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Bishops call for inclusion of LGBT persons in UMC
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UM Bishops call for change
This week on Facebook
All-day forum: Educating to Counter Oppression
JustPeace: Journey Toward the Light
National Eating Disorders Awareness
"A Rosa Parks moment for education"
Sing a New Song!
Sing a New Song
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 Connecting Voices
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Volume VII  Issue 3

 2 February 2011



As many of you have surely heard, 33 retired United Methodist bishops have taken a stand, calling for the removal of the language that bars LGBT persons from full participation in the ministries of the United Methodist Church. We applaud these episcopal leaders for their efforts in calling for change and hope to see many of their active colleagues join them in standing up for justice in the UMC.  Join us in discussing the statement on Facebook

OnFire (MFSA's young adults) and Mosaic (Movement of Students for an All-Inclusive Church) are busy preparing a special all-day forum  entitled, "Educating to counter oppression," which will occur prior to this summer's Sing a New Song gathering in Ohio.

Also in this issue:
Remember the Freedom Rides with JustPeace in Mississippi.
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
"A Rosa Parks moment for Education"

Grace and peace,
Jennifer Mihok
MFSA Outreach and Communications Coordinator
NatUpNational Update

33 bishops call for removal of "incompatibility clause" from Methodist Book of Discipline

On January 31, 2011, 33 retired bishops of the United Methodist Church published a letter to their colleagues, calling for the removal of language that  deems "the practice of homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching" and bars LGBT persons from full participation in the church. 

MFSA applauds this effort to move the church towards full inclusion of all people and hopes that this is another "Watershed Moment" in the life of the UMC.  Read our full response on our website. The text of the bishops' statement is here.
FacebookThis week on Facebook...

 Connecting Voices

How are you responding to the Bishops' Statement of Council?

Want to keep the conversation going?  Host a Connecting Voices meet-up in your area, and don't forget to tell us about it!
SparksSparks: OnFire in action
Join OnFire and Mosaic at Sing a New Song

Young People's All Day Forum:

Educating to Counter Oppression

Thursday, August 25, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sawmill Creek Resort, Huron, OH

Young People ages 18-35! Join OnFire and MOSAIC for a day of education and action. We'll be exploring methods of resistance, helping us to become better organizers and activists in our own communities. We'll worship together, and in the afternoon we'll start planning action for General Conference. If you're a young adult in the UMC and you want to work for change, you don't want to miss this!
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.
ChaptersChapters and Partners

Remember the Freedom Rides and connect with MFSA at the JustPeace Annual Gathering
Nearly half a century ago, in the spring of 1961, an incredibly courageous group of individuals left Washington, DC on a commercial bus to embark on a perilous journey to strike down Jim Crow segregation in the Deep South.

Now, fifty years after their historic journey, United Methodists have a unique opportunity to gather in Jackson, MS, to commemorate the golden anniversary of the Freedom Rides and continue the ongoing conversation of racial reconciliation and what it means for us today.

Come join in the 11th annual JustPeace Gathering - Journey Toward the Light.  JustPeace, the Mississippi Annual Conference of the UMC, and the General Commission on Religion and Race of the UMC will co-sponsor the event from 5pm on March 6th to 12 noon on March 8th, at various locations in Jackson, Mississippi.

MFSA staff member Jennifer Mihok will be in attendance and is interested in meeting with MFSA folks who will be attending the event.  Please email Jennifer if you're planning to attend.  Hope to see you there!

Click here for more information and to register.
TakeActionTake Action


National Eating Disorders Awareness Week    

NEDA logoFebruary 20-26, 2011 is  National Eating Disorders Awareness week.  Visit the website for materials and information on how you can raise awareness in your area.  This year, NEDA is asking groups and individuals to do "just one thing" to start the conversation, and they have 10 ideas to help get you started.  Consider hosting an event in your congregation or youth group.  

ProgPondProgressive Ponderings

"A Rosa Parks moment for education"
by Kevin Huffman
Washington Post commentator Kevin Huffman reflects on education, poverty and race in a January 31 oped:

In this country, if you are middle or upper class, you have school choice. You can, and probably do, choose your home based on the quality of local schools. [...] But if you are poor, you're out of luck, subject to the generally anti-choice bureaucracy. Hoping to win the lottery into an open enrollment "choice" school in your district? Good luck.

Click here to read the full article.

Is your chapter working on justice in education?  Share your story by emailing Jennifer Mihok at the MFSA National Office.