MFSA National Office Move Planned

As many of you have already learned, MFSA has decided to relocate their national headquarters office to Central UMC in Detroit in mid-2018.  This announcement follows a lengthy discernment and visioning process that includes a recommitment to local church and community-led grassroots organizing.  Unlike MFSA’s current location in a Lutheran church on Capitol Hill in Washington, Detroit Central UMC will offer adequate office space, conference rooms, and other amenities needed for the headquarters.  MFSA is also posting for the Executive Director position, replacing interim E.D. Darlene DiDomeneck.

More information here.

Welcome, Austin New Church!

Austin New Church (ANC), a congregation in the process of becoming part of the Rio Texas Conference, celebrated their first Sunday worship service in their new location this week. ANC is now gathering on the former Faith UMC campus in South Austin.

While this was ANC’s first Sunday service on the new campus, they previously celebrated Christmas Eve a day early at Faith UMC on December 23. The church began renovation on the sanctuary in early January to be ready for this Sunday’s worship.

The freshly updated sanctuary welcomed a large crowd. “The seats are full,” said Rev. Laura Merrill, Assistant to the Bishop of Rio Texas. “Youth even claimed the balcony—some things never change!”

Faith UMC Lay Leader Chuck McClenon was asked to share words, and he extended to the congregation a warm welcome to the location:

ANC Pastor Jason Morriss took time during the service to welcome those who previously worshiped at Faith UMC. He acknowledged the mixed emotions experienced by Faith UMC members:
“There is pain and loss that is involved in this chapter [of this church’s life],” said Morriss, “but many of you have been praying for us.” He recognized those who served in leadership capacity at Faith UMC will continue to lead in ministry with ANC.

Christmas Bazaars and Markets!

 

Saint John’s UMC Austin

2140 Allandale Road

www.facebook.com/alternativegiftmarket

 

Saturday, December 2 – 10:00-3:00

Sunday, December 3 – Noon – 3:00

  • Shop handmade goods and crafts from international vendors
  • Support artisans worldwide earn a fair income
  • Gift cards support local charitie
  • Bake shop with home-baked treat

 


Buda UMC Christmas Bazaar  – November 18

United Methodist Women

Invite You to a Christmas Bazaar

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2017
8:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

United Methodist Women have been working hard making crafts all year long to sell for the benefit of our various mission projects locally and globally. Holiday and non-holiday items are available. Great place to shop for Christmas.


Prayer Shawl Ministry Holiday Bazaar
Wesley UMC 1164 San Bernard Street -Austin

November 11 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Please join the Prayer Shawl Ministry for the 2nd Annual Holiday Bazaar.  Afghans, shawls, ponchos (women and girls), hats and scarves, earrings, jams and jellies will all be available for purchase. All of the items have been created/prepared by ministry members, and proceeds will go towards supporting the ministry in 2018. For additional information about the Prayer Shawl Ministry visit http://wesleyunited.org/prayer-shawl-ministry/.

 

Notes from Third Coast Activist

“WHAT KIND OF WORLD DO WE WANT TO LIVE IN AND HOW DO WE GET THERE?”

Date: November 10, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

James Croft—a leader of the Ethical Society of St. Louis, the largest Ethical Humanist congregation in the United States—will speak on “What Kind of World Do We Want to Live In and How Do We Get There?”

The event is sponsored by the Ethical Society Of Austin with partners Huston-Tillotson UniversityInterfaith Action of Central Texas – iACTCenter for Inquiry | Austin (CFI) and Austin Oasis. More information and RSVP online.

Location: Agard-Lovinggood Auditorium, Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St, Austin, 78702. Free parking across the street.

FILM SCREENING: “TWO BLUE LINES”

Date: November 12, 2017

Time: 2:30 pm  to  4:30 pm

The Austin chapter of Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee will show Tom Hayes’ documentary on Israel and Palestine, Two Blue Lines.

Shot over a period of 25 years, Two Blue Lines examines the human and political situation of Palestinian people from the years prior to the creation of Israel to the present day. By primarily featuring the narratives of Israelis whose positions run counter to their country’s official policy, the documentary provides a portrait of the ongoing conflict not often depicted in mainstream media.

