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Immigration reform for LGBT families
MFSA Love Train to Sing a New Song
Share your legislation for AC 2011
Relevance X 2011
Uniting American Families Act
Oklahoma Bans Shari'ah Law
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Volume VI  Issue 18  4 November 2010

Last week the MFSA Program Council met in Des Plaines, IL, for its second-ever annual meeting.  Representatives from MFSA chapters from Maine to Florida to California made the trip to the Chicago area for 3 days of worship, strategizing, organizing and fellowship.  A great time was had by all and exciting work was accomplished, including the introduction of MFSA's 2012 General Conference legislative priorities and the promotion of next summer's Sing a New Song gathering in Ohio.  Also, young justice seekers, especially in the Western Jurisdiction, should mark their calendars for next year's Relevance X.

MFSA's work also continues beyond the UMC.  Working at the intersections of oppression, MFSA chapters are being asked to sign a letter of support for the Uniting American Families Act, which includes LGBT families in immigration reform.  In continuing to name the islamophobia especially present in this year's political campaigns, Religion Dispatches blogger Haroon Moghul looks at Oklahoma's Measure 755, which "bans Shariah Law" from being implemented in the state.

If this week's elections have anything to tell us, it's that candlethere's plenty of work ahead for MFSA and our partner groups.  In these trying times, we thank the many hands and hearts committed to working for justice in our church and world.  In this All Saints' season, we remember especially those gone before, on whose shoulders we stand as we continue this good work.

Grace and peace,
Jennifer Mihok
MFSA Outreach and Communications Coordinator
ChaptersPartnersChapters and Partners

Hop the MFSA love train to Sing a New Song

While in Des Plaines last week, the MFSA Board and Program Council recorded this incredible promotional piece for next summer's Sing a New Song gathering at the Sawmill Creek Resort in Ohio.  Be sure to check the Sing a New Song web page frequently for updates. 

Click the image below to view the video on YouTube.
       MFSA Love Train Video
About Sing a New Song:
On August 25-28, 2011, MFSA and the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) will co-host a national gathering entitled, "Sing a New Song," bringing our groups together in a powerful weekend of worship, learning and organizing for General Conference 2012.  MFSA is excited for this opportunity to present workshops on multiple justice issues while continuing to work with RMN for the full inclusion of LGBT persons.  Mark your calendars now.  We want to have a great MFSA turnout.

MFSA is still looking for volunteers to join its planning committee, especially those from Ohio and the North Central Jurisdiction.  Also needed are individuals with experience or interest in outreach, fundraising, and workshop coordination.  For more information or to volunteer, contact MFSA Board member Melissa Calvillo.
NatUpNational Update
Share your legislation for
2011 Annual Conferences

Many of you are already working on legislation for Annual Conference 2011, as the deadlines in some conferences are rapidly approaching.  Please remember to send copies of your legislation to MFSA National  as soon as possible for further sharing among other chapters.  It is important that we put forth strong legislative actions as we head toward General Conference 2012.  Visit the MFSA website to check out our 2012 General Conference Legislative Priorities.

Job posting:  MFSA is now seeking a full-time coalition organizer to work on social justice issues including justice for persons who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender. Though coordinated through MFSA national, the position will work in close coalition with the Reconciling Ministries Network, Affirmation and other caucuses and groups affiliated with the United Methodist Church.  This is a one-year position funded by the Arcus Foundation and is expected to be renewed for a second year.  Click here for the official job posting.  Applications are due to the National Office by November 15, 2010.
SparksSparks: OnFire in action
Save the Date: Relevance X 2011
Feb 18-20 in Las Vegas, NV

Relevance X
Are you a young Methodist, passionate about finding new ways to put your faith into action?  Concerned with personal and social holiness?  Then mark your calendars.  You won't want to miss 2011's Relevance X.

From the organizers:

Together, we can make a big difference in the lives of people around the globe in Jesus' name. That's the heartbeat behind Relevance X and our "Do Something About It Campaign," a movement that focuses on the greatest needs throughout the world. This is a campaign that displays the reflection of God's love and mercy among the poor, the imprisoned, the voiceless and the oppressed.

Relevance X is meant NOT simply to be an event you attend. Rather, together we will act as we partner with causes throughout the world. We know that none of us can meet the needs alone, but together we can do amazing things.
Find Relevance X on Facebook to receive updates on next year's gathering.
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:  If you are interested in contributing to the OnFire blog, please contact Shannon Sullivan.
TakeActionTake Action

Support the Uniting American Families Act

The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) Si se puede!would end the long-standing discrimination lesbian and gay bi-national couples face under current immigration law.  If passed, the law would allow nearly 36,000 families to be reunited. This bill would allow and require lesbian and gay bi-national couples to petition in the same way - and with the same rigorous process of documentation - as straight couples.  

With some members of the faith community withholding support of UAFA, it is imperative that groups such as MFSA speak out for the legislation.  We are encouraging individual MFSA chapters to sign on in support of UAFA.  Visit our website to view or download the letter.  To become an official signatory, please have your chapter leader contact Jennifer Mihok at MFSA National.

ProgPondProgressive Ponderings

No Shariah in AmericaIt's called Measure 755. For Oklahoma, it forbids the use of international and Shari'ah law in state courts. As of the time of writing, it has passed, winning nearly 70% of the vote. As an American Muslim, and a citizen of New York, I am amused, concerned, fascinated and, oddly, given hope. Let me go in that order.