reconciling Team to provide a safe place for conversations as well as recharging spiritual and cell phone batteries.

To makIMG_9889be this happen, we need volunteers to work at our information and book fair tables, we need people to attend the Peace and Justice Luncheon, we need people to attend the Reconciliation Service.

Most of all, we need volunteers willing to talk to Annual Conference delegates about our passions for social action, justice, peace, and inclusion in the UMC and the world. Contact Rowland Curry at rcurry@austin.rr.com for more information.

 

MFSA Annual Conference Luncheon

Life After Death Row – With Anthony Graves

Peace and Justice Luncheon

Henry Garrett Prefunction Area

Corpus Christi, SWTX UMC Annual Conference
June 13 at Noon

antony_gravesAnthony Graves is known by most as death row exoneree 138.  But he is known by those close to him as a loving son, brother, father and friend taken away from them at a young age.  Anthony lost eighteen and a half years of his life when he was wrongly convicted of a brutal crime and incarcerated in Texas prisons, sixteen of those years in solitary confinement, twelve on death row, with two execution dates.  Ultimately, perseverance, faith and the tireless work of The Innocence Network and others on Anthony’s team, put enough pressure on the system from the outside, and from the inside, where Anthony remained strong.  Anthony was proven innocent.

Today Anthony Graves is an advocate for those he left behind. He speaks worldwide about his case and others like it. In the Fall of 2013, Anthony established a scholarship at the University of Texas Law School in the name of his champion Professor Nicole Casarez.  http://anthonybelieves.com/about-anthony/

Join us for this on-site luncheon.  In addition, we’ll honor the recipients of the MFSA “Building a Just Community” Awards and the SWTX Conference Peace With Justice Awards

Link to the luncheon flyer:   https://swtmfsa.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/mfsa_peace-and-justice-luncheon-2014.pdf

Pre-Conference Report: 2014 PreConf 42514

 

 Luncheon Registration Information

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Cost:     $12.00 in advance (by June 8) – Check or cash

$15.00 at the door (limited number available)

Or, pay by credit card* – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/peace-and-justice-luncheon-life-after-death-row-tickets-10873526009

We Need Your Books Again This Year!

DSC01581For 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.

Reconciling Service Of Healing And Hope at Annual Conference

RMN logoFriday, June 13, 2014 at 7am

First UMC, Corpus Christi, TX in the chapel

Join the SWTX Reconciling Team for the first-ever Reconciling Service
at our Annual Conference in Corpus Christi, TX

Communion will be served.

Rev. Stuart Goes to Washington

jenStuartAs reported earlier, Rev. Jen Stuart made the difficult decision to transfer from the Southwest Texas Annual Conference to the Pacific Northwest Conference as a result of our conference’s continuing support of the UMC’s discriminatory policies toward our GLBT brothers and sisters.

Bishop Grant Hagiya of the Pacific Northwest Conference has announced that Rev. Stuart will be serving the Ellensburg (Washington) UMC, effective July 1.  We wish Jen all the best in this move!