Location: Texas State Employees Union, 1700 S 1st St, Austin, Texas 78704

PHOTO EXHIBITION AND PRESENTATION ON “PALESTINE 1917 AND THE AFTERMATH OF BRITAIN’S BALFOUR DECLARATION”

Date: November 16, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The 1917 Balfour Declaration, viewing “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” was a colonial intervention which had the effect of gradually displacing indigenous inhabitants of Palestine from their ancestral homes and led to the conflict we see today. This photo exhibit, presented by the Interfaith Community for Palestinian Rights of Austin, shows Palestinians in the early 1900’s, a fertile and thriving society, and again in 1948 and in 2017.

Location: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3208 W. Exposition Boulevard, Austin, TX, 78703

October 2017 Rio Texas MFSA newsletter

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

 

Notes From Third Coast Activist

BUILDING GREEN JUSTICE FORUM: ORGANIC ACTIVISTOLOGY

Date: September 28, 2017

Time: 8:30 am  to  4:00 pm

Huston-Tillotson University will host the fourth annual Building Green Justice Forum, this year focusing on “Organic Activistology.” Presenters and participants will reflect on their roles as organic activists – thinkers and doers who reflect their community’s history, values, and knowledge and who engage to direct the community as leaders and organizers. This exploration includes an analysis of the broader frame of environmental justice work, including tensions, conflicts, power sources, intersectionalities, and motivations.

Keynote speaker will be Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus. In March 2017, Ali resigned his position as a top environmental justice administrator in the Environmental Protection Agency in protest of Trump administration policies. Ali worked at the EPA for more than two decades, starting in the administration of George H.W. Bush.

Other presentations and workshops will feature activists, community members, students, and researchers working on issues of environmental justice.

Registration and coffee begins at 8:30 am, with speakers, panels, and workshops throughout the day.

The forum—which is sponsored by Green is the New BlackThe Dumpster Project, and the Third Coast Activist Resource Center—is free but please register online.

For more information on sponsorship, contact Karen Magid, kmagid@htu.edu, or Amanda Masino, ammasino@htu.edu.

Location: Dickey-Lawless Science Building, Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St., Austin, 78702, with free parking in the Chalmers Avenue lot and free street parking around campus.


AI-JEN POO SPEAKING ON “IMMIGRATION AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN FAMILIES”

Date: October 19, 2017

Time: 5:30 pm  to  7:00 pm

Ai-jen Poo will discuss the role of immigrant women in the American care economy, featuring the stories and solutions of immigrant women for a more caring economy and democracy.

Poo is Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Co-director of Caring Across Generations. She also was a co-founder of Domestic Workers United and led a seven-year legislative campaign that resulted in the nation’s first Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New York City. Her 2015 book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in Changing America, outlines a road map to create a more caring nation, providing solutions for fixing our fraying safety net while also increasing opportunities for women, immigrants, and the unemployed.

The lecture, sponsored by the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, will be followed by a reception. Free registration and more information online.

 Location: Eidman Courtroom, University of Texas School of Law, 727 E Dean Keeton St., Austin, 78705

Judicial Council Rules on Bishop Oliveto

Excerpt from United Methodist Reporter by Linda Bloom, see full story here.

“The consecration of a gay bishop violates church law, the top court of The United Methodist Church has ruled.

However, the bishop “remains in good standing,” the Judicial Council said in Decision 1341, until an administrative or judicial process is completed.

“Under the long-standing principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore or negate church law,” said the decision, made public April 28. “It is not lawful for the college of bishops of any jurisdictional or central conference to consecrate a self-avowed practicing homosexual bishop.”

Officials in the U.S. Western Jurisdiction consecrated the Rev. Karen Oliveto as a bishop on July 16, 2016. Based in the Denver area, she is the episcopal leader of the Mountain Sky Area, which encompasses Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and one church in Idaho.

A petition from the South Central Jurisdiction to the Judicial Council raised four questions about the legality of that election. Judicial Council claimed jurisdiction to review its petition “only with respect to the consecration of an openly homosexual bishop” and said the rest of the petition, related to nomination, election and assignment, “is improper.”

