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Celebration and Prayer
June is Torture Awareness Month
Upcoming Events
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume IX
Issue 8                               

9 May 2014 


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During Holy Week, I was asked to write a reflection for the blog at UMC LEAD - a website dedicated to fostering conversation about leadership in The United Methodist Church. In my mind, I was already preparing for Eastertide and the story we call "Doubting Thomas." If you're like me, you think less about the doubtful Thomas in this story and more about the fear-filled disciples. You can read my succinct reflection here. Indeed, we cannot be a Church that is held captive by fear any longer!

How are you breaking out of the tomb and living more fully in the world? What experiences of God have flung open doors to locked rooms (or locked closets) to bring you into deeper relationship with God and neighbor? I'm sure the stories are endless!

Christ is risen, friends. And when we stop living in fear, we know Christ is risen indeed!

Grace and peace,  
Chett Pritchett 
Executive Director 
Celebration and Prayer
This week Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy received news that a complaint filed against her for being a "self-avowed, practicing homosexual" had been dropped by Martin McLee, Resident Bishop of the New York Episcopal Area. While McLee has offered no statement surrounding this specific complaint, his actions are consistent with his decisions surrounding complaints against Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree and with directives from the New York Annual Conference. MFSA celebrates with Sara, her family, and her supporters in this decision, and wish her well in her continued and important ministry with college students.

Judicial Council decision 1253 states that Mary Ann Barclay must have the opportunity to be interviewed by the Board of Ordained Ministry of her Annual Conference (Southwest Texas). Mary Ann will meet with her Board on May 13. You're invited to join in prayer for Mary Ann, her family, and the Board of Ordained Ministry. MFSA's executive director, Chett Pritchett, was inspired to write a prayer during his scheduled prayer time. Your prayers give Mary Ann - and countless others! - the support needed in a difficult time.
June is Torture Awareness Month

Every June, human rights and faith organizations join together to mark Torture Awareness Month because on June 26, 1987, the nations of the world took a major step against the immoral and abhorrent practice of torture. On that day, the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading.

MFSA joins with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), encouraging congregations, Chapters, and Conference Boards of Church and Society to join in actions to raise awareness about torture around the world: in prisons, at Guantanamo Bay, and with post-911 detainees.

Check out NRCAT's toolkit, plan an action, and share your outreach with others! (Wouldn't this be a great witness during Annual Conferences?)
Upcoming Events
July 26-27: Korea Peace Vigil and March; Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, DC; Sponsored by
World Council of Churches, National Council of Churches of Korea,the Committee on Reunification of Korean American Assembly of the UMC, General Board of Church and Society of the UMC, General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC Korean Ministry Plan of the UMC, and the United Methodist Women. More information here.

August 7-8: Walk with Palestinian Christians for Holy Justice and Peace; Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, Tipp City, OH. More information here.

August 8-9: Turning the Page: United Methodist Kairos Response Summit; Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, Tipp City, OH. More information here.

August 29-September 1: Stepping Out in Faith: Western Methodist Justice Movement Retreat; Zephyr Point Conference Center, Lake Tahoe, NV. Registration opens soon. More information here.

Saturday, May 10: Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, California-Pacific MFSA Chapter Gathering

Sunday, May 11: Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, Preaching at The Church in Ocean Park, Santa Monica, CA, 10:15am PT.

Saturday, May 17: Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, Circle of Love, Wesley United Methodist Church, San Jose, CA

Annual Conference season plans are being made. Look for more information soon!
Progressive Ponderings
Give OUT Day - May 15
MFSA is proud to be a member of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition, working to end discrimination in The United Methodist Church. In October, MFSA's Board of Directors approved for the Coalition Coordinator position, currently filled by Rev. Steve Clunn, to be funded through MFSA's Operating Budget for the first six months of 2014 (grant funding pending for the second half of the year).

Already this year, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition has: 
*secured hotel space in Portland for General Conference 2016 
*expanded the number of coalition partners - 10!! 
*worked with grassroots groups in support of marriage equality 
*developed a relationship with the LGBT-Faith Asylum Network

Won't you help MFSA continue to seek justice for LGBTQ people in the UMC and across the world?

Giving is easy - in fact you don't even have to mark your calendar - you can schedule your donation right now.

On Give OUT Day, you can spread the word - wouldn't it be great to see MFSA on the leader board for most monetary donations or most individual donors?! (PS If MFSA is one of the top three in those categories, you donation could go even further!) 

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