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IN THIS ISSUE
UM Pastor Asks "What Happened to Sandra Bland?"
Peace With Iran
America's Journey for Justice
Hind Khoury Event in DC
Sign the Love Your Neighbor Statement
MFSA on the Road
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume X
Issue 10    

2 September 2015  

 

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Greetings!

August came and went without an edition of MFSA's eNews - can you believe it? The first part of the month was spent preparing and executing Gather at the River, a cooperative event with Reconciling Ministries Network. It was HOT in San Antonio - and not just because of the temperature! Progressive, passionate, and justice-seeking United Methodists gathered to learn, pray, worship, and take action. Rumor has it there's a even photo out there of me in pink tights.

Like many in the Church, the rest of August provided time for rest and renewal. I got to spend time celebrating at a wedding, a 50th birthday party, hearing a dear friend preach, and spend time with those who are part of my ever expanding family of choice. Rest and renewal are important in our theological realm, but they're also important in our daily lives. 

As this Labor Day approaches, let us remember the work of those who toiled for the rights of workers yesterday, but let's also remember that the struggle for workers rights continues today. Labor movements are, at their very core, intersectional in nature. We see this in Pride at Work's recent call for LGBT organizations to support the rights of workers. So, this Labor Day, remember that economic justice affects everyone - the poor, the queer, the marginalized. 

May we be ever mindful of the words of St. Thomas More: "The things, dear God, we pray for, give us the grace to labor for."

Seeking justice,
 
Chett Pritchett
Executive Director
chett@mfsaweb.org

UM PASTOR ASKS "WHAT HAPPENED TO SANDRA BLAND?"
Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner is a graduate of Duke Divinity School, ordained elder in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, and appointed to a new faith community in Houston, TX, The Shout. But for the past 50 days, Hannah and a community of faithful witnesses have been holding daily vigil in front of the Waller County (TX) Sheriff's Office asking "What Happened to Sandra Bland?"

Bland was pulled over and arrested for not using her signal when changing lanes. Three days later, she was found dead in her jail cell. The questions are many; answers are few. Rev. Bonner felt called to be in solidarity with the black citizens of Waller County, just outside Houston. Simple days of reading scripture, singing hymns, talking with neighbors, released prisoners, and local people of faith have marked this vigil.

Because of Hannah's witness, the Sheriff of Waller County has created a barricade surrounding the entrance to the Sheriff's Office, collected license plate information of those parked in their lot, and called Hannah "that Church of Satan lady." Clergy and people of faith from the region have stood witness with Hannah, especially over the past few weeks.

Read Hannah's blog on how Sandra Bland changed her life. Read Hannah's other writings, watch her videos, and commit yourself to participating in a movement against systemic racism.
PEACE WITH IRAN
In case you missed it (ICYMI), 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

Recent polling of members of Congress show there is enough support for this diplomatic effort. We can't slow down, though. Call, email, or tweet to your Senators and Representative and let them know: "As a person of faith, the work of peace is important to me. Please support nuclear diplomacy with Iran!" You can learn more about contacting your Senator and Congressperson at www.opencongress.org.
AMERICA'S JOURNEY FOR JUSTICE
From August 1 to September 16, America‚€™s Journey for Justice-an historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C.- is mobilizing activists to advance a focused national advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education. Sponsored by the NAACP, this walk is raising awareness, engaging public officials, and creating a conversation.
 
On Wednesday, September 16, MFSA executive director, Chett Pritchett, will gather with other United Methodist clergy and laity to support congressional visits to demand:
  • national policing standards and the passage of the End Racial Profiling Act
  • action requiring access to safe, high quality education regardless of location and family income
  • passage of the Raise the Wage Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act
  • restore, strengthen, and advance the 1965 Voting Rights Act by passing the Voting Advancement Act
If you live in the Washington, DC area and would like to participate, sign up here AND email us so we know we can organize a strong United Methodist presence. 
HIND KHOURY EVENT IN DC
Hind Khoury, General Secretary of KairosPalestine, will speak at Dumbarton United Methodist Church in Washington, DC on Monday, September 21 at 7pm. The event is co-sponsored by United Methodist Kairos Response, the General Board of Church and Society, and the Methodist Federation for Social Action. 

Hind Khoury is a Palestinian Christian, an economist, a former ambassador, and the newly appointed General Secretary of Kairos Palestine, an organization of Palestinian Christians who in 2009 issued an urgent call to the churches of the world (signed by 3,000 Palestinian Christians) asking the churches to take tangible actions like boycott and divestment to help end the Israeli occupation of their land.
Ms. Khoury is the president of the Bethlehem Rotary Club and an executive board member of Bethlehem Bible College. She is president of the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ); vice-president of the Arab Thought Forum; serves as a consultant to MASARAT, a research center on Palestinian strategic directives, and; served as vice president of Sabeel Ecumenical Palestinian Liberation Theology Center.
This speaking engagement is part of a larger tour of the United States organized by United Methodist Kairos Response.
SIGN THE LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR STATEMENT

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!

MFSA ON THE ROAD

September 9-11: Love Your Neighbor Coalition Retreat, Minneapolis, MN; Chett Pritchett, executive director, present

 

September 14, and 16: NAACP America's Journey for Justice; Chett Pritchett, executive director, participating

 

September 21: Hind Khoury, General Secretary of KairosPalestine, speaking at Dumbarton UMC, Washington, DC; co-sponsored by MFSA

 

Sunday, October 4: First UMC of Trenton, MI; Chett Pritchett, executive director, preaching, 10am

 

Sunday, October 4: Detroit Chapter MFSA Fall Gathering, 6pm; Chett Pritchett, executive director, speaking

 

Sunday, October 11: First UMC, Schenectady, NY, 10am; Chett Pritchett, executive director, preaching

 

Saturday, October 24 - Monday, October 26: MFSA Program Council and Board of Directors meeting; Washington, DC

 

Saturday, November 7: Fellowship of Reconciliation's Centennial Anniversary Multifaith Service, Riverside Church, New York, NY, 3pm; Chett Pritchett, executive director, participating

PROGRESSIVE PONDERINGS
Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20003
202.546.8806