From Texas Impact

Texas Impact is honored to receive a national award for our “Mainstream Not Extreme” campaign opposing discriminatory “bathroom privacy” legislation in 2017 and we want to thank you for your leadership in this effort!

Y’all Means All Friends,

You made thousands of telephone calls, hundreds of legislative visits and had 500 Texans of faith show up on a hot August day to oppose the discriminatory bathroom legislation. Faith leaders showed up on the steps of the Capitol, in television interviews and in commercials, which you shared with your networks. And because of your hard work and activism, you won-the Texas Legislature did not pass the harmful bills.

Now, your work has been recognized nationally, as the Religion Communicators Council of North America has awarded Texas Impact with the prestigious DeRose-Hinkhouse award, recognizing excellence in religious communications and public relations.

And while Texas Impact’s name may be on the award, we recognize that we could not have done it without your work. So, thank you.

www.texasimpact.org

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!

http://mfsaweb.org/wp-content/uploads/MFSA%20Justice%20Congregations.pdf?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=4b8dd9bb-02f0-4320-b86b-e8e4da5a6bc8

ACLU Membership Conference June 10-12

You belong at the 2018 ACLU Membership Conference!

Come learn and be inspired, and become an even more effective advocate for freedom. Taking place June 10-12 in Washington, D.C., the Membership Conference is an extraordinary opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with fellow ACLU members from around the country and to hear from guest speakers like:

  • Representative John Lewis, member of Congress and former Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC);
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren, member of Congress;
  • Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund;
  • Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter;
  • Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.

Don’t wait! Register now and enjoy an early bird discount of $100.

See you at the 2018 ACLU Membership Conference!

From Grassroots Leadership

Austin Advocates Call For Release Of Detained Migrant Woman

“Officials at Grassroots Leadership — an Austin-based national organization working against prison profiteering, mass incarceration and deportation — will ask Williamson County Commissioners Court members to intervene on behalf of an immigrant woman facing extreme hardship at a county detention center.

The group is acting on behalf of Laura Monterrosa, an asylum seeker from El Salvador being detained at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, which in actuality is a detention center for immigrant women. Advocates say the woman’s mental and physical health continue to decline after she was driven to attempt suicide at the detention center in early January. Monterrosa has spent nearly nine months at the detention center where she previously spoke out about being sexually assaulted by a guard.

Since her outcry, the woman has been subjected to what Grassroots Leadership officials say is a pattern of retaliation — including being placed in solitary confinement for 60 hours earlier this month in what her advocates say was vengeance for her outcry.”

Actions this Weekend:

Sunday, (2/25) 3-5 PM, T. Don Hutto Detention Center: Laura remains under constant threat of solitary confinement and other forms of retaliation.  Sunday we’ll gather outside the detention center to visit with Laura in the largest mass visitation event yet!  Let’s protect Laura with our presence and show the growing support from her community to pressure ICE for her release.

 

Bring the Fight to Williamson County Commissioners

Tuesday, (2/27) 9 AM, Williamson County Commissioners Court: Last week we testified to County Commissioners asking them to take urgent action to intercede on Laura’s case or provide 90 day notice to pull out of the detention center contract.  As party to the contract with private prison company CoreCivic and ICE, Williamson County is liable for the many rights abuses that take place in Hutto: from sexual assault to labor violations.  Laura remains detained, so we will be back to communicate the urgency that Commissioners act immediately.

Protests Planned Against Gun Violence

Washington DC March & Rally

Organizers of a rally against mass shootings planned for next month in Washington are expecting up to 500,000 attendees, according to an event permit application.

The application filed this week with the National Park Service indicates the “March for Our Lives” will be March 24, although a location hasn’t been determined. The rally, organized by survivors of last week’s school massacre in Parkland, Fla., will have “sister marches” in other major cities, organizers said.

The event will include “student speakers, musical performers, guest speakers and video tributes,” according to the permit application, with 14 Jumbotrons and 2,000 chairs.

Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said that organizers initially proposed holding the event on the Mall but are looking at moving the rally to another location in Washington after the request conflicted with a film crew’s permit.

[A superintendent threatens to suspend students protesting gun laws. But that’s not legal.]

We’ve had enough. Thoughts and prayers” are not enough to honor the victims of gun violence. What we need now is action.

On March 24, 2018, students will rally in Washington D.C and in local communities across the country to demand action from our leaders. Join us in the March For Our Lives, as we fight for an America that is free from gun violence.

http://act.everytown.org/sign/march-for-our-lives

 

Protest Rally in Dallas Planned for May 3

At NRA Annual Meeting

More Information to come …

 

What Have Your Donations Supported?

Donations to MFSA support our mission to mobilize, lead, and sustain a progressive United Methodist movement, energizing people to be agents of God’s justice, peace, and reconciliation.  Our programs and activities in 2017 included the following:

Within the Annual & General Conferences

  • Co-sponsored the 7th Annual Peace & Justice Luncheon at Annual Conference in Corpus Christi in June 2017 featuring John Hill, Assistant General Secretary for Advocacy and Grassroots Organizing for the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.
  • Witnessed with a booth at Annual Conference including education on social justice issues.
  • Partnered with the conference Reconciling Ministries Team to support full inclusion in the UMC.
  • Reported progress of the Commission on the Way Forward through monthly newsletter.

Local Activities and Programs

  • Provided educational programs about social justice issues and opportunities for participation with an emphasis on creating a culture of nonviolence.
  • Supported justice & faith organizations such as Austin Interfaith, Texas Impact, TCADP, Texas Gun Sense, and Austin Region JFON & San Antonio JFON with donations.
  • Sponsored a successful recycling event for hazardous waste; batteries, oil, paint, and antifreeze.
  • Participated in MLK March in Austin.
  • Witnessed at the Texas State Capitol supporting LGBT rights, education, and women’s rights.
  • Supported Ugandan women and children by selling BeadforLife products at Alternative Christmas Markets in Austin.

Looking Ahead in 2018

  • March in the Austin MLK March, which happened on January 15.
  • Offer BOPA (Batteries, Oil, Paint, & Antifreeze) recycling event, March 10 at Trinity Church Austin.
  • Sponsor a fact-finding trip to the Rio Grande Valley to learn about services available for victims of human trafficking and for people seeking asylum in the US.
  • Witness with Reconciling Ministries Network at the Rio Texas UMC Annual Conference in Corpus Christi in June and organize our Annual Peace & Justice Luncheon- June 6-9.

Other Witness, Actions, and Events throughout 2018.

News from Texas Impact

 Texas Impact Joins Interfaith Coalition
in Amicus Brief to 5th Circuit on SB 4

Immigrants across Texas are withdrawing from religious and community life for fear of being targeted by immigration officials and putting their children in jeopardy.

Read More


Join Women from Across Texas to Engage Issues That Matter!Registration is Now Open for
United Methodist Women’s Legislative Event

JANUARY 28-30, 2018, Austin, Texas

Register by January 6, 2018 for the early-bird registration price.

Women ages 15-35 may qualify for a scholarship. Registration Form