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SQB, May 12, 2000

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  • U.M. Cornet
    CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE This is the complete SQB for May 12. HTML and PDF versions are at: http://www.wisconsinumc.org/mfsa/daily_sqb.html SQB: Social
    Message 1 of 1 , May 12 3:56 AM
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      This is the complete SQB for May 12. HTML and PDF versions are at:

      SQB: Social Questions Bulletin
      Seeking Global Justice through the United Methodist Church

      May 12, 2000 Day 11
      Daily Breath Prayer - O God, bring your dawn.

      Hate Crime Legislation

      As we come to the close of our time we ask the delegates to be very careful
      about watering down any Hate Crime legislation.

      The coarsening of our civil discourse is a source of both provocation and
      excuse for people to deal with people different from themselves as objects,
      not as God�s children.

      As we move into these next years we need to be as clear as possible about
      the extra burden placed upon society when violence has hate added to it.
      Periodic violence is one thing; intentional violence which grows from a
      climate of hate is particularly destructive to a culture or society.


      There�s a hole in the middle

      Last Thursday we repented of racism by placing ashes on our wrists.

      Yesterday we guaranteed sins against our Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
      kin will continue longer than we had the Central Conferences.

      In a future repentance, we will write "65g" on wrists to represent Gay,
      Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender bondage.


      Weeks In Review

      We looked for translators and found them for languages, including American
      Sign language, but didn�t find the Spirit of Pentecost to help us listen and
      talk to one another.

      Judicial decisions made and broke several issues and an election.

      We dealt with issues around our priorities.

      Economic and Racial Justice: "Living Wage," Concern for Workers Task Force,
      boycotting USA Today, White privilege, Ethnic Plans.

      Preserve and strengthen the missional and theological integrity of the
      church. We regret our amendment of a fuller meaning of discipleship was not
      adopted, but we will continue to work out the larger vision and invite
      others to also do so.

      Heterosexism and human rights for sexual minorities failed to such an extent
      that the only option left to many were actions of non-violent civil
      disobedience. This will be revisited next General Conference, and the next.

      Encourage peaceful resolution of conflict within and between nations brought
      action on issues regarding The Philippines, Sierra Leone, Puerto Rico.

      Advocate for Environmental Justice put much emphasis upon an important
      dioxin petition and mountaintop removal.

      Combating Sexism found us continuing to affirm the woman�s role in decision
      making regarding abortion. We mourned the continued disrespect for women as
      reported in the Daily Christian Advocate�s "Anybody Listenin�?" column.

      If you are interested in these and other social justice issues we would be
      glad to talk with you and connect you with a MFSA chapter in your conference
      or help you start one.

      It appears there will be increasing opportunities for us burn with the
      Spirit�s gift to us to be prophets in our midst.


      Why I was Arrested
      by John Collins

      Thirty-eight years ago, I was a pastor in the New York Conference. I
      received a Macedonian call from a pastor of my home church in Northern
      Illinois to recruit some pastors to help integrate the Methodist churches in
      Jackson, Mississippi, where students at Tougaloo College had been waging a
      lonely and costly struggle. Four of us were arrested, simply for trying to
      worship together in interracial pairs, at Methodist churches. We spent a
      week in jail. One of my cellmates was then Rev., now Bishop Herbert Skeete.
      Three months later Bishops Golden and Mathews presented themselves at the
      same church and the sin of segregation was broken. We were criticized for
      our action at the time, but I believe history has proved us right. United
      Methodism today is an interracial church, far from perfect, but going on to

      Yesterday I stood with 26 gay and lesbian and straight United Methodists to
      say to the United Methodist Church that the time has come to end the lie
      that homosexuality is a sin. I saw the same mentality opposing us that
      opposed us in Mississippi. Racism is not limited to a region, but it was
      institutionalized in Mississippi then. Today the sin of homophobia is a
      national sin, but it is still strongest in the former bastions of legalized
      racism. That is why I decided I had to stand with my gay and lesbian
      brothers and sisters in Christ to say to the United Methodist Church that we
      must stop legitimizing the crucifixion of gays, lesbians, bisexual and
      transgender persons. It is the same struggle for human liberation as the
      struggle against racism in 1963. I was proud to be arrested with Bishop
      Skeete in 1963 and I was proud to be arrested with Bishops Sprague and
      Morrison yesterday.

