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IN THIS ISSUE
Gather at the River
Transform Network Gathering on Urban Transformation
MFSA Board of Directors Meet
MFSA on the Road!
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume X
Issue 4          

18 March 2015  

 

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Greetings!

This past weekend I had the honor of preaching at Browns Point United Methodist Church in Tacoma, Washington. The sanctuary looks out into Puget Sound and is surrounded by evergreens and the most verdant moss I've ever seen. In my sermon, I reflected on Numbers 21:4-9, in which a plague of poisonous snakes affects the Israelites. God calls upon Moses to fashion a bronze snake on a pole, a sign to the people who are bitten that God is in their presence, and that they shall not perish.

Oh, how I long for our United Methodist Cross and Flame to be like that snake on a stick! But there are a lot of things in our way: an institutional structure that is based on racism and colonialism; funding bans that make it nearly impossible for ministry with LGBTQ persons; lack of transparency with our clergy pension investments that are supporting war, occupation, and the degradation of God's creation. Oh, how I long for our United Methodist Cross and Flame to be like that snake on a stick!

And so we continue to work, bit by bit, to help our Church live into the vows that once welcomed us into the Church: to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. Your support of MFSA (prayers, talents, funds) help keep that work, and hope, alive!

Grace and peace,

Chett Pritchett
Executive Director
chett@mfsaweb.org
Gather at the River 
Methodist Federation for Social Action and Reconciling Ministries Network members and friends in the Rio Texas Conference are preparing to provide extravagant hospitality for Gather at the River participants, August 6-9. Gather at the River will also include the participation of kindred groups in the Love Your Neighbor Coalition. Gather at the River is a multi-generational gathering. A new component, Current, will provide activities for children (ages 3-rising 6th grade) and youth (middle and high school) will be led by professionally-trained staff.

Gather logo and link
Check out the website for Gather at the River at www.gather2015.org - check out the great worship leaders, preachers, and opportunities for education and action.

We know it costs money to travel to San Antonio, share the cost of a hotel room, and cover the cost of registration. That's why MFSA and RMN (and some generous donors) will help make this more affordable to those on tight budgets.  We will be offering scholarships to cover the cost of registration and suggestions on how to make this an affordable experience. Go to www.gather2015.org, click "About," and fill out the scholarship application. And if you'd like to make a scholarship available, you can donate there, too!

Don't forget to take advantage of the early bird registration deadline before April 1!
Transform Network Gathering on Urban Transformation
MFSA is excited to be a partner for the Transform Network's National Gathering on Urban Transformation in Washington, DC this April 23-25 at Wesley Theological Seminary's Downtown Campus.

At this historic gathering on urban ministry, we'll address questions such as:

  • How do we partner with our urban neighbors in equitable and mutually liberating ways?
  • How do education, advocacy, service, and activism affect life in urban areas?
  • How do we even define urban areas now in the face of gentrification and multiculturalism?
  • How can contemplative spirituality help heal the deep brokenness in our communities?
  • How can people of faith help transform systemic oppression and poverty into interdependent access and resources for thriving communities?

The good news is: we don't have to invent the answers. Solutions are already underway in many places, and Transform Network is humbled to bring practitioners of this work together to share encouragement and ideas for the way forward.


Some of the speakers and leaders include Rev. Dr. William Barber III of the Moral Mondays Movement; Broderick Greer, blogger and student at Virginia Theological Seminary; Robyn Henderson-Espinoza of More Light Presbyterians; and Rev. Dr. Joseph Daniels, Jr., District Superintendent in the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

Students and seminarians can register for $49. Non-student and seminarian MFSA constituents can take advantage of a registration discount by using the code MFSA for a registration discount.
MFSA Board of Directors Meet
Board and the Circuit Rider Bike Rack at First UMC, Portland The Board of Directors of the Methodist Federation for Social Action met last week at First United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon. Thanks to the hospitality of the folks in the Oregon-Idaho Chapter, we were able to work with ease and able to see the city that will host the 2016 General Conference next May. The Board heard reports from MFSA staff members, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition, Finance Committee, Nominations and Governance Committee, and worked on General Conference preparations. Their meeting concluded with a tour of the Oregon Convention Center, surrounding hotels and meeting spaces, and some board members visited Portland area sites, like Powell's City of Books and Voodoo Doughnut.
MFSA On The Road!
Saturday, March 21: Oregon-Idaho MFSA Chapter Spring Gathering, Fremont UMC
    Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator, speaking

Wednesday, March 25: California UMC, California, PA
     Chett Pritchett, executive director, leading Lenten Discussion on Peace and Justice

Thursday, April 16 - Saturday, April 18: Black Methodist for Church Renewal General Meeting, Orlando, FL
    Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator, attending

Friday, April 17: LGBT* in the South Conference, Asheville, NC
    Chett Pritchett, executive director, attending

Saturday, April 18: Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry, Durham, NC
    Chett Pritchett, executive director, workshop leader

Thursday, April 23 - Saturday, April 25: Transform Network's National Gathering on Urban Transformation (see above)
     Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator, and Sarah Cobb, Intern, attending

Sunday, April 26 - 20th Reconciling Celebration, Los Gatos UMC, Los Gatos, CA
    Chett Pritchett, executive director, preaching

Thursday, May 14 - Saturday, May 16: Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference
    Chett Pritchett, executive director, present;

Wednesday, May 27 - Saturday, May 30: Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
    Chett Pritchett, executive director, present; MFSA/BWARM Dinner on Friday, May 29

Wednesday, May 27 - Saturday, May 30: Upper New York Annual Conference
    Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator, present

Wednesday, June 10 - Saturday, June 13: North Carolina Annual Conference
    Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator, present

Thursday, June 11 - Saturday, June 13: West Virginia Annual Conference
    Chett Pritchett, executive director, present; speaking at Appalachians Serving All People event, Friday, June 12

Monday, June 15 - Thursday, June 18: East Ohio Annual Conference
    Chett Pritchett, executive director, present; speaking at MFSA luncheon on Thursday, June 17

Sunday, June 21: Foundry UMC, Washington, DC
    Chett Pritchett, executive director, educational event on the intersections of sexuality and white privilege
Progressive Ponderings
Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20003
202.546.8806