MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, November 8

Meeting with Texas Impact

Rio Texas MFSA is pleased to welcome Bee Moorhead of Texas Impact to our November meeting to discuss the results of the November 6 election and their plans for the 2019 Texas Legislative session!  We have been partners in advocacy for many years, and we are excited to learn about their upcoming programs.

Texas Impact is a statewide religious grassroots network whose members include individuals, congregations, and governing bodies of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.  Texas Impact advocates for freedom, justice, and economic opportunity for all people, consistent with the values of mainstream faith communities.

The meeting will be at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, at 2140 Allandale Road, in Austin.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

God in Transition: A Day of Faith Formation

Saturday, November 10, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 1201 Lavaca St., Sanctuary

If you are interested in learning about how you, individually, and our congregation, collectively, can support transgender (trans) and non-binary people and their loved ones, come join us for a day-long event of education and community building. With featured plenary speaker, Rev. M Barclay, a non-binary trans minister in The United Methodist Church, you’ll be invited to grow in understanding of what it means to be trans today, learn how the Christian faith can support people in their transitions, deepen your understanding of gender, and walk away with practical tools for celebrating people of all genders.

At this entry-level event, you are welcome if you don’t know what transgender means, if you’ve never met a trans person, or if you don’t know what gender has to do with God. All we ask is that participants bring an open heart and an open mind. Cost is $20 and lunch is provided. Please contact Pastor Cathy Stone with any questions at

Childcare is available with reservations made to our Childcare Coordinator, Pam Coronado at by Wednesday, November 7. Reservations are not final until confirmed.



  • 10:00-11:15 a.m. – Trans 101 and Q & A
  • 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. – God, the church, and a trans empowering faith with Q & A
  • 12:1 -1:15 p.m. – Lunch provided with optional table conversations (see subject matters below)
  • 1:15-2:15 p.m. – Practices of welcome and solidarity and extended Q & A
  • 2:15-3:00 p.m. – Optional small groups for community building

Justice For Our Neighbors – JFON

Justice For Our Neighbors Annual Gala:

Families Belong Together

an event for the entire family

Please join us on Saturday, November 10th, 5:30-8:30pm

Crowne Plaza Hotel

6121 North IH-35

Austin, TX, 78752

for an inspirational family event of fellowship and awareness.

We are honored to announce Rev. Laura Merrill as our guest speaker. She will share with us her experience leading worship in the Tornillo immigrant detention center for minors and help us reflect on the growing need to serve immigrant families by helping them navigate the complicated and ever-changing U.S. immigration system.

Austin Region Justice For Our Neighbors is a United Methodist Hospitality Ministry that welcomes immigrants by providing free or low-cost, expert immigration legal services to qualifying immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Your ticket purchase helps us continue to provide free and low-cost legal services to immigrants.

With your help our attorneys will continue to represent immigrant children and families in court. Research shows most will be deported without representation. The need is great.

Support the work of Austin Region Justice for Our Neighbors by purchasing a Gala ticket or table today.


San Antonio Justice for Our Neighbors

 An Evening with JFON-SA

Food for the Soul

Thursday, November 15, 2018  6:00-7:00pm

John Wesley Room, University UMC

5084 De Zavala Road, San Antonio, TX

Free Admittance

Hear how your generosity has helped immigrants in our area on their path to citizenship and hear our goals for 2019

RSVP to Matt Lohmeier by November 12,

Via telephone at 210-847-7249

Crestview UMC BOPA Recycling Event

Crestview UMC, 1300 Morrow St, Austin, TX 78757

BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze) Recycling in our parking lot on Saturday, Nov. 10, 9 am to 11 am OR when the trailer is full. Bring batteries, paint, oil and antifreeze (liquids in CLOSED containers). Just enter the parking lot from Woodrow, give us your zip code (the city asks for this information), drive forward and volunteers will unload your vehicle; then you can exit onto Grover. This event is co-sponsored by the Crestview Neighborhood Association.

Interfaith Action of Central Texas

iACT is proud to announce the 34th Annual Interfaith Day of Thanks Service will be held at San Jose Catholic Church (2435 Oak Crest Ave, Austin, TX 78704) on November 18, 2018 from 4pm to 6:30pm including Service and Reception.