      I do not know what the result of our witness will be. But I wait with eager
      expectation to see what God will do with all that happened yesterday.


      Thanks to our Volunteers!

      "and Christ�s gifts were that some should be�"

      committee and sub-committee monitors
      delegate representatives in committees
      committee coordinators
      issue coordinators
      SQB distributors
      worship leaders
      ticket sellers
      hospitality workers
      retreat coordinators
      housing coordinators
      sales staff
      planning committee and coordinators
      MFSA staff
      so many who can�t be named even in a category.

      "now there are many gifts,
      but the same spirit gave them all�"


      Food goes to Local Homeless Shelter

      Day by day these past two weeks MFSA has served a low-cost breakfast and
      lunch for those who desired economical, delicious, and healthy meals. It was
      also a time to visit.

      Left-over food has been and today will again be shared with a local homeless

      This is one way MFSA attempts to bind together our concerns for the poor and
      stewardship of creation�s resources. May you make that same connection as
      you return home.


      Remembering Amos

      For years our plumbline logo has been accompanied by words from Amos 7:8: "I
      am setting a plumbline in the midst of my people."

      As we come to the end of General Conference 2000 it becomes apparent it is
      important to listen to more of Amos who comes to pronounce the hard word
      that the "chosen people" have been brought into the universal judgment of
      God. The accusations against others which Judah and Israel were so pleased
      to make � Damascus threshed another, Gaza caused exile to others, Tyre
      forgot the covenant of kinship, Edom cast off all pity, Ammon enlarged their
      territory at the expense of the lives of others � always come home to roost.

      God became an advocate for the oppressed of every land. Now comes Amos with
      a word that God will strike at home against those who consider themselves
      faithful and worshipful and praiseful for they have been led astray by the
      same lies those other nations had used to justify, in one way or another,
      that it is better for one to die than many, that it is better for one group
      of people to be marginalized than for some to lose their management and
      control of religious resources.

      Amos is not pleasant for triumphalists. Amos has no program of change for
      managers. Either justice and righteousness flow free, or they don�t. When
      they don�t, as we experienced here in Cleveland, we are left with the
      plumbline. In Hebrew the plumbline word sounds like a sigh of mourning. We
      are measured by the sighs we cause.

      In 2004 we will meet again in Pittsburgh. Until then we commit ourselves to
      continuing to work wherever there are sighs, just as we have since 1907. May
      the mercy of God be with us.


      Communion Joys

      As you can tell from our calendar we have been supported through these weeks
      by the body and blood of Christ�MFSA in the morning and RCP at noon.

      If you have not gotten your copy of our worship book, Just and Holy Work:
      Prayer on the way, it is available for $10 in the AMAR Hospitality Room at
      the Sheraton or through our national office.


      Today�s MFSA Calendar

      MFSA Low-cost Breakfast 7-9 am, Old Stone Church

      MFSA Communion, 7:30 am, Old Stone

      AMAR Hospitality and Resource Room for an Inclusive Church Sheraton Hotel,
      Dorothy Fuldheim Room, 9 am - 7 pm

      MFSA Low-cost Lunch 11:30 -1:30 pm Old Stone Church, Memorial Hall

      RCP Communion�northwest corner of Mall in front of convention center, 12:30


      SQB is published daily at General Conference 2000 by the Methodist
      Federation for Social Action, founded in 1907.

      Executive Director: Kathryn Johnson
      GC Coordinator: Mary Ann Haxton

      Editors: Sally Jo Snyder, Wesley White
      Issue Coordinators: Don Carver, John Collins, Ed Horne

      National Office: 212 East Capitol Street, NE, Washington DC 20003
      E-mail: mfsa@...
      Website: http://www.olg.com/mfsa

      National Membership, $35

      Area Chapter Memberships available.

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