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Mississippi begins a new chapter!
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CMEP Advocacy Conference 2011
Campaign to Drop the I-Word
Black Clergy and Scholars Endorce Bishops' Statement
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Volume VII  Issue 10        

  12 May 2011




During our last issue, we talked about our blog campaign, #WhyMFSA. Did you catch it? We received countless enthusiastic responses to why you are a part of MFSA, many of which can be found on the MFSA blog. So don't worry if you missed them: you can read them all here! and yes... there are still a couple more great blogs floating out there, so stay on the lookout for more over the next few weeks!


This is an exciting time for MFSA, and this campaign has only encouraged our enthusiasm for all the great work being done both in the national office and around the country. Did you know that we have announced who our new Executive Director will be, effective July 5? Or that folks in the Mississippi Annual Conference are working to start their own local chapter? Perhaps you're looking to be involved? Don't forget to sign up for Sing a New Song! Already signed up? We've go info on how to register for your workshops! The Churches for Middle East Peace Advocacy Conference  is coming up in Washington, DC, and OnFire is excited to invite young adults to take part in the World Student Christian Federation's General Assembly in October. In this issue, you can also find an opportunity to take action and sign a petition to drop the I-Word, an action update and invitation take part in the effort to end end UMC laws that Discriminate, as well as links to our social media pages

Indeed there are a lot of exciting things happening here at MFSA; thanks for being a part of this journey!

Grace and peace,
Jen Tyler
Associate for Movement Building
NatUpdateNationalNational Update

Announcing MFSA's new Executive Director 

Jill A. Warren has been unanimously selected by MFSA's Board of Directors to serve as the next Executive Director of the organization beginning July 5, 2011.

Jill is an experienced nonprofit executive who has led agencies, taught management and leadership courses at the graduate and undergraduate level, and provided consulting services to foundations, agencies, boards of directors and nonprofit CEOs.  Her faith has led her to do justice work in family violence prevention, reproductive health, and civil rights while giving boldly in her personal philanthropy to create a more just world.  Jill brings a contagious level of enthusiasm and energy to her work, and MFSA is delighted to welcome her to its leadership.

You can read more about Jill here, or read her blog on why she is excited to be a part of MFSA here.
ChaptersChapters and Partners

Chapter Beginnings in Mississippi

On Saturday, April 30, Methodists in Mississippi held their first meeting on the road to becoming an official chapter of MFSA. The meeting was held at Broadmeadow UMC in Jackson where the group adopted a mission: "We are for All People, for Peace, for Progressive Theology, and against Poverty."  Their first physical presence will be at Annual Conference in Jackson, June 10-12, 2011. DREAM Mississippi will have a table (this includes MFSA) and MFSA members will be helping with the Sacred Conversation table.


MFSA will be an important and crucial group of progressive United Methodist clergy and laity that will be a compassionate presence in the Mississippi Annual Conference, and they have already made their conference newsletter! 


If you are in Mississippi or know someone who is, please join in the movement to further the Kin-dom of God. You are invited to contact co-chair Justin White directly at

SANSSing a New Song

Register Now For Workshops!

One of the things that makes Sing a New Song such an amazing event is the wide variety of workshops that you can choose from. You have the opportunity to participate in two workshops. By giving the Sing a New Song planning team your interest now, you allow us to assign each workshop an appropriately sized room. Please choose your top three workshops for Sing a New Song.

To register for your workshop you will need the password that was emailed to you when you first registered.  Follow this link and click on "Already Registered?" to log back into your registration. Once you log back in to your registration you can select your workshops.


Not registered yet? Don't worry: there's still plenty of time! Register today at!

MiddleEastSpotlightMiddle East Spotlight

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
Advocacy Conference 2011 


The 2011 CMEP Advocacy Conference, For the Peace of Jerusalem, is taking place May 22-24 in Washington, DC.


Each year advocates, leaders, experts and more gather in Washington DC to be better informed, equipped and supported in raising their voices for U.S. policies and actions that work for justice and peace in the Holy Land. Faith leaders, issue analysts and policy experts will provide important insights, resources and skills that prepare you to effectively express your concerns to elected officials and reach out locally to engage others.


There is still time to register and partake in this year's CMEP Conference. For more information, visit the CMEP website.  

TakeActionTake Action

Drop the "I" Word     


The Drop the I-Word Campaign represents a broad spectrum of individuals and communities from across the country, including the United Methodist General Commission on Religion and Race, that are demanding respect and rejecting the I-Word, "illegals," as a designation of their neighbors, children, families and selves. 


Use of the I-Word affects attitudes toward immigrants and non-immigrants alike, including people of color who come here from all over the world. The racially discriminatory message is not explicit, but hidden, or "coded."


Together we can Drop the I-Word and hold the media and public servants accountable. Sign the pledge to drop the I-Word by following the link below, and be sure to list MFSA as your organization! 



ProgPondProgressive Ponderings

End UMC Laws that Discriminate


On April 19, 2011, this statement and petition was issued by African American Scholars and Clergy of The United Methodist Church. People of color were called upon to add their own signatures to this document, supporting the GLBT Community as a welcome and equal part of our church body. 


Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell, one of the 9 original singatories of this document, has issued the following call to action, urging all to add their signatures to this document:


"...signatures from persons across the racial spectrum are appreciated and requested, now that we have amassed a significant number of signatures from black persons and other persons of color. We, at my last checking, have 155, with the 155th being from my long-time friend and colleague, Rev. Dr. Gayraud Wilmore, who has written a moving and powerful comment.


"We still live in a time of racial and racist paradox. Some of my black colleagues have wondered why those who are active in the Gay Rights Movement have not identified with our continuing Black justice struggle as they have wanted us to join theirs. I, as one who 'stands in the gap' would deeply appreciate it if my white colleagues and others would add their names to the statement."


At this time, the signatures are already over 300! Add your name to the  document here: 

SparksSparks: OnFire in action
World Student Christian Federation North American Regional Assembly


The World Student Christian Federation-North America is planning its first North American Regional Assembly, to be held in Chicago, IL, on October 14-18, 2011. This event will be tackling the 2011 Federation's theme "Overcoming Violence" and will be an opportunity for the region to plan its future activities. Inputs, workshops, worship and bible study, exposure in the Chicago area will be part of the conference. Please, spread the word and save the date. For more information, visit the OnFire blog.  



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.
FacebookSocial Media Corner

MFSA is on Twitter


MFSA is now on Twitter. Visit to "follow."



1,000 Facebook likes by Sing a New Song 


Help us meet our goal of getting 1000 likes on Facebook before Sing a New Song (August 25-28, 2011)!  Share our page with your Facebook friends and grow the movement!



Want to make the conversation PERSONAL?  Host a Connecting Voices meet-up in your area, and don't forget to tell us about it