Interfaith Environmental Network of Austin

Becoming Carbon Positive

The documentary, Becoming Carbon Positive, represents the values and actions of Austin’s faith community in tackling the challenges of climate change.  Clergy and church communities have joined across central Texas, forming the Interfaith Environmental Network to spur awareness and action in reducing their congregational carbon footprint.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfvICzzqyX0

Global UMC Responses

Faith Community Responds To The Border

If you don’t subscribe to the Austin American Statesman, then you might have missed the submission by Bishop Dorff and Rev. Laura Merrill, the District Superintendent for the McAllen District.

You can read the article here.

UMC Ebola Response

The United Methodist Church is helping our brothers and sisters in Western Africa respond to the ebola crises.  As you know, our partners in Diecke, Guinea, which borders with Liberia, are in the heart of the affected areas sp many of you may be interested in these developments.

You can read about the responses at the following links:

http://www.umcor.org/umcor/resources/news-stories/2014/august/0807ebolaemergency

http://www.umcor.org/umcor/resources/news-stories/2014/august/0805ebolacrisis

http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/church-responds-to-international-emergency-of-ebola

Austin JFON Services

JFONFree or Affordable

Immigration Legal Services
Clinics

The Austin Region Justice for Our Neighbors (ARJFON) is a not-for-profit legal clinic whose goal is to provide hospitality and compassion by welcoming low-income immigrants through free or affordable immigration legal services, engaging in advocacy for immigrants’ rights, and education to communities of faith and the public.  Immigration Legal Services
Clinics

Legal Clinics will occur the last Saturday of every month at Servant Church, 1605 E. 38 1/2, from 10am-1pm.  There are a variety of ways to volunteer.  Sign up here.

Learn more about ARJFON here

Humanitarian Crisis on the Border

Why are some people suggesting that we expedite deportation of children from Central America?

crisisonborderTexas Interfaith Center for Public Policy

Recently, some political leaders have called for “expediting deportations” in order to send a message to Central Americans that children who come to the U.S. will not be allowed to stay. Initially, the White House cited the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA) as the reason children could not be immediately deported. Since then, many have called for that provision to be changed.

Children are especially vulnerable. The protections of TVPRA Section 235 provide children with access to trained service providers as well as time and space for potential victims to feel safe. If enacted, proposals to “streamline” and “expedite” deportation procedures could lead to an increase in victims of human trafficking being sent back into dangerous situations.

The faith community has been working with policy makers for decades to create laws and programs that will protect and assist victims of human trafficking at the federal, state and local levels. Lawmakers need to resist the politics of the moment calling for a “quick fix,” and make sure we put adequate process and infrastructure in place so we do not risk returning vulnerable children to life threatening situations.

 

(The full story on our website includes what members of the Texas Congressional delegation are proposing about expedited deportation, as well as examples of child immigrants who were discovered to be victims of human trafficking. Read it here.)

Save The Date! August 6-9, 2015

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

Travis Park UMC Announces

Love Your Neighbor Coalition 2015 Gathering

August 6-9, 2015

This huge event will be hosted at Travis Park UMC and the Sheraton Gunter Hotel in San Antonio. Still in the planning stages, be prepared for amazing worship and music, informative educational sessions on many social justice issues, and incredible opportunities for networking with progressive Christians from throughout the nation.

At this time, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition participants include: Affirmation, Black Methodist for Church Renewal, Love Prevails, Methodist Federation for Social Action, National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, Native American International Caucus of United Methodists, Reconciling Ministries Network, and United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities.

This will be a first-ever national gathering of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition that formed around the 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. Previously, RMN and MFSA have joined together for a joint national convocation during the summer preceding General Conference, then worked with an expanded coalition the next year. For LYN Coalition to have a national gathering in 2015 will be history in the making!

Place the dates, August 6 to 9, 2015 on your calendar now!

More News From MFSA and Friends

MFSA National E-News Newsletter

http://mfsaweb.org/?page_id=212

MFSA Spring 2014 Progressive Voice is available for download at:

http://mfsaweb.org/wp-content/uploads/TPV_draft_April4(1).pdf

Current Faith in Action from General Board of Church & Society –

http://umc-gbcs.org/faith-in-action

Reconciling Ministries newsletter:  http://www.rmnetwork.org

MFSA Needs Your Help To Conduct Programs and Activities

How to Join or Support MFSA

MFSA hand_left_1 (2)Please join with us as we connect progressive United Methodists in putting faith into action!

Membership in MFSA is not predicated on ability to pay.  We do not have “dues”.  However, our Chapter and the National Office need funding each year for programs and activities.  Membership gifts and special giving are always appreciated. MFSA is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS.   Membership gifts to MFSA are tax deductible as provided by law.

There are several easy ways to join or support MFSA.

  • You can log onto the national MFSA website, http://www.mfsaweb.org and follow the instructions there (you can safely use a credit card). Please indicate that you are part of the SWTX Chapter.
  • Or, you can mail a check made out to “SWTX – MFSA” to our Treasurer, Janice Curry, at 1509 Mearns Meadow Blvd, Austin 78758.  The suggested donation is $60, but any amount is welcome.  Thanks for your support!

Historically, we have had eight monthly chapter meetings per year, generally on the second Thursday of the month (this may change in the future).  We communicate using monthly electronic newsletters & updates to our website and Facebook page.

Anthony Graves Speaks at Peace & Justice Luncheon

Anthony Graves is a death row exoneree who spent 18 years of his life in prison for something he did not do. He shared his amazing story filled with faith and grace.  More than 230 people attended the luncheon.

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The MFSA-RMN Compound Was a Welcoming & Safe Place

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SWTX -MFSA and SWTX – Reconciling Team Work Together at Annual Conference

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Letter to Southwest Texas Conference Delegates to Annual Conference

Southwest Texas MFSA has sent a letter to 2014 delegates to the Southwest Texas Annual Conference. We will be electing delegates to 2016 General Conference this June. We have invited delegates to come by our vendor booth for conversation and to attend our Peace and Justice Luncheon. We wanted delegates to know that there are voices in our conference other than Methodist Renewal Movement and the United Methodist Men.

Read the letter here:  Clergy Delegate Letter

iACT 2014 Hope Awards On April 24

iACT’s 2014 Hope Awards

Thursday, April 24, 2014
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
98 San Jacinto Boulevard

 

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With over 300 guests expected to attend, including some of the Central Texas area’s most prominent business, faith and community leaders, the Hope Awards is Interfaith Action of Central Texas’ (iACT) premier fundraising event to support our outstanding community service programs. Please join us in bringing hope to those we serve: impoverished seniors, disabled individuals and newly arrived refugees from around the world.  http://interfaithtexas.org/hope/

 

More News From MFSA And Friends

 

 Reconciling Ministries recent newsletter:  http://www.rmnetwork.org/rmnnews/

 

MFSA Fall 2013 Progressive Voice is available for download at:

http://mfsaweb.org/?page_id=208

 

Current Faith in Action from General Board of Church & Society –

http://umc-gbcs.org/faith-in-action

 

 

No MFSA meeting in December


DSC01122Plan to join us in the Austin MLK March on Monday, January 20, 2014.   More details will be available later. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

bellsHave a joyous Christmas with friends and family and remember those who struggle on the margins of society this Christmas. We look forward to working together for social justice in 2014.