2018-2019 Rio Texas MFSA Theme

Addressing Systemic Injustice

Inside and Outside the Church

MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, September 13

A Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church will meet in February 2019 in an attempt to resolve the denomination’s differences over homosexuality.  This summer, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (which includes MFSA and RMN) met at a convocation – For Everyone Born – that included planning the coalition’s witness at the Special GC.  At our meeting on Thursday, September 13, we will hear from Rev. Nancy Mossman, who attended the convocation and will report her impressions and the plans that are being made for witness by those supporting an inclusive church.

More than a dozen MFSA supporters from Austin have expressed their intent to travel to St. Louis for the Special GC in February.  We will discuss plans and needs for that important and historic witness in the life of the denomination.

Location:  Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, with snacks and mingling at 6:30p and the program at 7p.  All are welcome!  Hope to see you there!

Important Discussion at University UMC Austin


Sunday, September 16, 12:15 p.m.
University United Methodist Church (UUMC) Fellowship Hall
2409 Guadalupe St. Austin, TX 78705

In February 2019, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church will have a called special session to determine the future shape of the global United Methodist Church.  Our Council of Bishops have recommended a plan, drafted by the “Commission on a Way Forward” called the “One Church Plan.”  If adopted, this plan will create a step forward towards full inclusion of the LGBTQ community while at the same time allowing for theological differences to continue to coexist.  Leah Taylor, a University of Texas alumni and a Senior Representative for Texas Methodist Foundation was on the Commission that drafted the “One Church Plan.”  In her local church Leah served as Chair or Trustees, a member of Staff Parish and Administrative Council and is the former Lay Leader for the South Central Jurisdiction.

Also joining us for the discussion will be Jay Brim, former Lay Leader of the Rio Texas Annual Conference and a member of Westlake UMC in Austin.  He has been Chancellor of the Rio Texas Conference since 2016 and is a delegate to the called General Conference in 2019 in St. Louis.

All are invited to join your pastors, Leah Taylor and Jay Brim for lunch as we discuss and answer important questions about this plan.  What is it? How will it affect us?  How can we support this plan?  What are the alternative plans being presented to the General Conference and why would they be harmful to the UMC?

Donations will gratefully be accepted to cover the cost of the food.

Register: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07efmztk6gb83b6b86&oseq=&c=&ch=

Peoples Climate Movement March


Join us on Saturday, September 8 at a Peoples Climate Movement march near you! Learn more and RSVP today.

WHAT: Peoples Climate Movement, Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice marches

WHEN: Saturday, September 8, 2018 *please note, some marches are taking place on different dates

WHERE: A city or town near you (find the closest event here)

This important march will come after a summer that saw record heat waves, historic wildfires, massive flooding, and countless other impacts from worsening climate change. This summer, the effects of climate change are not so subtle.

The September 8 marches will take place just four days before the start of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

So, in the lead up to this pivotal event — a moment that could change the face of and the fight for climate action — it’s especially important to stand together and show our elected officials that we will continue fighting for a just and sustainable future to protect the health and well-being of generations to come.

Sign up for a Peoples Climate Movement march near you on September 8.

Whether you’ll be with us at the flagship march in San Francisco or at a sister march in your city or town, September 8 will be an opportunity to show the administration, fossil fuel companies, and their allies in Congress that we are resilient, we are resolute, and we won’t allow them to destroy the progress we’ve made in combating climate change. We hope to see you there!

Common Ground for Texans

“Advocating positive solutions through civil engagement”

At our next meeting, on Saturday, Sept. 8, join us for a discussion with Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, the head county official for elections.  A new voting system called ExpressVote was recently approved by Travis County Commissioners and is expected to be ready by November 2019.  Learn about this system’s features and why it was selected.

In a recently published report, Texas earned a grade of “D” for election security. How will the new system affect this grade, and what else can we do to improve it?  What are the risks we face this year from election hacking?  Come and listen to Dana DeBeauvoir explain her perspective on these issues.

Election Security in Texas

When: Sat, Sep 8, 2018, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Where: Old Quarry Branch, Austin Public Library, 7051 Village Center Dr, Austin, TX 78731 (map)

We hope to see you there!

The event is sponsored by Common Ground for Texans, a nonpartisan nonprofit based in Austin.

Austin Interfaith

Central Texas Interfaith

Action Agenda Assembly

Sunday, September 9th 2:00 – 4:00 pm

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 8724 Travis Hills Dr., Austin TX 78735


Central Texas Interfaith is an initiative of Austin Interfaith, an alliance of 37 congregations, public schools, labor unions, and social service agencies in Central Texas.  Our purpose is to train leaders to organize their communities around addressing common concerns such as poor street conditions, living wage jobs, and access to health care.

At this assembly, we will develop our agenda of actionable issues based on concerns raised in small group discussions across Western Travis County that will guide our organizing efforts and a non-partisan voter engagement campaign. If you have an interest in working with your neighbors to advance practical political solutions to common issues, please join us!

A light meal will be provided. Please RSVP: cleal.austininterfaith@gmail.com or 210.508.8516

From Texas Impact

RUN LIKE THE DEVIL, by award-winning independent film-maker Stephen Mims, documents the 2018 US Senate race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke.

A non-partisan deep dive that goes beyond the political campaigns, the film threads the stories of the candidates with those of their respective political parties during a historic period of national political tumult.

Participants include O’Rourke, Cruz, Evan Smith (Editor, Texas Tribune) Mark McKinnon (political consultant), David Richards (Ann Richard’s ex-husband and redistricting litigator) Bob Moore (former editor, El Paso Times) and Texas Impact’s own Josh Houston.


Courts & Ports

Witness with Texas Impact’s Border Initiative

Recently, Texas Impact staff and volunteers traveled to the border to witness the ongoing catastrophe of detention and deportation.

Now we’re inviting you to come with us on a two-day trip to the Rio Grande Valley to experience the crisis on the border for yourself–and return to share your experiences with your congregation and community.

Texas Impact’s Courts & Ports program features two full days of programming. Attendees will be trained by the ACLU and serve as court observers in federal court; receive a briefing from local advocates; visit a respite home for asylum-seekers; cross the bridge to stand with asylum-seekers attempting to enter the US; and participate in worship and discussion about the theological and practical implications of our nation’s current immigration policies.

To register for Courts & Ports or for more information, contact Project Coordinator Erica Nelson at erica@texasimpact.org.