November Meeting: The Poor People’s Campaign Themes

Our Rio Texas MFSA Zoom meeting on Thursday, November 11 will focus on the Poor People’s Campaign, and will be led by Pat Stewart.

In 2018, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival released its Poor People’s Moral Agenda & Declaration of Fundamental Rights.  Its demands address systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism, and a distorted moral narrative that keeps these systemic injustices intact.  The connections between these five themes are why we must continue to build power among the 140 million poor & dispossessed of this nation.  Fight poverty, not the poor.

Join us at the Rio Texas MFSA meeting to discuss these five themes.  We will also view a short video on William Barber, one of the founders of the Poor People’s Campaign.  This will be followed by an exchange of ideas on the topic of what being poor means in Texas.

The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm.  Please join us!

To Join the Zoom Meeting:

Austin Region Justice for Our Neighbors Gala

To feel “at home” means having a sense of comfort and belonging. With the support of our donors and the strength of our clients, our work is not just to secure legal status and access to work; we work together, all of us, to create a community where all of us are at home together.

The gala will feature storytellers from the forthcoming video compilation “The Truth in Our Stories,” part of a collaborative grant project featuring a book by the same title, funded by the Institute for Diversity and Civic Life and made possible by the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.

Texas Interfaith Advocacy Conference

This conference brings Texans of faith together for three days of advocacy and legislative training on February 16-18, 2020.

Register here.

Speakers and sessions will cover immigration, health equity, and climate – with an opportunity for participants to meet with their state elected officials.

Information about hotels to come soon.

Download and print the flyer here.

Anti-Racism Workshop

Anti-Racism Workshop


Shaping Beloved Community: From Dignity,
Recognition and Inclusivity to Advocacy and Equity


Saturday, February 29 – 9:00am -3:30pm

Saint John’s United Methodist Church

2140 Allandale Rd. – Austin, TX


Sponsored by

Rio Texas Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) &

Saint John’s Risk-Taking Mission & Service Committee



Rev. Neal Christie

Rev. Christie, who serves as Assistant General Secretary for Education and Leadership Formation on the UMC General Board of Church and Society, directs the agency’s educational opportunities, including world-wide trainings, workshops, seminars, & internships. He also coordinates curriculum related to the UM Social Principles.

Rev. Christie has authored a number of publications and produced several educational videos on social justice for the church. He is an elder in the Greater New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church. Neal has been devoted to the ministry with Church and Society for 20 years.

Please join us for a day of learning from Rev. Christie about the dignity of each individual and how we can advocate for equality for all persons.

A light lunch will be provided.

Please register by Wednesday, February 26. Registration information below.


Registration Information

Pay by Credit Card:  $10.00 (fees included) Use this link:

Pay by Check:  $10.00 in advance (by February 26). Mail check and this form to the address below.

Pay at the door:  $15.00 (limited number available)

Name(s):  __________________________________________________

Address:  ______________________________City: ________________

Congregation:                                    # Tickets: ____ X $ 10.00 = $ _____

E-Mail (for confirmation): ______________________________________

Indicate Special Dietary Need: _________________________________

Make Check to Rio Texas MFSA

Mail this form and check to:

Rio Texas MFSA

PO Box 66055

Austin, TX  78766-6055

For more information contact Anne Mund


2019-2020 Theme

Stand Up!  Speak Out!  Take Action!

January 2020 – Make Plans to Take Action

Rio Texas MFSA will not have a monthly meeting in January.  We urge you to join in the Women’s March and Rally at the state Capitol on January 18.  Then on Monday, January 20, join us in attending the MLK Program, March, and Rally beginning at 9 am at the UT campus.

Rally at the Capitol – Austin

Saturday, January 18, 12p-3p – South Steps of Texas Capitol

Please note that various advocacy groups are planning concurrent marches on January 18 that start earlier than noon.  Speeches at the Capitol will begin about noon.

UMW Legislative Event 2020

Save the Date for the 2020 United Methodist Women’s Legislative Event, happening January, 26th-28th in Austin. You may register online Make sure to share and invite your UMW friends and circles.

