Chapter Meeting in February Features Austin Interfaith

Austin Interfaith2Austin Interfaith’s Call to Action

Thursday, February 12


Kathleen Davis, a long-time organizer with Austin Interfaith & the Industrial Areas Foundation, and a candidate to be the new Lead Organizer for Austin Interfaith, will be the featured speaker for the February 12th Rio Texas MFSA meeting at St. John’s UMC.  Austin Interfaith is a non-partisan, multi-issue organization of 30+ institutions including congregations, public schools, and workers’ associations that work together to address public issues.

Ms Davis will be discussing Austin Interfaith’s member organizations, their issues and accomplishments for 2014, as well as the issues and directions for 2015. Three of our Austin United Methodist congregations – Saint John’s, Trinity, and University – are members of Austin Interfaith.

Please join us at 6:30p for snacks and mingling; the program starts at 7p.  For more information, contact Anne Mund

Hope to see you there!

First UMC Austin Hosts Event On Youth

Our Children – Our Future

Join HRC Austin (Human Rights Campaign), Welcoming Schools, and FreedHearts Ministries for “Our Children – Our Future”: The Role of Interfaith Communities in Reducing Risk and Promoting Well-being of LGBTQ and All Youth. This free event is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, February 5th, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center of First UMC – Austin.

Join us as we explore faith to promote the well-being and positive development of all children in home, community, and school. This community discussion will be led by Kisha Webster of Welcoming Schools and Susan Cottrell, founder of FreedHearts Ministries and the author of Mom, I’m Gay – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faith.

With bullying such a common occurrence and with deaths and suicides of youth permeating the news, it is a critical time in our families, churches, schools, and communities to explore what role faith plays in all of this—both in cause and in healing.

For more information,

Hope Food Pantry Events

Charitable Garage Sale February 8

Hope 2The hunger initiative programs at Trinity UMC, Hope Food Pantry, and Homeless Task Force, are combining efforts to raise money for both causes.  The items “sold” will be new and almost new products from a local store.  Most of these items were returned by customers for reasons such as didn’t like color, didn’t need, small irregularity.  We are going to ask buyers to give a donation for each item.   Sunday, February 8, Noon – 4p.m, at Trinity UMC, 4001 Speedway, Austin.

Save the Date for Hope’s Annual Fundraiser

An Evening of Hope
Feed your neighbors, Feed your soul

Sunday, May 17th, 2015, 5:30p.m.

Tarrytown United Methodist Church

2601 Exposition Boulevard – Austin

University UMC-Austin Celebrates RMN Anniversary

JorettaMarshallAll are invited to join University UMC – Austin for their 4th Anniversary of affiliation with the Reconciling Ministries Network.

Dr. Joretta Marshall, Executive Vice President, Dean and Professor of Pastoral Care at Brite Divinity School on the Texas Christian University campus in Fort Worth will be joining University United Methodist Church to celebrate our fourth Reconciling Ministry anniversary on Sunday, February 15, 2015. Dr. Marshall will be in the UUMC pulpit at the 8:30 and 11 A.M. services delivering her message.

MFSA at MLK March

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On Martin Luther King Day, January 19, MFSA friends gathered to march in the Austin MLK Day Celebration.  In the afternoon, about a dozen of us went to see the movie, Selma. Please consider what you might do to raise awareness of racial injustice. 

KLRU Celebrates Black History Month 2015

In celebration of Black History Month, KLRU will broadcast a lineup of programs and host events honoring and exploring African American culture.  Programs airing this month on KLRU:

Shakespeare Uncovered Othello with David Harewood
Friday, February 6 at 9 pm.
In 1997, David Harewood was the first black actor to play Othello on stage at the National Theatre in London. In this episode, he unravels the complex issues of prejudice and jealousy that are threaded throughout the play, as well as returning to the National to meet the most recent actor to take on the role at the theatre, Adrian Lester. Interviews include Simon Russell Beale, Ian McKellen, Julia Stiles and Patrick Stewart.

Antiques Roadshow Celebrating Black Americana
Monday, February 9 at 8 pm.
Highlights include Martin Luther King, Jr. ephemera from 1966; a Madam C.J. Walker beauty book, written by the first female American millionaire; and a trip with host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Leila Dunbar to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

Independent Lens Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
Monday, February 16 at 9 pm
This is the story of the pioneering African-American photographers – men and women, celebrated and anonymous – who have recorded the lives and aspirations of generations, from slavery to the present. By Thomas Allen Harris.

Mr. Civil Rights:  Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP
Monday, February 16 at 10:30 pm.
This documentary incorporates rare archival film and extraordinary interviews to explore Marshall’s life in the years leading up to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

American Masters August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
Friday, February 20 at 8 pm
From his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway, this program captures the legacy of the man some call America’s Shakespeare. Film and theater luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Charles Dutton and others share their stories of the career and experience of bringing Wilson’s rich theatrical voice to the stage.

Austin Revealed
Friday, February 20 at 9:30 pm and Tuesday, February 24 at 10 pm
This documentary presents interviews with prominent Austin citizens about their experience during Austin’s civil rights period, the effect of segregation and what gentrification has meant to the city.

Independent Lens American Denial
Monday, February 23 at 9 pm
“American Denial” uses the story of Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard to explore the power of unconscious biases and how the ideals of liberty, equality and justice still affect notions of race and class today.

