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God's Renewed Creation
Share your reactions to God's Renewed Creation, a new resource from the Council of Bishops.
God's Renewed Creation
Staff changes at MFSA National
Wisconsin MFSA gets PUMPT!
Take Action for Gulf residents
Progressive Ponderings
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Volume VI  Issue 10   26 May 2010

Greetings to you in this season of Pentecost.  As the Spirit moves among us, leading us ever anew in the current age, MFSA, too, is experiencing transition.  We are happy to report the new directions our chapters are taking (see Wisconsin below), and this week, we have some important news about staff transitions at the national office.

Also in this issue:
In Peace,
MFSA staff

PS: As you can see, we're still experimenting with the look of our new E-news.  After multiple comments that the previous format was difficult to read, we've adjusted our appearance.  Feedback is always welcome as we embrace our Wesleyan call to "move on towards perfection."
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NatUpNational Update

Staff transitions

Kathryn Johnson
Kathryn Johnson
After serving as Executive Director of MFSA for nearly 12 years, Kathryn Johnson has decided it is time to hand over the reins of MFSA to another Executive Director for the next leg of our journey. Although we are saddened at her departure, we support her in her decision to take on a new challenge. At the end of June she will begin working full time with the National Breast Cancer Coalition in Washington, DC.  The MFSA Board and Executive Committee are working diligently on plans for the transition as we celebrate the good work that Kathryn has done over the past 11+ years.

Jennifer Mihok
Jennifer Mihok
The second change in staffing at MFSA is very good news.  Jennifer Mihok, who has been working with MFSA for a year and a half through the Mission Intern Program, will be staying on staff for another year as the Communications and Outreach Coordinator.  Rob Walty, who has been  a great asset in the MFSA office, will be continuing in his position and Ginny Lapham, who has volunteered at MFSA for 8+ years, has committed to increased support as well.  Beth Zemsky will also continue working with us as a consultant as we move forward with our Strategic Plan.  

A personal note from Kathryn:  It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the MFSA director for these last 12 years.  As I have often said when speaking with many of you, "I can think of no other position in the entire denomination that I would rather have." You are an amazing network of people - passionate and committed justice seekers - without whom United Methodism would be much poorer.  Though I will no longer be the director of MFSA, I am sure that we will find ourselves standing side by side in the future at some point witnessing for peace, demanding justice, or celebrating when the occasion calls for it.

If you have questions concerning the staffing changes, feel free to contact the national office.
SparksSparks: OnFire in action
Young Adult reactions to bishops' letter needed
The United Methodist Council of Bishops recently approved a letter to the church, called "Hope and Action: Renewing God's Creation," which addresses the church's response to three important issues of our day: pandemic poverty and disease, environmental degradation, and a world awash with weapons of violence.  The letter is available at, or here in pdf.
God's Renewed CreationYoung Adults are being asked to write a short reaction to the piece.  It is important that the young, progressive perspective is heard on these critical issues.  Please take some time to read and reflect, using the following questions as a guide. 

  • Why are the three topics of the letter (environmental degradation, a world awash with weapons, and pandemic poverty and disease) important to you?
  • How does this letter speak to you specifically as a young person?
  • How does this letter challenge your understanding of the United Methodist Church?
  • How does this letter challenge young people in the church? 
  • How does the letter challenge the church in general?
  • How have you engaged these issues in the past?
  • How have you been inspired to engage these issues in the future?
The response should be 250-350 words. Send completed responses to and  Thanks for your time!
ChapterSpotIn the spotlight: News from chapters and friends

Wisconsin MFSA is getting PUMPT!

WUMFSAInspired by presentations from MFSA consultant, Beth Zemsky, the Wisconsin-MFSA chapter leadership has begun to discuss what it would look like if progressive groups within the conference began working more closely together.  And so they've come up with a plan-- asking progressive United Methodists of any shade or color to join them for a meeting in September.  They're calling the event, "Get PUMPT!" (Progressive United Methodists Powerful Together).  Whether progressive involvement comes through Reconciling Ministries or working on social justice issues in the local church, or partnership with Kairos Co-Motion for God's work for inclusivity--all are welcome to "Get PUMPT" for real change in the church and world!

To read more about what the Wisconsin Chapter is up to, visit and click to download the Spring Plumbline Newsletter.

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.
Take Action

Prayerful Empowerment--where will it take your community?

Oil SpillThis week's action alert comes through the PICO National Network from Father Vien Nguyen in New Orleans, Louisiana:

With the BP oil spill still wreaking disaster along the Gulf coast, oil and gas companies in the region - including BP - quietly tried to pass a bill through the Louisiana state legislature that would have limited legal assistance for poor residents--the victims of precisely the sort of environmental disaster currently facing the region.  Though the bill was stopped, New Orleans residents continue to suffer from health hazards and increased toxic exposures from landfills, illegal dump sites and the recent BP oil drilling disaster.  Father Nguyen and others are asking you to sign their Prayer Petition, pledging to join with people of faith across the nation in prayer for the people of the Gulf Coast who are struggling to deal with the environmental and social impact of the BP oil spill and other issues of environmental justice.  How will prayer lead you to act?
ProgPondProgressive Ponderings

On facing change...

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. - James Baldwin, writer and civil rights leader

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10