The Texas UMW Legislative Event is a three-day annual conference in Austin, TX. There will be speakers, workshops, panels and breakout sessions about public policy issues, faith and social justice and how to meet your elected officials.

What you should expect:
– Up-to-date information on important policy issues
– Grounding in how United Methodist Social Principles relate to the Texas Legislature
– New ideas about connecting faith and public life in your local community
– Fostering relationships with your elected officials and staff

It has been more than 30 years since a small group of faithful women from across Texas came together to launch a new project: an annual event where UMWs could learn about legislative issues related to United Methodist Social Principles and the priorities of United Methodist Women. Now, hundreds of UMWs gather annually for briefings on current public policy issues and to learn about ways to engage their local communities in social justice work. Come and be a part of the movement this year!

Texas Interfaith Advocacy Conference

This conference brings Texans of faith together for three days of advocacy and legislative training on February 16-18, 2020.

Register here.

Speakers and sessions will cover immigration, health equity, and climate – with an opportunity for participants to meet with their state elected officials.

Information about hotels to come soon.

Download and print the flyer here.

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

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 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 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 if you are interested in supporting the event or have ideas/suggestions to share.

Courts & Ports: Faithful Witness on the Texas-Mexico Border

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

Central Texas Interfaith (CTI)

The CTI Delegates Assembly is Sunday, November 10th at 3pm at St. David’s Episcopal Church.  In this gathering of 400 leaders, we will ratify a preliminary agenda of issues we’ve been working on to guide our efforts as we head into the new year.  We will also ratify our 2020 nonpartisan electoral strategy and celebrate our launch as Central Texas Interfaith!

Let’s demonstrate the strength, diversity and power of our institutions!


We need YOU to RSVP AND work with your institution to bring a strong delegation so that we can increase voter turnout and make an impact on issues we care about from homelessness to climate change to wages, immigration and more.

Many of you made commitments for turnout to this assembly, ranging from 5 to 60.  Reach out to others in your institution to encourage participation and tell your organizer/or regional leader how many you are expecting.  Be bold and make announcements in PTA meetings, house meetings, and other gatherings!  Include the flyer in your bulletins!  Below are links to the latest flyer, sample announcement/bulletin insert and sign sheet. =)




With faith, much is possible.  Let’s make this launch a success!

Carlota García | Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic | 512-522-7565

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:


Save the Date Texas Freedom Network

Responses to General Conference 2019


We Desist: A Response by Progressive United Methodist Clergy in Texas to the Actions of General Conference 2019

I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.
~ Isaiah 28:17

Statement of Confession, Commitment, and Calling: A Río Texas Laity Response to General Conference 2019

WE CONFESS to contributing to the harm done by The United Methodist Church to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people:

WE CONFESS that we have allowed our own complacency, ignorance, and/or fear to drive us to act, or fail to act, in ways that have caused harm to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) members and neighbors.WE CONFESS that we have not made room in our pews for LGBTQ+ people to be fully themselves, nor have we sought to fill our pulpits with LGBTQ+ voices.

WE CONFESS that we have not been available for our fearfully and wonderfully made LGBTQ+ youth and children in all the ways they have needed their church to understand, accept, love, and be in ministry with them.

WE CONFESS that we have discouraged our LGBTQ+ members from pursuing ministry, expected them to conceal or falsify their identities, or encouraged them to refrain from or hide loving relationships in order to be ordained.

WE CONFESS that we have used our church sanctuaries for the weddings of our heterosexual loved ones, even as we cruelly denied the use of these same sacred, cherished spaces to other members of our own congregations.

WE CONFESS that we have not claimed the unjust exclusion of our LGBTQ+ siblings as our problem. We have ignored the link between our denomination’s spiritual violence and society’s physical violence, including the harm done to LGBTQ+ children who are kicked out of their family homes, bullied, and/or murdered based on the teachings of our church about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

WE CONFESS that we have conveniently ignored the ways in which systems of oppression, including homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny, have served our own needs at the expense of others.

