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 HealthCare.gov, 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 HealthCare.gov, 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 localhelp.healthcare.gov 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
mfsa@mfsaweb.org

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 www.umcjustice.org 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

 

Southern Poverty Law Center – Ten Ways to Fight Hate

When bias motivates an unlawful act, it is considered a hate crime. Most hate crimes are inspired by race and religion, but hate today wears many faces. Bias incidents (eruptions of hate where no crime is committed) also tear communities apart and can escalate into actual crimes.

Since 2010, law enforcement agencies have reported an average of about 6,000 hate crime incidents per year to the FBI. But government studies show that the real number is far higher — an estimated 260,000 per year. Many hate crimes never get reported, in large part because the victims are reluctant to go to the police. In addition, many law enforcement agencies are not fully trained to recognize or investigate hate crimes, and many simply do not collect or report hate crime data to the FBI.

The good news is, all over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices.

This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community. https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/com_ten_ways_to_fight_hate_2017_web.pdf

Message from ACLU of Texas

Thanks to the hard work of our ACLU legal team and partners, a federal court decided to block most of Texas’s anti-immigrant law Senate Bill 4 (SB4) that was scheduled to take effect Sept. 1. This is an enormous victory for immigrants and their families.

Learn what the SB4 ruling means for Texas immigrants.

This victory is a direct result of the combined efforts of affected communities, cities, and counties. If SB4 had gone into effect on Sept. 1, it would have forcibly enlisted local law enforcement officers into Trump’s deportation force and targeted people of color, at a time when our community is recovering from one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

But this fight is not over. The State has already filed its appeal. We will continue to be vigilant of civil rights abuses by local officers.

Read the key parts of the Court’s decision.

Sincerely,

ACLU of Texas

MFSA at the Rio Texas Annual Conference

Rio Texas MFSA will provide witness for Social Justice once again at the Rio Texas Annual Conference in Corpus Christi, June 7 – 9, 2017.  We will sponsor the 7th Annual Peace and Justice Luncheon on Thursday, June 8, at noon.  We are excited that our luncheon speaker will be John Hill, Assistant General Secretary of Advocacy and Organizing for the UMC General Board of Church and Society.


Also, our Book Fair will return this year!  We ask friends to box up their gently used books – religious and spiritual books, curriculum, and appropriate fiction and nonfiction – and we take them to Corpus Christi.  It becomes like a treasure hunt at our tables!  People contribute to us according to what they think the books are worth to them. The donations help defray the costs of the Rio Texas MFSA Peace and Justice Luncheon. Contact Rowland Curry rcurry@austin.rr.com and he will arrange to pick them up.


Annual Conference 2017 Registration is NOW OPEN
Registration InformationGeneral InformationWorkshops  • Breakfasts and Luncheons

(Click here for link to Peace & Justice Luncheon flyer)

Thursday, June 8, 2017 – Noon

American Bank Convention Center – Watergarden A (upstairs)

Corpus Christi, Texas

A Peace & Justice Luncheon Sponsored by

Methodist Federation for Social Action, Rio Texas Chapter

Rio Texas Conference Transforming Communities Vision Team

Featuring

John Hill

Assistant General Secretary for Advocacy and Grassroots Organizing

United Methodist General Board of Church and Society

John S. Hill has been with the GBCS since Earth Day, April 22, 2002. He has served as Program Director for Environmental Justice and Director of Economic and Environmental Justice. As part of his ecumenical work, John serves as chair of the Policy Committee for the National Council of Churches’ Eco-Justice Working Group and co-chair of the Washington Interreligious Staff Community’s Energy and Ecology Working Group.

Join us for this on-site luncheon. In addition, we will honor the recipients of the MFSA “Building a Just Community” Awards.

Luncheon Registration Information

Cost:      $12.00 in advance (by June 1) – Check or cash;  $15.00 at the door (limited number available)

Or, pay by credit card https://www.eventbrite.com/e/let-justice-roll-down-tickets-32890572588

Credit Card fee of $1.65 will be added to the cost ($13.65 total)

Please return this form with cash or check payment.

Name(s):  ______________________________________________

Address:  __________________________City:________________

Church:                                       # Tickets: ___ X $ 12.00 =$ ______

E-Mail (for confirmation): __________________________________

Indicate Special Dietary Need: _____________________________

Make Check to: “Rio Texas MFSA”

Mail this form and check to:

Janice Curry, Treasurer

1509 Mearns Meadow Blvd.

Austin, TX  78758

For more information contact:

jlcurry@austin.rr.com

512-836-7004

Support Syrian Refugees with the Music Peace Project

Music Peace Project is a nonprofit organization, based in Austin that brings together national and international musicians in order to assist in humanitarian relief around the world. They do this by engaging in local, national and international communities through the art and gift of music (www.musicpeaceproject.org).

In collaboration with Austin’s Wesley UMC Choir, Music Peace Project recorded its first album, Austin for Peace. The album, released on April 1, is comprised of arrangements of song selections that are known and loved worldwide. These songs all have a message of peace. 100% of the net profits will be donated to the International Rescue Committee to aid Syrian refugees. Founded at Albert Einstein’s request, the IRC (www.rescue.org) offers lifesaving aid and solutions to today’s most challenging human crises. The IRC is rated with the highest grades given to a nonprofit organization based on their performance and expenses. Their goal is to sell 2,000 albums and raise $25,000.

According to Esteban Alvarez, President and Co-founder of Music Peace Project, “Perhaps the largest human catastrophe on earth today is the Syrian conflict. Over 12 million people have been either killed or displaced over the past five years.”

Austin for Peace is an album that involves international renowned artists (such as John Patitucci, Ignacio Berroa, Esteban Alvarez, Tamela Hedstrôm, Red Young, to mention a few) as well as local artists (Rabbi Blumofe, James Sheeran, Russell Shores, and some key members of Wesley United Methodist Church) and its mission is to assist the Syrian refugees with shelter, food and medical care. You will find the United Methodist symbol on the album cover.

Please support this very innovative and interesting project that is taking place here in Austin. This is a way you can offer support for Syrian refugees while enjoying good music. Click on these links to listen to songs and watch a short video about the project

Here are two of the songs on the album, My Sweet Lord, and Imagine:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tcsx41xbdkdwm3q/MySweetLord2_03.mp3?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/55c77sjauzjjw1j/Imagine3_09.mp3?dl=0

Link to Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Esteban_Alvarez_Austin_for_Peace?id=B4r47pp4tv3agi5h65eochpi4be

A short video on MPP and its mission:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmYdrV2FbXE

Contact Velvet Hammerschmidt at velveth@v-hdesign.com or Esteban Alvarez at eacmusicjazz@gmail.com if you would like to help support their efforts for humanitarian assistance.

For more information contact MFSA representative Janice Curry at jlcurry@austin.rr.com.

2017 Rio Texas MFSA Peace and Justice Luncheon Flyer

Please join Rio Texas MFSA and the Rio Texas Conference Transforming Communities Vision Team at the 7th Annual Peace and Justice Luncheon  during the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi on Thursday, June 8. See the registration flyer at: LuncheonRegistration2017