2019-2020 Theme: Stand Up! Speak Out! Take Action! October 10 Meeting – Finding Hope

Given the increase in violent acts, hateful rhetoric, and lack of empathy for people in need, it is hard not to become discouraged.  Rio Texas MFSA is presenting an opportunity for central Texans to hear a message of hope from area church leaders.

Our October program features a panel of local church leaders who will share how they personally remain optimistic, how they inspire congregations to maintain hope, and what positive steps we can take in times such as these.  Audience members may offer comments and/or ask questions at appropriate times throughout the panel discussion.

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.

One Human Race Workshop

9 AM – 5:30 PM  October 12,  St. James’ Episcopal Church

This free one-day workshop provides a safe, open, and productive environment to learn and share about race. Snacks and lunch are provided. We’ll watch Race: The Power of an Illusion, examine concepts from Eric Law’s The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb, and share in small groups. Registration is required. Reserve your place here.


Constitutional Amendment Order Decided For November 5 Election

The November 2019 Election season is here and we’re working hard to get citizens registered, informed, and out to vote. This November we will be voting on ten (10) Texas Constitutional Amendments. There are also several local municipality elections throughout Travis and Williamson Counties including Propositions, Bond Measures, and Council Member races.

Register to vote by October 7, 2019 to vote in the November 5 election

On November 5, 2019, Texans will have the opportunity to vote on nine amendments with a majority vote. See details at State of Texas website


Interfaith Action of Central Texas

The Red Bench – “Self-Compassion”

Please join us for a Red Bench conversation on the topic of Self-Compassion on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 from 6:30-8:30pm at St. Luke United Methodist Church (1306 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703).  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.

Hands on Housing

Our next big housing repair project will be the Raise the Roof on Saturday, October 19, 2019.  We will be painting and doing minor repair work to a number of homes in Austin.  If you are ready to register a team for this event, please fill out this form.  If you would like to volunteer for this event as an individual, there is no need for you to register, but please be sure to contact us at hoh@interfaithtexas.org so we can assign you to a home.


Austin Channing Brown at University UMC Austin!

Join us as Brown helps us unpack what it means to be a progressive in the fight for equality, challenging us to look inward to address our daily prejudices as we strive for an actively anti-racist community.


Austin Channing Brown began her journey as a racial reconciler in college with an experience called Sankofa–a three-day bus trip exploring black history sites throughout the South. On this pilgrimage that she came face-to-face with her history, shared the experience with others, and for the first time in her life watched friends become transformed by learning about African American history and racism.

Austin earned a master’s degree in social justice from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan. Building on her Sankofa experience and the foundation of her graduate work, she has directed a short-term missions site on the west side of Chicago, creating interactive opportunities for youth to engage issues of poverty, injustice. She also served on staff with Willow Creek Community Church, developing strategies and programming around multiculturalism. Currently, she serves as resident director and multicultural liaison for Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Austin travels the country throughout the year sharing her message at colleges, universities, conferences, and churches. She has been featured at the Justice Conference, Why Christian? Conference, Christians for Biblical Equality International Conference, the University of Northwestern, the CCDA National Conference, the Salvation Army ONE Conference and Focus on the Family: Focus Leadership Institute, to name just a few.

Event Details


University United Methodist Church
2409 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX 78705


Doors at 6:30 pm
Starts at 7:00 pm
Approximate Run-time is 90 mins


There are several paid parking options available including street parking, a surface lot across the street or a parking garage on San Antonio street.

Ride sharing services such as Uber or Lift are an encouraged alternative option.


University UMC is a smoke free and weapon free campus.

Proposals for GC 2020

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 have been filed 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:  https://www.umnews.org/en/

Mainstream UMC:  https://mainstreamumc.com/

UMC Next:  https://umcnext.com/

Hacking Christianity:  http://hackingchristianity.net/

UM Insight:  https://um-insight.net/

UM Forward:  https://um-forward.org/

ACLU of Texas

 Austin Redistricting Postcard Party

OCTOBER 21, 2019 @ 6:00 PM –
@ 8:00 PM

For years, politicians have counted on Texans tuning out during this convoluted process — choosing to conduct their business behind closed doors and out of the public eye. The result? Partisan and racially gerrymandered districts where manipulated boundaries limit the power of voters. The time is now to keep the pressure on lawmakers to ensure a fair and transparent redistricting process.

A few weeks ago, lawmakers held a redistricting town hall in Austin to listen to residents’ thoughts on the redistricting process, but we want to make sure this isn’t the last they hear from you! If you weren’t able to make your testimony in person, you’ll have the chance to send the redistricting committee members a message at our postcard party on Monday, October 21.



