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Welcome, Steve!
Rev. Steve Clunn
MFSA hires new Coalition Coordinator

MFSA hires Coalition Coordinator
Executive Director job posting
Young people lead
Urgent: Church and Society Survey
Delegation to Palestine and Israel
Misfits: The Church's Hidden Strength
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Volume VI  Issue 21
  15 December 2010

As this calendar year draws to a close, MFSA is gearing up for some exciting changes.  We're happy to announce that the Rev. Steve Clunn has been hired as MFSA's Coalition Coordinator.  The search for a new MFSA Executive Director has also begun.  Our movement is growing as young Methodists passionate about justice, peace and inclusion seek formal affiliation with MFSA.  We're asking readers to participate in a survey about the General Board of Church and Society, supporting the denomination's body committed to working for social justice.  The General Board of Global Ministries is leading a delegation to Palestine and Israel this February, and MFSA members are strongly encouraged to participate.  And finally, check out Misfits: The Church's Hidden Strength, a new book by MFSA member, Barbara Wendland.

Please also take a few moments to reflect on your favorite MFSA moments from 2010.  In the next issue of E-news, we'd like to showcase the highlights from our chapters and partners with pictures and personal stories.  Send your reflections to Jennifer.

From the staff in Washington and our Board of Directors, we wish you a very merry, blessed and transformative Christmas.

Grace and peace,
Jennifer Mihok
MFSA Outreach and Communications Coordinator
SpecialSpecial Announcement
MFSA hires Coalition Coordinator

The Rev. Steven C. Clunn, who most recentlyRev. Steve Clunn served 11 years as the senior pastor at First United Methodist church of Schenectady, New York, has been selected for the MFSA staff position of Coalition Coordinator.  The announcement was made by MFSA Co-Presidents Tara Thronson and the Rev. Vicki Woods after MFSA's Board of Directors voted unanimously on December 10, 2010, to affirm the recommendation of the Search Committee.

The MFSA Coalition Coordinator Search Committee consisted of two members each from MFSA, the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) and Affirmation. The position is funded by a grant from The Arcus Foundation.

Steve brings to the position a contagious enthusiasm and years of experience with MFSA and RMN.  His passion for equality for LGBTQ persons is strong and demonstrated in his work within the church and his community.  Other social justice areas of focus in his ministry have included poverty, class and race.  He has extensive experience with General Conference and brings much understanding of the UMC structure, process and politics to the position. Those who know Steve are confident he will provide the leadership and organizational skills necessary for a successful progressive coalition.

Steve is married to Mary Lynn Ragan Clunn, an attorney. They have three adult children.

Steve will begin work at the national MFSA office in Washington, DC, on January 3, 2011.

Welcome, Steve!

NatUpNational Update

MFSA is seeking a new Executive Director to guide the continued work of the progressive movement of Methodists.  The Executive Director of MFSA is responsible for the overall direction and management of the organization and implementation of MFSA's strategic plan while upholding our values and goals.  The Executive Director will develop and nurture relationships with other organizations that share MFSA's vision and principles and oversee all planning for and implementation of MFSA's presence and witness at General Conference.   Acting as the overall spokesperson for MFSA, the Executive Director will be able to clearly articulate MFSA's theological grounding and passion for social justice.  For the full job posting, including a detailed job description, please visit our website.

Interested individuals should submit a cover letter, resume and references to MFSA Board Co-President Tara Thronson ( no later than January 7, 2011.  In addition, those submitting an application should provide a written narrative, no longer than one page, in response to the following: Please describe your calling and theological perspective regarding your passion for social justice.

Interviews will be conducted in February with an employment start date of July 1, 2011.
SparksSparks: OnFire in action
Young people lead the way

OnFire members on 2009 trip to the US/Mexico border
In the past few months, MFSA has received numerous inquiries from younger folks who are looking to organize locally, but who are interested in affiliating nationally with MFSA.  Many of these groups are connected to seminaries, campus ministries, or groups of young adults in local churches.  It is possible to organize an MFSA chapter, or to affiliate with OnFire, MFSA's young adult network, in a region smaller than an annual conference.  If you are interested in learning more about local organizing in connection to MFSA, contact MFSA Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Jennifer Mihok.

Also, check out the OnFire blog:
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

   Urgent Action: Church and Society Survey
Please take 10 minutes of your time over the next week to complete an online survey of the work of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS).  This survey is not simply an evaluative measure, but is extremely crucial to the future work of GBCS, the denominational body charged with implementing the UMC's Social Principles. GBCS and local boards of church and society are often MFSA's closest official denominational allies in the work for justice, peace and full inclusion.  As  many of you know, certain groups have been working to dismantle or significantly decrease the impact of GBCS and other boards and agencies of the UMC.  Much is at stake for GBCS and other boards as we approach the 2012 General Conference, and we want to be sure that a strong, progressive voice of support for GBCS is recorded in the results of this survey. 

Please click here to complete the survey.  The link is being circulated widely amongst our church, specifically among some less-than-supportive persons, so we ask that--in addition to completing it yourself--you circulate it among your chapters and congregations. 
ChaptersChapters and Partners

Justice and Peace Mission Delegation:
Palestine & Israel, Feb. 4-14, 2011

This Justice & Peace Delegation organized by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries offers support to Annual Conference participants seeking to move General Conference resolutions from words into action.  Trip participants will hear from multiple voices in the land, engage in mission work, as well as do planning and training both within and across conference lines on issues of mission, advocacy, and education. The process will promote respect for the human dignity of every person as a child of God, emphasizing that upholding human rights and international law are key components for a just and lasting peace in Palestine & Israel.
Please consider joining this prophetic journey in February and covenant to action back home.  We invite all peacemakers with a passion for justice to join this pilgrimage into action.  Ask your congregation for prayers, support and a commitment to act together when you return home.

Click here to download the delegation brochure (PDF).  For more info or to register, contact David Wildman ( 
ProgPondProgressive Ponderings

Misfits: The Church's Hidden Strength
by Barbara Wendland

Barbara Wendland, long time MFSA member and supporter, and author of the monthly Connections newsletter, has published a new book entitled, Misfits: The Church's Hidden Strength.  Many church misfits have strengths that the church and the world desperately need. Wendland takes her readers on the personal journey that made her realize that, in some ways, following Jesus requires not fitting in.  In Misfits, Wendland uses her own story and quotes from many authors and Connections readers to describe changes the church needs to make for transforming the world by following Jesus.  David Dykes of the Dykes Foundation comments, "Barbara Wendland lays out a provocative process for transforming our anonymous misfit experiences into bottom-up institutional change."

Misfits is available from and the St. Johann Press.