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Biblical Obedience in California
Annual Conference Season is Upon Us!
Divestment: Stand with the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume IX
Issue 9                                

27 May 2014 


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It's not a requirement that every Annual Conference session open with the strains of Charles Wesley's "And Are We Yet Alive?," but there's something about standing together, recognizing God's work within the Church since we last met, and seeing the sacred worth in every person gathered together in that time and place.

That's the challenge of The United Methodist Church today - more than any of our conversations around human sexuality, more than our work to create statistical reports, more than filling pews and offering plates - the challenge of the Church is to be present with each other as we share what God is doing in our midst.

Note: I didn't say what God is doing BECAUSE of us. Indeed, God does work through our human institutions, but the work of God is so much greater than we can ever imagine.

We're about to begin what I like to call "Methodist Pride Month," aka Annual Conference Season. It will be a stressful, messy, joyous, frustration, hopeful, and celebratory time. I pray that each Annual Conference session be filled with grace to see one another as whole people of God, strength to seek justice, and empowered to work alongside the Holy Spirit so that the world will know that we, with Jesus, are indeed alive!

Grace and peace,  
Chett Pritchett 
Executive Director 
Thank You!
Many thanks to those who made MFSA's participation in Give OUT Day a success! Sponsored by Bolder Giving and the Razoo Foundation, Give OUT Day is an opportunity for supporters of LGBTQ equality to show a groundswell of support all at once. Through donations from over 80 individual donors, we raised just over $3500 in 2 days of giving!

Since January, MFSA has funded the position of Coalition Coordinator for the Love Your Neighbor Coalition. Previously funded through a grant, MFSA has committed to funding this position through the end of June until other grant funding is secured. Through the work of Rev. Steve Clunn, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition has grown to 10 member organizations working TOGETHER to lift up a progressive voice for The United Methodist Church on issues of justice, fairness, and equality of all persons.

Didn't get a chance to participate on Give OUT Day? Consider a gift in support of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition:
Biblical Obedience in California

Rev. Michael Yoshi gives sermon at Nikki and Kira Salde-Azzam's wedding. Photo by Andy Oliver, Reconciling Ministries Network.
Saturday, May 17 was a beautiful day for a wedding in San Jose, California. Nikki, a third generation Filipina-Chinese American woman, and Kira, a Filipina-Palestinian American met and grew in their relationship through their work for justice in the church. The wedding, held at Wesley United Methodist Church, was open to family and friends of the couple. Outside the Church, supporters sang songs, prayed, and shared words of hope for both the couple and The United Methodist Church. MFSA's executive director, Chett Pritchett, was present to offer a prayer; Rev. Frank Schaefer offered a reflection, and Retired Bishop Roy I. Sano presided over a service of communion during the Circle of Love

This evening, on a sandy beach in Southern California, love will be multiplied again. Jackie Shasteen and Tamara Moore, United Methodists from Tennessee wanted their wedding to be a witness for the fulfillment of a vision we are all praying for - the full inclusion of all people in the life and ministry of The United Methodist Church - and they are inviting all Reconciling United Methodists to stand with them as witnesses to the love of God for all people. Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen, pastor of The Church In Ocean Park will officiate the wedding at Santa Monica Beach, California.

You are invited to stand witness in front of your own church this evening with a candle. The California-Pacific MFSA Chapter and Reconciling United Methodists invite you to take a photo and share it via twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #LightACandle.  
Annual Conference Season is Upon Us!
MFSA staff will be present at the following Annual Conferences, so make sure you meet them and say "Hello!"

Upper New York Annual Conference, May 29-31
     Staff: Rev. Steve Clunn
Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference, May 29-31
     Staff: Chett Pritchett
Iowa Annual Conference, June 7-9
     Staff: Chett Pritchett
West Michigan Annual Conference, June 11-14
     Staff: JD Gore
Great Plains Annual Conference, June 11
     Staff: Chett Pritchett
North Carolina Annual Conference, June 11-14
     Staff: Rev. Steve Clunn
Wisconsin Annual Conference, June 20-23
     Staff: Chett Pritchett

Likewise, please consider sending photos of justice-related events from Annual Conferences to - and a brief update on justice-related legislation to
Divestment: Stand with the Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will decide this Summer at its biennial General Assembly in Detroit (June 14-21, 2014) whether or not to stop investing in Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard-3 companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. This proposal comes from the grassroots of the church as well as having been recommended by the church's Mission Responsibility Through Investment Committee, the body of the church that implements the socially-responsible investment policies of the church.

Friends from the PC(USA) were present with us in Tampa, working to divest The United Methodist Church from the occupation of Palestine. While we did not reach our goals, we have an opportunity the help our siblings in faith make a public witness at their upcoming General Assembly.

Please consider signing this multi-faith letter of support for the upcoming General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Progressive Ponderings
Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20003