WE COMMIT to do all the good we can in all the ways we can and in all the places we can to end discrimination against all people:

WE COMMIT to affirming, empowering, and centering LGBTQ+ and other marginalized voices in leadership in church and in society.WE COMMIT to educating ourselves and others about the sins of homophobia, transphobia, racism, misogyny, and all systems of oppression.

WE COMMIT to holding our pastors accountable in their call to minister to all people, which includes weddings of same-sex couples.

WE COMMIT to fully supporting the pastor(s) in our home churches—emotionally, practically, and financially—if they face any punitive consequences for being in ministry with LGBTQ+ people, including officiating weddings of same-sex couples.

WE COMMIT to fully supporting our pastor(s) in our home churches—emotionally, practically, and financially—if they face any punitive consequences for coming out as LGBTQ+.

WE COMMIT to living into our baptismal vow to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.

WE COMMIT to living intentionally, with hearts full of courage and love, into an expression of Methodism that is fully inclusive of people of all skin colors, ages, sizes/shapes, abilities, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, education levels, languages, socio-economic statuses, housing situations, cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, parental statuses, family configurations, employment statuses, and citizenship statuses.

WE CALL on all in the Río Texas Conference to live into the promise of God’s kin-dom here on earth by fully embracing, affirming, and including LGBTQ+ peoples in the life and ministry of our church without exception:

WE CALL on our lay siblings in Christ, our churches, and our pastors, to be inclusive and affirming of all God’s children and to consciously invite LGBTQ+ and other marginalized people to participate fully in the life and ministry of our churches, including performing same-sex weddings.WE CALL on our Staff Parish Relations Committees (SPRCs) to be inclusive and affirming of all God’s children, to include the hiring and support of LGBTQ+ and other marginalized candidates for staff and ministry positions in our churches.

WE CALL on our conference leaders to make space for the contribution and leadership of LGBTQ+ and other marginalized people at local, district, and conference levels in clergy, lay staff, volunteer, board, committee, and volunteer positions.

WE CALL on our clergy, district superintendents, and bishop to publicly acknowledge the breadth and depth of harm already done to LGBTQ+ people by the church and to publicly commit to “do no harm” to LGBTQ+ people from this moment forward.

WE CALL on our District Committees on Ordained Ministry (DCOMs) and our conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) to consider qualified candidates by their gifts for ministry and not their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

WE CALL on our bishop to cease following unjust and discriminatory rules that exist only to exclude and harm LGBTQ+ people and their allies, and to dismiss any existing charges filed against conference clergy or laity for being LGBTQ+ or for being in ministry with LGBTQ+ people.

WE CALL on our Annual Conference delegates to elect open and proud LGBTQ+ delegates to General Conference 2020 in recognition of the historical vast underrepresentation of LGBTQ+ delegates at any UMC General Conference.

WE CALL for an end to the use of theological and biblical teachings to perpetuate emotional, spiritual, or physical violence against LGBTQ+ people.

We go forth in prayer and dedication, with God’s help:
Loving God, through your Word, you have made clear that we are to love our neighbors and to welcome the stranger. We ask your forgiveness for the ways in which we have fallen short. With Jesus as our model, you have shown us that love manifests in solidarity at the margins. Guide us to work as Jesus did to dismantle oppressive systems both inside and outside our church. With the Holy Spirit as our guide, help us follow your lead as we seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you. We ask all this in Christ’s name. Amen.

View complete response here.

View signers here:

From Rio Texas Laity; Statement of Confession, Commitment, and Calling

Read and sign here.

Centrists, progressives to discuss church’s future

By Sam Hodges
April 17, 2019 | UMNS

The Rev. Jasmine Smothers, lead pastor of Atlanta First United Methodist Church, has been among the conveners of recent meetings by centrists and progressives to discuss the denomination’s future. Photo by Les Scarbrough, Atlanta First United Methodist Church.

A large meeting of centrist and progressive United Methodists from the U.S. is set for May 20-22 at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.