Faith Leaders are invited to walk in the procession and Community organizations are invited to have an information booth.


The Red Bench: Sharing

Join us on Tuesday, December 4  from 6:30pm-8:30pm for a courageous conversation on the topic of Sharing at Austin Baha’i Center (2215 E M. Franklin Ave, Austin, TX 78723).

If you plan to attend, please RSVP.

National Coalition for the Homeless

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is November 10-18,
sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Around Austin

Sunday, November 11, 4:00-8:00 p.m.
Red White & Blues 512
Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater 
Red, White & Blues 512 | House Our Heroes Blues Festival, a fundraiser created to help veterans experiencing homelessness, was founded by a small group of friends who were inspired by the collaborative efforts happening in Austin to end veteran homelessness. This year’s event features The Nightowls, Black Pumas, Shinyribs, and Samantha Fish. Don’t miss it!

Wednesday, November 14, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Community Conversation: Ending Youth Homelessness
Temple Beth Shalom, 7300 Hart Lane
Austin is ready to end youth homelessness together! Learn about our innovative new program at this Community Conversation and be part of the community-wide strategy to end youth homelessness. Speakers from Caritas of Austin, LifeWorks, and SAFE Alliance will share information about Austin’s Community Plan to End Youth Homelessness, answer your questions, and help you find ways to get involved. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited, so RSVP to save your seat!

Sunday, November 18
26th Annual Homeless Memorial Sunrise Service 
Vic Mathias Shores
We will read the names of all the homeless people who died in Austin over the past year at this one hour service. The Homeless Memorial is located at South First Street and Riverside Drive, 75 yards west of the Fanny Davis Gazebo and about 75 yards east of the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue. There should be plenty of parking at the parking area which you can access from 900 Riverside Drive. Once you park, simply walk to the river and turn left. You will see us gathering on the right at the Homeless Memorial.

Events from Third Coast Activist


Date: November 8, 2018

Time: 5:30 pm  to  7:30 pm

This new documentary demonstrates that regenerative agriculture and reforestation are needed to ensure a global food supply and to mitigate climate change. A panel with the filmmaker will follow.

Location: F.W. Olin 105 on Southwestern University, Georgetown 78626



Date: November 12, 2018

Time: 4:00 pm  to  6:00 pm

Tomaso Ferrando, a Lecturer in Law at the University of Bristol, will speak on “Law and the Reproduction of Food Poverty.” Author Raj Patel from the LBJ School of Public Affairs will respond to Ferrando’s talk.

More information online.

Location: Sheffield-Massey Room in Townes Hall (TNH 2.111), University of Texas School of Law, Austin

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Join the European Union, the German Consulate General Houston, and TCADP on Thursday, November 15, 2018 for the Houston debut of “True Conviction,” followed by a panel discussion with exonerees, Christopher Scott and Steven Phillips.  University of Houston-Downtown, 7:00 to 9:00 PM. RSVP here.

Register for the TCADP 2019 Annual Conference, which will take place on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at St. David’s Episcopal Church in downtown Austin.

Click here for more information on all upcoming events.

Executions in 2018

November 14: Robert Moreno Ramos
December 4: Joseph Garcia
December 11: Alvin Braziel, Jr.

January 18: Anthony Shore
January 30: William Rayford
February 1: John Battaglia
March 27: Rosendo Rodriguez
April 25: Erick Davila
May 16: Juan Castillo
June 27: Danny Bible
July 17: Chris Young
September 26: Troy Clark
September 27: Daniel Acker

February 22: Thomas Whitaker

Stay Granted or Date Withdrawn
Clifton Williams (scheduled for 6/21)
Ruben Gutierrez (scheduled for 9/12)
Juan Segundo (scheduled for 10/10)
Kwame Rockwell (scheduled for 10/24)
Emanuel Kemp (scheduled for 11/7)

Christmas Bazaars and Markets

Wesley UMC-Austin

Prayer Shawl Holiday Bazaar

November 10 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Join us for the Holiday Bazaar, Saturday, November 10th, 11-2 in the Fellowship Hall (downstairs). We will have afghans, shawls, ponchos (women and girls), hats and scarves, earrings, jams and jellies.

You can also shop online at:

All items have been created/prepared by ministry members, and proceeds will go towards supporting the ministry in 2019.

