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Marriage Equality, Prayer, and the Supreme Court
Bishop Carcaño Meets With President Obama
Mission U
Clergy Ask Congress to Stop Gun Violence
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
Social Media Corner
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Volume VIII Issue 5                        

13 March 2013



On March 26 and 27, the Supreme Court will begin hearing cases about California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, cases that directly impact the issue of civil marriage equality. The Methodist Federation for Social Action and Reconciling Ministries Network have signed on to two amicus briefs in support of marriage equality and religious freedom, along with more than 20 other faith organizations. We invite you to join in a variety of witness opportunities during these two days in support of LGBT equality.


No matter where you live, you can participate. Find or create a local action and invite others to join you! You can also follow what's happening on Facebook or Twitter (@MFSAVoices, @rmnetwork, #pray4LoveJustice, #loveprevails, #SCOTUS). 


In Washington DC, faith communities are hosting an interfaith prayer service at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation (212 E. Capitol St. NE, next to MFSA's Office) on March 26th at 7:30 am, followed by a procession of drums, clergy, community and choir to the United Marriage Rally at the steps of the Court at 8:30 am.  The service is ticketed but free, so please register for your tickets as space is limited!   


At 8:30am on March 26 and March 27, just one block away, there will be a United for Marriage rally in front of the Supreme Court - if you plan to attend, please help organizers gauge attendance by registering. 


Finally, the Methodist Federation for Social Action and Of Sacred Worth at Wesley Theological Seminary, will be holding a "Closing Prayer" vigil on Wednesday, March 27 at 3pm (exact location near the Supreme Court to be determined depending on space. For up to the minute text updates, please email This will be a simple vigil of prayer and singing to pray for all involved in these cases as Justices move toward deliberation.


As always, your passion, support, and prayers uplift the work of our organizations to have a witness for LGBTQ equality. Working together, love prevails!

Last Friday, Bishop Minerva Carcaņo, Los Angeles Episcopal Area, met with United States President Barack Obama about comprehensive immigration reform. "We United Methodists are working hard through a nationwide grass roots movement to support immigrant families," she stated. "We are extending support to immigrant families through legal clinics, ministries with Dreamers on college campuses, works of compassion among immigrants lost in desert places and urban centers, and by making our churches welcoming and safe places for our immigrant brothers and sisters. The brokenness in our country caused by unjust immigration policies and practices will not be mended by taller and thicker border walls, but rather by the security of right and good relationships between citizens and immigrants."

You can TAKE ACTION on immigration reform:
1) Email Bishop Carcaņo and thank her for her words.
2) Join a Grassroots Conference Call for immigration reform
on March 27 at 4 pm EST for the next grassroots call where we will hear from a senior White House official
3) Tell your member of Congress that enforcement-only immigration reform does not work and that what is needed is comprehensive immigration reform, which entails a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants, the protection of the rights of workers, and reunify families separated by migration and detainment. 
Mission U
Formerly known as the School of Christian Mission, Mission U will be taking place in many Conferences this spring and summer. One highlight of Mission U will be a study, The Call: Living Sacramentally, Walking Justly. This study offers tools to deepen spiritual identity, engagement in community and involvement in mission, looking at the sacramental understandings of baptism and communion and lifting up models of response to God's call. 

Former MFSA Executive Director, George McClain, is a co-author of the study. Copies of the book are available from the United Methodist Women's Mission Resource Center and are priced at only $7! (Korean and Spanish versions are slated to be available in May).

MFSA encourages you to be on the lookout for announcements about Mission U in your area. Attend and learn more about the work of the Church, increase your cultural competency, and build relationships across the Church!
Clergy Ask Congress to Stop Gun Violence
UMNS Photo by Kathleen Berry 
This week, religious leaders of Newtown, CT asked members of Congress to pass comprehensive laws in order to end gun violence.

In the letter, addressed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the faith leaders made their urge for greater gun control measures known. Opening the note by acknowledging that it's been less than three months since "the unspeakable tragedy" unfolded, the group went on to call for "Congress to pass comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation that will help stop the slaughter."


Hailing from a diverse pool of theological perspectives (signatories included rabbis, pastors, priests and imams), the religious leaders noted that their faith traditions call them to "protect the weak" and that new legislation would be an avenue for achieving this goal.


You can read the letter with over 50 pages of added signatures from religious leaders across the country. Many MFSA members and United Methodist clergy were signers. 

ProgressivePonderingsProgressive Ponderings
FacebookSocial Media Corner
This week MFSA achieved the 2000 "likes" mark on Facebook. What a great milestone to celebrate - and a challenge: invite 5 people to "like" our facebook page and let's try to make 3000 "likes" by the end of 2013!

Our 2000 "like" was an unlikely (see what I did there?) Facebook user. Fred-Allen Self, from Madison, WI, shares that "The United Methodist Church was the first church that I truly thought of as home. It was the love and mission of the Church that was astounding to me, and the amazing talk of grace was unlike anything I had ever heard."


He continues, saying, "I had felt a call to ministry from God for many years and was beginning to pursue it, yet I suddenly became unfit to answer the call the moment I came out. I was told that, somehow, I was more broken than other people because of a part of who I was created to be. I have since found a home in the Episcopal Church, a very truly open, loving, welcoming, and affirming church."


Fred-Allen's story is not unlike many, many others. And yet, even though he has left The United Methodist Church, he continues to support the work of MFSA, sharing our mission and message, that the Church should be a place of justice, welcome, and grace. 

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