e-News / Methodist Federation for Social Action Rio Texas Conference Mobilizing people within the United Methodist Church to act on issues of justice, peace, and reconciliation in the church, nation, and world.

2018-2019 Theme:

Addressing Systemic Injustice

Inside and Outside the Church

No Meeting in February; Monthly Meetings Resume in March

Several of our Rio Texas MFSA – Austin supporters are focused on the Special UMC General Conference and will be traveling to St. Louis later this month to participate with the Love Your Neighbor Coalition there.  We urge you to participate in at least one social justice action event in February.


Special Session of General Conference in February 2019

For more than 40 years, The United Methodist Church has faced serious internal disagreement over how accepting to be of homosexuality, with ordination of gay persons and same-sex unions as flashpoints.

The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose will be to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The 32-member Commission was authorized by General Conference 2016 and appointed by the Council of Bishops to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.

In addition to delegates and alternates, many followers of Rio Texas MFSA will be traveling to the frozen north (St. Louis) in February as observers and workers of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC).  If you wish to volunteer with LYNC, you should register on their website.  For more information, contact rcurry@austin.rr.com.

General Conference 2019 links

Daily Christian Advocate: http://cdnfiles.umc.org/Website_Properties/general-conference/2019/documents/general-conference-2019-adca-english.pdf

UM News:  https://www.umnews.org/en/category/general-conference

Subject: 1st day of GC – http://s3.amazonaws.com/Website_Properties/council-of-bishops/news_and_statements/documents/2019_GC.Prayer_Schedule_(002).pdf

Rio Texas Conference – General Conference 2019 Webinar

Wednesday, February 20 at 12 noon

Via Live Zoom Webinar

Do you want to know more about what will be happening as delegates gather for General Conference 2019 in February? Join members of your Rio Texas delegation to General Conference 2019 as they review the plans presented by The Commission on a Way Forward. Each plan will be presented by a member of the delegation with time for question and answer.

Registration is required. Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Click here to register for the February 20 webinar.


Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

TCADP 2019 Annual Conference

TCADP’s Annual Conference is a one-day event geared towards anyone interested in learning about the death penalty and becoming involved in our efforts.  It features a panel discussion, workshops, a keynote address, and the presentation of our annual awards.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with advocates from across the state and hear about the progress we are making towards ending the death penalty in Texas!
The TCADP 2019 Annual Conference will take place on Saturday, February 16, 2019 in downtown Austin. Registration includes breakfast and the awards luncheon.  Tickets are available for the luncheon and keynote address for those who can attend only part of the day. We accept cash, check, or credit card as payment.


You can also register for the conference through your TCADP profile in the givi app.

Contact khoule@tcadp.org if you have any problems with this registration form or questions about the conference.

Texas Impact Weekly Witness Program

In response to growing demand from clergy and members around the state, Texas Impact launched Weekly Witness during the 2015 Legislative Session as a way of keeping our membership informed about important issues in the Texas Legislature and how they could get involved.

This initiative is designed to give clergy and other religious professionals opportunities for ongoing interaction with legislators and their staffs through the rest of the current legislative session and beyond.

Every Monday at noon (unless otherwise announced) Texas Impact staff and faith or policy leaders will have a conversation at the First United Methodist Church Murchison Chapel. This conversation will also be made available by Facebook Live, webinar and podcast. Search for Texas Impact Weekly Witness in iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

During Session, we will have an “issue of the week” followed by a legislative briefing and Action Alert from Texas Impact staff. Participants will be encouraged to walk to the Capitol after, or make a telephone call to their legislators Monday afternoon.

We hope you’ll join us for Weekly Witness Mondays, especially during Session live or in person. For those not in Austin, consider bringing a group from your congregation, friend network or judicatory. Let us know you are coming, and we can plan on spending some extra time with you that afternoon.

Contact Outreach Director Scott Atnip for more information at scott@texasimpact.org.

