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Another View on Planned Parenthood
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Volume VII  Issue 4               

16 February 2012




Life never seems to slow down at MFSA! In just the past week, MFSA staffers have participated in Pre-General Conference Briefings in The Philippines and Zimbabwe; met with students at Africa University; celebrated worship at the Reconsecration of Simpson Chapel in the United Methodist Building; and represented a progressive Christian view of reproductive health on PBS's NewsHour!

In less than ten weeks, over a thousand United Methodists will descend upon Tampa, Florida. Many will be delegates from Annual Conferences across the globe; some will be staff from General Boards and Agencies; others will be volunteers with the Common Witness Coalition, of which the Methodist Federation for Social Action plays an integral role.

I hope you'll participate in our Ten Weeks Out campaign. By giving $10 a week for 10 weeks, you can help MFSA shape the vision and mission of The United Methodist Church.

In this issue of the E-News, you'll get to meet our Young Adult Scholarship recipients. This scholarship, made possible through a grant from the Arcus Foundation, will help rising United Methodist leaders, paired with seasoned mentors, understand the legislative process at General Conference. You'll also read a personal account from a Seminary graduate about the importance of Planned Parenthood and reproductive choice in her own life. And finally, you'll get a tip from the New Organizing Institute on how to wield Facebook as a way to get our message across.

These are exciting times - and I'm glad we're on this journey together!

Grace and peace,
Chett Pritchett
Development and Communications Associate

National CalltoActionAlternativeYoung Adult Scholarship Recipients 


MFSA is proud to announce the recipients of the General Conference Young Adult Scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of the Arcus Foundation, Reconciling Ministries Network, and Affirmation, 12 full scholarship recipients were chosen from a field of over 20 applicants.


Zach Anderson is Provisional Elder in the Nebraska Annual Conference. He has been a lay delegate to General Conference in 2004 and 2008. He currently serves St. Paul's UMC in Papillion, Nebraska.

Alexis Brown is a student at Wesley Theological Seminary and a candidate for ministry in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. She is the Young Adult Coordinator at Asbury Town Neck UMC in Severna Park, Maryland.



Britt Cox is a Certified Elder candidate in the Southwest Texas Annual Conference. She is a student at Chicago Theological Seminary and has served as a Jurisdictional Organizer with Reconciling Ministries Network.



Natalia Cuadra-Saez is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was described by the student newspaper as a "Puerto Rican-Chilean-American, a Latino-LGBT-Native American rights activist, a Spanish-and-English speaker, and a church-going history lover." Natalia currently works with United Methodist Kairos Response for peace with justice in Palestine.  



Kristin Dart is a basketball coach, teacher, and lay member at Newtonville UMC in the Upper New York Annual Conference. She also serves the Associate Conference Lay Leader.   


Steven Dry is no stranger to the United Methodist Church. Steven worships at Lexington UMC in Lexington, Massachusetts where is mother is the pastor! Steve is a graduate of Emory University and is considering graduate studies in religion and sexuality.  



Joseph Kyser served as a Licensed Local Pastor in the Missouri Annual Conference before beginning his studies at Harvard Divinity School. He has also served as Jurisdictional Organizer for the Reconciling Ministries Network.  



Matt Lockett is a graduate student in Chemistry at the University of Oregon, has been a lay delegate to the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference more than 6 years, and was part of the inaugural Young People's Address to General Conference in 2008. He also has a great sense of humor.  



Mistead Sai is a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is active in the Wesley Foundation. Born in Ghana, his faith has led him to a passion to reduce the "isms" in life.   



Shannon Sullivan is a student at Drew Theological School and a candidate for ministry in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Shannon has provided leadership for OnFire, the young adult movement within MFSA.  



Justin White is a Provisional Deacon in the Mississippi Annual Conference. He is the Pastor to Students and Families at Wells Memorial UMC in Jackson, Mississippi, and has been active in the formation of the MFSA Chapter in Mississippi.  


Kathryn "Katie" Wineland is a student at Blufton University majoring in Peace and Justice Studies. She is a Certified Lay Missioner in the West Ohio Conference, focusing on Hispanic ministries.  


