2023 Peace & Justice Luncheon

Please join us for the 10th Peace & Justice Luncheon at the Rio Texas Annual Conference. The luncheon, sponsored by the Rio Texas MFSA, will feature Rev. John Elford and will be on Thursday, June 8 at noon in the Watergarden B meeting room in the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi. More information is available here:

November Meeting – Virtual (Zoom) Discussion:Report on South Central Jurisdictional Conference

The November meeting of the Rio Texas MFSA will take place virtually on Thursday, November 10 beginning at 7:00pm CST. 

Our program will focus on the outcome of the South Central Jurisdictional Conference, which occurred in Houston last week.  Our chapter co-president – Pat Stewart – was a delegate to Jurisdictional Conference and will report on the results.  In addition, Jay Brim, the Rio Texas Conference Chancellor, will share his insights.  Additional clergy delegates have been invited to participate in this discussion, and the meeting is certain to be informative and interesting.

Pat wrote this about the election of Bishops:

“Today was a red letter day for the Jurisdictional Conference.  On the first day, three bishops were elected.  One was our DS Laura Merrill, one was the first African American woman, and the third was the first ever Native American.  I believe the South Central Jurisdiction made a little history today.”

Please join us. All are welcome!

As you join this zoom call, we ask each caller to MUTE themselves, unless the caller is part of the program.  You will be prompted to unmute whenever we get to Q&A time. To join the Zoom meeting


October Meeting – Virtual Discussion on Critical Social Justice Issues:  LGBTQ+ Rights, Poverty

The October meeting of the Rio Texas MFSA will take place virtually on Thursday, October 13 beginning at 7:00pm CST.  We will have two speakers, representing two current social justice issues: (1) LGBTQ+ rights, and (2) Poverty.

Nancy Mossman will speak on behalf of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN).  Nancy is the coordinator for the Rio Texas RMN Team.  In addition to coordinating the team’s presence at the Rio Texas Annual Conference, she also supports Rooted & Rising, another ministry of the Rio Texas Reconciling Ministries Team.  The goal is to provide a safe space for spiritual growth and community to United Methodists who are seeking an open and affirming spiritual community and do not have one in their local context.  This program provides a tailored spiritual gathering with prayers, music, storytelling, scripture, mission emphasis and community building opportunities.  This is an evolving ministry, reflecting the needs of the community.  This program is affiliated with the Reconciling Ministries Network at rmnetwork.org and our Facebook page is Rooted & Rising: Queer Rio Texas UMs & Allies.

The Austin Poor People’s Campaign (the local iteration of the national Poor People’s Campaign headed by Rev. William Barber) will be represented by Jim Crosby.  Jim founded Nonviolent Austin four years ago as part of the national Campaign Nonviolence and their Nonviolent Cities Project (www.paceebene.org). Their goal is to build a culture of peace, including putting an end to war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction.  Around the same time, he read The Third Reconstruction, by Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC). The goals of the two organizations, Campaign Nonviolence and the PPC, overlapped almost exactly.  When Jim heard a year and a half ago that the Poor People’s Campaign had organized a march from Georgetown to Austin, based on the historic 1965 Selma to Montgomery march, he signed up.  Since that time he has worked with the Texas PPC faith leaders group, hosting a weekly Thursday night Zoom study of the book We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign.  Jim retired in June of 2020 after 27 years of teaching and serving as Lay Chaplain at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin. Transitioning from academic to activist, he’s found himself now, in retirement, busier than ever! His heart is in training others in classical Gandhian/Kingian nonviolence. As you join this zoom call, we ask each caller to MUTE themselves, unless the caller is part of the program.  You will be prompted to unmute whenever we get to Q&A time.

To join the Zoom meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87823580342?pwd=YzI4czAyTzN1RHdlbkdweStRQ3RQZz09  

September 2022

September Meeting
Virtual Discussion on Current Social Justice Issues

We will have our next virtual meeting on Thursday, September 8, 2022. at 7:00pm.

We are presenting a panel on current social justice issues, featuring speakers from two Austin organizations.  Lu Zeidan is the Co-DIrector of Refugee Services for Interfaith Action Central Texas (iACT).   Kathleen Davis from Trinity Church will speak for Central Texas Interfaith

As you join this zoom call, we ask each caller to MUTE themselves, unless the caller is part of the program.  You will be prompted to unmute whenever we get to Q&A time.

To join the Zoom meeting


Pumpkin Patches are Back!

Many United Methodist Churches sell pumpkins before Halloween to raise funds for local ministries. Check out Pumpkin Patches at these churches and others near you for dates & times:

  • Bethany UMC Austin
  • Cedar Park UMC
  • Leander UMC
  • Manchaca UMC
  • Pflugerville First UMC
  • Saint John’s UMC Austin
  • St. Luke UMC Austin
  • Tarrytown UMC Austin
  • First UMC of Del Rio

Hands On Housing

The upcoming Raise the Roof event will stretch over 3 weeks, from October 11th to October 31st.  Team Leaders can now register a team of more than 10 people if they wish, or can choose to cap their team size at 10, as before. We will leave that decision up to the team leader and their team members. Volunteers registering as individuals will be paired with one of our teams according to their availability. Here is the link to register your team.

