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Celebrating Dr. King
What Happens in Vegas...Changes the Church!
UM Clergy Arrested for Peace Action
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
Social Media Corner
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Volume VIII Issue 1                      

16 January 2013




This weekend I was honored to participate in the Ordination service of a dear friend to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. I proudly stood next to Bishop Tom Shaw of the Diocese of Massachusetts and served as chalice bearer during Eucharist. This United Methodist thought being a Chalice bearer meant holding the cup for those gathered to dip the bread into the wine. Imagine the quick thinking I had to do when I realized I had to tip, wipe, and turn the chalice, as many participating drank directly from the cup!

I share this story to highlight the difficult, yet important task, of communicating in our world today. "We all know that..." cannot be a statement of fact in today's world because knowledge and experience are contextual. Indeed, as we work for justice in ecumenical and interfaith circles, and in a world where "none" is the religion of choice, we must be adept at understanding that ours is not the only worldview.

During 2013, MFSA will be increasing the ways it communicates to a world with vastly different experiences - to Chapter leadership, to leaders in social justice movements, to elected officials, to Church leaders, and to constituents outside the United States. The words of the message might be different, but the heart of the message is still the same: "God is love." As we journey through this year, I welcome you to communicate with me the ways in which you see God as love and the ways in which MFSA might help make God's love known through peace and justice.

John Wesley reminds us that, "though we may not think alike, may we not love alike?" I add to Wesley's statement, "though we may not take communion alike and though we may not experience the world alike, may we not love alike?"


Grace and peace,     

Interim Executive Director,
Methodist Federation for Social Action

National CalltoActionAlternativeCelebrating Dr. King  

Yesterday would have been the 84th birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In honoring Dr. King's vision of the "fierce urgency of now," MFSA participated in the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change's witness at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and at the White House. Alongside Jewish, Muslim, Quaker, Unitarian, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal, Evangelical, Buddhist, Sikh, UCC, and Roman Catholic representatives, MFSA Interim Executive Director, Chett Pritchett, stood in solidarity with the earth and remembered those whose livelihood and lives have been lost as result of climate changing industries and climate change disasters. MFSA member, Marla Marcum, Director of Programs for Better Future Project in Boston, risked arrest with other faith leaders at the White House gate.

Over the next few weeks, MFSA will be participating in other ways that share a non-violent approach to the fierce urgency of justice issues:

*MFSA staff and members will be present at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice's interfaith gathering, "Walking Together: Love, Justice, Action" during MLK Weekend. This year marks the 40th year of Row v. Wade, still continued work for reproductive health care is needed.

*In the wake of increased gun violence, a March on Washington for Gun Control will take place at 10am on Saturday, January 26 on the National Mall. MFSA will be present. If you will be coming to DC for this event and would like to participate with MFSA, please email us so we might coordinate.

Dr. King reminds us that "our lives begin to end the day we become silent on things that matter." Join us in raising our voices on issues that matter to people of faith.
What Happens in Vegas...Changes the Church!
*Come to Las Vegas January 30-February 1 to be a part of a newly-named grassroots movement in the West: the Western Methodist Justice Movement. The movement has sprung from a group of Western Jurisdiction United Methodists inspired by the inclusive, welcoming, and prophetic statements and actions of the United Methodist Western Jurisdiction Conference. The movement is committed to working for social justice throughout the Jurisdiction and beyond.

*Come to Las Vegas to be inspired by special speaker Kuusela Hilo, an "activist's activist," Stanford graduate, curriculum developer, Filipino advocate for human rights in the Philippines and the US, and an organizer for United Nurses Associations, SEIU, Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, South of Market Community Action Network and Filipino Bayanihan Resource Center. Many believe that the recent presidential election may, at last, move immigration to a front-burner of legislative action. Kuusela will bring her real-life experience and professional expertise to a discussion of concrete ways we might be a positive part of this critical social justice issue.

*Come to Las Vegas to network with other activists passionate about extending the extravagant hospitality, diversity, and Biblical obedience of the West. All of the action groups established at the July meeting in San Diego will have a chance to reassemble and plan their next steps of prophetic action. Come find the ministry which calls out your passion!

The meeting will be held at University United Methodist Church, 4412 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, and precedes the Western Jurisdiction Leadership Team meeting and the Inter-Ethnic Coordinating Committee. Cost Cost is $40; youth and young adults are free!
Many are staying at Tuscany Suites. Contact Registrar for help finding roommates and possibilities for reduced rate housing on first come/first served basis. Visit the web site for more complete information.
UM Clergy Arrested for Peace Action

Sharon Delgado, a United Methodist clergywoman in the California-Nevada Annual Conference, faced arraignment in federal court on January 8 with eight other peace activists who were arrested on trespassing charges at Beale Air Force Base in October during an anti-drone protest.  Charges were dropped against four of the co-defendants, including veteran Barry Binks, Code Pink member Toby Blome, Fr. Louie Vitale, and peace activist MacGregor Eddy, who had entered Beale by a side gate.  The charges still stand against Sharon Delgado, Shirley Osgood, Janie Kesselman, and David and Jan Hartsough, all veteran peace activists. 


Lawyers entered "not guilty" pleas on behalf of the remaining defendants.  Rev. Delgado said, "I chose to plead 'not guilty' by reason of necessity; that is, I acted in order to prevent a greater harm from taking place."  


Rev. Delgado explains her motivation for taking part in this action and gives updates on the case's progression on her blog. She writes, "I took this action because I am convinced that the use of drones for targeted assassinations is immoral and illegal and that their use threatens us all.  Now is the time to stop the new drone arms race in its tracks.  This act of nonviolent direct action at Beale was my way of witnessing to my hope that 'another world is possible,' a world based not on domination and violence, but on peace, justice, and environmental healing. My 'no' of resistance is based on a 'yes' of faith."


The trial of the remaining five defendants is scheduled for April 15, Tax Day, which Rev. Delgado says is "the perfect day for this trial.  Beale is the home of Global Hawk Drones, which are used for surveillance and for targeting of weaponized drones.  According to the New York Times, the Air Force's Global Hawk program costs $12 billion; the estimated cost for one of these drones is $218 million.  The Navy is on board with its own version of the program, for an estimated $11 billion.  That's where our money goes."

ProgressivePonderingsProgressive Ponderings
FacebookSocial Media Corner

Twitter's great for lots of stuff, but one of the best things is updating people in real-time.

Whenever you think to yourself, "Gosh, I wish my readers/members/friends could be here," you're likely experiencing a tweetable moment.  


With practice, recognizing those moments can become second nature. Look for Quotable Moments: Are you going to any conferences, hearings or events that might yield good quotes for livetweeting? Be ready if you think a good quote might pop up! 


When livetweeting an event, here are some tips:

  • Know your hashtags! Learn what hashtags are being used at the event so others can follow what's happening. Do organizers not have a hashtag? Create your own! That's what @marlamarcum and @chettpritchett did for the #pray4climate event in Washington, DC this past week.
  • If you're livetweeting from your mobile phone, use the copy function to save time in typing names and hashtags. Your fingers will thank you!
  • If others are retweeting you, start a conversation about the event with them. Sometimes this can be tough when you're livetweeing, but it can lead to some good follow up later.  
  • Direct followers to your website and other social media sites at the end of the event using appropriate hashtags.

One example might look like this:

"Thanks for following livetweets for #pray4climate. Learn more about the work of @MFSAVoices at" 

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