iACT – A Night Under One Sky

night under sky
Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
6:30-9:00pm at the Umlauf Sculpture Gardens and Museum

“A sacred evening of dining and dialogue in celebration of the relationships we have and those we hope to build.”

A Night Under One Sky has become a beloved tradition in our community. It celebrates the notion that there is common ground we can all walk in search of peace and respect in this world.  The setting is magical. The food is delightful.  The music is inspiring. The conversation is uplifting.

iACT brings people of all faiths together to serve our most vulnerable neighbors

God & Governing Project

godl_governingThe Texas Tribune and the LBJ Future Forum are pleased to present a special event marking the October launch of the Tribune’s newest reporting project, God and Governing, which explores the role Texas lawmakers’ personal religious beliefs play in their legislative decision-making.

In coordination with the project, we invite you to join us at the LBJ Presidential Library for a discussion with lawmakers about religion and the legislature. Tribune Editor Emily Ramshaw will moderate.

Wednesday, Oct. 7
6:30 p.m.
10th Floor
LBJ Presidential Library

http://www.texastribune.org/events/2015/10/07/god-governing/

Our panelists include:

  • State Rep.David Simpson, R-Longview
  • State Rep.Celia Israel, D-Austin
  • State Rep.James White, R-Woodville
  • State Rep.Donna Howard, D-Austin

The event will be held on the 10th floor of the LBJ Library. A brief reception with drinks and appetizers will follow. This event is free and open to the public.

Together at the Table – October 7-9

together at table

Together at the Table – Hunger & Poverty Summit is an opportunity for leaders and practitioners from across the country to share their knowledge and expertise on addressing poverty, with a specific emphasis on food insecurity. The Summit, co-sponsored by Texas Hunger Initiative, USDA Southwest Regional Office, Alliance to End Hunger, and Feeding Texas, will provide evidence-based research and best-practice models for groups and organizations working in these fields.

Make plans to join us as we come together to exchange ideas, strengthen partnerships and move closer to our goal of ending hunger and, ultimately, poverty.

For more information and registration: http://www.baylor.edu/texashunger/index.php?id=89082

Racism, Power & Privilege Workshop at UUMC Austin

Austin’s Wilson Wade Lecture Series Presents “Racism, Power & Privilege” Workshop

University UMC – Austin

SAVE THE DATE: Fri. & Sat., Oct. 16-17

Led by Joyce James, Community Activist

Mark your calendars and make plans to attend a church-wide workshop on racism, power and privilege as we’re led by Joyce James, a well-respected community activist and voice for social justice. James began her professional career as a Child Protective Services caseworker and has established an impressive 34-year history in addressing racial inequities in child and family serving systems. Attendance is limited, so call University UMC Austin for reservations. http://www.uumc.org/

Undoing Racism

Undoin RacismPISAB-logoThe People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond focuses on understanding what racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone. Our workshops utilize a systemic approach that emphasizes learning from history, developing leadership, maintaining accountability to communities, creating networks, undoing internalized racial oppression and understanding the role of organizational gate keeping as a mechanism for perpetuating racism.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 – Thursday, October 22, 2015

Whole Cities Foundation

Austin, TX

Diana Dunn

diana@pisab.org

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

tcadpTCADP, in conjunction with the Texas Mercy Project of the Texas Catholic Conference, The Office of Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., and the Catholic Mobilizing Network, is sponsoring “Journey to Mercy: Rethinking the Death Penalty in Texas” on Friday, October 23rd. The event will take place at the Texas Capitol Auditorium and Legislative Conference Center (1100 Congress Ave.) from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. To RSVP for this free conference, please visit http://bit.ly/1McTsbc .
For more TCADP news, click here.

Informal Class on Religion and Politics

Date: October 20, 2015

Time: 6:30 pm  to  8:00 pm

Tuesdays, October 20, 27 and November 3, 6:30-8 pm

Location: Thompson Conference Center, University of Texas, 2405 East Campus Drive, Austin

University of Texas professor Robert Jensen will teach a three-session course on “Religion and Politics: Critical Thinking and Constructive Talking.”  Rejecting the common advice to not talk about religion or politics, this course argues that religion and politics are the most important things to talk about—when we can engage both those we agree and disagree with, which means sharpening our critical thinking skills and improving our capacity for constructive dialogue.

How do people within religious traditions reconcile approaches that vary from conservative literalism to progressive interpretations?  How can religious and secular people identify shared values as well as argue about differences?  How do we square our commitment to democracy with the effects of concentrated wealth in politics?  How do we understand the news media’s role in the process?

University of Texas professor Robert Jensen will teach a three-session course on “Religion and Politics: Critical Thinking and Constructive Talking.”  Rejecting the common advice to not talk about religion or politics, this course argues that religion and politics are the most important things to talk about—when we can engage both those we agree and disagree with, which means sharpening our critical thinking skills and improving our capacity for constructive dialogue.

