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Wanted: New/Young GC leaders
Adam's Gift by Jimmy Creech
Eastern PA gathers support for retired bishops' statement
Stop deportations
Move over AIPAC!
The death penalty: where does your state stand?
Sing a New Song!
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Volume VII  Issue 6    


16 March 2011




The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House describes Lent as "a time for personal and societal repentance, a time for radical conversion, renewal and transformation."  It is a time that calls us to witness to the coming of God's kin-dom on earth--both in our personal disciplines and in the communities where we engage. 


MFSA continues its tradition of presenting a strong witness to the General Conference, and whether this is your fifth or first time, we ask you to consider becoming a leader in this effort. Jimmy Creech gives witness to the moment that transformed his ministry in his new book, Adam's Gift.  MFSAers in Eastern Pennsylvania are witnessing throughout the conference by bringing the retired bishops' statement into local churches.


We also encourage you to be a witness by engaging in these efforts:

Stop the deportation of Cristian Ramirez 

Move Over AIPAC (May conference in DC)  

The death penalty: where does your state stand? 

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

Calling all General Conference Volunteers!

General ConferenceVolunteer 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 to complete the survey.

New this year!!!   

The Common Witness Coalition is looking for new  and/or young volunteers to partner in leadership positions with experienced General Conference organizers.  If you are interested in learning more,  please indicate this in the final box on the survey.  Click here to complete the survey. 

SparksSparks: OnFire in action
 Common Witness Coalition seeking young volunteers for General Conference

There are many opportunities for young people to be involved in organizing for the 2012 General Conference with the Common Witness Coalition (MFSA, Reconciling Ministries Network, Affirmation).  In addition to organizing witnesses like this one (see video below) from GC 2008, the Common Witness Coalition is looking to partner young volunteers with experienced General Conference veterans in various areas of organizing (legislative strategy & advocacy, hospitality, worship, etc.).  Some financial assistance will be available for these positions.  For more information, please designate your interest by taking this General Conference Survey and noting in the bottom box that you are a young and/or new volunteer.
Young Adult Rally
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.
ProgPondProgressive Ponderings

Adam's Gift 

by Jimmy Creech

Coming soon from Duke University Press, Adam's Gift tells the story of Jimmy Creech, a former United Methodist pastor whose credentials were revoked after he performed same-gender commitment ceremonies.  Creech was visited one morning in 1984 by Adam, a longtime parishioner whom he liked and respected. Adam said that he was gay and that he was leaving the the United Methodist Church, which had just pronounced that no "self-avowed practicing homosexual" could be ordained. He would not be part of a community that excluded him. Creech found himself instinctively supporting Adam, telling him that he was sure that God loved and accepted him as he was. Adam's Gift is Creech's inspiring first-person account of how that conversation transformed his life and ministry.  Click here for more information or to order your copy.  Adam's Gift will also be also available through

Creech, Jimmy.  Adam's Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor's Calling to Defy the Church's Persecution of Lesbians and Gays.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.  368 pp.
ChaptersChapters and Partners

Eastern Pennsylvania MFSA collects signatures in support of the retired bishops' statement 

The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter met to discuss how to respond to the  retired Bishops' statement on homosexuality.  It was suggested that the best way to get the statement into the hands of congregations was to read it aloud during church services.  Three of us from our church in Havertown, PA, met with our pastor the next day.  We presented the idea to her and decided that I would read the statement the following Sunday during both services.  It was thought that my reading it would make the words personal.  On the second page of the statement we had people sign their names and designate any leadership positions they held in the church.  Our pastor was the first to sign and has since joined MFSA!  Since then, 30 people have signed including a former pastor and his wife.  While that number may seem unimpressive, we are thrilled to have that many for a suburban Philadelphia church that is generally conservative.  
We will add these signatures to others that are being gathered throughout the Conference (the goal is 200 names) and take them to our bishop, Peggy Johnson, in mid March.  By Annual Conference in late May, we hope to display more than 1000 signatures at the MFSA table.

--by Bunnie Bryant, Eastern PA MFSA

Great work, Eastern Pennsylvania!  We hope this idea inspires other MFSA chapters to utilize the retired bishops' statement in actions around Annual Conference.

TakeActionTake Action


Stopping deportations, one at a time


A message from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition:  


In the absence of federal immigration reform, many undocumented immigrants live under the threat of deportation and separation from their families.  While we continue to educate, organize and mobilize for humane immigration reform, we must walk alongside those who are directly impacted by our federal government's failure to pass necessary reforms.   


One of the ways we can do this is by supporting campaigns for individuals who are fighting deportation. By supporting many individual requests for relief through letter campaigns directed at the White House and DHS, we will be clear that we hold them accountable for the impact of our broken system and will also show the strength of support for broad administrative relief.


Toward these ends, we are organizing a letter campaign to help fight the deportation of Cristian Ramirez, a DREAM student and United Methodist church-leader from Dallas, TX.  You can read Cristian's story and participate in a letter-writing campaign by downloading this word document: Deportation_Letter_Campaign-Cristian_Ramirez.doc. 

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. 


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been confirmed as one of AIPAC's speakers, so this event is a great chance to bring publicity to the injustice Palestinians are experiencing.


MFSA is encouraging its Middle East activists to participate in this event.  For more information, visit  You can also download a flier or poster (color or black & white) for distribution in your chapter or congregation.  If you are planning to attend, please inform Jennifer at the national MFSA office.  We may be able to assist in locating housing for conference attendees.  

FacebookThis week on Facebook...

This week on FACEBOOK!

Have you heard?  Last week the Governor of Illinois signed a bill banning the death penalty in Illinois, the 16th state to do so.  Many MFSA chapters have been active in working to abolish the death penalty, which aligns with the official position of the United Methodist Church, which urges its elimination from all criminal codes.  So tell us:

 Where does your state stand on the death penalty and where in your area have Methodists engaged?