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MFSA endorses "Move over AIPAC" conference
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Volume VII  Issue 5   


2 March 2011



Editor's note: Wording in the original version of this email was not sufficiently validating of the pastor's rightful anger at the church, and for that I sincerely apologize.  The Methodist Federation for Social Action seeks to provide a safe space for those alienated by the UMC, and especially by the Church's discriminatory policies towards LGBT-persons.

I received a heartbreaking piece of mail this morning.  In response to a recent mailing, one of our recipients requested to be removed from our mailing list because "as a gay retired pastor, I hate anything that even reminds me of of the UMC." 

How powerful is the hate and hurt caused by our denomination's current disciplinary policies and the culture they enforce!  To be sure, this individual is not alone in his anger and pain.  As I anticipate the many faces gathered at "Sing a New Song," or see United Methodist clergy breaking bread on the floor of the Wisconsin State House, or consider of the dedication of UMs crying out for justice in Palestine, or hear of Methodists taking a stand for equity in education, I think to myself, "this is what United Methodism can look like."  I give thanks for organizations like MFSA and RMN who continue to pursue justice so that--on a day that can't come soon enough--the hurt and pain felt by this pastor will never again be experienced.  But that day is not yet here.  And there is more change and healing needed along the way.

Also in this issue:
Take Action with Interfaith Worker Justice
Sample legislation now available
Tweet with OnFire

Grace and peace,
Jennifer Mihok
MFSA Outreach and Communications Coordinator
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ProgPondProgressive Ponderings

"Called to the Table"
MFSA member Amanda Stein (right) serves communion on the floor of the Wisconsin State House
"Jesus brought people to the table.  He sat with friends like Mary and Martha, in intimate settings, and shared meals.  Jesus fed thousands with a few loaves and a couple of fish.  The night before his death he sat down at a table, too, with his disciples.  He even shared the meal with one, Judas Iscariot, who would betray him.  Friends, we too are called to come to the table at this important time.  No matter where we come from around the state, no matter our job, our political affiliation, or if we're union or non-union-- we are to come to the table-- even knowing that perhaps by doing so we will be betrayed.  Jesus still calls us to the table."   -- Rev. Amanda Stein

TakeActionTake Action


Take Action with Interfaith Worker Justice

As protesters continue to gather and speak out in Wisconsin, Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) is finding ways for concerned people of faith from around the country to act in solidarity.  As threats to unions  spread to Indiana, Ohio and other states, you can sign their petition to stop attacks on public sector workers and unions.


They have also prepared this prayer for the rights of public sector workers (pdf), which can be inserted into your worship bulletin.


You can also read "What religion looks like" from IWJ's Executive Director, Kim Bobo, summarizing statements religious leaders have given in Wisconsin. 

NatUpNational Update

Sample legislation now available 

General ConferenceThough many deadlines for submission of legislation to Annual Conference 2011 have already passed, several pieces of legislation are available for download on the MFSA website.  New pieces continue to be added, so check back frequently.  If you have legislation you would like to share, email copies to

ChaptersChapters and Partners

MFSA-NC Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry to focus on diversity in education

In 1958, two young pastors crossed paths at Avent Ferry United Methodist and took a prophetic stance against segregation in Raleigh, NC.  Rev. Jack Crum would go on to champion integration in the churches of North Carolina far ahead of his time. Rev. Jim Lawson would later coordinate the nonviolent direct action strategy of the Civil Rights Movement.  On April 9th, 2011, Rev Lawson will return to Avent Ferry UMC to reground in history and faith as participants mobilize to confront the current challenge to diversity in Wake County Public Schools.

This year's theme, "One Bread, One Body: Faithfully Embracing Diversity," will focus on Wake County Public Schools as the front lines of a national trend towards dismantling school diversity policies.  Attendees will be informed and inspired with other pastors, rabbis, lay leaders and concerned people of faith as the current challenge to school diversity is put within the context of our scriptures, traditions and history to discern a vision for a collective faith-based response.

For more info and registration visit:
MidEastMiddle East Spotlight
MFSA endorses Move Over AIPAC Conference

Many of MFSA's partner groups (including the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation) are organizing a gathering in Washington, DC, from May 21-24, 2011, called "Move Over AIPAC: Building a New US Middle East Policy."   Timed to coincide with the annual policy meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the event will bring together activists and concerned citizens from around the country to learn about the extraordinary influence AIPAC has on U.S. policy and how to strengthen an alternative that respects the rights of all people in the region. 


AIPAC's unconditional support for Israel's illegal policies--separation walls, settlements, the siege of Gaza--has been devastating for Palestinians and the rest of the Middle East, but it also hurts Israel and the United States.  While AIPAC is meeting at the DC Convention Center, participants will be "unpacking AIPAC" -- educating the public about AIPAC's means, motives, and support for Israel's war crimes.  The event will also involve press conferences, book signings, music, poetry and film showings along with creative protests at the AIPAC Convention.  After the weekend gathering, participants will "join" AIPAC attendees on the Hill for an action-packed day of lobbying.


MFSA is encouraging its Middle East activists to participate in this event.  For more information visit: 

SparksSparks: OnFire in action
Follow OnFire on Twitter

Twitter etc. Did you know?  OnFire (MFSA's young adult chapter) has a Twitter account. Visit to find  action alerts, MFSA news, and inspiration for justice work.

New to Twitter?  It's easy.  Simply create an account and then select people to follow, including UMOnFire, of course.  You don't have to "tweet" (contribute) actively in order to participate.  And if you're already on Facebook, Twitter will be a piece of cake!
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.