Foundation Communities

Tuesday, October 19 – Noon – 1 PM

Livestreamed on YouTube

See more at FoundCom.org.

Sid Hall Retirement Celebration

Please join us on Sunday, November 7, 2021 from 3:30-7:30pm to celebrate Sid Hall’s 33 years of ministry with Trinity Church of Austin!


Sid retired as of July 1 of this year, but due to pandemic conditions, we delayed his retirement celebration until it was cool enough for us to gather outdoors. We encourage you to mask up and join us for live music, food, drinks, and fellowship at Ranch Austin with the Trinity community.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the ongoing ministries of Trinity Church of Austin. Your generous tax-deductible donations allow us to fund sliding scale admissions for those in our community who could not otherwise afford to attend.

Texas Impact

Texas Impact Joins Lawsuit Challenging Restrictive Voting Legislation

Read https://texasimpact.org/2021/09/sb1-lawsuit/Why We’re Suing

Courts & Ports Program

Courts & Ports is a 2-day immersion experience designed to build understanding of the many challenges facing migrants and public servants at the Texas-Mexico border. 

Find out more:  https://texasimpact.org/courts-ports/

A Conversation With Our Bishop

Rio Texas MFSA will have our next virtual meeting on Thursday, August 12, 2021

Our guest is Bishop Robert Schnase, who currently serves as bishop of the Río Texas Annual Conference. He was assigned to Río Texas in September 2016 after serving twelve years as the bishop of the Missouri Annual Conference.  Prior to his election as bishop in 2004, Schnase served for 15 years as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church, McAllen, Texas. 

We have invited Bishop Schnase to be with us on Thursday, August 12th from 7:00 to 8:00 on Zoom to give us his perspective on the state of  the United Methodist Church, locally and in the world. 

As you join this zoom call, we ask each caller to MUTE themselves, unless the caller is part of the program.

If you have questions for Bishop Schnase, you may type them on the “chat” link.

To Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87823580342?pwd=YzI4czAyTzN1RHdlbkdweStRQ3RQZz09 Feel free to share this notice with your congregations and classes

Welcome Cindy Andrade Johnson at our next Chapter Meeting!

We will have our next virtual meeting on
Thursday, November 12, 2020   7pm

Our guest speaker is Cindy Andrade Johnson, a deaconess with the Rio Texas Conference.  She has worked tirelessly and made personal contact with the asylum seekers on the Rio Grande border.  Even in the middle of this election period she has been present for the people who are in the most need. The migrant camp in Mexico is causing harm to our migrant siblings because of inhumane US policies. 

Please join us as we discuss what we can do even if we cannot be present, and how we can support this issue.

Follow and support Cindy on her Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/cindy.johnson.94695 We’ll also spend some time catching up with each other!

Join Zoom Meeting

Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

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Passcode: 123659 Meeting Time:  7:00pm CST

Renew your membership for a justice-seeking 2019!

We wish you a happy & healthy 2019. Rio Texas MFSA will have a presence at the UMC General Conference in St Louis in February. We will be there to support the change in our Discipline that would make all persons equal under church doctrine. In June, we will host a luncheon at the Rio Texas Conference ( speaker details to come soon).  And, the 2019 Texas Legislative session begins in January, and we plan to be involved with legislation that will protect the marginalized. Other events planned are another visit to the Texas border, our annual BOPA environmental event, as well as, marches and protests. Join us in our 2019 justice-seeking initiatives! Your donations are important to our local work and 80% of membership goes to the National MFSA justice efforts. Thanks and Happy New Year!

Rio Texas MFSA appreciates your donations to support our work for justice in the United Methodist World and the world. Your donations are tax deductible through the national Methodist Federation for Social Action, EIN 55-2150061. Thanks.



Stepping Stone Service

Stepping Stone Service

Thursday, March 8

6:30 p.m.

Saint John’s UMC-Austin, 2140 Allandale Rd.

Have you ever wished you had a pause button to allow yourself to stop and examine the priorities in your life?

The Lenten season challenges us to do just that, and Saint John’s Austin provides an opportunity with the Stepping Stone service. This service helps expose pathways that can deepen awareness of God’s loving omnipresence and lead toward a resurrecting walk alongside Jesus. Music, directed by Cina Crisara and sung by the Saint John’s Singers, is interspersed with dance — choreographed by Lisa Nicks — and supported by prayers, communion, and inspirational readings. Rich artistry — including that of violinist Ben Hummel, singer/composer Robbie LaBanca, and visuals by Gary Flemmons — feed our sense of direction and lead the soul home in heightened understanding of our holy existence and purpose.

August 2016 Rio Texas MFSA Newsletter

No Rio Texas MFSA meeting in August, but consider participating in Austin Pride Week activities described in the August newsletter:  2016 August_news.

General Conference 2016 Preview

For an overview of the upcoming General Conference, please look through this slide show prepared by Abel Vega, Rio Texas Conference Director of Outreach Vitality.

General Conference 2016 Preview – 04.24.2016