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|Volume VII Issue 8 ||
14 April 2011
Early birds, the time is now! There are just over two weeks left to get the early bird rate for this summer's Sing a New Song, a gathering of progressive Methodists working for full inclusion. Once you sign up, sing out by engaging in justice ministry with MFSA & our partners. Check out these great opportunities:
In this issue:
Promote and sign up for Sing a New Song
Drew students get excited for Sing a New Song
Two ways to support the Uniting American Families Act
Dead Man Walking School Theater Project
Call for MFSA attendees at "Move Over AIPAC" conference
New post on migrantchrist blog: a call to prayer
Facebook: how are you celebrating peace with justice this Holy Week?
Grace and peace,
MFSA Outreach and Communications Coordinator
Bulletin inserts, bookmarks & blogs for
Sing a New Song!
There's just over a week left to register with the early bird rate for Sing a New Song
, a gathering of progressive Methodists working for an all-inclusive church. Join us in Ohio from August 25-38 at the Saw Mill Creek Resort--and share the word.
You can download bulletin inserts
or young adult fliers
to share with your congregation. Share them widely as you make personal invitations to your friends, family and colleagues.
Also, check out MFSA's blog
as Rev. Nina Nichols invites all to participate in changing the church through organizing for General Conference beginning at Sing a New Song. See you there!
|Sparks: OnFire in action|
|Drew students get excited for
Sing a New Song
by Shannon Sullivan
It is not too early to be thinking about how to get people excited about Sing a New Song (SANS)! At Drew Theological School last week, Drew students involved in RMN and MFSA put together a chapel service with Rev. Tanya Bennett and Mark Miller, worship leaders for SANS. Heidi Tierney, Drew alum involved in the Greater New Jersey conference RMN who is also helping with worship, preached on Romans 12:1-2. This is the service we put together using RMN's liturgy resource Shaping Sanctuary and the Companion Litany for the Social Creed.
After the service we had a lunch discussion with Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator for MFSA, RMN, and Affirmation, about organizing for General Conference. The whole day was an excellent opportunity to connect and share about how we at Drew can work for justice in The United Methodist Church. If you are looking for a way to motivate your church or faith community to go to Sing a New Song, worship services and lunches are great ways to get the word out! Check out ours for ideas.
Visit the OnFire blog for video of the Drew service.
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
There's still time! Two ways to support the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA)
Every year, U.S. immigration laws tear apart loving families simply because these couples are of the same gender. With federal law prohibiting LGBT Americans from sponsoring their same-sex partners for immigration, too many couples are forced into choosing between staying in the U.S. and staying together. Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and others will announce the re-introduction of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) into the House of Representatives. It's not too late to show your support. Click here to email your Congressperson in support of UAFA.
In addition, Immigration Equality, an advocacy group that has pushed for immigration reform, and specifically the Uniting American Families Act, is compiling a list of signers--religious leaders, organizations, and denominations--to a letter in support the legislation. Last year, MFSA National as well as the Virginia, Southwest Texas and Oregon-Idaho chapters signed on to the letter, which has now been signed by over 400 faith leaders. Email Jennifer Mihok at MFSA National if your chapter is interested in becoming a signer. You can read the full text of the letter on the MFSA website.
For more information on the Uniting American Families Act, check out Sarah Posner's post at Religion Dispatches, "Religious Leaders for Immigration Equality for Gay and Lesbian Couples."
|Chapters and Partners|
Educate your community through the
Dead Man Walking School Theater Project
The Dead Man Walking School Theater Project incorporates the power of theater arts and academic study into the national discourse on the death penalty.
The project engages students, faculty and community members through the play "Dead Man Walking" as a tool for justice. Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of the book, and Tim Robbins, who wrote the stage play in 2002, have invited high schools and colleges across the nation to produce this transformational play.
Since the launch of the Dead Man Walking School Theater Project in the fall of 2003 more than 200 high schools and colleges across the nation have produced the play, conducted academic courses on the death penalty, and brought the issue to life on their campuses through art, music, public education and action events.
To learn how your school can participate in the Dead Man Walking School Theater Project, contact the National Coordinator, Steven Crimaldi, at (617) 263-7550; or email@example.com.
|Middle East Spotlight|
|MFSA endorses Move Over AIPAC Conference-- can you attend?
MFSA is encouraging Middle East activists to participate in "Move Over AIPAC: Building a New US Middle East Policy" from May 21-24, 2011, in Washington, DC. Timed to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the event will bring together concerned citizens from around the country to learn about the extraordinary influence AIPAC has on U.S. policy and strengthen an alternative that respects the rights of all people in the region.
As an endorsing organization, we would like to have at least two people attend on behalf of MFSA. If you are planning to attend, please inform Jennifer Mihok at the national MFSA office. We may be able to assist in locating housing for conference attendees.
For more information, visit http://www.moveoveraipac.org/. You can also download a flier or poster (color or black & white) for distribution in your chapter or congregation.
How DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) drove this activist to prayer:
[...] I do not discount the need for prayer at all, but I like to go as fast as I can, 150 miles an hour, hair on fire, the whole bit. I like to push as hard as I can, in as many areas as I can. In working on issues of justice, I do not see how else to do it. The injustices are so great, the challenges before us are so enormous and the forces working against us are so structurally and spiritually deep and entrenched. I believe God is out in front of us, going as fast as possible (and sometimes waiting impatiently for the Church to catch up!), pushing hard, and keenly aware of all that is happening to the most vulnerable in our world. Read more.
|This week on Facebook...|
How are you celebrating peace with justice this Holy Week?
You can also visit the MFSA Lectionary Planning Facebook Page to share ideas for worship and ritual.
Want to keep the conversation going? Host a Connecting Voices meet-up in your area, and don't forget to tell us about it!