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Stand with Frank, Stop the Trials!
#MoreThan Marriage: Transgender Day of Remembranceame-Sex Wedding Ceremony
Burst the Bubbles: Boycott SodaStream
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume VIII Issue 20                            

14 November 2013




One of the perks of having MFSA's office in Washington, DC is getting invited to some amazing gatherings which educate, advocate, and celebrate work in progressive public policy arenas. Last night I had the privilege of attending the National Center for Transgender Equality's (NCTE) 10th Anniversary celebration. NCTE's Executive Director, Mara Keisling, made a statement that profoundly resonated with me: "Social justice is about saving lives."

It really is (and isn't) that simple. When we take action to educate and inform our elected officials, or hold our Bishops and General Boards accountable, or ask our fellow United Methodists to take a stand, we are, in effect, saving lives. And in the act of saving lives, our own lives are transformed.

In this issue of the eNews, you'll read about church trials because of LGBT wedding vows and LGBT ministry beyond wedding vows; opportunities to learn and grow in the land where Jesus walked; and an opportunity to give a little bit during the Holiday season.

In this month of giving thanks, I want to thank you for opening your hearts and minds to this social holiness movement we call the Methodist Federation for Social Action. May we never forget that our mission, grounded in God's amazing grace, has importance now and always.

Grace and peace,  
Chett Pritchett 
Executive Director 
Stand With Frank, Stop the Trials!
Next week MFSA staff will be at Camp Innabah near Pottstown, PA. Not for a retreat, not for a hymn-sing (though some hymns may be heard), but for the trial of Rev. Frank Schaefer, United Methodist clergy in Eastern Pennsylvania who is on trial for officiating the wedding of his son to another man.
Pa. Pastor, Frank Schaefer, Under Fire for Officiating Gay Son's Wedding
Pa. Pastor, Frank Schaefer, Under Fire for Officiating Gay Son's Wedding

You can lend your support to Frank in a number of ways:
*Become more knowledgeable. One great statement regarding church trials has been issued by the foremost scholar of United Methodist polity. Read what he has to say and keep an eye out for more good reflections you can share with your friends.

*Pray! Many have already held prayer vigils for Frank. Please include him, the Presiding Bishop, and the clergy of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference in your prayers this Sunday and consider holding a vigil.

*Attend and volunteer. There will be an opportunity on Sunday evening to gather to witness to God's abundant love and grace through sign and banner making. Witnessing and praying at Camp Innabah on Monday and Tuesday will help shape public opinion about marriage equality and the policies and practices of The United Methodist Church.

*Engage with Social Media. Follow @MFSAVoices on twitter and keep updated with us on Facebook and on our blog at Keep an eye out for the hashtags #StandWithFrank and #StoptheTrials.

Our friends at the Reconciling Ministries Network have provided an informative list of resources in relationship to Frank's trial.
#MoreThanMarriage: Transgender Day of Rememberance
The Transgender Day of Remembrance raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender and gender variant people, an action that most media outlets don't cover well. Day of Remembrance reminds cisgender people that a sharing their privilege can help overcome physical, spiritual, and emotional violence directed toward transgender persons. Day of Remembrance gives allies a chance to step forward and stand in vigil, memorializing those of who've died by anti-transgender violence.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is held on November 20 each year. You can search for events in your area and discover more resources to become a strong ally for the transgender persons in your church and community.
Burst the Bubbles: Boycott SodaStream
Most of us know the sad truth: we're addicted to bubbly drinks. Soda especially. Every time we shop at Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond or other big-box stores, we see bright shiny displays for soda machines claiming to be healthier, less costly, and more environmentally friendly than the corporate soda giants we've been praying to for decades. It all seems hip and cool and justice-y, doesn't it?

The fact is, though, SodaStream manufactures these machine in an Israeli settlement occupying Palestinian territory. These settlements are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peacemaking.

You can take action:
*Don't Buy SodaStream! As the holiday season approaches, consider purchasing other bubble-making options. If you already own a SodaStream, don't purchase your flavorings from them (and be on the look out for options to purchasing their carbonation canisters).
*Tell CEO's of major corporations about SodaStream's support of injustice. Sign this petition - or better yet, take the extra step to research the mailing addresses of each corporation and send them a letter on your church or organizational letterhead. It makes an impact!
*Watch MFSA's Facebook and Twitter in the next few weeks. Share with your friends and colleagues to make them aware that SodaStream isn't the justice-friendly company we're led to believe they are.
ProgressivePonderingsProgressive Ponderings
Are You Ready for Giving Tuesday???

We all know about Black Friday. And now there's Cyber Monday. But have you heard about Giving Tuesday??!!

This year - on December 3 - let's raise some noise (and some money) for MFSA!

It doesn't matter how much you give ($10, $20, $50 or more) - as long as it adds up to $1000 or more by the end of that day. Once we raise $1000 on Giving Tuesday, it will be matched by another generous donor. Help us double our dollars and spread the word. Mark your calendar for Giving Tuesday and get ready for some fun and excitement! 
Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20003