Come see us and stay for Eastside Fall Festival!

Contact Juanita Stephens at 512-461-0246 for more information.
For additional information about the Prayer Shawl Ministry visit


Give a gift, change a life … Join us for the Gifts of Hope Alternative Gift Market at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, 2140 Allandale Road, on December 1-2.  Offerings from local artisans and international vendors provide unique gift options along with opportunities to celebrate the true meaning of the season by contributing to worthwhile causes.  Saint John’s own members and our Grace Garden Pre-School provide unique handicrafts.   Wonderful holiday goodies from the bake shop will offer a special treat along with an array of great solutions for your holiday meals.  Admission is free. Hours are Saturday 10 – 3 and Sunday noon-3.


Austin Interfaith Accountability Forum

Rio Texas MFSA was pleased to be a part of the Austin Interfaith Candidate Accountability Forum.  A large gathering of this year’s midterm election candidates met in Austin on Sunday, November 21.

(From KVUE 24) AUSTIN — On Sunday, candidates gathered for one of the largest candidate events of the local election season. Austin Interfaith brought together candidates for city council, mayor, State Legislature and U.S. House of Representatives for an accountability session.

They discussed topics such as affordable housing, living wage and immigration.

Those with Austin Interfaith say these sessions will help inform the community before they head out and vote.

“These assemblies are organized to invite candidates for public office to make their commitments, public,” said Carlota Garcia with Austin Interfaith. “In front of a body of folks who are then going to go out and knock on doors and inform voters on where they stand on the issues. The issues do not come from the top down, they percolate from the bottom up through conversations face-to-face, in the pews, in school parking lots, out in union halls. So what we do is develop questions that will help us move things forward that benefit working families.”

United Methodist Women Legislative Event Online Registration is Now Live!

The Texas UMW Legislative Event is a three-day annual conference in Austin, TX, scheduled for January 27-29, 2019. The event will include speakers, workshops, panels and breakout sessions about public policy issues, faith and social justice and how to meet your elected officials.

Online Registration is now live

What you should expect: 

– Up-to-date information on important policy issues

– Grounding in how United Methodist Social Principles relate to the Texas Legislature

– New ideas about connecting faith and public life in your local community

– Fostering relationships with your elected officials and staff

– Advocacy training on a shared legislative agenda to meet with your representatives on the Tuesday of the event

It has been about 30 years since a small group of faithful women from across Texas came together to launch a new project: an annual event where UMWs could learn about legislative issues related to United Methodist Social Principles and the priorities of United Methodist Women. Now, hundreds of UMWs gather annually for briefings on current public policy issues and to learn about ways to engage their local communities in social justice work. Come and be a part of the movement this year!

United Methodist Women’s Legislative Event is open to all. Find out more and invite a friend by using the events Facebook Event, contacting your Annual Conference’s Social Action Chair or Texas Impact staff.

Become a Justice-Seeking Congregation!

Last summer MFSA piloted a new opportunity for congregations to declare their commitment to intersectional movements for justice and connect with our justice-seeking witness.  As Justice Seeking Congregations covenant to call themselves, their congregations and the church to expand its understanding of the call of the Gospel to be the inclusive, anti-racist/anti-oppressive, justice seeking, risk taking Body of Christ.  They live out our belief that to be faithful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be involved in the transformation of the world.  They believe transformation is possible and hold these values as we seek sacred change in our congregations, communities, denomination and our world.  Watch Rev. Lydia Munoz, MFSA Board Member and Lead Pastor of Church of the Open Door UMC in Eastern Pennsylvania share why her congregation felt called to become a Justice-Seeking Congregation here.

Join the movement today.  Become a Justice-Seeking Congregation today!

MFSA Depends On Your Help For Its Programs and Activities

Please Include Us in Your Giving Plans For 2018!

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 local unit 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 Rio Texas MFSA.
  • Or, you can mail a check made out to “Rio Texas – MFSA” to our Treasurer, Janice Curry, at 1509 Mearns Meadow Blvd, Austin 78758.  The suggested minimum donation is $60, but any amount is welcome.  Thanks for your support!

Historically, we have had eight monthly meetings per year, generally on the second Thursday of the month (this may change in the future).  We communicate using monthly electronic newsletters & updates to our website and Facebook page.