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

Support Syrian Refugees with the Music Peace Project

Music Peace Project is a nonprofit organization, based in Austin that brings together national and international musicians in order to assist in humanitarian relief around the world. They do this by engaging in local, national and international communities through the art and gift of music (www.musicpeaceproject.org).

In collaboration with Austin’s Wesley UMC Choir, Music Peace Project recorded its first album, Austin for Peace. The album, released on April 1, is comprised of arrangements of song selections that are known and loved worldwide. These songs all have a message of peace. 100% of the net profits will be donated to the International Rescue Committee to aid Syrian refugees. Founded at Albert Einstein’s request, the IRC (www.rescue.org) offers lifesaving aid and solutions to today’s most challenging human crises. The IRC is rated with the highest grades given to a nonprofit organization based on their performance and expenses. Their goal is to sell 2,000 albums and raise $25,000.

According to Esteban Alvarez, President and Co-founder of Music Peace Project, “Perhaps the largest human catastrophe on earth today is the Syrian conflict. Over 12 million people have been either killed or displaced over the past five years.”

Austin for Peace is an album that involves international renowned artists (such as John Patitucci, Ignacio Berroa, Esteban Alvarez, Tamela Hedstrôm, Red Young, to mention a few) as well as local artists (Rabbi Blumofe, James Sheeran, Russell Shores, and some key members of Wesley United Methodist Church) and its mission is to assist the Syrian refugees with shelter, food and medical care. You will find the United Methodist symbol on the album cover.

Please support this very innovative and interesting project that is taking place here in Austin. This is a way you can offer support for Syrian refugees while enjoying good music. Click on these links to listen to songs and watch a short video about the project

Here are two of the songs on the album, My Sweet Lord, and Imagine:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tcsx41xbdkdwm3q/MySweetLord2_03.mp3?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/55c77sjauzjjw1j/Imagine3_09.mp3?dl=0

Link to Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Esteban_Alvarez_Austin_for_Peace?id=B4r47pp4tv3agi5h65eochpi4be

A short video on MPP and its mission:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmYdrV2FbXE

Contact Velvet Hammerschmidt at velveth@v-hdesign.com or Esteban Alvarez at eacmusicjazz@gmail.com if you would like to help support their efforts for humanitarian assistance.

For more information contact MFSA representative Janice Curry at jlcurry@austin.rr.com.

2017 Rio Texas MFSA Peace and Justice Luncheon Flyer

Please join Rio Texas MFSA and the Rio Texas Conference Transforming Communities Vision Team at the 7th Annual Peace and Justice Luncheon  during the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi on Thursday, June 8. See the registration flyer at: LuncheonRegistration2017

MFSA Meeting on Thursday, March 9

Under The Gun

Join Rio Texas MFSA on Thursday, March 9 at Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Rd. for a presentation and discussion on gun violence.  Andrea Brauer, the Executive Director of Texas Gun Sense will introduce Lonnie and Sandy Phillips, whose daughter was killed in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre.

Together we will watch the documentary film “Under The Gun”, which examines the events and people who have kept the gun debate fierce and the progress slow, even as gun deaths and mass shootings continue to increase.  Through the lens of families impacted by the mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, Isla Vista and Tucson, as well as those who experience daily gun violence in Chicago, the documentary looks at why politicians are finding it difficult to act and what is being done at the state and local levels.  The film is executive produced and narrated by Katie Couric and directed by Stephanie Soechtig.

Join us at 6:30p for snacks.  The program begins at 7p.  All are welcome.

Advocacy and Resistance Events from Progress Texas

Since the new administration has come into power, Texans across the state are taking peaceful action to stand up for social justice issues — we have come together, resisting the politics of fear and hate. We have seen a regressive legislative agenda in Texas in the past, but it seems even more harmful this year.

Join the resistance and show the opponents in our Capitol this session that they don’t represent our values. Find an issue that’s important to you and register for an advocacy and resistance event (and tell your friends):

Cover Texas Now Advocacy Day 2017

Monday, March 6 at 11:00 AM

Join health care advocates from across Texas on March 6 at 11 am at the Texas Capitol to advocate for health care for all Texans! Urge lawmakers to:

  • Defend the progress we’ve made under the Affordable Care Act;
  • Protect Medicaid for low-income children, seniors, pregnant women, and Texans with disabilities; and
  • Insist on expanding health coverage to the uninsured

Learn more about Advocacy Day, and RSVP to attend, here. If you can’t make it to Austin on March 6, but you’d still like to make an impact, please consider a $5 or $10 donation today, to help pay for the buses and meals to bring supporters to the Capitol. You can donate to Cover Texas Now’s campaign here

Transgender Advocacy Day at Texas Capitol

Monday, March 6 at 7 AM -7 PM

Girl Advocacy Day

Monday, March 13 at 9 AM – 1 PM

All In For Equality Advocacy Day in Austin

Monday, March 20 at 7 AM – 7 PM

Planned Parenthood Texas Lobby Day 2017

Wednesday, April 5 at 9 AM- 9 PM

Blue Ribbon Lobby Day 2017

April 10 at 8:30 AM – 6 PM

March for Science

Saturday, April 22 at 10 AM – 1 PM

MFSA at the Rio Texas Annual Conference

Rio Texas MFSA will provide witness for Social Justice once again at the Rio Texas Annual Conference in Corpus Christi, June 7 – 9, 2017.  We will sponsor the 7th Annual Peace and Justice Luncheon on Thursday, June 8, at noon.  We are excited that our luncheon speaker will be John Hill, Assistant General Secretary of Advocacy and Organizing for the UMC General Board of Church and Society.

Also, our Book Fair will return this year!  Contact rcurry@austin.rr.com to donate gently used religious or spiritual books for this MFSA event.

Look for more information in our next newsletter!

One Human Race

12:30-3:30, March 11, 18, and 25
First United Methodist Church – Austin
1300 Lavaca Street

12:30-3:30, May 13, 20, and 27
Saint John’s UMC – Austin
2140 Allandale Rd.

Attendance is free, but registration is required.

Reserve your spot today at http://ubeaustin.blogspot.com/