By Terri Burke, Executive Director, ACLU

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 – 3:00PM

I’ve got a secret for you, one that some Lone Star State politicians might not want you to know. An important statewide process is getting started ahead of the 2021 legislative session, a process that happens once every 10 years.

It’s called redistricting, or the redrawing of the districts that make up the legislative and congressional maps in Texas, and it matters more than you may know.

Redistricting is simple enough to grasp when you compare it to other things we replace every few years, like, say, an old car. When it just isn’t working like it used to or doesn’t meet your needs anymore, it’s time to think about getting a new model.

Similarly, redistricting should lead to new and improved electoral maps that reflect the growth and demographic changes that Texas communities undergo with time. Every 10 years, after the U.S. census determines how our communities have expanded and contracted, the Texas Legislature gets the task of redrawing fair maps that are inclusive of everyone.

Except it doesn’t always quite work that way, because, unfortunately, redistricting isn’t as easy as going to the dealership and riding out with a shiny, new F-150 two hours later.

The process is often fraught with complications, like lack of transparency and self-interest. Unlike in some other states, where an independent redistricting commission redraws the electoral maps, Texas legislators redraw and approve their own districts. If that seems backward, it should — after all, shouldn’t voters be the ones who select their elected officials, and not the other way around?

To make matters more complicated for the 2021 process, there have been a number of court battles as a result of the state redistricting that happened in 2011. The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that Texas won’t need future federal oversight, as it has had for decades, to ensure that partisan gerrymandering — the intentional drawing of districts to benefit one party over another — doesn’t occur. All this despite immediate concerns from federal court judges about Texas’ past actions in redrawing its maps illegally.

This means that in 2021, redistricting will be totally in the hands of state legislators with no one to look over their shoulders, with costly litigation seemingly the only fix if things go awry.


Read more at: https://www.aclutx.org/en/news/redistricting-will-shape-our-next-10-years


Texas Impact Information




San Antonio Interfaith Advocacy Training

You are invited to Texas Impact’s San Antonio Interfaith Advocacy Training Sunday, November 17 from 2-5pm at First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Antonio.

Register online at https://texasimpact.org/texas-impacts-san-antonio-interfaith-advocacy-training-registration-page/.

Registration is free, but helpful in event planning.

Join us for a faith leader panel, Advocacy 101 training and breakout sessions.. Policy presentations will focus on immigration reform, public education/literacy, and health policy.

Additional topics, speakers and event sponsors will be listed here as they become available.

Email scott@texasimpact.org if you are interested in supporting the event or have ideas/suggestions to share.


Elgin Interfaith Advocacy Training

You are invited to Texas Impact’s San Antonio Interfaith Advocacy Training Saturday, November 16 from 10am-12pm at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Elgin. Register online at https://texasimpact.org/elgin-interfaith-advocacy-training-registration-form/. Registration is free, but helpful in event planning.

Join us for a faith leader panel, Advocacy 101 training and breakout sessions.. Policy presentations will focus on public education/literacy and rural health policy.

Additional topics, speakers and event sponsors will be listed here as they become available.

Email scott@texasimpact.org if you are interested in supporting the event or have ideas/suggestions to share.


These Little Lights of Ours

by Bee Moorhead | Sep 13, 2019 | Bee’s BlogImmigrationnewsUncategorized |

On August 29-30, a group of 100 Texas faith leaders traveled from all over the state to learn about current American immigration policy and meet with migrants camped in Matamoros, Mexico, awaiting the opportunity to beg for asylum in the US. The faith leaders—most of them Christian pastors—returned from their field trip exhausted, frustrated, heartbroken.

Watch the video about their trip here

They’re also mad, and that’s good. They should be. Every American should be incensed that the Administration has managed to hijack and subvert our entire national narrative, in the processing destroying countless lives of vulnerable people from conflict zones around the globe.

And we should be furious that Congress has watched it all unraveling in real time and done nothing to stop it. Nothing. Not legislated protections for children. Not asserted budget authority. Not invited in UN human rights monitors into the meat-locker detention facilities.

During their time at the border, the pastors sang “This Little Light of Mine” a few different times. In the video, it’s pretty sad to see how optimistically they sang before they crossed the bridge, and how subdued they sound after they get back.

I suspect a lot of those pastors feel like their own little light is insufficient to illuminate the vast darkness they looked into in Matamoros. Some of them clearly feel like their particular light is struggling for oxygen. Evidence suggests a lot of members of Congress are having a hard time keeping their little lights shining, too.

It’s especially hard to keep your light shining when you insist on doing it all by yourself. A stiff breeze or a cloudburst will extinguish it, and then it’s no good to anyone.

