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Change Starts Now
OnFire and OnLine
Central Texas MFSA prays for immigration reform
Where do you want your taxes to go?
The Progressive Tax
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Where do you want your taxes to go?  Call your Congressperson and discuss how your faith influences where you want your dollars spent.
Volume VI  Issue 7 16 April 2010

Welcome to the first new edition of MFSA E-news.  In addition to our new look, you'll find that we're shifting our focus from action alerts alone to include mroe news from the MFSA movement.  In each issue you can expect an update from the national office, news from OnFire (MFSA's young adult chapter), and spotlight featuring an MFSA chapter or partner. Each edition will include a featured action that you can take from your own computer, church, or community.  We'll conclude with a piece for theological and spiritual reflection.  We hope this make-over is not only visually appealing, but useful in our movement communications.
In peace,
MFSA staff
NatUpNational Update
Change starts now

The MFSA Board met from April 8-10 in Omaha, NE. Enjoying the amazing hospitality of our hosts from First UMC Omaha and the NE MFSA Chapter, the Board has begun the implementation phase of the new MFSA strategic plan. Board members Jan Nelson, Vicki Woods, and Bishop Cliff Ives cruise with Debra McKnight (NE Program Council member) through downtown Omaha.

As you can see, MFSA is making some changes. Over the next couple of months, you'll notice many changes, from this bi-weekly E-news, to an electronic version of our quarterly newsletter, to our new Connecting Voicesinitiative. This series of meet-ups is designed to connect progressive United Methodists from around the country. Lots of exciting things are happening, and we want you to be a part!
SparksSparks: OnFire in action
OnFire and OnLine
OnFire now has an extended web presence on
and MFSA Red BannerFacebook.  Please check out our pages, follow us, and become a fan!  We continue to update our blog:  We're always looking for MFSA  Red Bannernew contributors.  Though many of our actions (and therefore blog posts) have centered around issues of immigration, we're committed to being a forum for young progressive MethodistMFSA Red Banner voices on a variety of issues.  Check out Courtney Harvey's piece, entitled, "What to say when you don't have anything nice to say Or Homophobia is like a mullet, it's so last season." 

Or fromUS-Mex Border Wall David Hosey, "What we are up against is separation," which draws connections between the US-Mexico border wall, and the one in Bethlehem.  We welcome your comments, questions, entries, and photos.  For information on becoming a regular contributor, contact Jennifer Mihok.
ChapterSpotIn the spotlight: News from chapters and friends
Lois Perkins Chapel
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Central Texas MFSA joins in prayers for immigration reform

The Central Texas Chapter (CTX) of Methodist Federation for Social Action in cooperation with the Southwestern University Chaplain's office joined in Prayers for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Sunday, March 21. 
About 40 MFSA members and friends participated in the local prayer service, including Bishop Joe Wilson. Bishop Wilson read the Bishops' Statement on Immigration as part of the service.

The prayer service, at the University's Lois Perkins Chapel in Georgetown, was held in support of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition's rally on the Mall in Washington, DC, on that day. Some CTX-MFSA members and friends from the Central Texas Welcoming Immigrants Network attended that rally and met with Congressional Representatives during the following week. 

The Central Texas chapter continues to work for comprehensive immigration reform. They are also sponsoring an Immigration Legal Issues Clinic with Justice for Our Neighbors in Georgetown on April 20.

Want to have your chapter featured?  So do we!  Send us brief write-ups and pictures, if available, and we'd be glad to pass it on to the greater movement.  As an added bonus, we'll also post it on our website on your chapter page.
AFSCtaxfrom the American Friends Service Committee
AFSC tax demonstration
Where our dollars are going

Taxes are important as long as they pay for human needs - like job creation, health care, and education - NOT the military budget. Make sure that the Tea Party folks aren't the only ones vocal about taxes this week. Call your Congressperson (1-866-220-0044) and let her or him know how you want your tax dollars to be spent. Here are some suggested talking points from the American Friends Service Committee:
  • The government should fund priorities that bring true security to our country, like job creation, healthcare and education.
  • The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan must end; do not spend tax dollars to continue to fund these wars.
  • The US should support civilian-led repair and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
  • Military spending should focus on withdrawal; we need a clear exit strategy from Afghanistan.
You can also download and share AFSC's tax day flier.

ProgPondProgressive Ponderings
Diana Butler Bass
The Progressive Tax
This week's article comes from author Diana Butler Bass, whose commentary on the progressive income tax and its Christian roots and implications can be found on the Huffington Post

"Taxes aren't such a bad deal. Nor are they, as the Tea Party rabble have claimed throughout the year, at odds with Christianity. Indeed, tax day is a day that progressive people of faith should celebrate, as we participate in one of the greatest social reforms of the twentieth century: the progressive income tax. In 1916, Wellesley professor Vida Scudder, a social gospel theologian argued that: 'The hour has come for Christian thought to give definite sanction to the new social ethic that has been developing for the last half century. The check by common will on private greed, the care for public health, the protection of childhood and manhood, the securing of fair leisure from the monotonies of modern labor, form a program hardly to be called radical any longer.'"  Click here to read more.