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IN THIS ISSUE
SCOTUS Action
Responses to GBOPHB Video
GC16 Scholarships Available
Daily Lenten Reflections
MFSA on the Road
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume XI 
Issue 2 

11 February 2016 

 

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Earlier this week, I listened on a call announcing a Solidarity Statement between #TrustBlackWomen and #BlackLivesMatters. As a white man, I'm clear that my voice didn't need to be heard in that space. Instead, the clarity in the words of Monica Simpson of SisterSong, La'Tasha Mayes of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, and Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, crystallized: "It is critical for black women to talk about our right to breathe and right to exist." 

Indeed, the concepts of reproductive justice and racial justice are inextricably tied together. They are intersectional. And they don't simply create a Venn diagram of concern; they intersect with environmental justice, violence, and LGBTQ rights. 

As a mostly white organization, MFSA stands in ally-ship with the reproductive justice movement. We must see the connections and, at the same time, we must stand on the margins of spaces created for women of color to lift their voices.

We are justice-seeking people of faith. And that doesn't mean seeking justice for ourselves, but for those most silenced, even in our justice work. I hope you'll join me by learning more about organizations doing the work of reproductive justice in communities of color and amplifying those voices.


Seeking justice, In faith,

Chett Pritchett
Executive Director
chett@mfsaweb.org

SCOTUS Action: Whole Women's Health

The Methodist Federation for Social Action is glad to co-sponsor the National Weekend of Prayer for Reproductive Justice with our partner, The Religious Institute. From February 26-28, faith communities around the United States will participate in a weekend of prayer for reproductive health, choice, and justice, leading up to the the March 2 Supreme Court hearing of Whole Women's Health v. Cole, one of the most important reproductive health cases since Roe v. Wade.

Please consider engaging your congregation in prayer sometime during the last weekend of February. Sign up here - and thank you for witnessing that people of faith believe reproductive health care, including abortion, should be safe, local, and legal.  

And on Wednesday, March 2, join us at the Supreme Court! 

Join a group of MFSA members at the Rally to Protect Abortion Access on March 2, 2016 from 8 AM - 12 PM at the U.S. Supreme Court, Washington D.C. The oral argument began on the 2nd and we want to be part of a strong statement to the public that abortion access is a right. If you are clergy, please wear your collar and/or robes. There will be many speakers and hopefully 2000 allies!
 
We will provide a light lunch following the rally. Please RSVP with MFSA HERE.
A Response to the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits Video
Have you seen the video that was shown at the Pre-General Conference Briefing in Manila last week? From 2:01 to the end, the General Secretary of the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits uses propaganda rhetoric to persuade delegates to vote against directed divestment from the fossil fuel industry and corporations directly engaged in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. 
Read the response from Rev. Jenny Phillips of Fossil Free UMC: "the video explicitly instructs central conference delegates how to vote and how not to vote on legislation related to socially responsible investment guidelines. This is wrong."
Haniel Garibay, Home Missioner, and son of Filipino clergy made this statement via Facebook: "It's hypocritical for the Gen. Secretary to claim that they are concerned with human rights and climate justice but nevertheless continue to invest in companies complicit in violating those rights and committing injustices."
 
MFSA supports divestment from both fossil fuels and the occupation of Palestine, and encourages conversation about divestment as a strategy to witness to social injustice, especially when shareholder engagement has not been successful.
General Conference Leadership Development Scholarships Available
The Love Your Neighbor Coalition and the Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church with generous support from The Collins Foundation are excited to provide Leadership Development Scholarships for General Conference 2016 when it meets May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon.
 
Scholarship recipients are paired with seasoned legislative advocates who have already been trained and are well-versed in the workings of General Conference. Applicants need to commit to being in Portland May 8-20, participating in advance reading and telephone conferences, and following the guidance of the legislative coordinators. The scholarship will provide funding for travel and lodging for the young adult advocates.
 
Sixteen recipients in total will be selected, with at least six of those recipients coming from the Oregon-Idaho Conference. Learn more on the LYN Coalition website or by contacting Chett Pritchett, Methodist Federation for Social Action Executive Director at chett@mfsaweb.org.


Daily Lenten Reflections
Sarah Cobb, MFSA intern from Wesley Theological Seminary, has coordinated a daily Lenten devotional. Devotionals with Scripture, reflection, prayer, and a parting question will be posted on the MFSA website and on Facebook at 9pm every evening. It is our hope that your Lenten devotional reading will be a form of evening prayer and reflection on your day.

MFSA ON THE ROAD

Wednesday, February 25: Simpson Chapel, United Methodist Building, Washington, DC, 12:10pm; Chett Pritchett, executive director, preaching


 
Tuesday, March 29: Wesley Chapel, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV, 11am; Chett Pritchett, executive director, preaching

 

Wednesday, April 13: Craig Chapel, Drew Theological School, Madison, NJ, 11:20am; Chett Pritchett, executive director, preaching


 
Friday, April 22 - Sunday, April 24: Foundry UMC LGBTQ Retreat, Rehoboth Beach, DE; Chett Pritchett, executive director, leading

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