After the Election

After the 2016 Presidential election, Anne Mund, President of Rio Texas MFSA, compiled a document with ideas for turning our passion for social justice into action. Sources include Nicholas Kristof, Jim Wallis, MFSA, Slate magazine and others. Please find the document here: 2016-presidential-election-response

Next MFSA Meeting Thursday, November 10, 7pm

Texas impactTexas Impact and the Texas Legislature

The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, famously said, “The Gospel of Christ knows no religion but social; no holiness, but social holiness.”  The November meeting of the Rio Texas Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) will welcome Yaira Robinson from Texas Impact, as our speaker.  Texas Impact is a statewide religious grassroots network whose members include individuals, congregations, and governing bodies of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.  Its mission is to help people of faith participate faithfully and effectively in public policy discussions concerning issues of broad religious social concern, through non-partisan education on policy issues and training in civic participation.  Yaira will speak about what we, as people of faith, should be particularly aware of as our legislators convene in just three short months.

Please join us at Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, on Thursday, November 10 at 6:30p for snacks and mingling.   The program begins at 7p. All are welcome.

Recycling Event at Crestview UMC Austin

BOPA Recycling – Crestview UMC

BOPA Recycling will be offered in our parking lot on Saturday, November 12, starting at 9 am and closing at 11 am or when the trailer is full, whichever comes first.  Bring Batteries, Oil, Paint and Antifreeze (the last three in closed containers). No electronics this time.  Crestview UMC is conducting this drive with the Crestview Neighborhood Association.

ARJFON Dinner November 19

jfon-logo-1 (1)Come celebrate and support Austin Region Justice for our Neighbors (ARJFON), learn more about its program, and meet with other community leaders. It’s an opportunity for the organization, volunteers, and friends to give thanks and dream of a better, brighter future together. This year’s event will feature tasty food, live music and fun for all.

Special guests are Bishop Robert Schnase and Dr. Luis Zayas, dean of the UT School of Social Work and author of Forgotten Citizens: Deportation, Children, and the Making of American Exiles and Orphans.

Saturday, November 19, 2016
6:30-7:00 p.m. – Welcome Reception
7:00 p.m. – Dinner and Music

First United Methodist Church
Family Life Center
1300 Lavaca Street
Austin, Texas

What is ARJFON?
The Austin Region Justice for Our Neighbors (ARJFON) is a not-for-profit legal clinic whose goal is to provide hospitality and compassion by welcoming low-income immigrants through free or affordable immigration legal services, engaging in advocacy for immigrants’ rights, and education to communities of faith and the public.

Individual Ticket – $50.00

Table Leaders – $500.00 (includes one table for 8 people)

Shepherds – $2,000.00 (includes one table for 8 people, name in program, acknowledgement during program, acknowledged on ARJFON Website)

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week & Event

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is November 12-20, 2016, sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless

First UMC, Austin

Sunday, November 20

10:00 a.m. Wesley Hall

The General Commission on Race and Religion of The United Methodist Church (GCORR) has created a series of Vital Conversations on Realities of Race and Racism. This Vital Conversations series features contemporary theologians, sociologists, laity, clergy, and other thought-leaders dealing with challenges of race, culture, and oppression in the Church and world today.

On November 20, we will continue these vital conversations with a video and discussion of “Church: Building the Beloved Community” with Rev. Dr. Miguel De la Torre, professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. Discussion will be led by Dr. Adama Brown and Pastor Cathy Stone.

Please contact Pastor Cathy with any questions at

Upcoming Events from Third Coast Activist


Date: November 12, 2016

Time: 2:00 pm  to  4:00 pm

A panel including Craig McDonald of Texans for Public Justice, Yannis Banks of the Texas NAACP, lawyer Roger Borgelt, and Dan Eckam from Common Ground for Texans will discuss electoral differences under single- and multi-member districts and at-large representation. What are the types of district representation, and which one works best for whom?

The event is sponsored by Common Ground for Texans.

Location: Yarborough Library, 2200 Hancock, Austin



Date: November 17, 2016

Time: 6:30 pm  to  9:00 pm

The Texas Jail Project, an effort to reform Texas county jails  and provide support to families of inmates, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with drinks, food, speakers, and music. TJP co-founder Diane Wilson and state House Rep. Celia Israel will speak and singer/songwriter Eric Hisaw will perform.