The vote on the decision was 6-3. Judicial Council members N. Oswald Tweh and Deanell Reece Tacha filed a joint dissenting opinion that the council had no jurisdiction over the petition. First lay alternate W. Warren Plowden Jr., who was sitting for council member Beth Capen, and council member Ruben T. Reyes each filed a concurring and dissenting opinion.”

One Human Race

The goal of One Human Race is to create a safe, open, and productive environment for participants to examine the American concept of race, share feelings and experiences, and engage in discussions about race. Over a dozen Austin-area churches have held this three-session Saturday workshop and participants have been transformed, encouraged, and inspired in the ways they see each other, participate in community, and communicate about race.

May 13, 20 & 27
12:30-3:30 p.m.
St. John’s United Methodist Church
2140 Allandale Road
Austin, TX 78756

Click here to sign up.

The One Human Race Initiative is a ministry of the Union of Black Episcopalians, Myra McDaniel Chapter. For questions, Contact Rev. Hilary Marchbanks  hilary@stjohnsaustin.org
or 
512-452-5737.

JFON Austin Celebration

*** Do you want to participate? ***

Are you an artist, poet, musician, dancer or performer seeking to share your talent with our clients and volunteers?

Email andrea@jfonaustin.org for more info!

*** Volunteers Needed***

JFON Austin appreciates volunteers for the following activities.

-Event Set up

-Event Tear Down

-Moonbounce supervision

-Knockerball supervision

-Photobooth assistance

-Face Painting assistance

-Piñata assistance

If you are interested in volunteering please email Volunteer@jfonaustin.org

We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Join us on Tuesday, May 30 for a conversation on

the topic of Courage at Unity Church of the Hills.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP

May 30, 2017

6:30 – 8:30 pm

 

Organizer:  iACT iact@interfaithtexas.org

Phone:  512-386-9145

Website:  interfaithtexas.org

Venue Details:

Unity Church of the Hills

9905 Anderson Mill Rd

Austin TX  78750

Phone: (512) 335-4449

Website: unityhills.org

Get directions

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Scheduled Executions
The State of Texas is scheduled to execute two individuals this month:

  • On May 16, Tilon Carteris scheduled to be executed for the robbery and murder of 89-year-old James Eldon Tomlin in April 2004 in Fort Worth. Following Carter’s sentencing in 2006, his appeals focused on the deficiency of his trial lawyers, as well as faulty jury instructions.  The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider his appeals last year.

    Carter was originally scheduled to be executed on February 7, 2017, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted him a stay after the trial court missed the deadline to notify the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs of the execution date. If it proceeds, Carter’s execution would be the third out of Tarrant County this year. Tarrant County accounts for 40 executions since 1982.

  • On May 24, Juan Castillo is scheduled to be put to death for the robbery and murder of 19-year-old Tommy Garcia, Jr. in December 2003 in San Antonio. During the punishment phase of his trial, Castillo fired his attorneys and represented himself; he made no final argument to the jury. In 2007, Castillo tried to appeal his sentence based on insufficient evidence, faulty testimony, and the unconstitutionality of the death penalty. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected his claims. The S. Supreme Court rejected similar appeals in October 2016.

    If it proceeds, Castillo’s execution would be the second out of Bexar County this year; there is one other individual convicted in Bexar County scheduled to be put to death. Bexar County accounts for 43 executions since 1982.

Texas accounts for four out of the ten executions nationwide thus far in 2017.  At this time, there are three additional executions scheduled in Texas through July.

Attend a vigil in your community on the day of executions. Information and updates on cases are available on our website and through Facebook and Twitter.

See more from TCADP.

Texas Impact

Texas Impact is a statewide religious grassroots network whose members include individuals, congregations, and governing bodies of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths. Texas Impact exists to advance state public policies that are consistent with universally held social principles of the Abrahamic traditions.

Texas Impact accomplishes its mission by developing grassroots networks in local communities and mobilizing them to advocate with their legislators on specific issues. Developing these networks includes a process of broad policy and advocacy education in congregations and denominational bodies; teambuilding in local faith communities; leadership development with key individuals and groups; and coordination with lawmakers, media, and other public interest groups.

