FLORIDA: Rev. Steve Clunn, MFSA's Coalition Coordinator, spoke at the MFSA dinner and got to celebrate in their support of the Florida Farm Workers. Rev. Pam Cahoon, who was awarded the chapter's "2012 MFSA Plumb Line Award" for her work in combating hunger and poverty across Florida. The Florida Annual Conference also adopted a resolution to encourage local congregations to participate in Creation Care Task Force initiatives.
IOWA: In concerned responses to the 2012 General Conference, two moments of personal privilege were taken from the floor, during which time nearly half of the room (both members and visitors) stood in silent solidarity with this call to Do No Harm. MFSA staffer, Rev. Jen Tyler attended the Iowa MFSA Chapter's annual awards banquet, this year honoring Rev. Marvin Arnpriester, Jo Ann Heerdt and Rev. Bob Williams. Dr. Jennifer Harvey of Drake University was the featured speaker.
MINNESOTA: In a vote of 400-169, the Minnesota Conference voted to support a resolution stating their opposition to an amendment to the Minnesota state constitution redefining marriage as between one man and one woman. The amendment will be voted on in Minnesota this coming November. The Minnesota Conference also voted to support GCORR's "Drop The I-Word" Campaign. Jen Tyler represented MFSA and met with progressives interested in the work we do.
MISSISSIPPI: Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator, visited one of MFSA's newest Chapters where over 3 dozen energetic, social holiness activists gathered at a house party to worship, debrief around General Conference 2012 and DREAM about the future of United Methodism in Mississippi.
NEBRASKA: MFSA staffer Jen Tyler attended the Nebraska MFSA banquet on June 5, honoring Rev Steve Griffith with the MFSA Schlosser Award for Justice. The featured speaker was Darcy Tromanhauser, Program Director of Immigrant Integration & Civic Participation Program at Nebraska Appleseed. Among the biggest issues facing the Nebraska Annual Conference this year was the conference merge with Kansas East and Kansas West. The body voted for the merger with a 70% affirmative vote; the transition into the Great Plains Conference will officially take effect on January 1, 2014.
NEW ENGLAND: Rev. Vicki Woods, MFSA's Board of Directors Co-President, received the Conference's John Bryan Award for Excellence in Social Justice Action. Heard throughout the hall were echoing words of "she's my mentor", "preach it, Vicki!" and "Amen!". The Rev. Don and Sue Rudalevige received the MFSA chapter's social justice for their lifetime of work ("the rich get richer, the poor get prison") which tied nicely to time with the Rev. Lorenza Andrade-Smith who was a guest in attendance to speak on her experience of being a homeless pastor.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST: MFSA staffer, Chett Pritchett, was present to table and attend the Reconciling Dinner, where young adults (including MFSA's Young Adult Scholarship recipient, Matt Lockett) presented their experiences of General Conference. PNW overwhelmingly supported a resolution encouraging support of Referendum 74 so the Marriage Equality Act in Washington State could become law.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN: Rocky Mountain Annual Conference sent a notification to General Conference in dissent of General Conference action on LGBT issues.
TEXAS: Rev. Steve Clunn met with the MFSA Chapter-in-formation. Over two dozen people showed up for an informal pre-conference gathering/presentation on MFSA's work at General Conference.
UPPER NEW YORK: MFSA and RMN co-sponsored a luncheon with keynote speaker Audrey Krumbach, National Field Organizer for RMN, who encouraged members about the good that came out of General Conference 2012. MFSA staffer, Rev. Steve Clunn, was present.
VIRGINIA: The Virginia Annual Conference approved resolutions: 1) opposing the mining of uranium throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia was approved. 2) opposing capital punishment in the Commonwealth of Virginia was approved. 3) that included a five-item plan - including restoration of voting rights - to help end stigmatization of ex-offenders who have "paid their debt to society." MFSA staffer Rev. Steve Clunn attended the Virginia Reconciling UM's Breakfast and spoke at the Annual MFSA Chapter about General Conference and MFSA's hopes for the next four years
WEST VIRGINIA: Resolutions were affirmed supporting passage of an anti-human trafficking law and the establishment of a mineral future fund by the West Virginia Legislature. The Conference also passed resolutions affirming the work of the General Commission on the Role and Status of Women (GCSRW), and one that establishes a Committee on Native American Ministries in the conference. MFSA staffer, Chett Pritchett, met with some MFSAers to plan a presence at Jurisdictional Conference to educate about mountaintop removal methods of coal extraction.
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA: A resolution on resolution on divestment of funds in companies that directly or indirectly support the violation of Palestinian human rights,specifically, in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola.
WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA: Members voted to encourage the Pennsylvania General Assembly to oppose a bill that would allow predatory "payday loans" with annual interest as high as 300 percent. MFSA staffer, Chett Pritchett, attended the noontime Reconciling communion services. Conference discussions on human sexuality had a moderate, yet respectful tone, giving hope to many.