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IN THIS ISSUE
Human Rights Day
Celebrating Advocacy
United Methodist News Round-Up
Occupy Advent and a Rolling Jubilee
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
Social Media Corner
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Volume VII  Issue 20                     

5 December 2012

 

Greetings!

 

For the past month of serving as MFSA's Interim Executive Director, I've received a lot of questions. The best question is "What do you enjoy most about your job?" I actually think this is a very important question we should all ponder about the ways in which we financially support ourselves, and so I encourage you to ask yourself the same question! I hope some of the same answers apply to you:

  • I enjoy that I get to share in a passion for peace, justice, and equality in the world and in The United Methodist Church.
  • I enjoy connecting with people who have that same passion, and encouraging them to turn that passion into fruitful action.
  • I enjoy sharing the Gospel message of redemption of all people and all creation, especially through social media.
  • I enjoy being challenged to be a better leader and a better steward of that which has been provided me and the organization for which I work. 

This Advent season, I hope you'll consider setting aside quiet time to join me in prayer and preparation for the "What's Next?" of our lives together as Disciples, as peacemakers, and as advocates for peace with justice. Every day, I give thanksgiving to God for the opportunity to serve MFSA, the Church, and the Incarnate One.  May it be so in your prayers as well. 

 

Grace and peace,     

Interim Executive Director,
Methodist Federation for Social Action

National CalltoActionAlternativeHuman Rights Day 

 

Human Rights Day presents an opportunity, every year, to celebrate human rights, highlight a specific issue, and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere.

 

This year, the spotlight is on the rights of all people - women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized - to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making.

 

These human rights - the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, to peaceful assembly and association, and to take part in government (articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) have been at the center of the historic changes in the Arab world over the past two years, in which millions have taken to the streets to demand change. In other parts of the world, the "99%" made their voices heard through the global Occupy movement protesting economic, political and social inequality.

 

Make your voice heard on Human Rights Day!

  • Support organizations working to eradicate human rights violations like the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Amnesty International, or Human Rights Watch.
  • Share your thoughts about the right to participate in public life and political decision-making, using #VoiceCount
Celebrating Advocacy
The Southwest Texas Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action has been named an Appreciation Award winner by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

As one of the Coalition's most reliable partners, the Chapter is always the first group to sign up as a co-sponsor of Coalition events. MFSA - SWTX regularly promotes the Coalition's activities, events, and calls to action in its communications with members and encourages United Methodist Churches in the area to become involved in working to end the death penalty in Texas.

Congratulations and thanks for your good work!
United Methodist News Round-Up
Participants at GCORR's Appreciate Inquiry Summit gather at the table, moving from talking to action. Photo from www.gcorr.org
The United Methodist General Commission on Religion and Race recently held an "Appreciative Inquiry Summit: Changing the Conversation on Race in the UMC." The voice of MFSA was well represented during these important discussion. Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator for MFSA, and MFSA Board of Directors Executive Committee members, Tracy Merrick (Treasurer) and Rev. Vicki Woods (Co-President), participated in three days of fruitful conversation about racial equality and the building of vital congregations in The United Methodist Church.

Bishop Daniel Wandabula. Photo courtesy of UMNS.
The General Commission on Finance and Administration has decreased the salary of Bishop Daniel Wandabula due to concerns of an audit performed on funds in the East Africa Central Conference. "MFSA will be closely following these developments in East Africa with keen awareness of need for accountability of all our United Methodist Bishops," states Chett Pritchett, Interim Executive Director. "At the same time, we are concerned with the perception of the Church imposing a colonialist standard to our siblings outside of the United States. We hope for a quick and just resolution to the situation so that vital ministry may continue and that the gospel of peace, justice, and equality might be proclaimed."
Occupy Advent and Rolling Jubilee
'Tis the Season!
Indeed, it is the Advent season, the time of preparing for Incarnation! The tradition of the Church has been that we spend 4 weeks prior to December 25 in expectant waiting for the birth of Jesus. Expectant waiting is not shopping for the perfect gift or hosting the best holiday party. Expectant waiting is not organizing the best Christmas pageant ever. Nor is it rushing to make sure there are plenty of candles for the Christmas eve service.

A group of churchy, social media folk (#chsocm) have come up with a way of to share the hope of Advent with a simple message:
Slow down.
Simplify.
Occupy Advent.


If you're on Twitter, share how you are slowing down and simplifying and use the hashtag #occupyadvent. If you're not on Twitter, take a photo of yourself with a few words describing how you're Occupying Advent. Email it to MFSA and we'll tweet it for you!


In Luke 4, we hear the Incarnate One announce,
'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
   because he has anointed me
     to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
   and recovery of sight to the blind,
     to let the oppressed go free,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.'

Based on the concept of Jubliee, in which all debts are cancelled and all those in bondage are set free, Rolling Jubliee works by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it. The goal is not to enter the market  to make a profit, but to help each other out and highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities. Think of it as a bailout of the 99% by the 99%.

Learn more about Rolling Jubilee by watching this video and visiting their website.
What Is The Rolling Jubilee?
What Is The Rolling Jubilee?

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Thanks to the generosity of over 30 participants, MFSA raised over $1300 in a 24-hour period on #GivingTuesday!

Did you miss #GivingTuesday? You can still support MFSA by donating here.


Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20003
202.546.8806