November 14 Meeting – The Future of the UMC

Petitions have already been filed to make changes in the United Methodist Church at the 2020 General Conference.  We will discuss some of those proposals at our meeting on Thursday November 14.  Rev. Hilary Marchbanks, Jay Brim, Joy Butler, and Rowland Curry will describe some of the proposals, as well as what we can be doing in our churches between now and May 2020.  Join us to learn more about the challenging future in our denomination!

The meeting will be at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, at 2140 Allandale Road in Austin.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

2019-2020 Theme: Stand Up! Speak Out! Take Action! October 10 Meeting – Finding Hope

Given the increase in violent acts, hateful rhetoric, and lack of empathy for people in need, it is hard not to become discouraged.  Rio Texas MFSA is presenting an opportunity for central Texans to hear a message of hope from area church leaders.

Our October program features a panel of local church leaders who will share how they personally remain optimistic, how they inspire congregations to maintain hope, and what positive steps we can take in times such as these.  Audience members may offer comments and/or ask questions at appropriate times throughout the panel discussion.

The meeting will be at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, at 2140 Allandale Road, in Austin.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

September 12 Meeting – Stories from the Border

This summer, many MFSA supporters traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to witness, observe, and learn about conditions on the border.  We met with ACLU representatives, spoke with workers at three respite centers in the RGV, and helped feed migrants in the tent city in Matamoros.  We attended hearings in Federal Court for many detained for illegal border crossings.  The Courts & Ports program organized by the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact (see more below) allows civilians to witness a small fraction of the hardships being experienced daily by migrants.

Other supporters traveled to the border independently or as a part of other groups to assist with other humanitarian programs that assist migrants and asylum seekers.

Join us on Thursday, September 12, as a group of those who have participated in this important witness share their stories about the chaos that currently exists at our southern border.

The meeting will be at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, at 2140 Allandale Road, in Austin.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

The meeting will be at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, at 2140 Allandale Road, in Austin.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

Note: No Austin MFSA Meeting in April

San Antonio MFSA!

Travis Park UMC San Antonio has an active Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) unit that meets monthly on the second Sunday of each month at noon.  MFSA mobilizes clergy and laity within The United Methodist Church to take action on issues of peace, poverty and people’s rights within the church, the nation and the world.

MFSA lives out our belief that to be faithful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be involved in the transformation of the social order.

Moreover, MFSA affirms the vital importance of theological reflection as the Church weighs great issues of faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the Gospel in United Methodist worship, governance and witness. We offer to following paragraphs as a point of departure for reflection and discussion.

For information on this committee, email John Patterson.

https://travispark.org/mfsa

Note: No Austin MFSA Meeting in April

March Meeting Reflected on GC2019, Plans Going Forward

In March, over 50 MFSA supporters gathered in Austin to hear comments by a panel of six persons who attended (or watched) the GC2019 proceedings in St. Louis.  Panelists were Rev. Sid Hall, Joy Butler, Shelley Walters, Jay Brim, Trevor Harper, and Cindy Johnson.  They all generally expressed shock, dismay, and anger as the Traditional Plan was approved at the conference.  They discussed possible plans for the future of the UMC and the possibility of the Traditional Plan being found unconstitutional by the Judicial Council later this month.  Several expressed hope that this vote has awakened centrists and others who have not been paying attention to the increased fundamentalism in the UMC.  There was discussion of the dissent that has arisen after GC2019, including a huge increase in the number of individuals and communities who are affiliating with the Reconciling Ministries Network.  It is important that progressive delegates to 2019 annual conferences elect delegates to GC2020 who are not supportive of the Traditional Plan.

Links to videos:
Rev. Sid Hall: https://www.facebook.com/208934022460155/videos/364762250793142/

Joy Butler: https://www.facebook.com/208934022460155/videos/2423197347691739/

San Antonio MFSA!

Travis Park UMC San Antonio has an active Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) unit that meets monthly on the second Sunday of each month at noon.  MFSA mobilizes clergy and laity within The United Methodist Church to take action on issues of peace, poverty and people’s rights within the church, the nation and the world.

MFSA lives out our belief that to be faithful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be involved in the transformation of the social order.

Moreover, MFSA affirms the vital importance of theological reflection as the Church weighs great issues of faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the Gospel in United Methodist worship, governance and witness. We offer to following paragraphs as a point of departure for reflection and discussion.

For information on this committee, email John Patterson.

https://travispark.org/mfsa

March 14 Meeting to Reflect on GC2019, Future of the UMC

As you should all know by now, the Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church was held in St. Louis February 23-26.  Many Rio Texas MFSA supporters attended, as delegates and observers, and witnessed as part of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC).  LYNC offered worship, counseling, and support during the pain-filled meeting.  The result of conference was devastating to those who support equal rights for our LGBTQI+ members.  The delegates voted to continue – and worsen – the UMC’s ban on same-gender weddings and options for clergy.  The “Traditional” Plan passed by 53%, but several portions of the plan have been challenged as violative of the UMC Constitution.  The Judicial Council is expected rule on the challenges in late April.