The question to be asked is a big one: What should become of The United Methodist Church?

“We hope that this will be a diverse group of leaders who will help shape Methodism’s future and whatever comes out of those conversations will be our next steps and strategies moving forward,” said the Rev. Jasmine Smothers, lead pastor of Atlanta First United Methodist Church.

Specific options to be considered include breaking up the denomination or creating a financially smooth exit plan for traditionalist-minded congregations, said the Rev. Adam Hamilton, another organizer, in a blog post.

By a vote of 438 to 384, the 2019 General Conference passed the Traditional Plan, which retains church policy that the practice of homosexuality “is incompatible with Christian teaching” and strengthens bans against same-sex unions and ordination of “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy.

The constitutionality of the legislation will be reviewed by the Judicial Council later this month. But the vote by General Conference, which met Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, has been greeted with dismay and resistance by many moderate and progressive United Methodists.

Some who had supported the One Church Plan, which would have given conferences and churches leeway on ordination and same-sex unions, have begun to question openly whether the denomination should or can hold together.

Smothers joined Hamilton, North Texas Conference Bishop Mike McKee, North Georgia Conference Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, Discipleship Ministries top executive the Rev. Junius Dotson and the Rev. Tom Berlin in convening a series of “UMC-Next” meetings.

The first was in Dallas on March 27 and the second was in Atlanta on April 4. They each lasted six hours and involved about 70 people total, including bishops other than McKee and Haupert-Johnson.

Retired Bishop Janice Huie and the Rev. Gil Rendle, a popular consultant and author on church leadership, facilitated the meetings.

The meetings were closed. Smothers said she did not have permission to share names of those attending.

Hamilton said the groups were racially mixed and included LGBTQ voices as well as representatives of small and large churches.

“They came from different places but what united them was their opposition to the decisions made at General Conference,” he said in his post.

Getting on the list

Those wishing to nominate themselves or someone else for an invitation to the UMC-Next Gathering at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, May 20-22, can do so at this link.

Smothers and Hamilton said the Dallas and Atlanta gatherings led to the decision to have the May 20-22 meeting, expected to draw about 600 people.

Ten representatives from each of the 54 U.S. annual conferences will be invited, as well as active U.S. bishops and top executives of church agencies.

UM Forward – Constitutional but unChristian

Rev. Alex da Silva SoutoApril 26, 2019

The Judicial Council put the final nail in the coffin of the United Methodist Church (UMC).  Their ruling allowed many of the Traditional Plan’s most discriminatory and punitive measures to remain in the Book of Discipline (BoD) thereby exacerbating the assaults on LGBTQIA+ people and further empowering agents of harm. This creates an unbearable level of toxicity and unsustainability. I have serious concerns as to whether General Conference 2020 will be able to fix this vicious mess. We have not managed to clean up the BoD from all the harm inflicted unto us since 1972. How will 2020 be any different?

Progressives have been fighting for survival mechanisms and deploying creative forms of resistance for so long, but now many of our places of refuge have been taken away. We are ready to begin thriving through God’s grace, rather than remain in survival mode. That may mean living into a new expression of Methodism. It is increasingly clear that our current expression is corrupted beyond repair. To make matters worse, far-right exclusionary local churches have the upper hand even when it comes to disaffiliation. A gracious exit is available for conservative churches in progressives ACs, because “no good Christian would punish a church that wants to leave.” But progressive churches in exclusionary ACs will probably be in deep trouble, given the punitive tendencies of conferences dominated by WCA. Going forward, a number of inclusive churches will continue to discern whether they can continue to acquiesce to the now-institutionalized abuses of the UMC. These churches remain at the mercy of their Annual Conferences. I hope our church can, at the very least, acknowledge that some local churches cannot in good conscience remain complacent to the harm and abuse currently perpetuated by the UMC.

