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.


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

Healthcare Message From MFSA

Healthcare is a Basic Human Right!

Over the last several months you have called, emailed, marched and tweeted your faithful support for healthcare access for all people. Thank you for your partnership in justice-seeking.

Our work is not over. Now we need to mobilize people of faith for a robust open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. We need you to raise awareness about Open Enrollment and drive traffic to, assisters, navigators, and brokers, and community enrollment events.

Budgets for advertising these open enrollment periods have been drastically cut from 100 million dollars to ten million dollars, and the enrollment period has been reduced. This puts critical life-giving healthcare access in jeopardy for millions. We need people of faith and to educate our communities.

Here are some tangible ways you can help us get the word out!

Download this Toolkit with Faith Resources

The Interfaith Healthcare Coalition of which MFSA is a partner created this toolkit to provide strategies and templates for use in outreach to media and your community in order to raise awareness about Open Enrollment and drive traffic to, assisters, navigators, and brokers, and community enrollment events. Download the toolkit here. 

Social Media

Help us get the word out on social media by posting this email or tweeting the information below.

The Open Enrollment window for coverage beginning January 1, 2018: November 1 – December 15, 2017

Visit HealthCare.Gov, call 1-800-318-2596 or find in-person help at to shop for plans and sign up.

People of Faith Call In 

Encourage clergy and people of faith to join a call with US Rep. Clyburn on Monday, November 6 at 7:30pm. Rep. Clyburn will be hosting a call with clergy and people of faith around the country to talk about the importance of healthcare for people of faith and help people promote enrollment. The number will be 712-451-0436 with access code 845827. Please share to your networks so that those who are interested can engage in open enrollment.

Contact Us

Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol St.NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20003
(202) 546-8806

GBCS Faith In Action Newsletter

Welcome to the Faith in Action newsletter, a biweekly update of Church and Society’s work pursuing peace, seeking justice and living faith.

Visit our website at for all the latest news. You’ll also find more information about the issues Church and Society is working on and ways for you to put your faith into action.

October 2017 Rio Texas MFSA newsletter

Please find the October 2017 Rio Texas MFSA newsletter here: 2017 Oct