MFSA Meeting on Thursday, May 11

On Thursday, May 11, we will gather at Saint John’s UMC Austin to discuss recent ruling by the Judicial Council of the UMC regarding Bishop Karen Oliveto.  Many of us have questions about the decision and the impact it may have on our local churches and conferences, the Commission on A Way Forward, and the special General Conference in St. Louis in February 2019.

We invite all clergy and laity to attend a brief presentation followed by discussion and informal Q&A session to gain a better understanding of the impact of the decision.

We are inviting our friends from the Reconciling Ministries Network to participate in this meeting.

Join us at 6:30p for snacks.  The program begins at 7p.  All are welcome.

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

MFSA Meeting on Thursday, March 9

Under The Gun

Join Rio Texas MFSA on Thursday, March 9 at Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Rd. for a presentation and discussion on gun violence.  Andrea Brauer, the Executive Director of Texas Gun Sense will introduce Lonnie and Sandy Phillips, whose daughter was killed in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre.

Together we will watch the documentary film “Under The Gun”, which examines the events and people who have kept the gun debate fierce and the progress slow, even as gun deaths and mass shootings continue to increase.  Through the lens of families impacted by the mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, Isla Vista and Tucson, as well as those who experience daily gun violence in Chicago, the documentary looks at why politicians are finding it difficult to act and what is being done at the state and local levels.  The film is executive produced and narrated by Katie Couric and directed by Stephanie Soechtig.

Join us at 6:30p for snacks.  The program begins at 7p.  All are welcome.

MFSA Meeting on Thursday, February 9

“Changing Perceptions & Surviving the Texas Legislative Session”advocacy

Want to know more about effective legislative advocacy here in Texas? Join Rio Texas MFSA on Thursday, February 9 at Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Rd.  Dr. Melody Chatelle will present “Changing Perceptions and Surviving the Texas Legislative Session”, ideas about effective advocacy and other tips about making a difference in the 2017 Texas Legislative session.

Dr. Chatelle is a well-respected and effective veteran of the national and state legislative arenas. Prior to forming Chatelle and Associates, her own political and communications consulting company in 1999, Melody worked for 12 years as Director and Vice President of Government Affairs for Mariner Post-Acute Network, the second largest post-acute health care company in the country. Before joining the health care industry in 1987, Melody served for 10 years in the Texas State Capitol as a legislative aide to a former Texas State Senator now serving in the United States Congress, as well as the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Melody and her husband Eddie Zamora are members of University UMC.

Join us at 6:30p for snacks.  The program begins at 7p.  All are welcome.

MFSA Actions For January

There will be no traditional meeting in January.

Justice-seeking Christians will need to be active and involved in 2017, so join us at any or all of these activities in January – or the many others highlighted in this newsletter:

  • Texas Impact Advocacy Training January 8
  • Texas Tribune Symposium on Race and Public Policy, January 13-14
  • The MLK Marches in Austin, San Antonio, and other cities, January 16
  • The Women’s March on Texas, January 21
  • Other actions that promote justice and equality; we plan to provide alerts and updates for witness opportunities as they arise.

Chapter Meeting in April Features Rev. Hannah Bonner

HannahBonnerThe Rio Texas Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action will continue its focus on Racism/White Privilege at its meeting on Thursday, April 14 at Saint John’s UMC, 2140  Allandale Road.  Our speaker will be Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner, who serves on staff at St. John’s UMC in Houston.

Since July 2015, Rev. Bonner held vigil in solidarity with Sandra Bland, who died that month in the Waller County (TX) Jail.  Very recently, Sandra Bland’s sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho inducted Rev. Bonner as an Honorary Member.  And WomanPreach! Inc. honored her with the Parthia Hall Justice Award “to a woman minister whose prophetic voice has been obvious and effective in the public arena.”

Rev. Bonner’s current witness is focused on her role as Curator of The Shout, a spoken word poetry focused arts and justice movement, which “has as its goal nothing less than the cultivation of a community of diverse people committed to transforming our world.”

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30p, followed by the program at 7:00.  Bring friends of any (or no) faith tradition.  We hope to see you there!

San Antonio Explores MFSA Connection

Recently, officers of the Rio Texas Chapter of MFSA met with more than a dozen interested persons at Travis Park UMC in San Antonio about the possibility of establishing an MFSA group in that city.  The overall organization of MFSA was described, as well as possible activities the SA group might be interested in pursuing.  The Austin contingent expressed willingness to share expertise and ideas to help get this group started.

If you are interested in the prospect of having a MFSA presence in San Antonio – specific events, programs, or projects, please contact Rev. Dale Tremper of Travis Park UMC, dtremper@travispark.org for more information