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Volume VII  Issue 8                 

11 April 2012




I remember when I was 14 and preparing to go to camp. Sure I'd been to band camp and I'd stayed a week every summer with my cousin, but this was different. This was a YMCA camp designed to help teenagers in Appalachia develop leadership skills through connection to community service. I wouldn't know a soul there, and I had tons of nervous energy by the time I left home. That week changed my life. I had a mountaintop  experience (literally) and my worldview dramatically changed.


On April 24, MFSA, along with our partners in the Common Witness Coalition, will embark on our 2012 Mission Trip to the General Conference of The United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida. Those in attendance will surely have their own nervous energy. Many might encounter mountaintop moments; others might find themselves in valleys of dry bones. MFSA will be there - praying, advocating, singing, serving.  


If you're coming to Tampa, we'll see you there! Look for the Love Your Neighbor Tabernacle just outside the Tampa Street entrance of the Convention Center. Morning, noon, and night, we will be there as a witness to our call to love God and neighbor.


If you're not going to be in Tampa, but keep saying "I wish I could help, but I'm not able to be there," here are a few opportunities 

  • Donate!  - $10 underwrites the cost of meals for delegates and volunteers! 
  • Pray!  - Send your prayers to the Tabernacle and pray along with us every day with the MFSA Daily eNews 
  • Follow our website, Facebook, and Twitter  

I've come a long way from that YMCA camp experience in which I came to know the love of God who creates and is still creating. General Conference 2012 is only part of that journey. Won't you join us in standing for peace with justice, an inclusive Church that values agency of all people, and the eradication of poverty,racism, and colonialism?




Chett Pritchett

Development and Communications Associate 

National CalltoActionAlternativeAlmost There!: Mission Trip Tampa 

Native American United Methodists Join Love Your Neighbor Coalition 


Just days after Black and Asian caucuses in The United Methodist Church joined the Common Witness Coalition to work at the crossroads of issues, the denomination's Native American caucus joined the coalition for full inclusion. Read more here.




For many years, MFSA has produces "Plumblines," in-depth analysis of issues and petitions/resolutions to General Conference. While they are not inclusive of every petition sent to the General Conference, they cover many of the topical areas important to the Methodist Federation for Social Action and our partner organizations. Although not all of the Plumblines are completed, you can find them at Updates are being made daily!  


Mission Trip Tampa: Once You Get There 


Once you arrive in Tampa, please report to the Love Your Neighbor Coalition Office on the 14th Floor of the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel or to the Love Your Neighbor Tabernacle across the street from the Tampa Convention Center. Volunteers who have noted they are coming may check in at either location and complete a volunteer form. Hospitality volunteers should make their way to the Tabernacle for further instructions. Legislative monitors should meet at the Tabernacle on Tuesday, April 24 at 5:15pm for Legislative Orientation.  


Tips for Tampa: Bring Business Casual clothing, especially if you will be interacting with delegates on a regular basis. Hospitality volunteers working around food should wear close-toed shoes and arms should be covered. Pack a hoodie for a flash-mob type witness in response to violence. Finally, drink lots of water - MFSA will have reusable water bottles available. Donations are always welcome to underwrite the cost of the bottles.   


Mission Trip Tampa: Following From Home 


Can't make it to Tampa? Here are some great ways to follow from home:


NationalImmigration Task Force Rally at General Conference 

Profit Rally
As we gather in Tampa, Florida for the 2012 United Methodist General Conference, United Methodists and community partners will rally to challenge mass incarceration of communities of color and the role of private prisons in detention and incarceration. We call on state legislatures to veto prison privatization and guaranteed occupancy of prisons for profit.


LOCALLY we join Floridians in challenging the construction of a 1,500 bed immigrant detention facility by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) in Broward County, Florida which will damage people's lives and the fragile environment. We celebrate a recent legislative victory halting the privatization of Florida jails.


NATIONALLY we call for divestment from private prisons. We call for federal legislation to ensure legal status for undocumented immigrants and to reunite families, eliminating the rationale for detention centers. We join the Detention Watch Network's Dignity not Detention Campaign in calling for an end to the mandatory detention of non-citizens and an end to Department of Homeland Security policies and programs that use the criminal justice system to target people for detention and deportation. ( 


GLOBALLY we challenge the detention of tens of thousands of migrants around the world who have committed no crime, simply because they are out of status. We oppose the growing reach of CCA and GEO in private detention centers around the world.


Join MFSA and other members of the United Methodist Task Force on Immigration for Profit from Pain is Inhumane: Dignity Not Detention. We will gather at the Sail Pavillion in front of the Tampa Convention Center on Saturday, April 28 from 12:30pm-1:30pm. If you are planning to be at General Conference and would like to volunteer to assist with this action please email Jen Tyler, Associate for Movement Building.   

Ethnic Local Church Grant
The General Board of Church and Society's Ethnic Local Church Grants  Program exists to provide grants to strengthen the ethnic local church through education, advocacy, or leadership training and development as they engage in social justice.Check out their website for information on applying for their Fall funding cycle.
Volunteer Recognition
Many who are familiar with MFSA know the name Ginny Lapham. For many years, Ginny has worked on progressive issues close to her heart. In recent years she has been a Volunteer Staff member working on Middle East Peace. She is also a member of the MFSA Board of Directors and has worked tirelessly towards General Conference 2012. In her professional life, Ginny has served as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown University and Director of the Human Genome Education Model Project.

Recently, the University of Maryland's School of Social Work, honored Ginny as one of their 50 Heroes for Justice, marking the School's 50th anniversary and mission to bring "peace and justice to all."

Ginny's MFSA family celebrates this award with her. Congratulations!
Social Media Corner: I AM MFSA!
Listen to what our consituents have to say about MFSA!
Shalom means Peace
Shalom means Peace
Confronting Poverty with MFSA
Confronting Poverty with MFSA

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Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20003