MFSA Witness Planned for Rio Texas Annual Conference Peace & Justice Luncheon Features Bishop Karen Oliveto

Opportunities for MFSA Witness at Annual Conference

Rio Texas MFSA will again sponsor a vendor booth in the exhibit area June 5 – 7 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.  We are planning to offer a conversation area with chairs and small tables where friends can discuss social justice issues, most importantly the possibility of a new and inclusive UMC.  We will have resources including maps, letters, and petitions from groups across the country.

We need volunteers to help with the luncheon on June 6!  If you are attending A/C but are not a delegate, please let us know in advance and we will put you to work.  Contact

Because of our focus on the outcome of GC2019, we will not be sponsoring a book fair this year.

Regional GC2019 Responses from Hacking Christianity

Rev. Jeremy Smith is the Senior Pastor at First UMC in Seattle, WA.  He is a good friend of MFSA, and publishes a website and blog addressing issues in the UMC.  He has published an up-to-date list of responses to GC2019 – see link below.

Updated List of #UMC Regional Responses to GC2019

“The passing of parts of the Traditional Plan has awoken a slumbering giant. Regions that no one considered “progressive” have amassed open letters with significant signatories, purchased local media ads, and written legislation in order to denounce the Traditional Plan.

The following is a constantly-updated list, so come back if you find something that isn’t here.

We are all indebted to Julie O’Neal, Executive Assistant to the Bishop in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, for collecting the majority of the below letters. Thanks Julie!”

Additional recent articles and statements:

United Methodist News:

United Methodist Insight:

Uniting Methodists:

UM Forward:

(Summit in Minneapolis May 17-18)

Article from Religion News Service:

Prizm News: “They Cannot Have My Church.”

Bishop Sally Dyck (Illinois)

Note: No Austin MFSA Meeting in April

March Meeting Reflected on GC2019, Plans Going Forward

In March, over 50 MFSA supporters gathered in Austin to hear comments by a panel of six persons who attended (or watched) the GC2019 proceedings in St. Louis.  Panelists were Rev. Sid Hall, Joy Butler, Shelley Walters, Jay Brim, Trevor Harper, and Cindy Johnson.  They all generally expressed shock, dismay, and anger as the Traditional Plan was approved at the conference.  They discussed possible plans for the future of the UMC and the possibility of the Traditional Plan being found unconstitutional by the Judicial Council later this month.  Several expressed hope that this vote has awakened centrists and others who have not been paying attention to the increased fundamentalism in the UMC.  There was discussion of the dissent that has arisen after GC2019, including a huge increase in the number of individuals and communities who are affiliating with the Reconciling Ministries Network.  It is important that progressive delegates to 2019 annual conferences elect delegates to GC2020 who are not supportive of the Traditional Plan.

Links to videos:
Rev. Sid Hall:

Joy Butler:

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Workshop

Building on twenty years of practice and the work of Walter Brueggemann, John McKnight, and Peter Block, this workshop is designed for congregations who are eager to engage their communities authentically beyond the walls of the church. Pastors and laity who are eager to strengthen their connections to their church’s geography will benefit from this interactive workshop. We will explore three core mindset shifts that are foundational for churches eager to move from an outreach model to a community transformation model of holistic engagement in neighborhoods. Participants will leave the workshop with concrete ways to begin making these shifts in their context.

Presenter: Amy Moritz

Date: April 9, 2019, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, McCord Community Center,
100 East 27th Street, Austin, 78705

Cost: $30 (lunch included)

Recommended for: clergy and congregations who long to see their communities transformed

Register Here

iACT Hope Awards April 30

Join us Tuesday, April 30, from 6-9pm at the Bullock Texas State History Museum for one of Austin’s most uplifting evenings of the year – the iACT Hope Awards! We are proud to announce the 2019 Hope Award Honorees for their dedication to giving back and their tireless commitment to valuing friendships and building the Austin Community:

Earl Maxwell of St. David’s Foundation

Bobby Jenkins of ABC Home and Commercial Services

Ali Sait & Pria Gokhale of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Congregation Agudas Achim

The evening features an intimate conversation about friendship and giving back with two very inspiring givers, Earl Maxwell and Bobby Jenkins. Moderated by Rev. Joseph Parker.