How do people within religious traditions reconcile approaches that vary from conservative literalism to progressive interpretations?  How can religious and secular people identify shared values as well as argue about differences?  How do we square our commitment to democracy with the effects of concentrated wealth in politics?  How do we understand the news media’s role in the process?

There is a fee for the course. – See more.

Reconciling News from First UMC Austin

This past Sunday was an incredible day in the life of our church, and I think you will be touched while watching this 6 minute “youtube” video of this gay couple, Trevor & Davis’ witness this past Sunday at FUMC.

Also – mark your calendar for Sunday evening, October 25th – that will be our Reconciling Service at FUMC.

ARJFON Fundraiser – Save the Date!

jfon-logo-1 (1)

Fundraising Event Dinner

“Stand With Us”

Saturday, November 14,  6:30 PM 

First UMC Austin

Family Life Center

Please save the date and make plans now to attend.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stand-with-us-austin-region-justice-for-our-neighbors-dinner-tickets-18282956816

APTS Seminar on Religious Difference

APSLogo

Education Beyond The Walls

Engaging Religious Difference: Understanding Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion

Date: Friday November 20, 2015 9:30 am through Saturday November 21 at 2:00 pm

Time: All Day

Location: McCord Community Center

Religious identity, like race, carries a host of assumptions about the way of the world. Christianity, like whiteness in America, dominates. How do Christians begin to see the way that central position impacts relations with people of other religions? How can they move to greater mutuality?

Led by Dr. Christine Hong and Dr. Tiffany Puett

For clergy, religious leaders and all those committed to interfaith engagement

$150 (Meals and lodging included.); $75 (Meals only.)

Qualifies for 1.3 units of clergy continuing education.

http://www.austinseminary.edu/page.cfm?p=3108

A Human Trafficking Awareness Event

A Human Trafficking Awareness Event

Oak Hill UMC

7815 Hwy 290 West, Austin

December 5, 2015

9:00am – Noon

Featuring a screening of a brief documentary on human trafficking followed by a community conversation with a panel of experts:

Sgt. Bob Miljenovich, Austin PD

Kay Firth-Butterfield, Texas Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force

Calli Norris, Redeemed Ministries

David Fairchild, Refugee Services of Texas

Learn what you can do to stop labor and sex trafficking in Austin and meet local organizations working to bring an end to modern day slavery.

For more information about this event, contact
Cathy Herzog (chhtx50@sbcglobal.net) and /or Corinne Weisgerber (corrinew@stedwards.edu)

A VISION FOR THE UMC AND GENERAL CONFERENCE 2016

Please read and consider signing this statement, A Vision for The United Methodist Church, from the Love Your Neighbor Coalition. http://www.lyncoalition.org/vision-for-umc

The Lee and Mae Ball Award

In the 1950s, the Methodist Federation for Social Action came under attack during the days of the Red Scare and McCarthyism. Labeled “Methodism’s Pink Fringe” by an essay in Reader’s Digest, the Federation was asked to no longer be the Church’s voice for social justice.

With no apportionment funds from the general Church and no strong support from the denomination, MFSA was kept alive by the work of Lee and Mae Ball.

Noting the importance of an independent advocate for social change in the Church, Lee and Mae led MFSA by knocking on parsonage doors, participating in civil rights protests, corresponding with prison inmates, and publishing a newsletter, the Social Questions Bulletin (SQB). All of this laid the ground work to help the Federation become stronger for years ahead.

Lee and Mae Ball were never content to remain within the walls of a Church building because they knew they could only find Jesus in the company of the poor and oppressed. They engaged those who were “spiritual, but not religious” long before the Church had words to describe such a belief. And so today, the Methodist Federation for Social Action recognizes those individuals who have that same Spirit for peace with justice, for being the Church beyond the walls, and lifting up the best practices of the Methodist Federation for Social Action.

The 2015 Ball Award recipient has been a life-long advocate for justice and peace, through the church and in the community.  In the mid 60s he was one of the pastors named by the National Council of Churches to go to Mississippi to help with the freedom schools and voter registration.  He was an early protester against the Vietnam war, and has demonstrated against the B1 bomber, nuclear weapons, war in general, the coming of a drone base to Des Moines and on many other peace issues, and has been arrested several times for his witness. He worked with Rabbi Jay Goldberg and Roman Catholic Bishop Maurice Dingman to create a Peace Garden in the premier park in downtown Des Moines.  More recently he was the driving force to be sure that Peace Garden was remembered and restored as the city did a major remodel of that park.

DSC09835 The Methodist Federation for Social Action is proud to present The Ball Award to Rev. Chet Guinn of Des Moines, Iowa. The award was presented to Chet at Gather at the River in San Antonio, TX.   Thank you, Chet Guinn, for all you do to make the city of Des Moines, the state of Iowa, and the United Methodist Church a place where peace with justice is central to the minds of all people!

Stay Connected with MFSA

MFSA – Chapter Website:  https://riotexasmfsa.org/

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

Check out our Rio Texas Chapter MFSA : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rio-Texas-Chapter-MFSA/208934022460155?ref=bookmarks