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.

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.”

MFSA Works as Part of LYN Coalition at General Conference

The theme for the UMC’s 2016 General Conference was, “Therefore, Go”.  The kindest thing we can say about GC16 is, “it’s gone.”  Our progressive coalition marched, prayed, witnessed, and sang together throughout GC, and while there were a few bright spots, the results of GC were pretty grim.

Thanks to our supporters and over 400 volunteers over the 11 days of GC, many of us sensed the presence of God within our midst.  Unfortunately, we were not able to overturn the unreasonable discrimination practiced by our denomination toward our LGBTQI brothers and sisters.  The GC finally approved a recommendation by the Council of Bishops to establish another commission to study the church’s stance on “human sexuality”.  Only time will tell whether this will produce results, or is just “kicking the can down the road.”

There are many articles being circulated online as we reflect on the events in Portland.
Click here for the UMC News Service’s official wrap-up.

GC_collagePhoto Credits: R Curry, UM News Service, Jim Quinn, Dave Jerde

Reconciling Service Sunday at Saint John’s UMC Austin

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Reconciling Worship Service During RTX Annual Conference

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Rio Texas Conference Delegation LISTENING SESSIONS

therefore_goAs the Rio Texas Conference Delegation prepares to attend the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon – May 10 thru 20, the Delegation is hosting three Listening Sessions. You are invited to participate while gaining information from our constituents of the Rio Texas Conference regarding proposals of General Conference. These sessions will be on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. A brief summary will be provided regarding what information / proposals fall within the listening session topic.

The Listening Sessions will cover the following topic areas:

·       April 5th        UMC Restructuring Related Proposals

·       April 12th       Human Sexuality and LGBTQI Proposals

·       April 19th       Global Discipline & Other Miscellaneous Topics

Learn more and register as a participant or presenter.

These Listening Sessions will all be conducted as a webinar via ZOOM – online video conferencing. There is no limit to the total number of participants for each session. Each session will be recorded and archived for later viewing.

Participants

Those registering as webinar participants will be able to see and hear the presentations and discussion. Depending on the number of participants and presentations, you may have the ability to ask questions through text-based Q&A or by audio and video. Upon registering, ZOOM connection information will be sent as a confirmation of registration.

Click on the session below to register as a participant. You will be redirected to the Zoom Webinar Page.

 

“It’s Time” – RMN Initiatives

 

ItsTime_solidBG-1080x646The Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) invites us to participate in the “It’s Time” campaign in preparation for GC2016.  Resources are available to help write letters to your delegates, share your stories, and more.

For more information, go to http://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/itstime/.