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IN THIS ISSUE
Gear up for General Conference
This week on Facebook
All-day forum: Educating to Counter Oppression
GCORR hiring Advocacy Organizer
Stand up for choice with RCRC
Biblical musings on immigration
Sing a New Song!
Sing a New Song
Registration is now open! Join us in August, 2011!
 Connecting Voices
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Volume VII  Issue 4

 

16 February 2011

 

Greetings!

We are now just over a year away from General Conference 2012, which will be held in Tampa, FL.  Once again, members of our broad Methodist connection will gather to shape the future of our beloved yet broken denomination.  The Common Witness Coalition, which includes MFSA, Reconciling Ministries Network, and Affirmation, are already beginning organizing efforts.  We've created a survey to ascertain initial interest of our General Conference volunteers.  Please take time to reflect on where you're being called to serve and respond to the survey so that we can begin coordinating teams.

MFSA extends its support to the Rev. Amy DeLong, who will be standing trial for officiating a holy union between two women as well as disclosing her own same-gender partnership to her district superintendent.  To show support and follow Amy's trial, please "like" the "Love on Trial" Facebook page.

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:
GCORR hiring Advocacy Coordinator
Support women's access to full reproductive care
"Biblical Musings on Immigration"

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

Gear up for General Conference 


GC VolunteerVolunteer opportunities abound for progressive United Methodists who are committed to justice and are willing/able to attend General Conference in Tampa, April 24-May 4, 2012. Once again MFSA, the Reconciling Ministries Network and Affirmation will be coordinating housing and volunteer activities for our Common Witness Coalition.

In order to expedite volunteer coordination, the Common Witness Coalition has created an online survey to collect information on prospective volunteers.  Please visit: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XG6QKHR to complete the survey. This form represents a preliminary indicator of your willingness to volunteer, and is not a final commitment.

We do, however, want to have key positions assigned by the Sing a New Song Conference, August 25-28, at Saw Mill Creek Resorts in Huron, Ohio where we will gather with friends to get energized for our push to General Conference.  Thus, this information is key as we move to identify leaders for various spheres of GC work.

Click here to complete the survey.
FacebookThis week on Facebook...

Love on Trial


Rev. Amy DeLong, United Methodist Clergy in the Wisconsin Annual Conference, will be on trial for showing a larger love than is permitted by the United Methodist Church.  Rev. DeLong finds herself on the wrong side of church law because she officiated at the Holy Union of a loving, committed lesbian couple, and because she and Val, her partner of 15 years, share a life-affirming, deeply loving relationship.


Join us in supporting Rev. Amy DeLong by liking the "Love on Trial" page on Facebook. 


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!

NEW!!!  Detailed information about opportunities for young adults at Sing a New Song are now available on the OnFire Blog.  Check it out!

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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.
ChaptersChapters and Partners

GCORR hiring Advocacy Organizer  

The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) of the United Methodist Church is currently hiring an Advocacy Organizer.  The Advocacy Organizer will 1) Research and design plans for effective advocacy in areas of diversity and inclusiveness. 2) Collect and research trends and realities of the church and society related to the mission and goals of GCORR. 3) Prepare programs of advocacy to respond to trends in racism research. 4) Respond prophetically to church, national or international issues related to the mission of GCORR. 

This person will also assist in creating experiential and multimedia advocacy opportunities based on insights and findings from a variety of research projects focused on diversity, inclusiveness, racism and multiculturalism.  Visit GCORR's website to download more information.  Applications are due February 21, 2011.
TakeActionTake Action

 

Stand for women's health with RCRC    

From the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC): 

 

The misleading "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" bill (HR 3) has been reintroduced to Congress.  Currently, the Hyde Amendment - which bans federal funds for abortion for low-income women, except in very limited cases - must be passed by Congress every year or it will lapse.  HR 3 would make the Hyde ban permanent, thereby establishing in law an unfair two-tiered system for reproductive health service - one for women with private insurance or who can pay themselves and another for low-income women.  Additionally, this bill would increase specific taxes on individuals and small businesses that would have the effect of preventing women from obtaining abortion services.

Women of all economic levels would suffer if this bill passes.  Currently, more than 80 percent of health insurance plans cover abortion.  If this bill passes, millions of women with private insurance would lose coverage for abortion, with serious economic effects. The most devastating effect would be on the most vulnerable women, including poor women, young women, women of color, immigrants, and women who live in rural areas.

Click here to take action online with RCRC.

ProgPondProgressive Ponderings

Biblical Musings on Immigration 

While it looks like federal immigration policy reform will take a little longer due to current political gridlock, the religious community is reaffirming its commitment to Biblical reflection with deliberation and depth. The Desert Southwest Annual Conference is now offering "Biblical Musings on Immigration," weekly reflections on the lectionary that can be useful in exploring immigration and migration.  Visit the Desert Southwest's web page for the most recent musing.