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United Methodists Converge in DC
Dallas Nuptuals
Upcoming Events
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
Justice Journey: Palestine
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Volume IX
Issue 4                            

6 March 2014 



The Olympics have left Sochi, but the world is still (or needs to be) focused on the Black Sea. Almost 500 miles away from the site of this year's winter games, a complex situation of global proportions is taking place. The Crimean peninsula juts into the northern edge of the Black Sea. The Yalta Conference took place here - an event that many historians have called the beginning of the Cold War. Today, Yalta and Crimea are on the brink of war. With a new government forming in Ukraine, Russia has taken the opportunity to advance troops and support a movement in Crimea to withdraw from Ukraine and pledge allegiance to Moscow.

As with many military actions, this is not simply about political boundaries. Crimea is home to 2 million ethnic Russians, but also home to ethnic Tartars who suffered persecution and murders under previous Soviet rule. Compounding this cultural divide is the fact that natural gas supplies are being used as leverage in a potential violent situation.

While America was watching the Oscars and social media was having a heyday with John Travolta's dyslexic faux pas, we stopped listening to the drums of war. Let these drums not fall on deaf ears. As diplomatic talks continue, may we be ever mindful that our United Methodist Church considers war to be incompatible with the teachings and examples of Christ. (Book of Discipline 2012, Para. 165C). War does not live into Jesus' call to love our neighbors that we find in the synoptic Gospels.

Seeking peace can be a discipline - during Lent and throughout our lives. How will you witness for peace in these Lenten days? Will you pray for and with others in occupied lands? Will you learn all you can international relations and share with others? Will you work to turn swords into plowshares?

Grace and peace,  
Chett Pritchett 
Executive Director 
United Methodists Converge in DC
Washington, DC was abuzz with grace this past week as the MFSA Board of Directors met. Also in town were the boards of the General Board of Church and Society and the General Commission on Religion and Race.

On Thursday, February 27, Chevy Chase United Methodist Church hosted the installation of Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe as the new General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS). Rev. Henry-Crowe comes to GBCS from Emory University where she served as Dean of the Chapel & Religious Life. She has also served as a member of Judicial Council, the "Supreme Court" of The United Methodist Church. MFSA's executive director, Chett Pritchett, and board members, Rowland Curry and Joey Lopez, were proud to witness the global church come together to support a new chapter in the life of the UMC's witness to peace and justice.
Procession of gifts from around the world at the installation of Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe. Photo Credit: GBCS.
Rev. Harry Knox of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice brought greetings at the beginning of MFSA's Board of Directors meeting. This set the stage for good conversations about funding, justice initiatives, leadership development, and theological grounding. In the midst of this important work, board members took time for fun in a social media challenge with the General Commission on Religion and Race to see which had the cooler socks. (We think MFSA won).
MFSA Board and Staff show off their fabulous socks during a board meeting break. Photo Credit: MFSA

Dallas Nuptuals
This past Saturday Rev. Bill McElvaney, former president of Saint Paul School of Theology, officiated over the wedding of George Harris and Jack Evans, octogenarians who are members at Northaven United Methodist Church, where McElvaney attends. The ceremony took place at neighboring Midway Hills Christian Church, with a reception following at Northaven.

McElvaney, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, sat during the service, and thanked Evand and Harris for bringing "a gift, a challenge, and an invitation to the United Methodist Church to become a fully inclusive church."

Upcoming Events

March 21-24:Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Arlington, Virginia- "Resisting Violence, Living Peace" MFSA staff will be present during these days of skills building and capacity building for a more peaceful world.

March 22: "Finding Justice in the Holy Land at Home" - First UMC, Portland, OR, featuring author Mark Braverman. Sponsored by Oregon-Idaho Chapter of MFSA

March 25: Faith Rally for Family Planning and Religious Freedom, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Washington, DC. Sponsored by Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, The Religious Institute, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Catholics for Choice, National Council of Jewish Women and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

April 3-6: Student Christian Movement-USA National Leadership Training Program in Chevy Chase, MD

April 12: Following Jesus, Overcoming Discrimination - Conversations on the Intersections of Heterosexism, Racism, and Religion. Duncan Memorial UMC, Ashland, VA. Featuring Rev. Gil Caldwell. Sponsored by Virginia Chapter of MFSA, with co-sponsors An Altar for All, Virginia Chapter of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, and Virginia Reconciling United Methodists. Register here.

Thursday, March 20: Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator, preaching at Drew Theological School, Madison, NJ

Sunday, March 23: Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, preaching at Sudbury United Methodist Church in Sudbury, MA
Progressive Ponderings
Justice Journey: Palestine 


Methodist Federation for Social Action
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