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Methodist Federation for Social Action News

In addition to our chapter meeting in October, our chapter supported and participated in two major social justice events, The Witness to Innocence: Stories from Death Row and the Texas Premier of Incompatible with Christian Teaching.

The Witness to Innocence: Stories from Death Row event at First UMC on October 18 was attended by approximately 150 people. The four exonerees who spoke shared their stories, which pointed out the many injustices that led to their wrongful convictions. MFSA joined with other Methodists from First, St. John’s, St. Luke’s, Trinity, University, Wesley & the Austin District, as well as persons of the Buddhist, Catholic, Friends, and Jewish communities to make this event possible. A love offering for Witness to Innocence (WTI) was taken and about $600 was collected. An additional $155.85 has been seen to WTI from sponsor donations.

Their stories can be seen at and photos at:  The Planning Team for the event included Kathy Barrett, Janice Curry, and Anne Mund.

The Texas Premier of Incompatible with Christian Teaching was held at First UMC on October 30 and was attended by 125 Methodists from 10 area churches. Filmmaker Anne P. Brown, was there to answer questions about the film, which traced the history of the “incompatible” language in the Methodist Discipline:

  • In 1972, the United Methodist Church (UMC) adopted the phrase, “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
  • In 1984, the UMC declared that “no self avowed practicing homosexual could be ordained.”
  • In 1996, the UMC adopted into church law that no pastor could officiate over a same-gender union and such a ceremony could not occur in a local Methodist church.

Thanks to Liza Chigos, a St. John’s UMC member, for bringing this event to Austin, to the First UMC and Saint John’s Reconciling Ministries Teams for coordinating the details of the event, and to Ann Teich, Adama Brown, and Joy Butler for their leadership.


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