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West Michigan Pastor Forced to Resign
Moving Toward Peace: Iran
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Volume X
Issue 9      

16 July 2015  


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We have entered an important phase in the life of MFSA: the quadrennial gear up for General Conference. By this time next year, Portland will be in the rear-view mirror and our newest Episcopal leaders will have been elected. And we have potential to have a United Methodist Church that looks very different from the one we currently know. 

Are you ready for that change? 

Change doesn't only happen in momentous ways; it also happens in small, mundane ways, too. Over the next few months, I'll be asking you to help me in the mundane tasks that prepare us for General Conference. Volunteers will be needed, donations will be most welcome, and social media ambassadors will be wrangled as we work to influence not only legislation, but also the culture of The United Methodist Church. Your part of this momentum is crucial. 

Gettin' ready, 
Chett Pritchett
Executive Director

A pastor in the West Michigan Annual Conference has been removed from his appointment after disclosing his sexual orientation to his District Superintendent. Rev. Benjamin David Hutchison, ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and serving a cross-denominational appointment at Cassopolis UMC resigned after his District Superintendent told him he could resign or be fired. Members of the local congregation share in collective anger and grief over this injustice. West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists are encouraging supporters to write Bishop Deborah Kiesey asking her and her cabinet be prophetic voices and reinstate Rev. Hutchison.

Rev. Hutchison plans to marry his partner this Friday. Please hold them in prayer, along with the community of Cassopolis as they continue to journey in faith and grace.
The United States, Iran and five other world powers announced a historic deal to dramatically curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing international sanctions on Iran. Such a deal would create great stability in the Middle East and create economic opportunity for the people of Iran. Watch below to learn more.
Iran Nuclear Diplomacy Explained
Iran Nuclear Diplomacy Explained

You can take action and encourage your Representative and Senator to make public their support and pledge not to block Congressional passage. 


Many thanks to all of the reports coming in regarding delegate elections during this June's Annual Conference season! Jayla, our summer intern through the Ethnic Young Adult internship program, has been updating our spreadsheets daily. This is important in preparing for General and Jurisdictional Conferences!


MFSA is excited about the success of two of our partners during this past Annual Conference season. United Methodist Kairos Response secured support for UMC divestment from corporations profiting from the illegal Israeli occupation at 8 Annual Conferences! Likewise, Fossil Free UMC secured support for fossil fuel divestment from a whopping 10 Annual Conferences in their first year of work! We're glad to be in this work together!

Consistent, monthly giving helps MFSA plan our budget and make wise financial decisions. We're thankful for our donors and we strive to made good use of the resources we're provided. One of our monthly donors approached us recently upon realizing how few monthly donors we have (as of January 2015: 33). She has offered a challenge that for every new monthly donor (at any level!), she will increase her monthly giving by $1. Inspired by this challenge, another donor has said he will do the same. So, between now and August 15, every new monthly donor will be matched by $2 each month! This is a gift to MFSA, especially as we approach a General Conference year! 

If you're interested in becoming a monthly donor, please contact Heather Kramer, Administrative Coordinator, and she can get you started!

Have you taken the time to read the Love Your Neighbor Coalition vision for The United Methodist Church? It's more than a statement on LGBTQ inclusion (that's there!); it's more than a statement about racial justice (that's there, too!); it's even more than a statement about progressive and inclusive values (all there!). 


This is a statement about how the Church should be the Church, especially in difficult times. Take a look - and please sign!

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