Family Detention Update

end familydetention

Monday, March 28

The North Door – 502 Brushy St., Austin


Learn, share, connect.

Gather for an update on refugee families jailed in Texas: what’s happening now, and how you can help. Hear from lawyers, activists, and affected families. Cosponsored by Austin Region JFON.

March 28 Family Detention Free Event

MFSA sponsors One Human Race Workshop at St. Luke UMC Austin


The Rio Texas MFSA chapter is sponsoring The One Human Race Series at St. Luke UMC-Austin, 1306 W Lynn St., on three Saturdays in April – 16, 23, 30 -from 12:30-3:30pm.

In this three-week series, you’ll learn, listen, and share about the concept of race in the U.S. in a safe and productive environment. There is no fee, but donations are welcome.

You must register to participate – While, it is not a requirement that you attend all sessions, the first session is mandatory. Registration is limited to 60 people, so register soon to secure your space.

Thanks to the Union of Black Episcopalians – Myra McDaniel Chapter for this ministry and to Rev. Jay Cooper and St. Luke UMC for hosting the event.


Chapter Meeting in March to be at Tarrytown UMC

The March meeting of the Rio Texas Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action will be Thursday, March 10 at Tarrytown UMC, 2601 Exposition, in Austin.  (NOTE CHANGE IN VENUE.) The program is entitled “What to Expect at General Conference 2016”.  General Conference is the quadrennial gathering of United Methodists from around the world at which policies are set and decisions made that will impact United Methodists for the next four years.  GC2016 will be in Portland, Oregon from May 10-20 this year. The MFSA meeting will feature Jay Brim, a member of Westlake UMC who currently serves as Chancellor to the Bishop of the Rio Texas Conference.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30p, followed by the program at 7:00.  Bring friends of any (or no) faith tradition.  We hope to see you there!

MFSA BOPA Recycling Event

DSC06557 (2)Rio Texas MFSA Will Sponsor the 7th Annual BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze) Recycling Event

Saturday, March 5;  8 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,

Courageous Conversations on Race

Courageous Conversations On RaceStEdwards

Date:  March 3, 2016

Time:  6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Location:  Robert and Pearle Ragsdale Center, Mabee Ballroom A

Spurred by the numerous shootings of blacks by law enforcement, these monthly discussions seek to unpack the presence of systemic racism within our communities and how Catholics and all people might participate in un-doing racism in our communities.

Join others from the Austin community in this on-going discussion, sponsored by: the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin’s, the Diocese Office of Black Catholics, the Diocese Office of Life/Charity/Justice, Pax Christi, Holy Cross Parish, St. John Neumann Parish, and St. Edward’s University Campus Ministry.
Kindness and Truth shall meet; Justice and Peace shall kiss. Psalm 85:11

St. Edward’s University (3001 S. Congress Avenue, 78704) in the Ragsdale Center on the 3rd Floor (Mabee Ballrooms A & B). Park in the Parking Garage or in Lot P next to the softball field.

Communication Workshop at Trinity

TRinityLeading Difficult Conversations Across Difference

Monday, March 7, 2016 6.30-8.00 pm

Community practitioners, activists, advocates and allies will develop practical communication skills to lead difficult conversations around difference in this workshop. The flexible model presented by Jeremy Solomons is as useful to help manage conversations based on the simplest differences

Getting Ready for General Conference 2016

lyncThe 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 & beyond.

Here’s how you can help:

1.    Go to the Love Your Neighbor Coalition website and endorse the vision statement. Rio Texas MFSA has rented a house in Portland for 8 of the 10 days of GC. Contact Rowland Curry at if you are interested in going to GC to volunteer.

2.    Sign up to be a volunteer for the coalition. If you are able to come to Portland 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!