The Rule
Monday, February 23 at 10 pm.
This documentary tells a rare story of success. In Newark, New Jersey, where the average high school graduation rate is abysmal, St. Benedict’s Prep is the exception – with a near 100 percent college acceptance rate. Filmmakers Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno profile the school and the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey to see how they achieve success among a vulnerable population of inner-city African-American and Latino teenage boys.

In Context Presents: Spoken 4 All
Tuesday, February 24 at 10:30 pm
Austin’s spoken word performers take center stage as part of KLRU’s focus on the arts. Also known as “slam poetry,” spoken word is an oral performance of extemporaneous or composed pieces of free poetry. Austin has a number of venues that present spoken word, this program highlights the ranging styles of poets at an all-age program hosted monthly at Mitchie’s Gallery. This event features several artists who were involved with the Austin Neo Soul Team that placed in the 2010 National Poetry Slam.

Advocacy Days at the Texas Capitol

2015-01-UMW-Group-4The United Methodist Women Advocacy Day at the Texas Capitol was a day to share a consensus UMW agenda with Texas Legislators

Now is the time to actively engage with your State Legislators. Make an appointment or drop by and talk to a Legislative Aide. Follow bills here:

We were able to find information on the following organizations that are consistent with the values of MFSA.  Check with other groups for which you would like to advocate to determine if they have an Advocacy Day scheduled.

Human Trafficking Advocacy Day – Thursday, February 12

Human trafficking is an egregious violation of human rights and it is happening in our very own state. Men, women, and children are being bought and sold as commodities, and Texans will not stand for it. Our state has been a national leader in fighting this crime, but there is still much work to be done. Join us at the Texas State Capitol to show your support for laws addressing human trafficking during the 84th Legislative Session.

Click here for more information.

Faith Advocacy Day – Tuesday, Feb 17

First United Methodist Church of Austin Family Life Center

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

1300 Lavaca St.

Austin, TX 78701
Equality Texas and Texas Freedom Network invite you to participate in YOUR government and to come to Austin on Tuesday, February 17, to meet face-to-face with those who represent YOU and talk to them about how your faith informs your support for ending discrimination in Texas based on bias against sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

This is an opportunity for YOU to ask state leaders to pass inclusive policies that protect all children, end discrimination and strengthen relationships.  Advanced registration is required in order to prepare constituent-matched materials and make strategic lobbying team assignments.  Lunch will be provided.  More information HERE.

Trust. Respect. Access. Advocacy Day – February 26

Join us at the Texas Capitol on, to show Texas lawmakers just how hard Texans’ will fight for access to reproductive health care in our state.

Register now for Trust. Respect. Access. Advocacy Day.

We’re uniting with a broad coalition to demand policies that restore trust in Texas, respect for all Texans and access to the full range of reproductive health care—from sex education and birth control to abortion—in our state.

Advocacy Day 2015 is a day of activism sponsored by Texas Research Institute—Progress Texas educational arm—ACLU of Texas, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Whole Woman’s Advocacy Alliance, Texas Freedom Network, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

Just Texas Advocacy Day – March 10

7 P.M.

Temple Beth Shalom
An inspiring service for people of all faiths and goodwill to reflect on and affirm our shared commitment to reproductive justice for all Texas families.


For Faith leaders and Clergy only

11 A.M. – 2 P.M.

First UMC Family Life Center
Religious leaders are invited to a briefing on critical reproductive rights legislation, advocacy training and an opportunity to go visit directly with lawmakers.

Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty – Monday, March 9

Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty – Monday, March 9
Join the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP) at the State Capitol in Austin on Monday, March 9, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM to release the Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty and voice your concerns about capital punishment to members of the Texas legislature.

Texas AFT (American Federation of Teachers) – March 9 & 16

Texas AFT invites all educators and support staff to join us in Austin on the first Monday of spring break, March 9, for the 2015 Texas AFT Lobby Day. It is our turn to educate the legislature about our priorities, and tell them to do what’s right.

See the Texas AFT Legislative Agenda at:

Freedom Advocacy Day – Monday, April 13

First UMC Family Life Center – 1300 Lavaca St

11:00am – 4:00pm

Equality Texas invites you to participate in YOUR government and to come to Austin on Monday, April 13, to meet face-to-face with those who represent YOU and talk to them about how the freedoms we value as Texans are affected by discrimination in based on bias against sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Advanced registration is required in order to prepare constituent-matched materials and make strategic lobbying team assignments. Equality Texas will provide lunch.

If your organization would like to partner with Equality Texas for Freedom Advocacy Day please contact

CROP Hunger Walk – March 1 – 2:00 pm

cropwalk2015CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walks are community-wide events to raise funds to end hunger.  The event is sponsored by Church World Service and in Austin managed by iACT.  There are 24 regional offices that organize walks nation-wide. Groups and individuals walk symbolically for the thousands of people world-wide who have to cover long distances on foot to get water for drinking or irrigation.  The money raised goes to end hunger internationally with a percentage of proceeds going to local nonprofits and food programs.

Austin raised close to $30.000 in 2013 – 25% of the money raised in our CROP Hunger Walk is distributed to local hunger-alleviating agencies in the Austin area.  The community is blessed by a variety of worthy hunger agencies.  The Walk Committee makes the selection informed by the city-wide Basic Needs Coalition and consultation with service providers.  These are the agencies chosen by the local CROP Hunger Walk Team to receive funds in 2015:   Capital Area Food Bank, iACT for Refugees, Urban Roots, and Angel House Soup Kitchen.