Let’s put our lights together. Put them together on the ground, and gently add some dry leaves and twigs. Let’s make each of our lights part of a bigger flame that will be harder to extinguish–one that will cast a bright light on the shadows at the border. A light big enough to warm even the deep darkness at the heart of the Administration’s border policy.

Pumpkin Patches at UMC Churches!

Bethany – 10010 Anderson Mill Road, Austin, TX US 78750

Buda UMC Pumpkin Patch

Manchaca 1011 FM 1626 Manchaca, TX 78652

Pflugerville – 500 E Pecan St, Pflugerville, TX 78660

Saint John’s – 2140 Allandale -opening October 15 –

St. Luke – 1306 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703

Tarrytown – 2601 Exposition Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

Reconciling Ministries Network

Foundation for the Homeless

Save the Date!

SOCA Luncheon – November 1, 2019

Foundation for the Homeless is thrilled to announce

Ann Howard the first Executive Director at

ECHO – Ending Community Homelessness Coalition

will be the Keynote Speaker at our annual

Spirit of Compassion Awards Luncheon

Friday November 1, 2019 at Hotel Ella!


Ann Howard was a co-founder of ECHO, and has been credited with

building effective collaborations to address homelessness, and more

specifically helping to end homelessness among veterans in Austin.

Ann Howard is praised for her advocacy and effective leadership of ECHO,

and known for her ability to listen to others on an issue that can cause

sharp public division.


We hope that you can join us for this amazing event!



Save the Date – Austin JFON Gala

Austin JFON Gala 2019 – Save the Date

 November 10

Save the Date Texas Freedom Network

News from the Third Coast Activist



Date: October 8, 2019

Time: 6:00 pm  to  8:00 pm

We face multiple, cascading ecological crises that require dramatic changes in public policy and everyday life. Robert Jensen will offer a framework for understanding today’s debates over environmental issues. The Green New Deal proposals have been criticized for being too radical, but what if they are not radical enough?

Jensen, recently retired from teaching in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas, is the author of The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men and Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully.

The event is sponsored by the Austin School, which is on Facebook and YouTube.

Location: ACC Eastview Campus Auditorium (Room 8500), 3401 Webberville Road, Austin, 78702



Date: October 11, 2019

Time: 8:00 am  to  6:00 pm

Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera raises awareness about conditions of social and economic injustice by hosting solidarity delegations to the border to visit with its partners, el Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (Border Committee of Working Women) and their member communities within the free trade zone of Mexico.

The next delegation will be visiting Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico. More information and sign up online.



Date: October 15, 2019

Time: 8:00 am  to  4:00 pm

Huston-Tillotson University will host the sixth annual Building Green Justice Forum, this year focusing on “Potential through Place.”

The modern environmental justice movement understands that our fates are linked to the places we live and work, and that for people of color those places often are ignored, under-resourced, and overly burdened with polluted air, water, and soil. Yet these places also are home to the environmental justice community’s pride, strength, and motivation.

Place holds multiple meanings. In the sciences, an organism’s place in an ecosystem is described by its habitat (physical location) and its niche (role in the community). From those two dimensions, complex interactions emerge that define sources of both resilience and vulnerability. Our human ecosystem is no different. The Building Green Justice Forum will examine these ideas’ potential to transform the entire environmental movement to center equity.

Registration and coffee begins at 8 am, with speakers, panels, and workshops throughout the day. The speakers and schedule will be announced soon. Light breakfast and lunch will be provided. The forum is free but please register online. More information on the Facebook event page.

The event is sponsored by the HT Center for Sustainability and Environmental JusticeGreen is the New BlackThe Dumpster Project, City of Austin Office of Sustainability, and the Third Coast Activist Resource Center.

For more information on sponsorship, contact Karen Magid, kmagid@htu.edu, or Amanda Masino, htmasino@gmail.com.

Location: Dickey-Lawless Science Building, Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St., Austin, 78702, with free parking in the Chalmers Avenue lot and free street parking around campus.



Date: October 20, 2019

Time: 2:00 pm  to  3:30 pm

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church will sponsor a forum on how to take action on the climate crisis, featuring Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea, who has worked on water

issues in Austin for 30 years, and Brandi Clark Burton, founder of EcoNews and former adviser on environmental action to Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

Location: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 14311 Wells Port Drive (exit off I-35, west on Wells Branch Parkway)



Date: October 23, 2019

Time: 7:00 pm  to  8:30 pm

Jason De León, Professor of Anthropology and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and Director of the Undocumented Migration Project, will speak on “Soldiers and Kings: A Photoethnography of Human Smuggling Across Mexico” as part of the University of Texas Humanities Institute’s Distinguished Visiting Lecture Series.

More information online. RSVPs are appreciated but not required.

Location: Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302, 201 E. 24th Street (SE corner of 24th and Speedway), UT Campus