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IN THIS ISSUE
Executive Director Honored
Judicial Review and UMC Structure
Biblical Obedience in North Carolina
Who Are Your Saints?
MFSA on the Road!
Save the Date!
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume IX
Issue 18    

22 October 2014 

 

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It's a rainy day here in Washington, DC, but in Memphis, things are starting to heat up. Today the United Methodist Church's Judicial Council will be hearing the final appeal in what I like to call The United Methodist Church v. Schaefer. If you're on social media, you can follow the hashtag #MinistryOnTrial. It is unlikely for a decision to be handed down today; most likely we will hear something over the weekend or next week.

Across the country there have been prayer vigils for Frank and his family. From Long Beach, CA to New York City, faithful United Methodists have lit candles and said prayers for Frank - and for the soul of the Church.

Dorothee Benz rightly reminds us that "Regardless of what happens, however, our movement will keep growing and the pressure on The UMC to abandon this era of discrimination will inexorably increase.  As the reaction to Schaefer's trial already made clear, no amount of repression will stop this movement of love. Clergy are continuing to minister equally to all of their parishioners."

Indeed, the case of UMC v. Schaefer is but a moment in a larger movement for love, equality, and justice. While our eyes are on Memphis today, we must also have our "eyes on the prize." Frank has stated on countless occasions that he can no longer be silent. Let's join our voices with his - No longer silent! No turning back!

Peace and passion,

Chett Pritchett
Executive Director
chett@mfsaweb.org

 

Executive Director Honored by United Methodist-related College
On Friday, October 17, Chett Pritchett, executive director of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA), was honored by his alma mater, the United Methodist-related West Virginia Wesleyan College, for his service to the school, Church, and world.

Pritchett graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan in 1999 and recognized his call to ministry while a student there. He credits his personal and professional success to Wesleyan's emphasis on critical thinking and local and global citizenship. His work in the areas of social justice were cultivated during his college years through work on LGBT rights and environmental justice.

His passion for his alma mater shows through as he promotes the College in any way he can. He assists with hosting alumni events; he returns to campus to speak with students in community engagement and religious life; he is an annual donor; and, he is a member of the Reger Society for planned giving.

In his service to Wesleyan, to others and within the United Methodist Church, Chett follows John Wesley's ideals of "Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can."

MFSA celebrates this achievement along with Chett!
Judicial Review and UMC Structure
Two years ago, in an attempt to address broad sweeping changes proposed to the General church structure, MFSA put forth its own plan, "A New Administrative Order." While MFSA's proposal was not adopted by General Conference in 2012, neither were plans from the Connectional Table, Plan B, or Plan UMC (which developed at General Conference).

Today, UM blogger Jeremy Smith recounts why a judicial review process of potential legislation would have made MFSA's plan a likely contender for adoption. The concept of judicial review for General Conference 2016 is under consideration by the General Commission on General Conference.

With a judicial review process, as Smith states, "We have the opportunity to implement Open Source practices now with open legislation tracking and with judicial pre-review. We can note the errors before they get made, and not waste people's time and money for General Conference 2016. By having a voice with some authority or credibility, it might help us to avoid situations like the shameful waste of energy, time, and money that is known as PlanUMC."

You can read his blog in entirety here.
Biblical Obedience in North Carolina
With the advent of civil marriage equality around the United States, the work of Biblical Obedience to the call of God to love of neighbor must advance as well. MFSA's partners at Reconciling Ministries Network invite those in the North Carolina area to a great event this weekend in the Winston-Salem area. Click here to learn more!
Who Are Your Saints?
Icon of Charles Wesley from the Dancing Saints mural. St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, San Francisco, CA
All Saints Day is approaching and MFSA wants to know: Who Are Your Saints?

Maybe it's your childhood pastor; or a leader in the movement for justice; or someone who invited you to church - or an MFSA event!

The week following All Saints Day, MFSA will share some of those saints and their stories via social media.

If you have a saint in mind, please email a photo and brief bio to photos@mfsaweb.org
MFSA On The Road!
Sunday, October 26: Journey of Faith UMC, Round Rock, TX
     Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, preaching

Between October 26 and November 2, MFSA's Program Council and Board of Directors will be traveling to Austin, TX for Fall meetings. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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

November 8: Eastern Pennsylvania MFSA Chapter Meeting
      Chett Pritchett, Executive Director will be in attendance

November 9: Centenary-Chenango Street UMC, Binghamton, NY - 20th Reconciling Anniversary
     Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, preaching
SAVE THE DATE!!!!!! 
Progressive Ponderings
Methodist Federation for Social Action
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