Read more:

Encouraging Words from M Barclay

Friday at 11:31 AM

Take courage, dear friends.  Listen for the guidance of the Spirit.  Are you called to stay and resist, committed to equally escalating resistance as harm escalates?  Are you called to creative new endeavors that lead away from this destruction and into healing and restoration?  Are you called to rest, shaking the dust from your feet as you go?  Are you called to rise up or step back?  These days are not easy, or clear, or simple.  The answers are not the same for everyone, nor should they be.  The only “wrong” answer is turning away from the harm, washing y/our hands from the impacts of white supremacy and queer/transphobia, particularly in whatever ways your privilege encourages.

I too, continue to listen, to pay attention, to find meaningful connection with others who long for liberation within and beyond the church.  Taking it only day by day, as so many of us have been having to do for years under the policies that already are.

Whatever else, in the face of these destructive realities, we cannot say enough: queer love is divine, trans bodies and beings are sacred manifestations of a God always in transition, and no church is worth the loss of one more life.  I don’t know what disruption will look like in the days ahead, but I know it must be creative, it must be bold, it must be deeply relational, and driven by a radical love for all those prone to violence at the hands of the church or world.  If you’re not already, I hope you’ll consider going to or supporting the UM-Forward gathering next month, where we’ll be talking about these things, centering the lives, experiences, and wisdom of POC + Queer + Trans voices.  Learn more at

For clarity about what is actually going into effect, see this:

(From Bridget Cabrera, MFSA Executive Director)

The Judicial Council has shared its ruling on the constitutionality of the Traditional and exit plans. You can read the Judicial Council’s Ruling No. 1378 at and No. 1379 at An explanation of both rulings is available at  For a great overview of the ruling check out UMForward’s site.

The ruling of the Judicial Council and the rules of the Book of Discipline do not overrule the teachings of Jesus. Love God, love your neighbor. Many in our church and our world are still trying to find a loophole in defining who our neighbor is and isn’t. The thing is there is no loophole. There is no neighbor, nor living creature, that is excluded. This ruling also does not change our work of resistance and seeking justice. We will continue to stand up and resist the exclusive, punitive, and mean spirited thinking and theology these pieces of legislation are rooted in.

Here are some things you can do:

Begin having conversations in your congregation about making a public statement of resistance if you have not already done so and update your church and sanctuary public use policies. Click here for some examples from the Michigan Conference.

Take a look at this list of regional responses and this list of ideas from MFSA coalition partner Reconciling Ministries Network.

Renew your membership to MFSA and connect with your regional office to get involved in what is happening in your annual conference

Become a Justice Seeking Congregation

MFSA is engaged in numerous conversations happening across our denomination concerning what will be next for our church. In all of these various gatherings and meetings, we seek to lift up and center the voices of LGBTQIA+ people, people of color, young people, and lay people. There is no way forward without centering the voices that our church has pushed to the margins over and over again.

We encourage you to participate in conversations happening across our church. Here are two opportunities:

UM Forward is sponsoring “Our Movement Forward” May 17-18 in Minneapolis, MN – A Summit to discuss the future of The United Methodist Church, centered on POC+Q+T (Person of Color, Queer, and Transgender) voices. Registration is open to all.

The Western Jurisdiction is conducting conversations and creating working groups. See their website for information on how to stay connected and participate (

The intentional discrimination against our LGBTQIA+ siblings is also at the forefront of our political discourse in the United States and MFSA is part of a coalition of faith organizations supporting the passing of the Equality Act.

Equality Act Sign-On: We invite all people of faith to sign their name on this letter urging Congress to support the Equality Act. Sign your name today and send it along to others to join in.

For more ways to stay engaged, check out these resources: What Religious Leaders Can Do to Support the Equality ActWhat Faith Groups Can Do to Support the Equality Act

To learn more check out this recorded webinar.

To our LGBTQIA+ siblings, know that you are loved. Surround yourself with those who love and support you in this very difficult time. Be kind to yourself and reach out for help when needed. You are a gift from God to this world and our church.

Statement by RMN on Judicial Council Decision No. 1378

Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) thanks the Judicial Council for its work of deliberating the constitutionality of the Traditionalist Plan and the exit plan passed by delegates to the special session of General Conference 2019 (GC2019). In Decision 1378, the Judicial Council found the exit plan to be constitutional and found seven of the Traditionalist Plan’s 17 petitions to be unconstitutional (including four amended during GC2019).

