Opportunities for MFSA Witness at Annual Conference

Rio Texas MFSA will again sponsor a vendor booth in the exhibit area June 5 – 7 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.  We are planning to offer a conversation area with chairs and small tables where friends can discuss social justice issues, most importantly the possibility of a new and inclusive UMC.  We will have resources including maps, letters, and petitions from groups across the country.

We need volunteers to help with the luncheon on June 6!  If you are attending A/C but are not a delegate, please let us know in advance and we will put you to work.  Contact rcurry@austin.rr.com.

Because of our focus on the outcome of GC2019, we will not be sponsoring a book fair this year.

Regional GC2019 Responses from Hacking Christianity

Rev. Jeremy Smith is the Senior Pastor at First UMC in Seattle, WA.  He is a good friend of MFSA, and publishes a website and blog addressing issues in the UMC.  He has published an up-to-date list of responses to GC2019 – see link below.

Updated List of #UMC Regional Responses to GC2019

“The passing of parts of the Traditional Plan has awoken a slumbering giant. Regions that no one considered “progressive” have amassed open letters with significant signatories, purchased local media ads, and written legislation in order to denounce the Traditional Plan.

The following is a constantly-updated list, so come back if you find something that isn’t here.

We are all indebted to Julie O’Neal, Executive Assistant to the Bishop in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, for collecting the majority of the below letters. Thanks Julie!”

http://hackingchristianity.net/2019/03/updated-list-of-umc-regional-responses-to-gc2019.html


Additional recent articles and statements:

United Methodist News:

https://www.umnews.org/en/news/resistance-to-gc2019-spreads

United Methodist Insight:

https://um-insight.net/general-conference/general-conference-2019

Uniting Methodists:

https://unitingmethodists.com/

UM Forward:

(Summit in Minneapolis May 17-18)

https://um-forward.org/

Article from Religion News Service:

https://religionnews.com/2019/04/03/us-methodists-plot-ways-to-resist-new-lgbt-rules/?fbclid=IwAR2HNjomS_KyQbb0KrGStIl2MAhUFTAKQQ_odV9vSE_msboXFWEx0woRqQk

Prizm News: “They Cannot Have My Church.”

https://www.prizmnews.com/2019/04/they-cannot-have-my-church/?fbclid=IwAR1HEtc0e0BAbrW9GUbjVGn6zsw6T6sYfRtR32Polv9_4H5VTyP8UQGcm7s

Bishop Sally Dyck (Illinois)

https://www.umcnic.org/news/thats-not-church?fbclid=IwAR3Bhna91UUeinefmc2fYQgGvRIvgSmQJbtqqyVGbF_hYNjVOvaCWwkBy-w

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/

2019 Rio Texas MFSA Peace and Justice Luncheon

Please join us at our 9th annual Peace and Justice Luncheon on the Rio Texas Annual Conference of the UMC in Corpus Christi, TX on Thursday, June 6 at lunch. Find registration information here: LuncheonFlyer2019Final

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

Special Session of General Conference in February 2019

For more than 40 years, The United Methodist Church has faced serious internal disagreement over how accepting to be of homosexuality, with ordination of gay persons and same-sex unions as flashpoints.

The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose will be to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The 32-member Commission was authorized by General Conference 2016 and appointed by the Council of Bishops to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.

In addition to delegates and alternates, many followers of Rio Texas MFSA will be traveling to the frozen north (St. Louis) in February as observers and workers of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC).  If you wish to volunteer with LYNC, you should register on their website.  For more information, contact rcurry@austin.rr.com.

General Conference 2019 links

Daily Christian Advocate: http://cdnfiles.umc.org/Website_Properties/general-conference/2019/documents/general-conference-2019-adca-english.pdf

UM News:  https://www.umnews.org/en/category/general-conference

Subject: 1st day of GC – http://s3.amazonaws.com/Website_Properties/council-of-bishops/news_and_statements/documents/2019_GC.Prayer_Schedule_(002).pdf

Rio Texas Conference – General Conference 2019 Webinar

Wednesday, February 20 at 12 noon

Via Live Zoom Webinar

Do you want to know more about what will be happening as delegates gather for General Conference 2019 in February? Join members of your Rio Texas delegation to General Conference 2019 as they review the plans presented by The Commission on a Way Forward. Each plan will be presented by a member of the delegation with time for question and answer.

Registration is required. Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Click here to register for the February 20 webinar.

 

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!