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LAST CHANCE: New Dimensions Conference
Indigenous Peoples: Study and Repentence
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Turn Up The Heat Update
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Volume IX
Issue 16  

26 September 2014 


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This week I had the pleasure of worshiping at a Celebration of the Soul Justice, an event sponsored by Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay and Transgender Justice. The preacher for this occasion was Bishop Yvette Flunder from the City of Refuge UCC in Oakland, CA. An always engaging preacher, Bishop Flunder's sermon has stayed with me this week. After reminding us about the Levites - the priestly tribe - Bishop said (paraphrased to the best of my memory), "The Levites - they were the one's in charge of rituals, the singing and dancing, the praying, they were the creative ones, the artistic ones, the altar guilds and the church musicians. They were also the ones who were out front in times of battle, the first ones to be slaughtered. I look out here tonight - and I see a lot of Levites in my midst."

Bishop knew my heart that night. The work of advocacy and inclusion in both Church and society is not easy work. And sometimes - no - all the time, LGBTQ people are used as scapegoats for "what's wrong with the Church." People who claim to be our friends say things like, "This keeps us from [more important] ministry," as if justice and equality aren't ministries of God and God's people. If those are our friends, God be our help.

As summer turns to fall, let us not forget the passion of our hearts - from Annual Conference sessions, from advocacy retreats, from witnessing at the White House and the Statehouse. Justice for all of God's creation is not only our hope, it is our call.

Peace and passion,

Chett Pritchett
Executive Director


Welcome Interns!
One of the joys of having our office in Washington, DC is our proximity to great theological resources. Wesley Theological Seminary, one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries in the United States, is just across town and we are excited to welcome two new interns to MFSA from their Practice in Mission and Ministry program!


Matt Knonenborg is a candidate for ministry in the Virginia Conference. After having served as a student pastor in his first year of seminary, Matt sought something different for his field education experience. When Matt interviewed for this internship, he described his passion for United Methodist polity, holy conferencing, and justice. In 2012, Matt attended General Conference in Tampa with other students from Shenandoah University, and "that's when I knew I'd fit in at MFSA!"   


Over the next two years, Matt will be working on legislative writing, analysis, and strategy, as well as building relationships with other faith-based and non-sectarian justice organizations in Washington, DC. He can be reached at    


Sarah Louise Cobb got to know MFSA when she joined in public witness at the trial of Frank Schaefer last November. Sarah is a candidate for Deacon in the Memphis Conference, and has a passion for Christian education.
Over the next two years, Sarah will be developing progressive resources, a strategic communications plan, and engaging in outreach to seminaries and campus ministries. She can be reached at


Please take the time to welcome these emerging leaders to MFSA. We're glad they've found us!
New Dimensions Conference: October 3 & 4
Time is running out to register for In The Midst of New Dimensions! MFSA is excited to be a co-sponsor of this event by providing transportation to seminarians up and down the East Coast, providing scholarship support, and supporting Rev. Steve Clunn's legislative training workshop.

If you're in the Boston area, we'll even run a shuttle from the Alewife T stop! Come and join in worship, fellowship, and education as we explore power and privilege at the intersections of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and economic status.

Indigenous Peoples: Study and Repentence
Love Prevails, one of MFSA's partners in the Love Your Neighbor Coalition, invites participation in a fall study on acts of repentance for violence and racism against Native American peoples in the name of the Church. This six week study will culminate with the Council of Bishops meeting in Oklahoma City, OK in early November.

You can see their syllabus here, and invite others to do the same. The acts of repentance began with the General Conference of 2012, but these acts must continue as we transform violence and racism into partnership and beloved community. Many thanks to the Love Prevails team for making this available!
Be an MFSA Leader
Have you ever felt called to serve on a non-profit board of directors?

Do you have gifts for fundraising, personnel management, communications, and organizing?

Do you seek peace, justice, and equality in the Church and world?

MFSA's Program Council and Board of Directors are seeking new members for upcoming terms on the board. If you're interested, please email Chett Pritchett, executive director, at for more information.
MFSA On The Road!
October 3, 4: In The Midst of New Dimensions Conference, Lexington, MA. Co-sponsored by MFSA. Staff will be present.

Sunday, October 26: Journey of Faith UMC, Round Rock, TX
     Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, preaching

November 2: Trinity UMC, Austin, TX
     Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, preaching

November 9: Centenary-Chenango Street UMC, Binghamton, NY - 20th Reconciling Anniversary
     Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, preaching
Turn Up the Heat Update 
Many thanks for those who have participated in MFSA's Turn Up the Heat campaign to support the work of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition Coordinator position. Our goal is to raise $15,000 by October 1 - and thanks to your generosity, we are over the 80% goal! If you've not had the opportunity to donate, check out our campaign, see who has donated and add your name! No amount is too small!
Progressive Ponderings
Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20003