Archive for November, 2011

Young Adult Scholarships for General Conference

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

UPDATE: Application Deadline extended to January 1!

 

MFSA, in coalition with Reconciling Ministries Network and Affirmation through The Common Witness Coalition, recognize the need to equip the next generation of UMC leaders in the legislative, judicial, communication and relationship building issues by which policy change is achieved in the United Methodist Church.

 

Thanks to the Arcus Foundation, ten scholarships are available to young adults (ages 35 and under) who are passionate about social justice and inclusive church issues to be deployed alongside experienced leaders as co-coordinators of Coalition efforts to monitor Legislative, Judicial and Relationship Building at General Conference.  

 

In addition to 10 full scholarships, MFSA will match up to $300 for each young adult  (up to 10 young adults)  sponsored by their local congregation, MFSA Chapter, campus ministry, district or conference, to attend General Conference and volunteer with The Common Witness Coalition.

Experienced UMC leaders are ready to pass on the tools that have been effective in the past and to receive the insight that fresh perspective can bring to the process.

Please share freely with young adults, campus ministers, CCYM Directors, Seminary professors, and anyone else who might be interested in developing vital church leadership among young adults!

Young Adult Full Scholarship Application Process

Young Adult Matching Scholarship Application Process

United Methodists React to 15 People Overseeing the Agencies of a 12 Million Member Church: Methodist Caucus Proposes Reorganization Alternative

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

One of the largest mainline denominations in the United States is warming up for a major power struggle at its United Methodist General Conference in the Spring of 2012.

Leaders from the Methodist Federation for Social Action responded to the official “Call to Action” plan because of its radical restructuring of the church. The Call to Action proposal would distil nine of the thirteen church-wide agencies into one, replacing more than 500 volunteer board members with a single board comprised of fifteen people to oversee the agencies of a twelve-million member denomination on five continents.

In response to this extreme proposal, the Methodist Federation for Social Action held a telephone press conference at noon on November 9, 2011, to launch an alternative restructure approach. MFSA’s plan reduces the number of agencies from thirteen to nine and establishes four program ‘Centers’ each with a thirty-three member board.

“Officials responsible for proposing a fifteen member oversight body simply failed to come up with a reasonable proposal,” said Rev. Steve Clunn, MFSA Coalition Coordinator. The MFSA plan with four ministry ‘Centers,’ each with its own independent board of 33 people, would have a manageable amount of ministry and fiduciary responsibility. The MFSA plan is a far better and more reasonable approach to reducing the size of our current structure.”

“One of the most disappointing aspects of the Call to Action proposal is the lack of attention given to our brothers and sisters in Africa, Europe, and The Philippines,” said Tracy Merrick, a member of the First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh. “The United Methodist Church is a world-wide church. General Conference meets once every four years to make policy for the whole church, not just for the United States. Although over 36% of the members of the UMC live outside the United States, with the Call to Action proposal the central conferences would only be allocated 11% of the seats on the proposed General Council for Strategy and Oversight. The formula for the remaining seats includes a bias that favors the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the US. Even though the Southeastern Jurisdiction has 24 % of the members of the UMC, it would be allocated more seats than all of the central conferences combined. This approach isn’t consistent with our democratic heritage, it isn’t inclusive of the entire denomination, and it isn’t   helpful in growing our church.”

“Essential monitoring roles around issues of race, ethnicity and gender would be drastically diminished under ‘Call to Action,’ proposal” said Jill Warren, Executive Director of MFSA. “The two agencies tasked with monitoring the church around discrimination would lose their independence within a super-sized agency that would try to monitor itself. The proposed board of 15 people would virtually eliminate our representative leadership. It painfully reveals that the church needs an independent voice that speaks to issues of race, ethnicity and gender—perhaps now, more than ever.”

Don Hayashi, President of the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists (NFAAUM) said, “The MFSA plan respects the diverse nature of our global church, the leadership of women who comprise the vast majority of people sitting in the pews, and people of different ethnicities and colors whose representation has been a treasured and valuable part of this denomination.”

MFSA will hold webinars and make presentations across the country leading up to the April 24-May 4 General Conference, where both proposals will be under consideration.

For more information about the MFSA plan “A New United Methodist Administrative Order” plus how it compares to the current structure and the “Call to Action” proposal, please visit the website: www.mfsagc12.org.

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MFSA: Over 100 years of progressive United Methodists connecting with one another and turning their faith into action

Media Contacts:

MFSA Offers An Alternative to “Call to Action”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

On November 1st, the National Office of MFSA released the following press release:

United Methodists React to 15 People Overseeing the Agencies of a 12 Million Member Church

Methodist Caucus Proposes Reorganization Alternative

One of the largest mainline denominations in the United States is warming up for a major power struggle at its United Methodist General Conference in the Spring of 2012.

Leaders from the Methodist Federation for Social Action responded to the official “Call to Action” plan because of its radical restructuring of the church. The Call to Action proposal would distil nine of the thirteen church-wide agencies into one, replacing more than 500 volunteer board members with a single board comprised of fifteen people to oversee the agencies of a twelve-million member denomination on five continents.

In response to this extreme proposal, the Methodist Federation for Social Action is holding a telephone press conference to launch an alternative restructure approach. MFSA’s plan reduces the number of agencies from thirteen to nine and establishes four program ‘Centers’ each with a thirty-three member board.  Read more…

We are asking our chapters to please share this information and invitation with your members, Annual Conference delegates to General Conference 2012, and then join in the conversation on our website about these proposals at www.mfsagc12.org

National Office:212 East Capitol St., NE,Washington, DC 20003 * tel: 202.546.8806 *email: mfsa@mfsaweb.org