Texas Impact was founded on the central religious conviction that religious communities are called to minister to the whole person—to respond with compassion to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all people. The Texas religious leaders who established Texas Impact in 1973 believed that such a ministry cannot be performed adequately without a concern for basic social problems at the state government level. http://texasimpact.org/Action-Alerts/May-1-2017

Mens’ Musical

2017 Mens’ Musical

January 20 @ 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm

Enjoy an evening of musical performances by Austin area Men’s choirs and chorus groups.  This event is free and open to all.

Date:  January 20

Time:  7:15 pm – 8:30 pm

Wesley UMC

1164 San Bernard Street
Austin, TX 78702 United States + Google Map

Organizer

Charles Murphy

Worship Design Workshop with Dr. Marcia McFee

The Worship Design Studio LIVE! 
with Dr. Marcia McFee

University UMC – Austin

On Saturday, January 21, worship designer Dr. Marcia McFee will present a workshop on how to create worship that is deeply fulfilling and meaningful in whatever context your church setting finds itself.

Dr. McFee is an author, worship designer and leader, professor, preacher and artist. Her engaging and interactive style has been called “refreshing,” “inspiring,” and “unforgettable.” Marcia combines her background and experience in professional companies of music, theater and dance with a variety of worship and preaching styles in order to bring a fresh experience of the Gospel to each worship setting. Marcia has provided worship design and leadership at numerous international and regional gatherings.

In this one day event we will  learn how to:

  • Creating Worship with Deep Soul
  • Thinking Like a Filmmaker
  • Using the Rhythms of Liturgy and Life
  • The Politics of Change
  • and more!

All pastors, worship leaders, worship planners, and directors are invited to attend this one day event.

Register Now!

From Third Coast Activist…

CONVERSATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Date: January 19, 2017

Time: 6:00 pm  to  8:00 pm

The Citizens Climate Lobby is sponsoring an open-ended discussion on climate change over beverages and food at ABGB. Gather at the Earth photo at a table at the south end, and bring a question or topic to put on the discussion list. The climate group is buying the first pitcher of beer and cheese pizza.

For more information, contact Jeff Baker , imallears@pvco.net or (512) 751-2154.

Location: Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., 1305 West Oltorf, Austin, 78704

 

AUSTIN LGBT ADVOCACY SUMMIT

Date: January 19, 2017

Time: 6:30 pm  to  9:00 pm

The Austin LGBT Bar Association, UT Outlaw, Equality Texas, AGLCC, and ACLU are sponsoring an evening of speakers and conversation to discuss LGBT advocacy in the new political environment.

Location: Eidman Courtroom, University of Texas School of Law, 727 E Dean Keeton St., Austin, 78705

 

“A PLASTIC OCEAN” FILM SCREENING

Date: January 19, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The documentary “A Plastic Ocean” examines the devastating effects of plastic on the world’s oceans. The film is narrated and directed by journalist Craig Leeson and produced by Adam Leipzig, former president of National Geographic Films.

The Surfrider Foundation Central Texas Chapter

will host the screening. More details and tickets online. Tickets need to be purchased by January 12 to ensure the screening.

Location: Alamo Draft House Slaughter Lane, 5701 W. Slaughter Lane, Austin, 78749

 

AUSTIN SANCTUARY NETWORK BENEFIT

Date: January 26, 2017

Time: 8:30 pm  to  10:00 pm

The Austin Sanctuary Network, a group of 20 faith communities and organizations that supports asylum-seekers fleeing violence, will host a benefit concert featuring singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer and pianist Gary Walters Tickets are $22 and can be purchased online. Childcare available.

For more information, contact Richard (512) 917-6018, insideamigos@austinuu.org.

Location: First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Ave., Austin 78756

 

GREEN MOVIE NIGHT: “SAND WARS”

Date: February 3, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The First Unitarian Universalist Church’s Green Sanctuary Committee will screen the documentary “Sand Wars,” which details how the worldwide construction boom fueled by emerging economies and increasing urbanization has led to intensive sand extraction on land and in the oceans, with damaging environmental impacts.

A discussion group will follow the film. For more information, contact green@austinuu.org or (512) 288-4080

Location: First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Ave., Austin 78756