Upcoming Issues:

  • February 11 – Foster Care and Domestic Violence
  • February 18 – Voting
  • February 25 – Religious Freedom
  • March 4 – Health: Medicaid Expansion and Insurance Market

More Information here.

Texas Impact – “Courts & Ports”

In early 2018, nine representatives of Rio Texas MFSA traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to learn more about actions being undertaken by the UMC’s El Valle District on immigration issues.  At our November meeting, we heard from Bee Morehead that Texas Impact has established the “Courts and Ports” program to allow others to take action on these issues.

From Texas Impact:  With the advent of the Administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, federal criminal courts on the southern border of the U.S. are overwhelmed with cases involving citizens of other countries crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S. in a location other than an official port of entry. Courts & Ports is a partnership between the Interfaith Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. Participants observe proceedings in federal criminal court, and record their observations for use by ACLU and other attorneys; meet with faith and policy experts working on the border; spend time with individuals who have pending asylum cases; engage in contextualizing discussion with Texas Impact pastoral staff and other faith leaders; plan and participate in worship; and become part of an online “alumni” community.

Participants in this program will travel to the RGV in teams for briefings, observations, site visits, and worship, typically beginning Sunday evening and traveling home on Wednesday.  Rio Texas MFSA urges all members and followers to go to the Courts & Ports website to learn more, and to register to attend this meaningful program.

A group of Rio Texas MFSA supporters are making plans to make a trip to the RGV for this program in the next few months.  Please contact Rowland Curry rcurry@austin.rr.com if you are interested in joining us!

CROP Hunger Walk

Austin CROP Hunger Walk

Sunday, February 24
2:00 p.m. Registration and 2:30 Step-off

Camp Mabry, 2200 West 35th Street


The Austin CROP Hunger Walk is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, February 24 at Camp Mabry. This is a family-friendly interfaith community event raising funds for hungry people around the world and right here in Austin. This year the CROP Hunger Walk is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Walk.


Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT)

The Red Bench: Humor



Join us on Tuesday, February 26  from 6:30pm-8:30pm for a courageous conversation on the topic of Humor at Triumphant Love Lutheran Church (9508 Great Hills Trail, Austin, TX 78759).


If you plan to attend, please RSVP.

New Story Festival






A Bold Experiment in Making a Better Story for a Better World

Embodying Creativity, Spirituality, Social Action, & Playful Connection


Music, Art, and Stories

Inspiring Speakers and Practical Workshops

Laughter and Dancing, Mindfulness and Meditation

Intimate Conversations and New Friends

Amplifying the good work of ACTIVISTS, ARTISTS, NON-PROFITS,


In Central Texas and beyond

Hosted by Huston-Tillotson University




Support Public Education


Date: March 11, 2019
Time: 12:00 pm  to  2:00 pm

Educators, parents, students, and supporters of Texas public schools will rally to support the right of all children to a quality neighborhood public school.

The march is sponsored by the Texas State Teachers Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, and Texas-American Federation of Teachers in a Rally for Public Education. More information on the Facebook event page.

Location: Texas State Capitol, south steps, 11th and Congress, Austin

San Antonio MFSA!

Travis Park UMC San Antonio has an active Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) unit that meets monthly on the second Sunday of each month at noon. MFSA mobilizes clergy and laity within The United Methodist Church to take action on issues of peace, poverty and people’s rights within the church, the nation and the world.

MFSA lives out our belief that to be faithful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be involved in the transformation of the social order.
Moreover, MFSA affirms the vital importance of theological reflection as the Church weighs great issues of faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the Gospel in United Methodist worship, governance and witness. We offer to following paragraphs as a point of departure for reflection and discussion.
For information on this committee, email John Patterson.

2019 Austin MLK Program and March


On January 21, a group of hearty MFSA supporters joined in to participate in the MLK Day program on the UT campus.  Then some of our group joined hundreds who walked to the campus of Huston-Tillotson University for additional activities.



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!

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, http://www.mfsaweb.org 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.