No Chapter Meeting This Month, Please Participate In The Following Activities!

Join MFSA at the MLK March on Monday, January 18

In this new year, have you considered what commitments you’ll make to combating racism?

Join Rio Texas MFSA on Monday, January 18 at 9am at the MLK Statue on the UT Campus to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.  After a brief ceremony, we will march to the south steps of the State Capitol for a short program.

For those who want to complete the march, it will continue on to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where there is a community festival planned. For more information, contact Janice Curry at or visit:

Sunday Supper & Peace Through Pie Social

By Rolando Perez in Trinity UMC

Sunday, January 17, 6-8pm

Trinity UMC

peacethroughpieInspired by the legacy of Dr. King, America’s Sunday Supper invites people from diverse backgrounds to come together to share a meal, discuss issues that affect their community and highlight the power each one of us has to make a difference.

In that spirit, returning facilitator Jeremy Solomons will guide us in Leading Difficult Conversations Across Difference, a communication skill-building lab. The model Jeremy presents is as useful in managing conversations from the simplest differences of opinion to the gulf between deeply-held beliefs.

So please join us on Sunday January 17, 2016 from 6-8 pm.

This is a potluck Peace Through Pie Social – so bring a pie to share, savory or sweet!

Please RSVP to if you are planning to attend. Everyone is welcome and an RSVP is not required, but it will help us get a general sense of how many folks for which we should plan.

One Human Race

 The Onone-human-race-workshops-87e Human Race Series meets once a week for three weeks to create a safe environment to communicate about race using the following resources: PBS Series: “Race: The Power of An Illusion” in one hour segments; group discussions with trained group leaders; examine the American concept of race; share feelings and experiences with a goal of building community and common ground. Click and Register Here


If you are unable to attend the St. James events, the Rio Texas MFSA Chapter will sponsor the One Human Race Workshops on April 16, 23, and 30, 2016.  Stay tuned for details of location.

We recommend you attend at least the first workshop. Attendance to all workshops is not required, but recommended. To learn more about this movement, visit:

Presented by: The Myra McDaniel Chapter, which is an affiliate of the national organization, the Union of Black Episcopalians. The Chapter advocates for and encourages greater involvement and participation of members of the African Diaspora in all levels of the Episcopal Church.


Texas Impact



Program planned and produced by Texas Impact

The Way Texas Works

Join Women from All Around the State
To Engage Issues That Matter

Sunday, January 24, 2016 – 3:00pm to

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 – 2:00pm

Austin, Texas

REGISTRATION IS UNLIMITED! Click here to register today!

To get the early-bird registration price, register by January 8, 2016.


New Texas Gun Laws in Effect

Effective January 1, 2016, NEW Texas Laws will make it legal to bring openly carried and concealed firearms into faith communities.

Additional Gun Laws and Religious Properties Resources

Religious organizations wishing to regulate firearms in their buildings are now required to post new signs at all public entrances to their buildings. Texas Impact has secured a bulk discount rate for signs that meet the legal specifications of the new law. Order your signs today at

Austin Interfaith News


Austin Interfaith2Austin Interfaith Leaders Meeting

January 21, 2016 at 7pm – 8:30pm


St. John’s / San Juan Lutheran Church
409 W Ben White Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
United States
Google map and directions


Austin Interfaith Civic Academy – Affordable Housing


January 23, 2016 at 9am – 12pm


Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church

1206 E 9th St

Austin, TX 78702


Google map and directions


Join Austin Interfaith clergy and leaders to discuss and learn about housing and affordability issues affecting our families, institutions, and neighborhoods.

Central Texas MFSA Chapter Meeting

The Central Texas Conference MFSA Chapter will meet Thursday, January 28 at 6:30 pm for fellowship and refreshments at First UMC of Georgetown. The meeting begins at 7:00 pm featuring a presentation from Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones about the resolution from the Connectional Table for presentation at General Conference. Contact Rowland Curry for more information.

TCADP Annual Conference in Houston

tcadpThe Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will once again meet as an annual conference, this time at Unity of Houston on Saturday, February 20, 2016. The committee has planned an excellent conference with a tremendous array of presenters, workshop leaders and award recipients.

