Chapter Meeting in April Features Rev. Hannah Bonner

HannahBonnerThe Rio Texas Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action will continue its focus on Racism/White Privilege at its meeting on Thursday, April 14 at Saint John’s UMC, 2140  Allandale Road.  Our speaker will be Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner, who serves on staff at St. John’s UMC in Houston.

Since July 2015, Rev. Bonner held vigil in solidarity with Sandra Bland, who died that month in the Waller County (TX) Jail.  Very recently, Sandra Bland’s sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho inducted Rev. Bonner as an Honorary Member.  And WomanPreach! Inc. honored her with the Parthia Hall Justice Award “to a woman minister whose prophetic voice has been obvious and effective in the public arena.”

Rev. Bonner’s current witness is focused on her role as Curator of The Shout, a spoken word poetry focused arts and justice movement, which “has as its goal nothing less than the cultivation of a community of diverse people committed to transforming our world.”

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!

Rio Texas Conference Delegation LISTENING SESSIONS

therefore_goAs the Rio Texas Conference Delegation prepares to attend the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon – May 10 thru 20, the Delegation is hosting three Listening Sessions. You are invited to participate while gaining information from our constituents of the Rio Texas Conference regarding proposals of General Conference. These sessions will be on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. A brief summary will be provided regarding what information / proposals fall within the listening session topic.

The Listening Sessions will cover the following topic areas:

·       April 5th        UMC Restructuring Related Proposals

·       April 12th       Human Sexuality and LGBTQI Proposals

·       April 19th       Global Discipline & Other Miscellaneous Topics

Learn more and register as a participant or presenter.

These Listening Sessions will all be conducted as a webinar via ZOOM – online video conferencing. There is no limit to the total number of participants for each session. Each session will be recorded and archived for later viewing.


Those registering as webinar participants will be able to see and hear the presentations and discussion. Depending on the number of participants and presentations, you may have the ability to ask questions through text-based Q&A or by audio and video. Upon registering, ZOOM connection information will be sent as a confirmation of registration.

Click on the session below to register as a participant. You will be redirected to the Zoom Webinar Page.


Love Your Neighbor Coalition

justlove_lynThe Love Your Neighbor Coalition consists of United Methodists committed to the embodiment of God’s love and justice within and through the people and mission of The United Methodist Church.  The core of our faith is found in Jesus’ response to the question “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” – to “love God with all our heart, soul (being) and mind” and to “love neighbor as self” (Matthew 22:36-40).  These hold ancient “law and prophets” together with our contemporary Book of Discipline, Social Principles, and Book of Resolutions.  Our mission is to assure The United Methodist Church is fully open to the presence, love and grace of God offered to all people.

LYNC is a coalition of thirteen partner organizations, and each has agreed to work together around the intersections of common justice issues and shared values.

For more information, see:

“It’s Time” – RMN Initiatives


ItsTime_solidBG-1080x646The Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) invites us to participate in the “It’s Time” campaign in preparation for GC2016.  Resources are available to help write letters to your delegates, share your stories, and more.

For more information, go to

Prayer Service for General Conference

prayerOn Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m., Saint John’s UMC Austin will host a prayer service in its chapel to gather hopes and concerns before The United Methodist Church’s General Conference, meeting May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon. The hour-long service, which will be led by Rev. Paul Escamilla and includes Holy Communion, is open to United Methodists across the greater Austin community. It will provide opportunities to pray for the guidance of the Spirit as the conference deliberates on matters of the church’s theology and policies. Child care will be provided.

Documentary Screenings – An Act Of Love

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First United Methodist Church of Austin

Wesley Hall

6:00 p.m. – Sunday, April 17

Free Admission

You are invited to a screening of An Act of LoveThis powerful film documents the trial that rocked the United Methodist Church and the minister, Rev. Frank Schaefer, who risked his career and identity as a UMC elder to officiate his son’s marriage to his longtime partner.

Our local church has ties to this movie. First United Methodist assisted in funding this project with special contributions from several members of our congregation. Rev. Schaefer also preached at our Reconciling Service a few years ago.

A discussion with Q&A will follow with Reconciling Ministries Network board member, David Mauzy.

The timing of our showing of this film is significant. In May 2016, the United Methodist Church’s General Conference will once again debate the questions of same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy. Even though the United States now recognizes the right of same-sex couples to marry, our denomination still struggles with these issues. We encourage you to attend this screening to inform yourself about the issues that are of national and denominational importance. If you are interested in attending the screening please send your RSVP to RMN Chair Trevor Harper at

Additional Screening of An Act of Love – San Antonio

Travis Park UMC

2:30 p.m.  Sunday, April 24



No Book Fair at Annual Conference this year

no booksRio Texas MFSA will again have a presence at the 2016 Annual Conference meetings in Corpus Christi June 9 – 12.  Because of policy changes this year, we will be limited to only one table for our displays in the Exhibit Hall.  We will continue to provide information at our booth about our organization and our activities.  And we will sponsor our Sixth Annual Peace and Justice Luncheon (see below).

As a result of limited space, however, we will not have a book fair as we have for the past 7 years.  Please find other meaningful places to donate your used religious and spiritual books.