Likewise, MFSA offered a scholarship for those who could secure partial funding for their time in Tampa. We are pleased to announce those stellar scholarship recipients!


Kara Crawford is a Mission Intern with the General Board of Global Ministries serving in Bogota, Columbia. She is supported in her scholarship by the North Central Jurisdiction's  Division on Ministry with Young People.  



Michelle Dromgold is a Mission Intern with the General Board of Global Ministries serving in Berlin, Germany. Michelle is supported by her home congregation, Dumbarton UMC in Washington, DC.  


Devin Hansen is a US2 Missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries in Detroit, Michigan. He works with the homeless and unemployed through Central UMC, his sponsor for this scholarship.  



Young Dong "Steve" Kim is a student at Drew Theological School and has worked with the United Methodist Campus Ministry through the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life at Drew, which has sponsored him for this scholarship.

CoalitionAnother View on Planned Parenthood 
Another View on Planned Parenthood
By Alison Smith

On my way into a Planned Parenthood last year a girl my age handed me a rosary. She told me she would pray for me. She didn't ask my name (it's Alison). She didn't ask the reason for my visit (while I was currently working four jobs, none of them provided insurance). She didn't ask about my faith (I am a Christian with a Master's degree in Theology).

As a woman AND a Christian I find myself in what many assume to be awkward middle ground, but I don't see it that way. I believe Planned Parenthood is a ministry. As a woman, and one without insurance, I am thankful for Planned Parenthood. As a Christian, I am inspired by them.

I accepted the rosary that day and thanked the woman - after all, who's not in need of a little prayer? But I wanted to ask her about her faith and tell her about mine - couldn't she see the good work that was being done here? I don't know if the people paying her to stand out there were also paying for her insurance. I hoped they were; but if not, I know of someone that will help.
Alison Smith lives in Chicago, IL and is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Despite being employed full-time, Alison has no health benefits. Planned Parenthood is her only affordable option for health care.
Ethnic Young Adult Internship
Are you between the ages 18 and 25?

Do you represent one of the 5 ethnic minority caucuses with The United Methodist Church?

Want to learn about the relationship between faith and public life?

Check out the Ethnic Young Adult Intern program at the General Board of Church and Society!

Application deadline is March 1, 2012. 
Chapter Happenings
OREGON-IDAHO: Spring Event, Saturday March 3 at First UMC Portland. Focusing on the theme "Moving from Charity to Justice", will feature MFSA Executive Director, Jill Warren. Registration at

The Bishop's Study, "Journey Through the Wilderness-Welcoming the Stranger" has been chosen as the topic for MFSA's Spring Regional Gatherings.  The four writers have graciously agreed to lead the programs in each of the four locations.  Dates and locations are: 
  • Sunday, March 11, 3:00 - 5:00 PM,  Nora Springs UMC, Denny Coon, program leader
  • Sunday, March 18, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, Medora UMC, Roger Betsworth, program leader 
  • Saturday, March 31, 10:00 - Noon, Asbury UMC in Cedar Rapids, Mike Biklen, program leader
  • Sunday, April 22, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, Atlantic UMC, Barb Dinnen, program leader


Does your Chapter have information to share? An upcoming event or participation in an action or campaign? Email and we'll try and get it in the next E-News! 

ProgressivePonderingsProgressive Ponderings
FacebookSocial Media Corner

Make Facebook Fall in Love with You! 


Three simple things to remember: 

  • Videos/Photos. You already knew that multimedia is engaging. Well it turns out Facebook is totally crushing on multimedia, too. Posting photos and videos increases the odds that your content is shown to your followers.
  • Links. Not quite as good as multimedia, but Facebook does <3 links (not as boyfriend/girlfriend, but as really good friends).
  • Status updates. Facebook is totally not into your status update. If Facebook was giving out Valentines to the whole class, it wouldn't even sign the card it gave your status update.

If you want a good rank (which means Facebook will show your content to your fans/friends more often and longer), focus on the types of content Facebook is a little in love with. Instead of posting just a status update, find a photo, video, or link to go along with it.    

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