Remember to Vote

Primary season is here! In Texas, joint Democratic and Republican primary elections will be held onvote1 Tuesday, March 1. Here are some related dates:


Monday, Feb. 1: last day to register to vote (more info on registering).

Tuesday, Feb. 16: first day of early voting.

Friday, Feb. 19: last day to accept ballot by mail applications (received, not postmarked).

Friday, Feb. 26: last day of early voting

Texas United Methodist Women Legislative Agenda

Texas Impact and UMW Advocacy

January 27, 2016

Texas United Methodist Women affirm the dedication of every member of the Texas Legislature. We thank you for your service to our state and we look forward to thanking you for your good work in the 85th legislative session. The following issues are key priorities for us, but they do not represent the sum of our concerns: Healthy Texas, Quality Education, Living Water, and Religious Liberty. See the full text at:

We know that you will make decisions about vast and varied issues. We urge you to consider that everything is important because everyone is important: the decisions you make must be for the good of all people in Texas.

Black History Month 2016 at Southwest

Seminary of the Southwest
501 East 32nd Street
Austin, TX 78705

“Moving Forward: Race in the New Millennium” 

Week 1 – Opening keynote and discussion with Heidi J. Kim, Missioner for Racial Reconciliation, The Episcopal Church, Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in Weeks Center.

Week 2 – Book Discussion led by Academic Dean Scott Bader-Saye on Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing, by Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice, Monday, February 8 at 4:00 p.m. Community Hour in Maddux Lounge. (Order your book from this link on Amazon and the seminary will receive 6% back on the purchase.)

Week 3 – African American Arts and Culture event, Wednesday, February 17 at 7:00 p.m. in Weeks Center.
An event showcasing African American arts and culture in a variety of mediums. Several Austin artists from the African American Community will display their artistry throughout the seminary’s Weeks Center. Light refreshments will be served.

Week 4 – Celebration Eucharist with Southwest alumna, the Rev. Freda Marie Brown, director of St. Vincent’s House, Galveston, Thursday, February 25 at 5:30 p.m. Reception to follow

MFSA Sponsors One Human Race Workshop in April

one-human-race-workshops-87Mark your calendar!

Rio Texas MFSA is sponsoring the One Human Race Series on three Saturdays in April (16th, 23rd, and 30th) at St. Luke UMC, 1306 West Lynn, Austin, 78703. We will meet once a week for three weeks to create a safe environment to communicate about race using the following resources:

·     Watch PBS Series: “Race: The Power of An Illusion” in one hour segments;

·     Participate in 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.

You do not have to attend all three sessions. If you miss a session, you can register for it later at another location. Registration will be available soon. Contact Anne Mund,, if you have questions.

We look forward to seeing you on April 16, 23, and 30th.

Events from Third Coast Activist

For more information on these events, go to

Play on Solitary Confinement

February 25 & 26, 2016

7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The Prison Justice League will host two performances of the play “Mariposa & the Saint: From Solitary Confinement, A Play through Letters.” In 2012, Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca was sentenced to 15 months in solitary confinement. Through letters with longtime friend and current collaborator, Julia Steele Allen, Mariposa brings her experience to the stage.


Thursday, 7 pm, Parker Lane United Methodist Church, 2105 Parker Lane, Austin, 78741

Friday, 8 pm, Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 E Manor, Austin, 78722


Beyond Diversity: Racial Justice on Campuses and in Communities

Date: February 16, 2016

Time: 3:30 pm  to  5:00 pm

As the Supreme Court ponders the role of race and ethnicity in campus admissions, social movements on campuses and in communities across the country are raising foundational questions about racial justice.

A panel of UT educators will address these issues and open up a conversation with the audience.

The program is sponsored by the Senior Fellows Honors Program of the College of Communication.

Location: Belo Center for New Media, First Floor Auditorium, (BMC 1.202), 300 W. Dean Keeton, Austin

Robert Jensen Discussing Plain Radical

Date: February 14, 2016

Time: 12:15 pm  to  1:30 pm

University of Texas professor Robert Jensen will lead a discussion about the ideas in his new book, Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully.

Location: University United Methodist Church, 2409 Guadalupe St., Austin, 78705

Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America

Date: February 11, 2016

Time: 7:00 pm  to  8:00 pm

Taylor Brorby will read from his book Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America. Bearing witness to hydraulic fracturing in the United States, the book brings together the voices of more than 50 writers exploring the complexities of fracking through first-hand experience, investigative journalism, story-telling, and verse.

Location: BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, 78703

Screening of “Plastic Paradise”

Date: February 10, 2016

Time: 6:30 pm  to  9:00 pm

“Green Is the New Black,” a student environmental justice group at Huston-Tillotson University, will screen the documentary film “Plastic Paradise,” followed by a discussion.

In the film, journalist/filmmaker Angela Sun explores plastic consumption and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where high concentrations of plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris have been trapped by the currents.