Tickets ($25 student/advocate, $50 supporter, $120 special supporter) are available at the event or online at

Location: The Old School, 1604 E. 11th Street, Austin, TX 78702



Date: November 17, 2016

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

Carlos Anderson, author of Just a Little Bit More: The Culture of Excess and the Fate of the Common Good, will discuss faith and inequality with Lilia Martínez, former community organizer with Austin Interfaith. The presentation and subsequent conversation will be in Spanish. The presentation coincides with the release of Anderson’s summary version of the book, translated by Martínez, titled Solo un Poco Más.

Location: St. John’s/San Juan Lutheran Church, 409 W. Ben White Blvd., Austin, 78704



Date: November 18, 2016

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The First Unitarian Universalist Church’s Green Sanctuary Committee will screen the documentary “The Burden,” which details why fossil-fuel dependence is a long-term national security threat.

A discussion group will follow the film. For more information, contact or (512) 288-4080

Location: First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Ave., Austin 78756

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

its-2016Interfaith Action of Central Texas is having its 32nd annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service!

Free and open to the public, all are welcome.  Come join fellow Austinites of every faith tradition at St. James Missionary Baptist Church as we celebrate what we are thankful for together. If you plan to attend, please RSVP!

Sunday, November 20, 2016, 3:00 pm

Download the full sized event poster to share with your community!

Download the smaller event poster to share with your community!

Texas Impact – Health Justice Sabbath

Sign up to participate in the Health Justice Sabbath, November 18-20, 2016.

Why Health Justice Sabbath?

Six years after passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), uninsured rates across the U.S. have dropped significantly, but Texas leads the nation in both number and percent of uninsured residents. Nearly a million low-income adults are caught in a “coverage gap”— too poor to qualify for subsidies through, but earning too much to qualify for Medicaid. And lack of insurance isn’t our only health woe: Texas ranks 34th among the states for health overall, and 41st for senior health. Texans with education beyond high school do better, and Hispanics are particularly at risk.

We can do better.

Faith communities play a unique role in the health care landscape. We are providers, consumers, and advocates. We engage health care as an issue of both charity and justice. Our scriptural traditions affirm physical, mental, and spiritual health as core human needs. We celebrate the human mind and body as gifts of a loving Creator.

Increasingly, individuals and communities of faith are concerned about the politicization and polarization of health care in Texas. We want to engage in meaningful, nonpartisan discussion about the future of health care in our state. We want a conversation that integrates physical and mental health and wellbeing; that empowers individuals and local communities; and that envisions affordable, quality health care for all Texans.

We want a health care discussion that is Above Politics.

Let’s start that conversation. This November, join faith communities across the state in prayer, study, and action, as we lift up faith-based teachings and aspirations for healthy families and communities; for the disadvantaged and dismissed; and for our shared future.

Join congregations and other faith groups around Texas in holding a Health Justice Sabbath on the weekend of November 18-20.

  • You might do a big project—like a forum or health fair your whole community can attend.
  • You might simply include special prayers for health and healing in worship.
  • Whether it’s saying a prayer for healing, volunteering at a local clinic, holding a forum on health care issues, or something else, your participation in Health Justice Sabbath will help Texas focus on the importance of health care for all Texans.

Sign up to participate in the Health Justice Sabbath, November 18-20, 2016.

Austin UMC Christmas Markets to Benefit Missions

Manchaca UMC -41st Annual Craft Show


Manchaca UMC -41st Annual Craft Show

·       Saturday November 12, 2016 from 10 am – 4 pm

·       Sunday November 13, 2016 from 8am – 10:30 am and then from 12:30pm – 2 pm

·       In the Family Life Center

All crafts handmade by the MUMC Craft Group! Featuring:

·       Quilts and wall hangings for all occasions

·       Ornaments and wreaths

·       Fall and Thanksgiving decorations

·       Gifts for all seasons

·       Silent Auction and drawing items

·       Baked goods

Special Theme Tables: North Woods, Santa, Snowmen, Angels, Kitchen Items, Pets, and more!

Lunch available on Saturday only.

Admission is free! Plenty of free parking.