General Conference 2016 Scholarships

therefore_goThe Rio Texas MFSA and Rio Texas Reconciling Team are collaborating to raise funds to send Young Adults from our conference to General Conference 2016 in Portland, OR. It takes $1000-$1500 per scholarship to pay for airfare, lodging, and meals. We have already presented one scholarship and we are hoping to present at least one more.

Our first scholarship was presented to Jarell Wilson, a United Methodist candidate for ordination and a May graduate from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Here is how you can help:

·       If you have air miles that you would like to donate, please contact Joy Butler at

·       If you would like to help with a check, please make the check to Rio Texas MFSA and give or mail it to Janice Curry, 1509 Mearns Meadow Blvd., Austin, TX 78758.

·       Or, you can use this “Donate” button to contribute directly to our Rio Texas Chapter of MFSA which will go to the scholarship fund.  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.)

Thank you for helping young adults participate in General Conference 2016. If know of a young adult who would like to apply for a scholarship to GC 2016, please have them contact Janice Curry or Joy Butler

Reconciling Ministries Network – It’s Time

In 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 and sharing your story.

Visit for more information.

Lenten Devotions from Reconciling Ministries Network

 season of becomingA Season of Becoming is a spiritual resource written by 47 different individuals from across the Reconciling Network, including three from the Rio Conference and our own Joy Butler.

In the season of Lent, we are invited into a period of self-reflection, preparation, and spiritual growth as we engage in the holy work of becoming. The Spirit moves through this season to free us from that which binds our growth as we are drawn more deeply into the truth of who we are, into the possibilities of who we can become, and of the justice we are called to seek together.

Reconciling Ministries Network hopes this daily devotional will offer you spiritual nourishment and restoration as we prepare our hearts for General Conference this May where the global denomination will meet to make choices about who we are going to be as a church for the next four years. Download your copy at:



March 10, 2015 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Bob Bullock Museum

Event Summary

In the first of a four-part series on the fight for social justice in Texas, join us for a discussion of one of the most basic and necessary aspects of life: fair access to housing, including historical roots in the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Panelists will discuss the realities that have influenced housing policy in the past as well as housing issues that municipal governments still grapple with today, including public policy, discriminatory lending practices, and urban development.


Eric Tang is an Assistant Professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin, a Faculty Fellow for the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis at UT Austin, and the director of UT’s Social Justice Institute. His current research focuses on the past and present of racial segregation in Austin, Texas.


Wesley Phelps is an Assistant Professor of History at Sam Houston State University. His focus for our panel conversation will be on community organization, mobilization, and empowerment and how that has affected federal programs in Texas during the 1960s and beyond.

Tammye H. Treviño was sworn in as Regional Administrator for Region VI for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday, August 12, 2013, in Washington, DC, by HUD Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones.  She has more than 25 years of experience in managing housing and economic development programs for underserved populations.

This program is presented in partnership with the Social Justice Institute at the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Civil Rights Project.


Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT) Events

The Red Bench:  Happiness

redbench_logo-300x79Saint John’s UMC will play host to iACT’s The Red Bench dialogue program at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29 in the Great Hall. The Red Bench is designed to address the most pressing needs of our time: improving interfaith understanding and civil discourse in our society. “Happiness” is the the topic of conversation in March. For more information go to the Interfaith Action of Central Texas website
Contact Rev. Hilary Marchbanks with questions at 512-452-5737 or

iACT’s Hope Awards

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Hope Awards celebration and fundraiser provides support for iACT’s outstanding community service programs. Hands on Housing repairs the homes of impoverished seniors and people with disabilities. iACT for Refugees

provides basic educational assistance to newly arrived refugees from around the world. The Red Bench interfaith dialogue program encourages meaningful conversations that matter.

This year iACT will be holding it’s biggest fundraiser, The Hope Awards, on Monday, May 2, 2016 at Congregation Agudas Achim.


Exciting details to come!

Hope Food Pantry Fundraiser


MFSA Sponsors One Human Race Workshop in April

one-human-race-workshops-87Rio 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

Women’s Empowerment Conference












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