September 12 Meeting – Stories from the Border

This summer, many MFSA supporters traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to witness, observe, and learn about conditions on the border.  We met with ACLU representatives, spoke with workers at three respite centers in the RGV, and helped feed migrants in the tent city in Matamoros.  We attended hearings in Federal Court for many detained for illegal border crossings.  The Courts & Ports program organized by the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact (see more below) allows civilians to witness a small fraction of the hardships being experienced daily by migrants.

Other supporters traveled to the border independently or as a part of other groups to assist with other humanitarian programs that assist migrants and asylum seekers.

Join us on Thursday, September 12, as a group of those who have participated in this important witness share their stories about the chaos that currently exists at our southern border.

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.

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.

Courts & Ports

Witness the Crisis First Hand

The Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact invites you to participate in Courts & Ports: Faithful Witness on the Texas-Mexico Border.

This 2-day immersion experience engages people of faith to witness first-hand the legal and law enforcement processes related to immigration, detention, and deportation occurring in South Texas.

Click here for the: Courts & Ports One Pager

Faith Leaders Outraged by Gutting of Flores Agreement, Harm to Migrant Children

In 1997, the federal government reached a settlement to set standards of treatment for migrant children in federal detention. This settlement set standards of care for children in detention centers.

This week, the Trump Administration unveiled a new rule that would override those protections to allow migrant children to be detained indefinitely.

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition and representatives from many denominational and faith groups released a statement condemning the move. See their full statement here, with excerpts below.

“These changes would expand the number of children who will be detained and are in direct opposition to the child-friendly provisions in the Flores agreement,” said Anna Gallagher, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. “This rule would destroy long-term child protection standards created by our government and the courts. There is no justification to keep families and children in immigration jails longer. Separation of children from their parents is inherently wrong. The same is true for keeping children in detention. Clinical studies demonstrate that the mitigating presence of parents does not negate or lighten the serious and adverse effect of detention on the physical and mental health of children.”

“The Trump administration is recommending gutting the Flores agreement so that immigrant children will be held in detention centers indefinitely. This is wrong, full stop. As Jews, we are taught kavod ha’briot – that all people deserve respect and dignity. We will not remain silent while immigrants, including children, continue to be persecuted by our government,” said Sheila Katz, National Council of Jewish Women, CEO.

“It is dangerous, cruel and inhumane to keep children locked up indefinitely, especially when we know that this subjects them to trauma, sickness and unimaginable heartbreak. Children belong with their family. In the midst of a family separation crisis of its own making, and with hundreds of children still separated from their parents, the new “Flores Rule” is the latest move by this Administration to take away immigrant access to due process, dignity and safety. As a network of immigration legal service providers grounded in the United Methodist faith, we will do everything possible to lift our voice against this new regulation and to serve our most vulnerable neighbors,” stated Rob Rutland-Brown, Executive Director, National Justice for Our Neighbors.

Find Additional Texas Impact Immigration Talking Points Here




GC 2020 Deadline Approaching

In February 2019 the United Methodist Church, assembled in St. Louis at a special General Conference, adopted the Traditionalist Plan which strengthened the anti-LGBTQ stance of the denomination.  In the months since, there has been intense discussion about the future of the church.  Several groups have drafted plans dealing with changes to the denomination’s laws, the Book of Discipline.  In May 2020, the global UMC will have a General Conference in Minneapolis where it will consider further changes.  In order for a resolution to be considered in 2020, the proposal must be filed and made public by September 18, 2019.

If you are interested in the discussions about the future of our denomination, stay alert!

Progressive Resources:

United Methodist News Service:

Mainstream UMC:

UMC Next:

Hacking Christianity:

UM Insight:

UM Forward:

Conference at Travis Park

 No Need Among You Conference
September 11-13

 Travis Park Church
230 E Travis St | San Antonio, TX 78205
Less than a quarter mile from the Alamo & Riverwalk

No Need Among You Conference is sponsored by the Texas Christian Community Development Network (TxCCDN).  The Texas Christian Community Development Network is called to bring healing and hope to disadvantaged communities, neighborhoods and residents of the Lone Star State by connecting, educating, training and advocating for the poor and marginalized in Texas.


  • Alan Graham – founder and CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF), a social outreach ministry that provides food and clothing, cultivates community and promotes dignity to homeless men and women in need.
  • Dr. Lorena Garza Gonzalez is the Vice-President for Urban Strategies, a social enterprise that works to improve the health, educational, social, and economic condition of marginalized populations, in San Antonio.
  • Sister Norma Pimentel is a Sister with the Missionaries of Jesus. As Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley for over 12 years, she oversees the charitable arm of the Diocese of Brownsville, providing oversight of the different ministries & services in the areas of the Rio Grande Valley through emergency assistance, homelessness prevention, disaster relief, clinical counseling, pregnancy care, food program(s), and the Humanitarian Respite Center.
  • Dr. Albert L. Reyes is President and CEO of Buckner International, a non-profit international ministry that transforms the lives of orphans, vulnerable children, families and elders.
  • Jonathan Brooks is a lifelong resident of Chicago, IL. He currently serves as Senior Pastor at Canaan Community Church in the West Englewood neighborhood. He is also the Director of the joint degree program in theology at Northern Seminary, in cooperation with Trinity Christian College and as adjunct faculty for Chicago Semester, an off-campus program that provides students the opportunity to live, learn, and work in Chicago.

For more information and to register visit:



The Red Bench




The Red Bench: Aging

Please join us for a Red Bench conversation on the topic of Aging on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 from 6:30-8:30pm at Fo Guang Shan Xiang Yun Sing Temple (6720 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78731). Parking is available on the premises and a light vegetarian meal will be served. If you would like to attend, please be sure to RSVP.

League of Women Voters

100th Birthday & Fall Kickoff

League of Women Voters Austin Area invites you to celebrate our 100th Birthday at our Fall Kickoff Event on Sunday, September 22nd. Doors open at 12:45pm and the day’s activities will include a 100 Years Strong celebration (featuring cake and beverages), remarks from our leadership, a special performance, and more! Free admission and parking. Open to the public.

  • Date: Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
  • Time: 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Where: Austin Asian American Resource Center 8401 Cameron Rd., Austin, TX 78751
RSVP Today!

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

League of Women Voters Austin Area


Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

Global Ministries EarthKeepers

 United Methodist Environmental Justice Training Coming to Austin Sept 26-29, 2019

The General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church is hosting an EarthKeepers training at First United Methodist Church in Austin, TX September 26-29, 2019.  Global Ministries EarthKeepers equips United Methodists to develop environmental initiatives in their churches and communities, and connects them with a broader community of United Methodists who are actively engaged in creation care.  Training topics will include eco-theology, anti-racism, strategies for social change, and United Methodist resources.  We’ll also explore the intersection of climate change and migration with leaders from San Antonio Justice for Our Neighbors and Texas Impact.

During the training, participants will develop a plan to implement a project in their churches and/or communities.  After the training, participants will have the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $10,000 to support their projects.

Training, food and lodging expenses during the event are paid for by Global Ministries.  Participants are responsible for their own travel, parking and incidental expenses.  Local participants may sleep at home.

Global Ministries EarthKeepers come from annual conferences around the United States and range in age from 13-99.  Participants ages 13-18 may attend with a participating parent or guardian.

More information and application are at: