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|Volume VII Issue 9 ||
14 June 2012
It's been over a month since General Conference has ended. MFSA staff have taken renewal leave, returned to the office, and been sent out again to visit Annual Conferences. To date we have visited Detroit, Baltimore-Washington, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, New England, Texas, Mississippi, and Upper New York!
While General Conference was not all that we had hoped for The United Methodist Church, MFSA continues to be faithful and fierce! Faithful because we know that no vote of General Conference can stop the work of passionate United Methodists who continue to engage in social holiness for the sake of the Gospel; fierce because MFSA will continue to stand up for justice, call out corruption, and speak truth to power at all levels of the Church.
This edition of the eNews will share resources about The United Methodist Church AGC (After General Conference) and look forward in faith about MFSA's bright future as we seek social holiness together.
For the living of these days,
Development and Communications Associate
Life in a Post-General Conference World
|Words on Woundedness from Bishop Minerva Carcaņo
|Bishop Minerva Carcaņo of the Phoenix Episcopal Area|
Many good things happened at General Conference. They did not necessarily happen through legislative processes though some of the good came through our legislative work.
Establishing a global theological education fund to help prepare persons for ministry, our commitment to mission and ministry around the world supported by a strong financial plan, the commissioning of missionaries to serve in a great variety of settings, our continued commitment to U.S. racial ethnic plans, our ecumenical work, and certainly our Service of Repentance and our clear covenant to repair the cruel offenses we have committed against indigenous peoples-these were all good things that came from General Conference.
I also rejoice in the great diversity we saw at this GC. I heard many more voices from young people and persons from Africa, the Philippines and Europe. There were, in my opinion, deeper conversations on the floor this time about what it means to be the church.
But here is where I saw our woundedness. We showed it through our fear of failure, our racism and sexism, our homophobia and our U.S.-centric attitude.
Continue to read Bishop Carcaņo's words in the United Methodist Reporter by clicking here.
DreamUMC is a social media-fueled conversation among young and young-ish adults about the future of the United Methodist Church. It's a response to the exclusion of young adult voices from the Call To Action process during the past two years and a commitment to include Young People from the onset as part of a grassroots initiative not ran by anyone on any committee or board. You can learn more about DreamUMC on HackingChristianity, or if you're already involved in the Twittersphere, follow the hashtag #dreamumc, and join in the next TweetUp on June 25 at 9pm EDT. If you don't tweet, you can see follow-up information on DreamUMC's Facebook page.
Statement from the New England Delegation
In 2012, The United Methodist Church came of age. We may not know it yet, but when the motion to adjourn General Conference came at 10:45 on Friday evening, May 4, from Joey Lopez of North Carolina, we were launched from the cozy confines of the nest that had sheltered us for the last 44 years into a new world that we can hardly begin to imagine.
Some of us may have sensed it at the time, but for most of us there has been a growing realization that what we have been counting on to save our church will never be sufficient for the task. If we were depending on getting our legislative house in order, we failed to do so. If we were hoping that instituting strong centralized leadership would be the panacea, all the plans went up in smoke. If we thought a common theological perspective, or a unified worldview, or new language around inclusion would rescue us-none of these were anywhere to be seen
The reality is that The United Methodist Church is too big and too diverse to be held together by any of the centers we have relied upon for more than four decades. We will not be saved by our bishops, our polity, our structure, our metrics, our theology, our doctrine, our social principles, or by Roberts Rules of Order. Thank God! What Tampa taught us is that the vitality of United Methodism is not to be found in any of its structures. Our strength and our unity lie in our identity as a spiritual movement, grounded in the grace of God and linked by common practices of personal and social holiness. Nothing more, nothing less.
You can read the entire statement here thanks to the United Methodist Reporter.
GC 2012 Volunteer Survey
Words cannot convey the gratitude that our coalition partner organizations feel for the time, the talents, the gifts and the witness you gave to our work at General Conference in Tampa, Florida! Not only did you help stop greater harm from happening, and you gave our United Methodist Church four more years to remember what is at the heart of our Wesleyan call of discipleship and vitality... we must be a people committed to God's grace and love for ALL; a people of both personal and social holiness (deeply devotional and justice working); and, we must become truly committed to our world-wide nature by supporting the rich diversity of our connection. As an ongoing coalition, we are committed to learning from our past, building toward our future and preparing the hearts and minds of United Methodists everywhere to value and embrace God's grace in and at work through all of God's many and varied peoples.
With that in mind, we need your help once more! In order to learn from our (recent) past, we would like to ask you to commit about 30 minutes of your time to complete a survey about our work at General Conference.
The survey can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GC2012survey and is for those who were physically present in Tampa for any and/or all of the General Conference and worked with our coalition as an official volunteer, or as a friend. Your gift of time now will help us to become more prepared and organized for the future of our coalition. And yes, we are already talking about our work together over the next four years and how that work can be lived out now in the lives of Annual, Jurisdictional and Central Conferences as we live into our future together and dream into the church we hope to become. The survey will be available for the next week. Thank you again for your time and gifts; and now, for your thoughtful reflections! You are a gift to the movement for justice, inclusion and discipleship!
|Welcome, Mercy! |
MFSA is excited to welcome a new face in our office for this summer. Mercy Rehema is an Ethnic Young Adult Intern through the General Board of Church and Society. Mercy is originally from Nairobi, Kenya, part of the East Africa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. She is currently a student at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe, where she is entering her final year in the Faculty of Theology. Mercy is not only interested in serving the Church, but in advancing human rights and the eradication of HIV/AIDS.
While at MFSA, Mercy will be researching on the Church's response to HIV/AIDS, and educating us on ways in which we can educate and respond as a church in the midst of this global health crisis.
We are excited to have Mercy with us this summer. (She actually met two of our staff members in February when they visited Africa University). We welcome her and look forward to the connections that can be made from this fantastic internship opportunity!
|International Conference on HIV/AIDS|
Want to participate in something useful and important? The International AIDS Conference is the place to be.
AIDS 2012 is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward.
Throw two hundred like-minded people in a room and you're bound to get something good out of it. Conversation is the inspiration for innovation. When you attend a conference, you find the opportunity to be practical in your approach to Christian faith.
The AIDS 2012 program will present new scientific knowledge and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV. A variety of session types - from abstract-driven presentations to symposia, bridging and plenary sessions - will meet the needs of various participants. Other related activities, including the Global Village, satellite meetings, exhibitions and affiliated independent events, will contribute to an exceptional opportunity for professional development and networking. For more information please check out their website.
Other events in DC surrounding the conference:
AIDS March DC 2012: The "Keep the Promise" March and Rally will bring together thousands of AIDS advocates in the heart of Washington, DC prior to the opening of the 2012 International AIDS Conference with the aim of reminding world leaders and policy makers that the AIDS epidemic remains a global threat to public health. Sign the promise, then commit to coming to DC to participate in the March. Keep your eyes open for more information about how you can join MFSA in this very important action!
AIDS Quilt 2012: The AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display this summer in Washington, DC at two inspiring events. Come to DC, volunteer, and share your stories! Learn more here!
|Jurisdictional Conference Preparations|
Although Annual Conferences aren't yet over, MFSA Staff are making plans to be present at all of the Jurisdictional Conferences this July. At some JC's we will have a table in the display area, at others we'll have a hospitality event, and at some we'll just be present to listen and advance concerns of peace, poverty, people's rights, progressive issues, and justice in the UMC. Below is a list of staff members who will be attending each Jurisdictional Conference. If you are a delegate, please connect with the staff member who will be at your JC and determine how to spread the mission of MFSA far and wide!
NEJ: Chett Pritchett
NCJ: Rev. Jen Tyler
SEJ: Rev. Steve Clunn
SCJ: Jill A. Warren
WJ: Rev. Richard Bentley
|Action Alert: Standing Up for God's Creation|
The National Council of Churches EcoJustice Program is working to generate over 9000 comments to the Environmental Protection Agency in support of new emission standards for coal-burning power plants. Comments must be submitted by June 25. The NCC has made it easy to take action. Click here
and let your voice be heard!
|Social Media Corner|
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