So what do we do now?  Many churches have made it known that they will leave the UMC; others have indicated they will stay and resist the discriminatory policies.  Many Rio Texas churches are not even aware of the raging debate.

Join us on Thursday, March 14, as a panel of Rio Texas MFSA supporters, observers and delegates offer their perspectives about GC2019 and the future of the UMC.  We have invited Jay Brim, Sid Hall, Joy Butler, Shelley Walters and others to share their experiences.  We will share what various churches inside and outside of Rio Texas are discussing.

The meeting will be at Saint John’s United Methodist Church, at 2140 Allandale Road, in Austin.

Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

Contact rcurry@austin.rr.com for more information

San Antonio MFSA!

Travis Park UMC San Antonio has an active Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) unit that meets monthly on the second Sunday of each month at noon.  MFSA mobilizes clergy and laity within The United Methodist Church to take action on issues of peace, poverty and people’s rights within the church, the nation and the world.

 

MFSA lives out our belief that to be faithful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be involved in the transformation of the social order.

Moreover, MFSA affirms the vital importance of theological reflection as the Church weighs great issues of faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the Gospel in United Methodist worship, governance and witness. We offer to following paragraphs as a point of departure for reflection and discussion.

For information on this committee, email John Patterson.

https://travispark.org/mfsa

e-News / Methodist Federation for Social Action Rio Texas Conference Mobilizing people within the United Methodist Church to act on issues of justice, peace, and reconciliation in the church, nation, and world.

2018-2019 Theme:

Addressing Systemic Injustice

Inside and Outside the Church

No Meeting in February; Monthly Meetings Resume in March

Several of our Rio Texas MFSA – Austin supporters are focused on the Special UMC General Conference and will be traveling to St. Louis later this month to participate with the Love Your Neighbor Coalition there.  We urge you to participate in at least one social justice action event in February.

 

San Antonio MFSA!

Travis Park UMC San Antonio has an active Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) unit that meets monthly on the second Sunday of each month at noon. MFSA mobilizes clergy and laity within The United Methodist Church to take action on issues of peace, poverty and people’s rights within the church, the nation and the world.

MFSA lives out our belief that to be faithful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be involved in the transformation of the social order.
Moreover, MFSA affirms the vital importance of theological reflection as the Church weighs great issues of faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the Gospel in United Methodist worship, governance and witness. We offer to following paragraphs as a point of departure for reflection and discussion.
For information on this committee, email John Patterson.
https://travispark.org/mfsa

MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, September 13

A Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church will meet in February 2019 in an attempt to resolve the denomination’s differences over homosexuality.  This summer, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (which includes MFSA and RMN) met at a convocation – For Everyone Born – that included planning the coalition’s witness at the Special GC.  At our meeting on Thursday, September 13, we will hear from Rev. Nancy Mossman, who attended the convocation and will report her impressions and the plans that are being made for witness by those supporting an inclusive church.

More than a dozen MFSA supporters from Austin have expressed their intent to travel to St. Louis for the Special GC in February.  We will discuss plans and needs for that important and historic witness in the life of the denomination.

Location:  Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, with snacks and mingling at 6:30p and the program at 7p.  All are welcome!  Hope to see you there!

MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, May 10

There are almost 79,000 minors and youth victims of sex trafficking in Texas today.  (Cite study)  The harsh reality is that young girls are being sex trafficked across all socio-economic, racial, educational and family backgrounds.  The primary factor that makes a girl vulnerable to being trafficked is her age.  Sex trafficking of children is a supply and demand phenomena, with the internet being the primary way transactions are made to purchase a young child for sex.

The Refuge for DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) was launched in November 2013. The primary purpose of The Refuge for DMST is to develop The Refuge Ranch, a long-term therapeutic ranch just outside the city of Austin, with on-site comprehensive services for girls, minors through age 19, who are survivors of sex trafficking.

Loren Stalcup, who serves on the Connections Team of the Refuge Ranch located in Bastrop County, will be at our meeting to discuss The Refuge for DMST and Refuge Ranch.

Location:  Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, with snacks and mingling at 6:30p and the program at 7p.  All are welcome!  Hope to see you there!

MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, April 12

In January, a group of 9 people from the MFSA chapter in Austin went to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) on an educational tour of missions related to asylum-seekers and immigration.  At our upcoming meeting on April 12, we will provide a program on what we saw and learned on that trip.  Our special guest for the meeting is Deaconess Cindy Johnson, who is involved in several of the programs in the RGV and was our host for a portion of the fact-finding visit.  We will discuss what we encountered, and our next steps related to their missions.  Please join us for this timely discussion.

Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, with snacks and mingling at 6:30p and the program at 7p.  All are welcome!  Hope to see you there!