posted on November 16

The national MFSA Board met November 9 to 11 at Central United Methodist Church in Detroit, Michigan, the new home of the MFSA office. During this past year, MFSA moved its office to Detroit, a move based on being located at a church that is directly involved with social justice ministries and on being in a location that has affordable rent and an affordable cost of living for our Executive Director.

This meeting was the first face-to-face board meeting of our new Executive Director, Bridget Cabrerra. She shared the challenges of moving the office and still trying to find documents and other materials, the challenge of being the only staff person, and the support and joy of working with board members to streamline processes in the office, getting to connect with many of the MFSA stakeholders and other organizations with which MFSA works. The work of connecting with others will continue over the next months.

The Board also received a finance report. While expenses have been cut as much as possible, increased giving during December will be critically necessary to meet our budget. Watch for special giving opportunities from national MFSA in your e-mail during this next month.
We were introduced to the new website, which will roll out with a soft start in mid-December and will be ready for complete use after the first of the year. The new national website will also support regional websites, and Oregon-Idaho has been the development site for this hosting. So watch for a new Oregon-Idaho MFSA website as well!

We received additional information about the Justice Seeking Congregations program, and the Program Council created a plan for moving this program forward. (See Program Council report for details.)

We discussed the work that will need to be done before, during, and after General Conference 2019. While MFSA does not intend to endorse any of the plans, we continue to do our work based on our values and social justice priorities. This work will continue beyond February 2019. Most board members will be attending GC 2019 as delegates, reserve delegates, or volunteers. Working with the Love Your Neighbor Coalition, they intend to provide a witness of hospitality and welcome to all.

During its meeting, the board affirmed Amy Stapleton’s election as co-president of the board, filling out an unexpired term. The board also elected Lydia Muñoz as the other co-president. William Watts was elected to a second term as treasurer. Andy Oliver and Pat Stewart were elected as at-large board members.

On Sunday morning, we heard about the history of Central UMC, attended worship with the congregation, and met with the Program Council for the afternoon.