Location: Dickey-Lawless Auditorium, Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St., Austin, 78702

Palestine in Shadows: A Counter-History of American Racial Politics

Date: February 5, 2016

Time: 2:15 pm  to  4:00 pm

Keith Feldman, a professor in the department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California-Berkeley, will discuss the relationship of Israeli violence in the Palestinian territories to racial politics in the United States. Feldman, author of A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America, tracks how U.S. civil rights and antiwar struggles were forged together with Israeli occupation and Palestinian resistance.

The event is sponsored by the University of Texas Center for Middle Eastern Studies, African and African Diaspora Studies, and the Social Justice Institute. More information online.

Location: University of Texas, Gordon-White Building (GWB) Multi-purpose Room, Austin

Save the Date – MFSA Recycling Event

DSC06557 (2)

Rio Texas MFSA Will Sponsor the 7th Annual BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze) Recycling Event

Saturday, March 5 – 8 am to 10:30 am
Westlake UMC, 1460 Redbud Trail
Austin, TX 78746

Start cleaning the garage and find those batteries, oil, paint, and antifreeze and bring them to the MFSA BOPA event on Saturday, March 5, at Westlake UMC, 1460 Redbud Trail,
Austin, TX 78746, Austin, TX from 8:00 – 10:30 am.

If you would like to help with this event or have questions, please contact Anne Mund,

Offerings from the Center for Action and Contemplation

The Center for Action and Contemplation is proud to co-sponsor the Movies & Meaning Festival for its second year. We are extending a special invitation to our friends in the Southwest to join this special event from March 17-20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Note that CAC is unable to answer questions directly related to the festival. Click here to learn more and to register, or keep reading.)

Movies & Meaning is a “dream space” for creating a better world. Here are good reasons to join us:

  1. The lineup of storytellers and leaders includes Richard Rohr, Gareth Higgins, Teresa Pasquale, and acclaimed director Godfrey Reggio. Click here to learn more about the presenters.
  2. The featured films include transcendent icons, overlooked delights, and surprise films. Each will highlight a different aspect of how we can co-create a better world through the stories we tell.
  3. Breakout sessions offer opportunities to dive deeper into storytelling as it intersects with social activism, personal healing, and learning dynamic ways to teach story in our communities.

The festival is just a few weeks away. Register soon at the price level you can best afford: $399 or $299. Friends of the CAC receive 10% off registration: use coupon code CAC10 when you register. Visit for more details.

Join Father Richard Rohr and friends—Christena Cleveland, James Alison, and Mirabai Starr—as they explore the ecumenical breadth of our conspiracy.

Friday, July 15–Sunday, July 17, 2016
Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Also available worldwide via live webcast

Racism and White Privilege Resources

Racism and White Privilege Resources

Richard Rohr on white privilege: “White privilege is largely hidden from our eyes if we are white.”


The Rationalization of Racial Injustice by Bryan Stevenson

Editor’s note: The following is the foreword from Jim Wallis’ new book America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America.

“People of color in the United States, particularly young black men, are burdened with a presumption of guilt and dangerousness. Some version of what happened to me has been unfairly experienced by hundreds of thousands of black and brown people throughout this country. As a consequence of our nation’s historical failure to address the legacy of racial inequality, the presumption of guilt and the racial narrative that created it have significantly shaped every institution in American society, especially our criminal justice system.” – See more at:

Allies Against Slavery Event


Allies Against Slavery invites you to the

2016 Slave Free City Summit

Austin, Texas  •  April 22 – 23 •  For the City Center

“Intersections & Opportunities”

What would happen if the cities of the future were deeply committed to freedom?

For more information go to:

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Education Beyond the Walls

Continuing Education at

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Preaching in an Era of #BlackLivesMatter

April 25th, 2016

BlackLivesMatter-workshop-bannerRev. Dr. Margaret Aymer & Carolyn Helsel

For more information and registration, click here.

Faith and Reason Seminar

Faith Reason

New Seminar

In Fall 2016, Faith and Reason will present Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, Texas in an all-new seminar titled Spirituality, Self, and Society.

New Voices

We’re proud of our ongoing relationship with scholars like John Dominic Crossan and Sr. Joan Chittister, among others. We’re also proud to showcase insights from thinkers like Joerg Rieger, Keri Day, and Robin Meyers. Follow us on Facebook for more exposure to their important work. We’ll also soon be releasing a survey to learn from you what issues in the church and the world are important to you, to guide our future endeavors.

More News From MFSA And Friends


MFSA National E-News Newsletter

Current Faith in Action from General Board of Church & Society –


Reconciling Ministries newsletter:

MFSA Depends On Your Help For Its 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, 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 use this “Donate” button to contribute directly to our Rio Texas Chapter of MFSA.  This button uses PayPaltm to collect your donation via your major credit card.  (You do not need a PayPaltm account in order to donate – just click and follow the instructions.)

Or, mail a check made out to “Rio Texas 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!

Stay Connected with MFSA

 MFSA – Chapter Website:

MFSA – National Site:

Check out our Facebook Page
Rio Texas Chapter MFSA