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Prayers for Wisconsin and the Sikh Community
Remembering Hiroshima
Church Within a Church Celebrates 10 Years
An Announcement from OnFire
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume VII  Issue 13                  

9 August 2012




The Board of Directors of MFSA is pleased to announce that our Executive Director, Jill Warren, and the Executive Director's office will now be located in Detroit, Michigan.


When the Board of Directors launched the search for our new Executive Director in the fall of 2010 an important question was considered - must the MFSA office be located in Washington D.C.? After much discussion, it was decided it does not. The MFSA office historically has relocated when a new Director is hired. The office was moved to Washington D.C. when Kathryn Johnson was hired because this is where she lived.


The Board of Directors chose not to limit our search to those living in, or willing to move to, Washington, D.C. Finding the right person for position and organization was our top priority and we found that person in Jill A. Warren. The Board was clear, however, that any relocation of the Executive Director's office could not happen until after General Conference. At our June Board meeting, we reaffirmed our commitment and made the following decision: Jill will be working primarily from her home office in Detroit, commuting to the Washington D.C. office on an as needed basis, likely once a month. At our October meeting, the Board will assess the existing office locations (Washington D.C. and Detroit) and discuss any further decisions as we plan for our 2013 budget and strategic plan.


The Board and staff have embraced this decision and feel this is the right next step for MFSA. The staff communicated they already leverage technology to connect with each other to do their work, as it is rare for them to all be in the office at the same time. Currently two MFSA staff members (in addition to Jill) are not based in Washington D.C. We recognize present day technologies such as phone, electronic and video-based communications can occur regularly and affordably allowing organizations to stay productive with high-impact results.


In the first year as our Executive Director, we believe we have just scratched the surface of the potential Jill has to bring to the organization. This move is one more step in living our values of offering a work environment that allows our employees to practice self-care and bring their "whole selves" to their work. Additionally, we are excited about having an MFSA staff presence in Detroit, Michigan - an area of the United States with many social justice and outreach opportunities   Jill will be available from her Detroit office, just as she was available in Washington, D.C. You may reach her by email at  or by phone at 313-406-9715.


Please join us in celebrating this next step! As always if you have any questions, we are always available by email or phone.



MFSA Co-Presidents


Vicki Woods (774-696-9519 or







Tara Thronson (512-422-8907 or



National CalltoActionAlternativePrayers for Wisconsin and the Sikh Community   

A  man wipes away a tear at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI. Photo from Click on the picture for a link to more photographs.
Sunday's tragic shooting at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb left 7 dead including the gunman. In the wake of such violence, let us take time to learn, pray, and reflect, and work together to celebrate religious freedom and diversity.

LEARN about Sikhism.

PRAY for the Sikh community in Wisconsin and around the world.

REFLECT with Audrey Krumbach on why it is important to understand other faith traditions.
Remembering Hiroshima

The Iowa Chapter of MFSA joined the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Catholic Peace Ministry and other organizations in sponsoring the annual observance of the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "From Hiroshima to Fukushima: the Nuclear Question," was held on Monday, August 6th, at the Japanese Bell on the Capitol grounds in Des Moines, Iowa.   

The Iowa Chapter joins other local organizations in hanging peace cranes as a way to remember those who died because of atomic weapons. Photo courtesy of Iowa MFSA Chapter.   


Grace Amemiya spoke of her experiences at a Japanese internment camp during World War II, and State Rep. Dan Kelley spoke of the connection between Hiroshima and the tragedy at Fukushima. He urged those present to work for renewable energy sources and a world of peace, free of the nuclear threat. The evening ended with the traditional tolling of the bell, as participants laid flowers around it.


The Temple Bell was a gift to Iowa from Yamanashi, Japan, in December of 1961, as an expression of gratitude for assistance given by Iowa farmers to farmers in Yamanashi following devastating typhoons in 1959. It marked the beginning of the first Sister State relationship n the nation, between the State of Iowa and the Yamanashi Prefecture.  


This past week marks the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We celebrate this example of peace and reconciliation, especially in a world that seems marked by violence and weapons proliferation. 

Church Within a Church Celebrates 10 Years

Church Within a Church (CWAC) has been working for the past 10 years to help the Church live out a radically inclusive vision. Whether it is through anti-racism work or solidarity with LGBTQ persons, CWAC has worked to "Live Tomorrow Today."

Please consider joining them for their 10 year celebration in Chicago this October 19-21. Maybe your congregation would even consider congratulating them on their work by advertising in their Keepsake Program Book?  
An Announcement from OnFire
In the wake of General Conference, many United Methodist groups are in transition, trying to find where the Spirit leads in this new quadrennium. The leadership team of OnFire has discerned that our justice work can best be done by better working with MFSA and other United Methodist organizations and current partners like UM Kairos Response, Reconciling Ministries Network, as well as a myriad of other justice-oriented organizations in our own local communities that need the leadership of passionate young people.

This means that OnFire will no longer be a separate chapter of MFSA for young adults. We still support groups like Drew University OnFire's Java and Justice, but we seek to foster a movement of justice-minded folks coming together to talk about and act on diverse issues and working in coalition rather than creating competing voices.

Our blog will remain a resource for young people, and a place of connection. We believe in the transforming work that young people are doing all over the world, particularly young United Methodists, and we want this blog to continue to serve as a platform to showcase that work and inspire further work. We have found it powerful to hear from United Methodist Young Adult missionaries, from justice workers in Haiti, from local pastors and organizers, about issues ranging from the death penalty, divestment, interfaith solidarity, Occupy Wall Street, and so many others. We are always open to new posts, so please email if you have something to share. Young adult voices need to be heard, especially in this church, and especially in this new quadrennium.

We encourage young people to become involved in (or start!) local MFSA chapters to engage with local issues, local churches, and local networks.  Many local chapters are seeking more involvement from young people and through participating on a local level connections can be made that foster encouragement and support. While an online presence through the blog is beneficial, the face-to-face meetings in a local setting able to form friendships that empower young people to advocate on local issues and assume leadership roles within their local chapters and churches.

As we come away from General Conference, we see that, though national and global organizing are still needed, it is in our local communities that we see important justice work happening.  

ProgressivePonderingsProgressive Ponderings

News from Progressive Movements   

Progressive Job Postings    

Creating a Culture of Peace, an organization with whom MFSA has partnered for non-violence trainings in the past, is anticipating the initiation of a search for an Executive Director. Nominations and recommendations for this position may be sent to their board co-chairs, Barb Gessner or Dwight Wagenius.
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