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Volume VI Issue 16
|| 6 October 2010
Last night's episode of Glee commented on the church's reputation for homophobia, a timely message given this month's tragic string of gay-bullying-related suicides. Despite the humorous title, in "Grilled Cheesus," viewers got a serious glimpse into young people's spirituality in the face of tragedy. Members of the unpopular high school Glee Club are drawn together when the father of one student lands in a coma. The student, Kurt, also happens to be gay and finds it difficult to handle the prayers of his well-meaning friends. Even before tragedy strikes, Kurt's objections to Christianity are made clear: "The reason I don't go to church is because churches don't think too much of gay people."
Well there you have it. Within the first five minutes of a show watched by 11 million people, the church is unmistakeably labeled as homophobic. To say that this has nothing to do with the young men recently tormented to the point of suicide would be dangerously naive. In this edition of MFSA E-news, find out how our communities are responding, why anti-gay bullying is a theological issue, and what you can do to prevent the violence. For further reflection, see the Reconciling Ministries Network blog.
Also, don't miss our report of MFSA's participation in last weekend's One Nation march as well as a call for young volunteers for General Conference 2012.
Grace and peace,
MFSA Outreach and Communications Coordinator
|Chapters and Partners|
New Yorkers hold vigil for victims of bullying,
MFSA-NY to co-sponsor Hate Crimes Symposium
Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered in Washington Square Park in the cold
and wet on Oct. 3 to remember the six youths who took their own lives
last month as a result of anti-gay bullying. A vigil was also held on
the Rutgers campus where Tyler Clementi, one of the victims, was a
freshman. MFSA partner MIND, the Reconciling Ministry in the New York Annual Conference, was among the groups in attendance. Read more...
On November 20, MFSA-NY, MIND, the New York Board of Church and Society and others will be co-sponsoring an event entitled, "My Brother's Keeper: People of Faith Confront Hate Crimes." Learn more about the event on our website, or check out their Facebook page to get updates about the event.
"Why Anti-Gay Bullying Is a Theological Issue" "Anti-gay bullying is a theological issue because it has a theological base. I find it difficult to believe that even those among us with a vibrant imagination can muster the creative energy to picture a reality in which anti-gay violence and bullying exist without the anti-gay religious messages that support them." Read more...
Anti-bullying and anti-homophobia resources
Want to do something? Here are four great resources to get you and your church or chapter moving:
One Nation Working Together
Saturday, October 2, 2010, thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington,
DC, to demonstrate re-commitment to change. The One Nation March featured human and civil rights leaders, labor leaders,
environmental and peace activists, educators, celebrities and sports
figures - all marching together to help Put America Back to Work and to
Pull America Back Together.
MFSA had a small but committed gathering at the march. Click here to read the reflections of Hunter Mabry, who organized the MFSA effort.
|Sparks: OnFire in action|
Early call for young
General Conference volunteers
MFSA General Conference organizing efforts are already underway. Critical in this effort is the involvement of young leaders. At GC 2008, OnFire and MoSAIC
(Movement of Students and young people for an All-Inclusive Church) organized a young adult rally (see video) as well as a witness to water as a human right. In addition to planning these and other events, young people are needed to take on leadership in MFSA legislative efforts. If you or someone you know is interested in participating, please contact Jennifer
at the national office.
Who is OnFire? We are United Methodist young adults reclaiming our Wesleyan heritage of
spiritual and social transformation. We are empowering young adults to
impact our church and our world. OnFire organizes as the young adult
chapter of MFSA.
Check out our blog at: www.umonfire.blogspot.com
. If you are interested in contributing to the OnFire blog, please contact Shannon Sullivan