The outcome is not surprising and does not change our plan to continue to resist the decisions of GC2019; continue to live into Biblical Obedience; show up at General Conference 2020; and remain open to new possibilities for our Church.

Notably, the Judicial Council struck down the “certification requirement” that individuals up for nomination to an Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BoOM)must certify to their bishop their willingness to comply with the entirety of the Book of Discipline. It also struck down a requirement for BoOMs to “conduct an examination to ascertain whether an individual is a practicing homosexual,” as well as certifications that respondents will not repeat an action or actions.

Petitions found constitutional include the continued prohibition of LGBTQ persons in ordained ministry; the prohibition of LGBTQ bishops; and mandatory penalties for pastors convicted by a trial court of performing same-gender wedding ceremonies or conducting ceremonies to celebrate same-gender unions.

GC2019 proved that while LGBTQ persons have been the subject of the Church’s discriminatory attention for the past 40 years, justice and inclusion for LGBTQ persons in the full life and ministry of the Church will not come by the same processes and deliberative bodies that codified exclusion. Work remains to be done across the connection through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, by the leadership of queer and trans people of color and other LGBTQ persons, and by the might of a Reconciling movement that includes over 40,000 individuals and over 1,000 Reconciling Communities.

At RMN, we are not only working on what is to come, but we are already enacting it. We will continue to both lead and be part of conversations with United Methodists, church leaders, and groups around the connection. What will come of these ashes must be a Wesleyan movement that has already resolved to include LGBTQ persons in the full life and ministry of the Church.

We call upon the Reconciling movement to practice Biblical Obedience; to continue to perform weddings with multiple officiants; to repeatedly state your dissent; to support the work of resistance by United Methodist seminaries; to continue to write open letters and visibly be in solidarity with those on the margins; and more.

For more information on how you can rise and resist, visit our statement here.

Furthermore, we stand firm in our baptismal vows:

We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, we reject the evil powers of this world, and we call upon the Church to repent of the sin of homophobia.

We accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.

We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior and put our whole trust in his grace, promising to serve him as our God in union with the Church, which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races.

Now is the time to rise and resist beside the growing number of Reconciling United Methodists and Wesleyan siblings who are working to be the Church in spite of the denomination.



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!”

From Texas Impact – HB 3172 action needed

HB 3172’s stated purpose is “protection of religious beliefs,” but HB 3172 actually would provide a
defense for religious conduct—even conduct that hurts other people.


Spend a few minutes today calling House State Affairs to oppose HB 3172. As a reminder, this bill would permit any person to claim religion as a reason for not complying with generally applicable laws, including precluding the state from revoking a license of a child care facility that uses corporal punishment.

We expect a committee substitute for this bill, and your legislator may say they have heard the sub addresses the concerns, but it is not really possible to address all the concerns with this bill without gutting the bill. A bill of this magnitude needs a stakeholder process where differences can be worked out deliberately.

So, call as many as you are able and ask them to oppose the bill. Feel free to use information from the attached one pager or Josh’s testimony to the committee.

If you are a constituent of one of the members, please organize calls from your community. DO NOT take any vote for granted on this one. 

Let me know if you have any questions or if you learn anything interesting.

Rep. Dade Phelan: (877) 448-4496 (Chair)
Rep. Ana Hernandez: (877) 297-4973
Rep. Joe Deshotel: (877) 631-3025
Rep. R.D. Guerra: (877) 355-6436
Rep. Sam Harless: (877) 686-3497
Rep. Justin Holland: (877) 679-4895
Rep. Todd Hunter: (877) 772-2759
Rep. Phil King: (877) 740-3353
Rep. Tan Parker: (877) 769-2859
Rep. Richard Raymond: (877) 760-2579
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez: (877) 537-5697
Rep. John Smithee: (877) 663-6965
Rep. Drew Springer: (877) 253-9659


HB 3172 Krause combined