Click HERE for information about the Craft Group


alliesmarketAllies Against Slavery Market

Sunday, December 4 – 11am -6pm

1100 E 5th St. – Austin

Now in its 7th year, the Allies Market is the perfect place to shop for the holidays while also doing good. The vendors and artisans we feature at the Market are dedicated to bringing you beautiful products that are also good for people and the earth.


The Market is free to attend and will include food, games and fun for the entire family. So come enjoy yourself and shop for art, jewelry, music, clothing, purses, bags, toys, cosmetics, coffee, housewares and other gifts.

Worship Design Workshop with Dr. Marcia McFee

The Worship Design Studio LIVE! 
with Dr. Marcia McFee

University UMC – Austin

On Saturday, January 21, worship designer Dr. Marcia McFee will present a workshop on how to create worship that is deeply fulfilling and meaningful in whatever context your church setting finds itself.

Dr. McFee is an author, worship designer and leader, professor, preacher and artist. Her engaging and interactive style has been called “refreshing,” “inspiring,” and “unforgettable.” Marcia combines her background and experience in professional companies of music, theater and dance with a variety of worship and preaching styles in order to bring a fresh experience of the Gospel to each worship setting. Marcia has provided worship design and leadership at numerous international and regional gatherings.

In this one day event we will  learn how to:

  • Creating Worship with Deep Soul
  • Thinking Like a Filmmaker
  • Using the Rhythms of Liturgy and Life
  • The Politics of Change
  • and more!

All pastors, worship leaders, worship planners, and directors
are invited to attend this one day event.

Register Now!

News From TCADP

Scheduled executions: Texas will end 2016 with fewest executions in 20 yearstcadp

Announcements: Register today for the TCADP 2017 Annual Conference; join us at the State Capitol next year for the 2017 Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty

In case you missed it: Part II of Fair Punishment Project report cites systemic problems in Dallas County; Texas Catholic Bishops issue powerful statement against the death penalty; national momentum for abolition

From the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; more here.

UMW Legislative Event in January 2017

umw-2017Join United Methodist Women from all over Texas in Austin for three days of learning, engagement, and advocacy. The UMW Legislative Event is an informative and inspiring event that is right here in Austin, January 22-24, 2017. You can attend all three days or any part of the event. The 2017 keynote speakers are the Hon. Leticia Van de Putte and the Hon. Hope Andrade! Register by January 6 to get the early bird registration price.

29th Annual Legislative Event


Program planned and produced by Texas Impact

JANUARY 22-24, 2017

Austin, Texas

The Way Texas Works

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

To get the early-bird registration price, register by January 6.

Register at:

Hope Food Pantry


Equal Justice Initiative – Lynching Museum

national-lynching-memorial-2The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) plans to build a national memorial to victims of lynching and open a museum that explores African American history from enslavement to mass incarceration. Both the museum and memorial will be located in Montgomery, Alabama. Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy and founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, talked about this when he spoke to 900 people in Austin, TX. There is interest in Austin to participate in this project. Stay tuned for more information.

From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration will be situated within 150 yards of one of the South’s most prominent slave auction sites and the Alabama River dock and rail station where tens of thousands of enslaved black people were trafficked. The museum will contain high-tech exhibits, artifacts, recordings, and films, as well as comprehensive data and information on lynching and racial segregation. The museum will connect the history of racial inequality with contemporary issues of mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and police violence.


The Memorial to Peace and Justice will sit on six acres of land in Montgomery and become the nation’s first national memorial to victims of lynching. The massive structure will contain the names of over 4000 lynching victims engraved on concrete columns representing each county in the United States where racial terror lynchings took place. Counties across the country will be invited to retrieve duplicate columns with the names of each county’s lynching victims to be placed in every county.

In February 2015, EJI released Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, a ground-breaking report that documents more than 4000 lynchings of black people in the United States between 1877 and 1950. EJI identified several hundred more lynchings than had previously been recognized. For a copy of the full report, please contact EJI. A summary of the report is available here.

The national memorial to lynching victims will be one of the nation’s most ambitious projects relating to the history of racial terror lynchings. EJI has purchased six acres of land atop a rise that overlooks the City of Montgomery and out to the American South, where terror lynchings were most prevalent.