Archive for November, 2017

“This light was coming into the world….and the darkness did not overcome it.”

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Dear Federation friends,

Are you just plain tired out?  I am! I don’t mean from a busy schedule.  I mean a political exhaustion.  From the daily onslaught of negative news of rolling back hard-won gains against misogyny, white supremacy, nuclear brinkmanship, climate denial, LGBTQ exclusion, hazardous chemicals, and anti-immigrant hysteria. Not to speak of disappearing decency and decorum in high places.

Yes, it’s discouraging, tiring, and frightening. People talk of “compassion fatigue.” This is more like “resistance fatigue.”  And, of course, this is just what the enemies of social justice want. They want to wear us down.

One of my favorite scripture passages, however, is in the Prologue to John’s Gospel. You probably know it:

“This light was coming into the world….and the darkness did not overcome it.”

Thus the Gospel warns us of times such as these. Yes, the Light and Power of God has been unleashed into human life. We have known its inspiration and strength. But today there are newly emboldened, frightfully-funded principalities and powers of evil that do not know God’s name is love and justice.

So let us never forget: the Light still shines…and evil cannot put it out. It shines in each of you receiving this letter. It shines in the ways people unite to raise a justice-loving voice. It shines through reporters and assault victims who breach the wall of silence about sexual abuse.  It shines wherever you and I are faithful to our baptismal vow “to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”

For 110 years the Methodist Federation has sought to resist evil and to reflect the Light of God in church and society. We have known ups and downs. In the 1930’s the Hearst newspapers attacked us. In the 1950’s McCarthyite forces nearly drove us to extinction.

But despite our political exhaustion, we clung to the Light and received new strength. Likewise, we cling to the Light today, determined not to let the evil of these days wear us down.

I’m writing to ask each of you to give generously to this Advent Appeal. We need MFSA to magnify the Light within the United Methodist world. For example, our support enables MFSA to:

Equip our leaders and chapters to combat a resurgent white supremacy.
Organize a determined witness at the 2019 special General Conference.
Implement our new Justice Seeking Congregation program.

As you may know, I was Federation national executive 1974-1998, and together we gave our all to reflect the Light upon church and society.  But now as a  new member of the MFSA National Board, I am truly astounded to witness the vastly expanded advocacy that our present leadership is engaged in. MFSA today is a better investment in faith-based social action than ever!

Let me share an open secret with you: Deaconess Darlene DiDominick has been doing an absolutely fantastic job as our interim national executive.

I am astounded at how she is crafting a powerful Federation presence in interfaith coalitions, in direct advocacy, in chapter development (right now helping West Virginia UM’s to organize a chapter), and through action alerts (follow MFSA on Facebook if you don’t already!). And she’s backed by a national board of great energy, creativity and diversity.

These are uncertain times in our church as well as nation. We don’t know what proposals will come from the bishops’ Way Forward Commission on LGBTG issues and church structure. Be we are certain that the Federation voice is and will be desperately needed. 

In the coming months the Methodist Federation will be hiring new permanent executive leadership. Our ability to attract the best candidates rests on evidence of 1) the breadth of support for MFSA and 2) the financial stability of our own movement.

This is where you come in.  Your participation, at any level, helps prove breadth of support. And your generosity ensures the Federation’s financial stability.

I’m donating $500.00 right now to MFSA’s Advent Appeal. I hope you’ll join me – at whatever level of generosity you can.  

Thank you!
George McClain (Rev. Dr.)
MFSA Executive Director Emeritus

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