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General Conference 2016
MFSA Chapter Happenings
Board Member Spotlight
MFSA On The Road
Progressive Ponderings:News and Job Openings
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Volume XI 
Issue 5 

15 March 2016 


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In 25 days, United Methodists from all over the world will converge in Portland, Oregon. A lot is at stake: the lives of LGBTQI persons, putting our money where our values are, potential restructuring of the entire denomination. If you're coming to Portland, I hope we can share some time together: coffee, meal conversation, a hug, or a prayer. If you're not able to come to Portland, be sure to follow MFSA on Facebook and Twitter. This email list will also receive a daily digest so you can experience General Conference from afar. Likewise, please check out - the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC) communications team has been updating information rapidly, including blogs and an app for your phone!

While General Conference is proclaiming "Therefore Go," we join with Coalition partners to "Just Love." That's what Jesus did, isn't it?

Seeking justice, In faith,

Chett Pritchett
Executive Director

General Conference 2016 - 10 Tips and Things to Remember

If you'll be in Portland for General Conference - and even if you aren't - here are 10 tips.

1. Download the LYNC app for your smartphone. This will provide maps, calendars, and other information that will help us seek and enact #JustLove.
2. Attend non-violent action training.
3. Come to the Climate Vigil!
4. Take a break and attend a concert!
5. Public transportation is great in Portland - but be aware of construction woes!
6. THE TABERNACLE WILL RETURN! Keep an eye out for The Tabernacle, a speaker series schedule, and 
7. Follow on social media:
-MFSA Twitter and Facebook
-LYNC Twitter and Facebook
8. Open your email each day for an update from MFSA!
9. Check out MFSA's Plumblines (position papers). More will be added as we approach General Conference.
10. Donate. LYNC still needs to offset costs of office space, lower the cost of meals for volunteers, provide hospitality to delegates in the Tablernacle, and the insurance it will take to provide all of these important items. 

MFSA Chapter Happenings
North Carolina Chapter: The NC Chapter recently held it's annual Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry. With the focus of "Dare to Hear: An Honest Conversation about Race and an End to White Privilege," attendees heard from leaders in movements to counter racism and white privilege in both society and the Church, including Islamophobia. 

Rio Texas Chapter: This past week in Austin, the Rio Texas Chapter gathered to hear Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner, Curator of The Shout, and a voice for justice in Waller County, Texas, where she has held vigil since the death of Sandra Bland in July 2015. Through her organizing skills, Hannah has helped a community come together to ask #WhatHappenedToSandraBland and to remind other to #SayHerName. 

New York Chapter: Upcoming events co-sponsored by the New York Chapter on "Gender, Sexuality, and Just Faith" look to be exciting and promising educational opportunities. 

Board Member Spotlight
In an effort to familiarize MFSAers with our board members, we will spotlight two board members in each of our next 8 editions of the eNews. 

Rev. Dr. Christina Wright serves as Co-President of the Board of Directors. She is a Deacon in full connection with the West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church. Christina has a long list of leadership roles she's played before coming to MFSA: Chair of the UM Student Movement Steering Committee, Reconciling Ministries Network board member, member of Methodist Students for an All-Inclusive Church (MoSAIC) and OnFire. She holds degrees from Northwestern, Harvard, and University of West Georgia where she recently completed her doctorate in Psychology with a focus on spirituality and sexuality. Besides serving as MFSA's Co-President, Christina has recently moved back to Michigan where she serves as a Chaplain and researcher at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.

Rowland Curry is a lay member of St. John's United Methodist Church in Austin, TX. A long-time member of the Southwest Texas MFSA Chapter (now Rio Texas), Rowland has brought great insight and passion for local organizing to the MFSA board of directors. At General Conference in 2012 (and again in 2016), Rowland provided amazing hospitality in the Love Your Neighbor Tabernacle. A retired engineer, Rowland spends time with his wife Jan and their children and grandchildren, and volunteers his time in emergency relief with the American Red Cross. Rowland's term will expire after General Conference and we are thankful for the years of leadership he has provided to the board of directors!

MFSA On The Road
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