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Volume VIII Issue 21                             

5 December 2013




Thanksgiving is behind us. Advent is here, and Christmas is coming! One of my favorite holiday traditions from childhood is that we would put up Christmas tree on the same night that "The Sound of Music" was on television. (You know, back before DVR's and Netflix). My mother and I would always battle between my watching the VonTrapps escape the Nazis and her desire for me to assist with the decorating process. Needless to say, I learned conflict resolution skills at an early age to keep both of us happy!

We all have favorite traditions - and those traditions have changed over the years based on a number of factors: who is present, who is able to give leadership, who has the time and money to make the tradition continue in the same way each year. If we stop and think about it, tradition never really stays the same. As United Methodists, we are steeped in theological understanding based in Scripture, Reason, Experience, and...Tradition. Contrary to some beliefs, traditions change. Even theological tradition.

I still watch "The Sound of Music" every December. But my parents no longer put up a Christmas tree: "It was really just for you," my mom still tells me. The same holds true for our Church. Some traditions exist just to make people happy, but when those traditions become harmful to others, we must know when it is best to let tradition become a memory.

This Advent, what are the traditions that bring good memories? What traditions cause harm to others? Where is God calling us to say good-bye to some traditions and embrace new ones?

Grace and peace,  
Chett Pritchett 
Executive Director 
Founding Day
December 3 is an important day in the life of the Methodist Federation for Social Action. On that day in 1907, 25 socially-minded Methodists gathered at the Ebbitt House, an inn across the street from the White House. Those present included the Presidents of Ohio Wesleyan University and Howard University, the Commissioner of Labor for New York State, and the Secretary to Vice President Fairbanks.

The Methodist Federation for Social Service was founded to "deepen within the Church the sense of social obligation and opportunity, to study social problems from a Christian point of view, and to promote social service in the spirit of Jesus Christ."

Today, the Methodist Federation for Social Action continues this heritage of progressive social concern by mobilizing clergy and laity within The United Methodist Church to take action on issues of peace, poverty, and people's rights within the Church, the nation, and the world.
GivingTuesday Update

Gratitude is the same in every language! Many thanks to those who helped MFSA exceed our goals on GivingTuesday!

In one day of online giving, supporters gave $2832 towards helping MFSA provide housing for our Mission Intern, JD Gore. But the news keeps getting better: an anonymous donor stated if we could raise $1000, they would match that. And match it (and best it) we did. So, for one day of generosity, MFSA raised a total of $3832!
Human Rights Day
20 years of human rights - the road ahead
20 Years of Human Rights - The Road Ahead

The video above outlines many advances in human rights since the founding of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on  Human Rights.

Take a look at the 20 Human Rights Achievements of the past 20 years! And on December 10, be sure to share them with your friends, family, and co-workers. (On social media, you can use #HRD13 or #UNRightsat20).
ProgressivePonderingsProgressive Ponderings
Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20003