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Boycott and Divestment are working
Preparing for General Conference
MFSA On The Road
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume XI 
Issue 4 

21 March 2016 


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My Lenten discipline has been one of "listening to what the Spirit says." It's not as concrete as giving up chocolate or committing to daily prayer. It has meant recognizing the wisdom of those around me, listening with my heart as well as my head, and looking quizzical when you have an epiphany that the Spirit is leading you into the difficult spaces and places of life. 

This Holy Week, I pray you will find the space you need to listen to the Spirit. Whether it's turning tables in temples, sharing a meal with friends or strangers, walking the way of the cross, or sitting in the silence of the unknown, may God be with you this week.

Seeking justice, In faith,

Chett Pritchett
Executive Director

SCOTUS Action: Contraception and Religious Freedom

March 23 presents another opportunity for voices of faith to be raised in support of reproductive health, choice, and justice. This time in the case of Zubik v. Burwell, in which the court will hear the argument for religious exemption when it comes to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We cannot be fooled into believing "religious freedom" isn't code for "right to discriminate. MFSA has joined in an amicus brief in support of women's access to contraception.

Staff will be present for a small rally in front of the Supreme Court. And there's opportunity for you to join in a Digital Rally online. Follow #handsoffmyBC on Facebook and Twitter and help us get trending! MFSA will also be sharing stories of clergy, seminarians, and lay leaders who share why access to contraception is important to them as people of faith.
Boycott and Divestment are working!
In a time when the non-violent tactics of boycott and divestment are coming under scrutiny, one example shows that such tactics are working to persuade right action.

For 7 years, a direct boycott campaign of Ahava Beauty Products, an Israeli company using resources and land in the West Bank and the Dead Sea to make their products. Earlier this month, Ahava announced it would move it's factory out of occupied territory into the pre-1967 borders of the state of Israel.

Many thanks to the vigilance of CodePink and other partners in the work of this boycott. The world is watching! 

MFSA supports the tactics of boycott and divestment and was present for yesterday's National March on Washington to Support Palestine. As the march stopped in front of the Washington Convention Center during the meeting of the American-Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC), one speaker commented, "They are in there raising funds to kill our children." The connections between militarism of police forces, racism, colonialism, and the occupation of Palestine are deeply intertwined.
Preparing for General Conference
In a little less than 2 months, United Methodists from around the globe will descend upon Portland, OR for General Conference.

MFSA will be there to witness to God's grace, peace, and justice.

We'll join United Methodist Kairos Response in calling for divestment from the occupation of Palestine.

We'll issue our Plumbline position papers on key legislative issues.

And we'll be present with our partners in the Love Your Neighbor Coalition, seeking a more inclusive and just United Methodist Church for EVERYONE.

Here's how you can help us prepare:
1) Sign the Love Your Neighbor Vision for The United Methodist Church.
2) Donate to support the work of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition.
3) Follow MFSA and our partners on Facebook and Twitter - and encourage your friends to do the same!
4) Pray for delegates, volunteers, and leaders. Fervently. And often.

MFSA On The Road
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

Friday, May 5 - Friday, May 20: General Conference, Portland, OR; staff present; MFSA Washington Office will still be open.

Wednesday, June 1: Oklahoma Annual Conference, Oklahoma City, OK; Lunch; sponsored by Mainstream United Methodists; Chett Pritchett, executive director, leading

Thursday, June 2-Saturday, June 4: Upper New York Annual Conference; Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator, present

Sunday, June 5: Iowa MFSA Awards Dinner, Des Moines, IA; Chett Pritchett, executive director, keynote

Thursday, June 9 - Sunday, June 12: Rio Texas Annual Conference; Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator, present.

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