The theme of our 2016 Annual Conference, At the Epicenter of the Death Penalty, reflects the important role Texas plays in national movement away from the death penalty. It also reflects both past and present use of the death penalty in Harris County, which alone accounts for nearly 300 death sentences and more executions than any state in the country, besides Texas. Yet even in Harris County, the death penalty landscape is shifting and use is declining.

Online registration for the TCADP 2016 Annual Conference: At the Epicenter of the Death Penalty is now open! You can also mail in your registration using this formKeynote Speaker: Sen. Colby Coash

You can also use this form to purchase an ad in the conference program, secure a spot as a vendor, or help us underwrite the conference as a sponsor. Contact us at 512-441-1808 or if you have any problems or questions related to this form.

Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT)

Friends in Faith – Tues. Feb 16, 2016

Our fifth annual Friends in Faith Luncheon on Feb. 16th is an event for local faith leaders as a way to help nourish and support their growth, as well as to connect and encourage them in building relationships with other faith leaders in our community.

We extend our thanks to Sharon Watkins, owner of Chez Zee, who has continued to support iACT in fulfilling its mission.

iACT is committed to connecting Austin’s diverse faith communities and promoting healthy interfaith relationships. We are devoted to strengthening these relationships and bringing in new faith communities.

Special Screening of “An Act Of Love” Documentary

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An Act of Love

Documentary screening

Saint John’s UMC

5:30 p.m. Sunday February 21

Free admission

Join us for the screening of An Act of Love, a documentary about the trial that rocked the United Methodist Church and the minister, Rev. Frank Schaefer, who risked it all for his son. Cosponsored by: Saint John’s Reconciling Team, Rio Texas MFSA, and Rio Texas Reconciling Ministries Team.

Why this film is important now

 We now have marriage equality in all 50 States, but the U.S.’s 2nd largest protestant denomination is still sharply divided on this issue.

Full equality for the LGBTQ community cannot exist in the U.S. without the support of the Christian community. Laws may be passed that provide more rights and protections, but those rights will be routinely ignored in places where the community does not agree that LGBTQ citizens should be treated as equals under the law and under God. Just as the struggle for racial and gender equality made huge strides forward once they gained the support of influential religious communities – so will the LGBTQ movement.

We hope that this film will be a strategic and important tool used to elevate the conversation about LGBTQ rights in one of the most significant Christian denominations in the U.S. – the United Methodist Church.

In May 2016, at the denomination’s General Conference, there will be another chance for the rules of the UMC to change and allow for ordination of LGBTQ clergy and for same-sex marriage within the Church. We created this film with this critical turning point in mind.

Act of Love

Austin Crop Walk


Austin CROP Hunger Walk 2016

February 28, Sunday
2:00 pm: Registration
2:30 pm:  Step Off

Location for 2016

Camp Mabry

2200 West 35th Street.

Camp Mabry(View Larger Map)


Register and Raise Funds Online


For more information or assistance with raising funds online, contact at

Beyond The Walls Event by Austin Theological Seminary









Topics: “Listening to All of God’s Children” and “Which Black Lives Matter?

Presented by The Wesley Connection at Austin Seminary

Come and learn from scholar pastors formed in the Wesleyan tradition who are leading the church into the future.

Led by The Reverend Dr. Tanya Marie Eustace and The Reverend Dr. Jennifer Leath


Date: May 3, 2016

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm

Location: Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, McCord Community Center

100 East 27th Street, Austin, 78705

Cost:  $15 (Lunch Included) $15 Livestream  Click here to register.

(Contact Recommended for: clergy and lay leaders of all denominations.

General Conference Events on AIDS

United Methodist Global AIDS Fund

May 9, 2016 – One-day conference sponsored by the UMGAF – “AIDS Is Not Over! … Global Issues and the Church”. Location: Rose City Park UMC, Portland, OR. Time: 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: Free will offering. For more information and registration, click here. Participants will need to secure their own housing and transportation for this event. Free transportation will be available from the Portland Convention Center to Rose City Park UMC. Please Save the Date!

AIDS Memorial Service at General Conference – UMGAF is sponsoring a Memorial Service during General Conference to remember the lives of those who have died from AIDS. We invite you to send us the names of people you would like to lift up during this service. Please send names and their country to: Linda Bales Todd, Check future newsletters for additional information

It’s Time!

RMN logoIn May 2016, the UMC’s General Conference is expected to vote on whether or not to include LGBTQ congregants and ministers, or continue to reject them and forbid same-sex marriage.

  • It’s Time to end the hurt that’s engulfed so many of our families.
  • It’s Time to welcome and celebrate everyone who comes to The UMC.

Get involved by sending a letter to your delegation, sharing your story, and hosting or viewing a screening of An Act of Love – the story of Rev. Frank Schaefer.

LYNC – General Conference 2016


The deadline to submit legislation for consideration at General Conference has passed. So many submissions were made that the online platform shut down and final submission had to be made by email!  Once all legislation is published, look for MFSA’s analysis (think early January).

The Love Your Neighbor Coalition consisting of thirteen partner organizations, including MFSA and RMN, join together to offer an alternative witness and advocate for policy changes that would lead the denomination to the embodiment of God’s love and justice for all people in our church and beyond.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Go to the Love Your Neighbor Coalition website and donate! Building up to and committing to a 10 to 14 day campaign like this, is costly!  To complete this witness properly, we believe it will require $200,000 or more, including meals and events.
  • Go to the Love Your Neighbor Coalition website and endorse the vision statement.
  • Sign up to be a volunteer for the coalition. If you are able to come to Portland, OR anytime during May 10-20, 2016, please consider signing up to volunteer with the coalition (legislative tracking, witness, and support to justice-seeking delegates). You can register to volunteer now!

Listen For A Change

listenforchangeYou’re invited to attend Trinity Institute’s annual New York City conference via webcast in Austin!

First United Methodist Church and Eremos, a center of contemplative life, are proud to be the exclusive Austin co-hosts of this event. We bring all the world-class speakers and panel discussions of the NYC conference to you via webcast.

Trinity Institute 2016 is an action-oriented theological conference for racial justice. This year, Trinity Institute (TI2016) will explore the most pressing issues of our time, including structural racism, mass incarceration, and policy change.

Come with open ears and hearts; leave with a greater capacity to create change in Austin.First United Methodist Church and Eremos will be the exclusive Austin-area hosts (a streamed partner site at 1201 Lavaca Street Austin, TX 78701).  TI2016 takes place in New York City and will be streamed at partner sites around the world January 21-23, 2016.  Here, in Austin, we’re choosing to spread the content out over two weekends to allow for maximum participation



Thursday evening January 21st (live webcast), Saturday, January 23rd (on demand webcast) AND Saturday, January 30th (on demand webcast). See below for detailed schedule and content.


First United Methodist Church Sanctuary at 1201 Lavaca Street Austin, TX 78701

FEES: $40 for the entire event (includes lunch on both Saturdays!) OR $25 if you plan to attend only one Saturday (Thursday evening is free). Scholarships are available. Please contact event organizer, Pastor Cathy Stone at for more details on scholarships.

What you’ll experience:

  • Compelling presentations (via webcast) by action-oriented theologians and thought leaders, including Nicolas Kristof, Anna Deavere Smith, and Emilie Townes to provide us with inspiration and ideas we can use in Austin to make a positive impact now.
  • An opportunity for open dialogue — facilitated by local, trained facilitators in small circles (maximum 20 participants) — about how systemic racism is hurting us and what we can do to create change—a process that starts with listening. These life-giving conversations will teach us more about the racial issues of our time, including structural racism, mass incarceration, and policy change.
  • TI2016 recognizes that many of us avoid conversations about race because they’re difficult, uncomfortable, or risk being perceived as prejudiced. Instead, the conversations in TI2016 will be learning opportunities: chances to talk skillfully and with less apprehension about charged issues with people who might have differing perspectives.
  • Connections and conversations during breaks and lunch with others in the Austin area committed to making positive changes now in systemic racism.


Check the schedule and register for this event at: