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MCC Stewardship Listings – May 2011

Metropolitan Community Churches
Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.
Leadership in Stewardship Listings for May 2011

Dear MCC Friend:

In these listings we recognize and congratulate MCC congregations for their achievements and leadership in generous giving and attendance.

Below you will find 4 lists, each of which spotlights a particular aspect of Leadership in Stewardship for the month of May 2011.

  • Participation in Early Contributions — featuring churches who have discharged their tithe obligations by participating in “pay as you go” contributions and/or whose tithe remittances are verifiably deposited into MCC denominational accounts prior to the stated due date;
  • Total Tithe Amount — based on the total Base Tithe and Generous in Faith contributions of local churches within broad attendance groupings;
  • Per Capita Giving — based on the ratio of reporting churches’ tithable (after exemptions) income and total attendance for the month; and
  • Gains in Attendance — listing churches across the denomination whose May 2011 average weekly attendance increased by 10% or more as compared to May of 2010.

These lists are prepared from deposit records and data supplied by churches in the May reports they have submitted to the administrative offices in Abilene, Texas (USA). For your church to be eligible for inclusion in these lists, your report and payment(s) must have been dated on or before the 10 June and received on or before 20 June, as part of our covenant of ministry.

I am pleased to share these “Leadership in Stewardship” lists for May.
Grace and peace,

Rev. Dr. Nancy L. Wilson
Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches

 

 

MAY 2011

LEADERSHIP in EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS

Forty-seven churches participated in early payment by sending intentional pre-pay installments on tithes not yet due, by remitting tithes on their income as it was received, and/or by ensuring that their contribtuions were verifiably deposited in MCC denominational accounts on/before 9 June. Those churches, in random order, are:

MCC Omaha – Omaha, Nebraska

Pastored by:  Rev. Tom Emmett, III

MCC Sacred Journey – Hendersonville, North Carolina

Pastored by:  Rev. Jane Nelson

MCC of Windsor – Windsor, Ontario

Pastored by:  Rev. Martha Daniels

MCC Boston – Boston, Massachusetts

Pastored by:  Rev. Michael Cooper

Church of Our Savior MCC – Boynton Beach, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Renwick Bell

Agape MCC – Fort Worth, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. David Wynn

Antelope Valley MCC – Palmdale, California

Pastored by:  Rev. Gale Smith

New Spirit MCC – Cincinnati, Ohio

Pulpit Vacant

Exodus MCC – Abilene, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Margaret Walker

New Light MCC – Hagerstown, Maryland

Pastored by:  Rev. Michael Hydes

achurch4me? MCC – Chicago, Illinois

Pastored by:  Rev. Kevin Downer

MCC in El Paso – El Paso, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Kati Houts

MCC of the Blue Ridge – Roanoke, Virginia

Pastored by:  Rev. Joe Cobb

Appalachian MCC – Charleston, West Virginia

Pastored by:  Rev. Michael Shields

FirstCoast MCC – Saint Augustine, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Ruth Jensen-Forbell

First MCC of Kansas – Wichita, Kansas

Pastored by:  Rev. Jackie Carter

Water of Life MCC – Tucson, Arizona

Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Charlie Arehart

King of Peace MCC – Saint Petersburg, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Candace Shultis

Open Arms MCC – Pahoa, Hawaii

Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Deb Martin

Good Hope MCC – Capetown, South Africa

Pastored by:  Ms. Laurie Guam

 

MCC Toronto – Toronto, Ontario

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes

 

MCC of Topeka – Topeka, Kansas

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Ty Sweeting

MCC Good Shepherd – Granville, New South Wales

Pastored by:  Rev. Robert Clark

MCC Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pastored by:  Rev. Todd Goewey

MCC Austin at Freedom Oaks – Austin, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Karen Thompson

Imago Dei MCC – Gradeyville, Pennsylvania

Pulpit Vacant

MCC of the Quad Cities – Davenport, Iowa

Pastored by:  Rev. Rich Hendricks

Open Circle at the Villages MCC – Oxford, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Carol Chambers-Rawlings

Emerald City MCC – Seattle, Washington

Pastored by:  Rev. Ray Neal

MCC San Jose – San Jose, California

Pastored by:  Rev. Rebecca Anderson

MCC of the Gentle Shepherd – Vancouver, Washington

Pastored by:  Rev. Ken Kerr

MCC Washington D.C. – Washington, District of Columbia

Pastored by:  Rev. Dwayne Johnson

Central Texas MCC – Waco, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Charley Garrison

SunCoast Cathedral MCC – Venice, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Sherry Kennedy

Promise MCC – Dallas, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Jon Robert Haack

Cornerstone MCC – Mobile, Alabama

Pastored by:  Rev. Lee Carlton

MCC Newcastle – Newcastle, Great Britain

Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

MCC Elizabethtown – Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Pastored by:  Rev. Cathy Porter

MCC Melbourne – Melbourne, Victoria

Pulpit Vacant

MCC of Greater Dallas – Dallas, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Colleen Darraugh

Milwaukee MCC – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pastored by:  Rev. Wendy Woodruff

MCC New York – New York, New York

Pastored by:  Rev. Pat Bumgardner

Journey MCC – Birmingham, Great Britain

Pastored by:  Rev. Chris Dowd

Gentle Shepherd MCC – Phoenix, Arizona

Pastored by:  Rev. Elder John Gill

Holy Redeemer MCC – College Park, Maryland

Pastored by:  Rev. David North

Spirit of Life MCC – Elfers, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Dexter Brecht

Heartland MCC – Springfield, Illinois

Pastored by:  Mr. Tony Thieman-Somora, DMin

 

MAY 2011
LEADERSHIP in TOTAL CONTRIBUTION AMOUNTS in SIZE GROUPINGS
(Payment dated on/before the 10th and received on/before the 20th of June)

NON-NORTH AMERICAN CHURCHES  (approx USD amts)

 

Avg Weekly Att of 51 to 150

 

MCC Sydney – Sydney, NSW

$867.74        Pastored by:  Rev. Greg Smith

 

Avg Weekly Att of less than 51

 

MCC Newcastle – Newcastle, GB

$435.72        Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

 

MCC Good Shepherd – Granville, NSW

$384.96        Pastored by:  Rev. Robert Clark

 

Good Hope MCC – Capetown, SA

$216.75        Pastored by:  Ms. Laurie Guam

 

 

NORTH AMERICAN CHURCHES

 

Avg Weekly Att of less than 51

 

New Life MCC of Hampton Roads – Norfolk, VA

$1,554.36        Pastored by:  Rev. Mark Byrd

 

Exodus MCC – Abilene, TX

$1,097.11        Pastored by:  Rev. Margaret Walker

 

MCC Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA

$1,011.50        Pastored by:  Rev. Todd Goewey

 

achurch4me? MCC – Chicago, IL

$909.04         Pastored by:  Rev. Kevin Downer

 

Imago Dei MCC – Gradeyville, PA

$881.08         Pulpit Vacant

 

MCC in El Paso – El Paso, TX

$849.38         Pastored by:  Rev. Kati Houts

 

Gentle Shepherd MCC – Phoenix, AZ

$845.23         Pastored by:  Rev. Elder John Gill

 

Promise MCC – Dallas, TX

$839.35         Pastored by:  Rev. Jon Robert Haack

 

Gentle Shepherd MCC – Tallahassee, FL

$818.00         Pulpit Vacant

 

Avg Weekly Att of 51 to 150

 

MCC of Northern Virginia – Fairfax, VA

$2,285.74        Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos

 

MCC Lubbock – Lubbock, TX

$2,049.84        Pastored by:  Rev. Renae Phillips

 

FirstCoast MCC – St. Augustine, FL

$1,973.52        Pastored by:  Rev. Ruth Jensen-Forbell

 

Agape MCC – Ft. Worth, TX

$1,883.77        Pastored by:  Rev. David Wynn

 

MCC of Greater Dallas – Dallas, TX

$1,753.58        Pastored by:  Rev. Colleen Darraugh

 

MCC Detroit – Ferndale, MI

$1,721.10        Pastored by:  Rev. Mark Bidwell

 

SunCoast Cathedral MCC – Venice, FL

$1,701.35        Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Sherry Kennedy

 

Avg Weekly Att of 151 to 350

 

MCC Washington D.C. – Washington DC

$5,093.27        Pastored by:  Rev. Dwayne Johnson

 

MCC San Diego – San Diego, CA

$4,865.57        Pastored by Rev. Dan Koeshall

 

King of Peace MCC – St. Petersburg, FL

$3,015.61        Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Candace Shultis

 

Avg Weekly Att of over 350

 

LifeJourney MCC – Indianapolis, IN

$5,808.32        Pastored by:  Rev. Jeff Miner

 

MCC Toronto – Toronto, ON

$5,497.97 (aprox USD amt)        Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes

 

 

MAY 2011
LEADERSHIP in ATTENDANCE GAINS

Fifteen churches reported increases of 10% or more in average weekly attendance for May 2011 (as compared to May 2010.)

 

MCC Auckland – Auckland, NZ

112.5%        Pastored by:  Rev. Doug McGee

 

MCC of Pueblo – Pueblo, CO

104.9%        Pastored by:  Rev. John Mark Hild

 

MCC Sacred Journey – Hendersonville, NC

57.3%         Pastored by:  Rev. Jane Nelson

 

MCC of the Gentle Shepherd – Vancouver, WA

42.4%        Pastored by:  Rev. Ken Kerr

 

Harvest MCC – Denton, TX

40.4%        Pastored by:  Rev. Jeannie George

 

Holy Redeemer MCC – College Park, MD

29.3%       Pastored by:  Rev. David North

 

Heartland MCC – Springfield, IL

28.7%        Pastored by:  Mr. Tony Thieman-Somora, DMin

 

MCC Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA

28.7%       Pastored by:  Rev. Todd Goewey

 

Church of Our Savior MCC – Boynton Beach, FL

22.8%       Pastored by:  Rev. Renwick Bell

 

SunCoast Cathedral MCC – Venice, FL

20.7%       Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Sherry Kennedy

 

MCC Knoxville – Knoxville, TN

20.1%       Pastored by:  Rev. Jill Sizemore

 

MCC Newcastle – Newcastle, GB

18.1%       Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

 

MCC of Greater Dallas – Dallas, TX

17.4%       Pastored by:  Rev. Colleen Darraugh

 

MCC Washington D.C. – Washington DC

13.6%       Pastored by:  Rev. Dwayne Johnson

 

Central Texas MCC – Waco, TX

13.6%       Pastored by:  Rev. Charley Garrison

 

 

 

 

 

MAY 2011
LEADERSHIP in PER CAPITA GIVING

 

 

NON-NORTH AMERICAN CHURCHES (approx. USD amounts)

 

MCC in East London – London, GB

$25.50        Pulpit Vacant

 

Living Springs MCC – Bath, GB

$22.26        Pastored by:  Rev. Kieren Bourne

MCC Newcastle – Newcastle, GB

$19.05        Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

 

MCC Sydney – Sydney, NSW

$18.26        Pastored by:  Rev. Robert Clark

 

NORTH AMERICAN CHURCHES

 

Imani MCC – Durham, NC

$70.61        Pastored by:  Rev. Phillip Matthews

 

MCC of Northern Virginia – Fairfax, VA

$61.16        Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos

 

New Life MCC of Hampton Roads – Norfolk, VA

$57.84        Pastored by:  Rev. Mark Byrd

 

MCC Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA

$53.90        Pastored by:  Rev. Todd Goewey

 

Emerald City MCC – Seattle, WA

$53.22        Pastored by:  Rev. Ray Neal

 

Imago Dei MCC – Gradeyville, PA

$50.96        Pulpit Vacant

 

Christ the Liberator MCC – North Brunswick, NJ

$50.72        Pastored by:  Rev. Thomas Bohache

 

Gentle Shepherd MCC – Tallahassee, FL

$47.08        Pulpit Vacant

 

New Spirit MCC – Cincinnatti, OH

$46.78        Pulpit Vacant

 

Holy Redeemer MCC – College Park, MD

$42.49        Pastored by:  Rev. David North

 

MCC of Greater Dallas – Dallas, TX

$41.50        Pastored by:  Rev. Colleen Darraugh

 

New Spirit Community Church MCC/UCC – Berkeley, CA

$36.89        Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Jim Mitulski

 

Holy Covenant MCC – Brookfield, IL

$35.67        Pastored by:  Rev. Danny Spears

 

Water of Life MCC – Tucson, AZ

$35.41        Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Charlie Arehart

 

Trinity MCC – Ft. Worth, TX

$34.82        Pastored by:  Bro. Curtis Smith

 

MCC Lubbock – Lubbock, TX

$34.05        Pastored by:  Rev. Renae Phillips

 

Church of the Trinity MCC – Sarasota, FL

$33.82        Pastored by:  Rev. Charles Tigard

 

Promise MCC – Dallas, TX

$33.41        Pastored by:  Rev. Jon Robert Haack

 

Exodus MCC – Abilene, TX

$32.65        Pastored by:  Rev. Margaret Walker

 

MCC of Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge, LA

$31.75        Pastored by:  Rev. Keith Mozingo

 

MCC in El Paso – El Paso, TX

$31.60        Pastored by:  Rev. Kati Houts

 

MCC of Topeka – Topeka, KS

$31.39        Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Ty Sweeting

 

achurch4me? MCC – Chicago, IL

$31.08        Pastored by:  Rev. Kevin Downer

 

 

 

(USA) Newsmakers Tell Their Coming Out Stories – Washington Blade

MCC Headline News – 13 June 2011

Headline News

Tearing Down Walls. Building Up Hope.




 

LEAD

MCC Announces L.E.A.D. Coordinators

 

The Office of Formation and Leadership Development is pleased to announce the appointment of Nancy Maxwell and Barry Hundley as coordinators for the L.E.A.D. (Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship) Certificate Program. Nancy and Barry are graciously volunteering their time and expertise for this important role in the continued development of leaders in MCC at the local, global and denominational level. They will be working closely with Rev. Dr. Mona West to implement this new training program for laity in MCC. For more information about their gifts, training and commitment to MCC, click here to read their bios.

Applications are currently being accepted for the first L.E.A.D. retreat to be held 18-21 August 2011 in Ellenton, Florida (USA). For more information on the L.E.A.D. program, click here. To download an application packet, click here. Deadline for applications is 5 July 2011.

 

Reflections on Disaster Relief
by Rev. Elder Diane Fisher

 

DF June 2011 tornado

Photo taken as storms left Boston (Massachusetts) area 1 June 2011

 

Nearly two weeks ago, Massachusetts had some severe storms and nine confirmed tornados. Four people lost their lives, and Springfield suffered a lot of destruction. As the storm left our area heading to Boston, the sky was consistently bright with the storm’s lightning. The photo above was as the storm left. I recorded video as well, and what is the most striking is the noise. Truly unbelievable.

 

We had a crazy winter. I have said that I am over snow, which were words I never thought I would hear myself utter. And now, I can add that I am over tornadoes.

 

We were luckier than most. We had two storm systems, one from the south and another from the north. They created fabulous night sky displays and noise over our house, and we have minimal damage. Most of the trees that we had not lost during the winter snow, remained firm. We lost only four, and all of those missed the house.

 

I am more aware now of just how lucky the survivors in Joplin are to have seen and lived through the horrific tornadoes that left such a swath of devastation. The might of these storms is something to behold.

 

I hope that we will continue to keep the people of Joplin, Tuscaloosa, Japan, Christchurch, and Brisbane in prayer. Hurricane Katrina has shown us just how long the recovery and rebuilding can take.

 

It feels this year more than ever as though we have really upset Mother Earth and need to bring things back into “right relationship.” We need to pray for healing of the earth, for people’s hearts and their renewed hope and courage, and for us not to just move on to the next disaster, forgetting those still living in turmoil and fear.

 

God Bless,

Diane

For MCC responses to Disasters, visit our Disaster Relief page at http://mccchurch.org/ministries/disaster-relief/. (You can also donate to our Disaster Relief ministry via the same link.)

 

Summer Reading Sale Continues

 

We are offering new pricing (up to 40% off) for books in the Rev. Troy Perry cycle:

  • The Lord is My Shepherd & He Knows I’m Gay – $15.00
  • Don’t Be Afraid Anymore – $8.00
  • 10 Spiritual Truths for Successful Living for Gays and Lesbians (and Everyone Else!) – $7.00
  • Troy Perry: Pastor and Prophet – $8.00 (includes book & CD!)

*** Or buy the whole set for $35.00! ***

 

All prices in US dollars. Free shipping/handling (within the continental US) for orders of $15 USD or more. While supplies last.

 

Special Bonus:

Be one of the first 29 individuals to order 10 Spiritual Truths, and receive an autographed copy!

Additional Value:

A free Would Jesus Discriminate? t-shirt will be shipped with the first 50 orders! (Include your size preference with your order, and indicate what you would like us to do if your size is no longer available.)

 

(This offer is good for orders received no later than 31 July 2011.)

 

You can order online here, or contact Franklin Calvin at FranklinCalvin@MCCchurch.net or 1-202-657-6304.

 

 

 

PAD Conference

 

Editorial delay: Watch for a post-conference summary in the next issue of Headline News.
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Making Headlines!
MCC Announces L.E.A.D. Coordinators
Reflections on Disaster Relief
Summer Reading Sale
PAD Conference
MCC Makes Headlines
Upcoming MCC Events
Updated Program Booklet 
Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic

 

MCC Makes Headlines
Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, was interviewed by the Washington Blade and mentions MCC. You can read that article here.

 

Upcoming 2011 MCC Events

Stewardship Summit

24-25 June

Stewardship Summit

27-30 July

Young Adult Retreat

 

 

2011 Clergy Retreat

12-14 September

OFLD Clergy Retreat

 

 

For a full listing of 2011 MCC events, click here.

 

 

MCC’s Updated Program Booklet

As we work to use church size theory for our denominational work, we want to ensure that our churches have easy access to programs that support leaders, grow churches and provide care and connection. To that end, we are continually creating and updating resources that are producing results. Click here for the most recent listing of programs being offered this year.

 

 

Young Adult Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic

 

A team of 14 MCC young adults and their advisors is slated to depart on a week-long mission trip to the Dominican Republic on 23 June 2011. The trip is being organized by MCC Washington DC (for the sixth consecutive year) with the support and guidance of Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and MCCDC Senior Pastor Dwayne Johnson. For more details, click here.

 

The team is actively involved in raising their own funds for this mission trip. For information on how to contribute, click here.

 

You are invited to follow the mission team on their journey. They have developed their own website here.

MCC Churches: Ministry Development Team Needs Your Input

Ministry Development Survey
 

The Team

Rev. Kevin Downer.

 

Rev. Tania Guzman

Rev. Carol Rawlings – Chambers

Vickey Gibbs

 

Season of Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.

 

 

Ministry Development Team Purpose

MCC is growing rapidly in many places around the world and we see renewed interest in developing a variety of innovative and creative ministries. The Ministry Development Team seeks to support our growing movement by:

· Connecting ministries with similar needs;

· Improving collaboration;

· Providing support for ministries in the earliest stages of development;

· Providing resources and lessons learned to emerging ministries so that new ministries may have a healthy start and build momentum.

.

 

 

 

Begin at the Beginning

In order for us to fulfill our purpose, we need to know what ministries are being developed, thus the reason for our survey. Please complete this survey by June 27, 2011, so that we may ascertain what ministries are developing so that we may generate appropriate resources and contacts to assist in healthy growth. Your ministry may be at any point along the continuum from thought to emergent. To take the survey please click here.

 

Rev. Elder Darlene Garner

DIrector of the
Office of Emerging Ministries

3540 Crain Highway, #655
Bowie MD 20716 USA

Office Phone: 1-281-201-0320 Cell Phone: 1-210-380-7881
Fax: 1-310-388-1252

Skype: darlene.garner
Website: www.icmmccregion6.org
Blog: http://mccpadlink.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And Spirit added to their number daily those who believed. .

 

 

Ministry Development Team

MCC Impact – June, Volume 2

the MCC IMPACT

June 2011 – Volume I

Editor: Judy Dale

 

DISASTER RELIEF UPDATE – JOPLIN, MISSOURI

Dear MCC Friends:

I would like to recognize Linda Beckstead and Terry Curry, our Network Leads for this area, who are representing MCC during this difficult time. Linda was on the ground the first day anyone was allowed in the city, organized clean-up and distribution of supplies, and stayed in constant communication regarding needs. Terry provided vital support, even though she was out of the country. Both are doing a fantastic job!

And kudos to Kurt Krieger, Melissa Smithee, and Katie Hotze-Wilton for all the work they did to support the local church and the network, as well as planning and coordinating last Sunday’s worship service.

I wanted to share some information with you from the past week of activity in and for Joplin. The generosity of MCCers and people around the world continues to amaze us.

At least 10 trucks, including a twenty-one foot trailer, brought supplies and food.

Over $1,000 (USD) in gift cards have been donated.

At least 6 MCCs assisted with clean-up and the worship service. We know of representatives from First MCC of Kansas (Wichita), MCC of Greater Saint Louis (Missouri), MCC of Topeka (Kansas), MCC Omaha (Nebraska), Spirit of Christ MCC (Joplin, Missouri), and Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri).

115 people attended the Come As You Are Community Healing Service, during which over $1,000 (USD) in donations was collected.

At least 4 MCC churches contacted Spirit of Christ MCC directly to offer monetary donations.

$9,621.40 (USD) has been donated (as of Friday, 3 June) to MCC’s Disaster Relief Fund, which we began distributing last week.

I feel the need to reiterate what I know of disasters and also have heard from people volunteering in Joplin; many well-meaning people show up at disaster sites or insist on helping before needs are assessed. This is often more harmful than helpful. Please be respectful of people and communities, and do not assume you know the best way to help.

Here’s a great picture and story from the worship service:

Joplin Healing Service

Rev. Steve Urie, pastor of SOCMCC, was presented with a newly framed copy of his ordination certificate that was found in the rubble, along with a copy of his certificate of service for his work in previous years with disaster relief. Oh, the irony.

And here is a wonderful testimony to MCC by an HRC board member.

We are making plans for Phase II support. Check for updates on the MCC Disaster Relief page on our website.

To donate to MCC’s Disaster Relief Fund, which allows us to respond quickly in cases such as this:

1) Go to http://mccchurch.org/ministries/disaster-relief/.

2) Click on the Donate button.

 

Again, thank you for your prayers and support.

Faithfully,

lillie signature small

Rev. Elder Lillie Brock

 

MCCer GRADUATIONS

Doctorate of Ministry (DMin)

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson – Episcopal Divinity School

To read a transcript of Nancy’s graduation address at Lancaster Theological Seminary from 14 May 2011, click here.

Danny Spears – Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Gale Smith – Claremont School of Theology

Jim Merritt – Episcopal Divinity School

Joint recipient (with Candy Holmes) of .

Susie Chamness – Andersonville Theological Seminary

Cum Laude

Doctorate of Divinity

Sherry Poepsel – United Graduate College

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)

Alex Warner (History) – Rutgers University

Masters of Divinity (MDiv)

K. Booth Towry-Iburg – Episcopal Divinity School

Miak Siew – Pacific School of Religion

Received the Koinonia distinguished service award, and as the highest-ranking academic student, also carried the PSR banner at the Commencement ceremony.

Patrick Ryan – Pacific School of Religion

John Ransom – Florida Center for Theological Studies

Megan More – Claremont School of Theology

Chelsea Masterman – Pacific School of Religion

Joshua Love – Episcopal Divinity School

Katie Hotze – Eden Seminary

Earning “The Robert L. Tiemann Book Award” – given to a student of the Seminary who is deemed by the administration to excel in business acumen that will be transferable and useful in the ultimate ministry of the recipient

Candy Holmes – Episcopal Divinity School

Joint recipient (with Jim Merritt) of .

Jakob Hero – Pacific School of Religion

Received the preaching prize at graduation, and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Boswell prize for GLBT scholarship.

Norma Gann – Brite Divinity School

Johnna Faber – Lancaster Theological Seminary

Received the Rev. Thomas W. Rhoads Academic Prize in Biblical Interpretation (Old Testament)

Leonard Dacy – Brite Divinity School

Received the 2011 Chalice Press Book Award, and the 2011 Latino/a Church Studies Award

Masters

Dustin Williams (Hispanic Studies) – Louisiana State University

Jen Jones (Sports Management) – University of the Pacific

Bachelors

Diane Pierce (Interdisciplinary Studies) – Ellis University

Robin Davvis (Healthcare Management) – Jefferson College of Health Sciences

Certificates

Joe Shore-Goss (Spiritual Direction) – Stil Point Center for Spirituality

John Magisano (Economic Development Finance Professional) – National Development Council

Also received a certificate in Interim Executive Leadership from the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, and will receive a certificate as an Organizational Development Practitioner from the NTL Institute this month

Roger Bernardo (Carpentry) – Piscataway Vo-Tech

High School

Ashley Brow

Amanda Brow

 

LA’S FIRST LGBT HERITAGE MONTH – TROY PERRY HONORED

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and Christopher Street West/LA PRIDE (CSW) kicked off the City’s first ever Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Heritage Month celebration at 10:00am on Friday, 3 June 2011, in the City Hall Council Chambers in Los Angeles, California. The City’s first ever LGBT Heritage Month themed “LGBT LA: Paving the Way Toward Equality” highlighted Los Angeles as a driving force in the LGBT equality movement. The event was presented by Toyota and Toyota Financial Services.

Rev. Elder Troy Perry (June 2011)

Mayor Villaraigosa presenting award to Rev. Troy Perry

(photo credit: Mark Hahn)

At the formal Council presentation, the Mayor recognized CSW co-founder, the Reverend Troy Perry, with the Spirit of Los Angeles Award; media strategist Chad Griffin with the Dream of Los Angeles Award; and actress and comedian Wanda Sykes with the Hope of Los Angeles Award. Vox Femina led the Council procession.

LA LGBT Heritage Month (June 2011)

Chad Griffin, Wanda Sykes, Mayor Villaraigosa, Rev. Troy Perry

(photo credit: Mark Hahn)

Following the event in Council Chambers, there was a reception on the South lawn of City Hall with Master of Ceremonies Alec Mapa, special guest Dustin Lance Black, and live performances by So You Think You Can Dance,
musician Our Lady J, and Out & About Tours.

The Mayor held a private reception with LGBT leaders at his private residence, the Getty House, to commemorate Christopher Street West/LA PRIDE’s 41st Anniversary.

To read about the event, click here. To see a full album of pictures from the event, by Mark Hahn, click here.

 

PEOPLE

Following a viewing of For the Bible Tells Me So, Rev. Paul Whiting, pastor of MCC London (Ontario), spoke on a panel before a crowd of 180 at the offices of their local Board of Education.

Rev. Dr. Mona West will be teaching Sexuality and Spirituality in Lancaster Theological Seminary’s Summer Academy, 20-24 June.

Rev. Dr. Tony Thieman-Somora is writing the section on mental illness and dealing with combative clients for a new training and webinar series, which will be used throughout the state of Illinois.

Jen Taylor is planning to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event, so her friends at Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan) helped her raise funds by contributing the donations from one of their Sunday dinners.

The Angel Collie story is available on the website of St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina). It’s the transition story of our own MCC staffer in his own words and a delight to read. Click here.

Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo was the guest preacher Sunday at Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York).

Florin Buhuceanu represented MCC in Berlin, Germany, during the 2011 General Meeting of the European Gay and Christian Forum, where he offered information about the ongoing projects concerning Eastern Europe during a workshop and organized a booth about MCC work in this region.

Pastor Melissa Smithee threw out the first pitch at the Omaha Storm Chasers’ Diversity Night. Thirty folks from MCC Omaha (Nebraska) were there to watch and to staff an information booth about the church.

Rev. Melanie Martinez wrote an article, which appeared in the Sunday edition of the Abilene (Texas) Reporter News, about bullying and her participation in the Human Rights Campaign’s Clergy Call in Washington, DC. You can read the article here.

Jane Newall was appointed to the national Planned Parenthood Clergy Advisor Board.

 

PRIDE ACTIVITIES

 

Remembering Stonewall will be a Pride event for the community next Saturday at FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida). There will be vendors, food sales, and a picnic outdoors, with movies all day inside in the air conditioning.

Next weekend, all of the MCCs in and around Washington, DC, will participate in the Capital Pride March on Saturday and Celebration on Sunday. Churches confirmed are Holy Redeemer MCC (College Park, Maryland), MCC of the Blue Ridge (Roanoke, Virginia), MCC DC (Washington, DC), MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia), MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia), MCC Rehoboth (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware), MCC Richmond (Virginia), New Life MCC of Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia), New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland), and Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland).

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) will host an evening of Pride consisting of a Spaghetti Dinner, a panel presentation, and a book signing by their own Richard White, author of A Fairy in the Palace.

Appalachian MCC (St. Alban’s, West Virginia) is working on their annual Pride Hot Dog Sale. They’ll have 500 hot dogs, 100 vegan dogs, regular and vegan chili, slaw, chips, and soft drinks for sale at the state-wide event in Charleston on Sunday.

In Seattle, Washington, they will be observing Pride 19-26 June. Emerald City MCC will be involved with all the events, especially the Interfaith Service which they will be planning and hosting with All Pilgrims Church. Other sponsors include First Baptist, Prospect UCC, University Baptist, University Christian, and University Lutheran.

Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) will host an MCC Pride Tea Dance on 18 June at 4:00pm.

This month, New Spirit MCC/UCC/DOC (Berkley, California) will feature original compositions and arrangements by LGBT composers, many of whom will be present in their worship services.

Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) won the prize for the best float in their city’s Pride Parade!

MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) will have a float in the Northwest Indiana Pride Parade on Saturday.

At the conclusion of Pride events there, MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) will host the Pride Worship Service next Sunday.

Rev. Delores Berry will be in concert on the 18th at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee). On Sunday, she will preach for the morning worship and lead a healing service that evening. The Pride Picnic, the longest-standing event in that area and hosted by the church, will be that afternoon.

MCC Charleston (South Carolina) had one convertible, three trucks, three banners, countless balloons, and at least 25 folks walking/riding in the parade and they had new folks at church because of their booth at the rally!

As part of Pride, MCC Key West (Florida) will host a dinner at the New York Pasta Garden Friday night, with the proceeds going to their various ministries.

Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri) hosted the Pride Interfaith Service with Randy Roberts Potts, the grandson of Oral Roberts, as the speaker. Participants included faith leaders and congregants from many traditions, the Kansas City Coalition of Welcome Ministries, and the Heartland Men’s Chorus.

King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) will sponsor a showing of Call Me Troy this Thursday. Next Thursday, they will screen In Anita’s Wake: The Irrational War on Florida’s Gay Families, a documentary about Anita Bryant’s anti-gay crusade and the ongoing impact of Florida’s adoption ban. There will also be a question and answer time with Vicki Nantz, the film’s director.

Making the Impact!
Disaster Relief Update – Joplin, Missouri
MCCer Graduations
LA’s First LGBT Heritage Month – Troy Perry Honored 
People
Pride Activities
Opportunities
Active Churches
Youth
Celebrations
Transitions 
Serving Others
Fun Activities
Learning Times
Fun(d)raisers

 

OPPORTUNITIES

Rev. Jimmy Creech, a long-time friend of MCC and author of Adam’s Gift, is available to preach and do book signings at any church. He is already scheduled at New Spirit MCC/UCC/DOC (Berkley, California) and MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California). Why not invite him to your church? Email Chris Weedy for booking information.

Justin Ryan’s “I’ve Been There” tour, an outreach to bullied and abandoned LGBT youth, began last month at MCC Pittsburg (Pennsylvania). He will appear at MCC Elizabethtown (Kentucky) on 26 June. Next month, he will visit several MCCs in Florida. For a preview, check out his video. For more information about his tour or to book him for your church, visit JustinRyanonline.com or email .

Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) is looking for a full-time Director of LGBTQ Student Life. For more information, visit the website, click on Administrative/Staff Jobs (External Candidates), then on Search Openings. Leave all defaults, go to the field labeled: Auto req ID, and enter 23731BR.

MTV is planning a docu-series about youth (ages 14-21) with LGBT parents. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have MCC youth talking about their family’s involvement in church and their faith? GLAAD would like to train any families desiring to submit an application. Contact Ross Murray at for that assistance. To apply for the show, please send photographs, videos, and a brief description of each family member to . More information is available here.

 

ACTIVE CHURCHES

Hands Across Hawthorne Bridge saw many participants from MCC Portland (Oregon). In response to an attack on two gay men for holding hands in public, members and friends of the LGBT community gathered and held hands spanning the entire length of the bridge.

The 4th Annual Broadway Series is underway at MCC Austin (Texas). The shows featured this year are “The Wiz,” “Pippin,” “My Fair Lady,” and “The Fantastiks.”

You never know who might be visiting your church! MCC Manchester (England) had a visitor who turned out to be a blogger who reviewed churches. You can read the review here.

As part of their weekly e-newsletter, Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) includes a Community Bulletin Board for congregants to post needs for jobs, furniture, moving assistance, items for sale, apartments to lease, etc.

Like to get your hands dirty? Then join the folks at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Saturday as they work in their eco-friendly rain garden.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) launched Spirit of Broadway, its own theatre company. Recently, they presented an original production of “Reunion,” a musical modeled after the popular TV show “GLEE” addressing bullying in schools.

ICM Betel (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) has recently begun an affinity group for members of the congregation who are People of African Descent. Their pastor is Rev. Marcio Retamero.

ICM Misericordia (San Salvador, El Salvador) has received the legalization of MCC in their country.

ICM Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) received the recognition of the government as a religious non-profit group.

 

 

YOUTH

Kids4Christ performed in sign language and dance for MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina).

Rev. Sandy Osteen of Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida) and her son Ryan co-preached the sermon on Youth Sunday at Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama).

Pandamania VBS will take place at LifeJourney MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana) 20-24 June for 3 to 13 year olds. Then in July, those 8 and older will go to Camp Forust for five days.

 

CELEBRATIONS

MCC Richmond (Virginia) will be celebrating their 33rd anniversary 11-12 June with Rev. Delores Berry as their special guest. On Saturday evening, there will be a gala concert featuring Rev. Berry and Spirits of Joy/Voices of Praise. Rev. Berry will preach on Sunday morning and lead a Healing Service that evening. After morning worship, everyone will enjoy a potluck picnic.

Rev. Tania Guzman, Leader of the MCC Hispanic Ministry Development Team, will be the guest preacher on Pentecost Sunday at Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida). In the spirit of all people hearing in their native tongue, parts of the service will be bilingual (English, Spanish).

ICM Los Angeles (California) celebrated their 19th anniversary last Sunday with a reception after their weekly worship service.

Azania, the People of African Descent group at MCC Los Angeles (California), will host a Juneteenth Celebration Barbeque Chicken Dinner on the 19th after the 11 am worship service.

MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) will have Jason and deMarco as their guests for Pentecost next weekend with a concert on Saturday and worship on Sunday.

 

TRANSITIONS

After many years of pastoring and serving MCC, Rev. Elder John Gill is retiring. His last Sunday will be 12 June at Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona). Rev. Gale Rawson was elected yesterday as the new Senior Pastor.

Rev. George Chein has submitted his resignation as pastor of MCC Hartford (Connecticut). His last Sunday will be 12 June.

Safe Harbor MCC (Halifax, Nova Scotia) has voted to close. Their final service will be on 19 June with Rev. Elder Diane Fisher joining them.

 

SERVING OTHERS

MCC New York (New York) is now offering free, confidential, rapid HIV testing seven days a week. Additionally, they have expanded their syringe access program to three days a week for those needing clean syringes and a place to dispose of used ones.

MCC Toronto (Ontario) is expanding their work with refugees under their new Refugee & Immigration Project. In addition to their LGBT Refugee Peer Support Group, they will offer one-on-one support to those who cannot attend the group, financial sponsorship support for up to one year, small group spiritual support for a number of faith traditions, and advocacy for justice in refugee and immigration policy. Brian Brenie will serve as Coordinator.

Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) celebrated LOL (Live Out Loud) Weekend, during which congregants did something to serve others, such as participate with Habitat for Humanity, visit LGBT folks in a nursing home, pass out water and snacks to the homeless, mow a neighbor’s yard, run an errand for someone who is homebound, etc.

Open Circle at the Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) collects newspaper, junk mail, and other recyclable paper for fundraising by Temple Shalom, who offers them space to meet.

 

FUN ACTIVITIES

Play Ball! Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) will enjoy an outing to the Reading Phillies game on Saturday.

Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California) recently enjoyed a Game Day. Not only did they play board games after worship and lunch, they also went to see the San Jose Giants play the Stockton Ports.

 

LEARNING TIMES

The Book Club of MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri) just read Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian.

Each Saturday this month, aChurch4Me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois) will offer the study “LGBT People in the Bible” for the community at the Center on Halstead.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal are the featured books in a 12-week study on creativity at MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California).

During Sunday School on the third Sunday of each month at Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas), folks share their personal testimonies of their experiences with God.

Heartland Community MCC (Springfield, Illinois) recently held their first training for “Over the Rainbow Senior Outreach,” a program they’ve developed to help churches and organizations become a community resource. The first session, which had participants from four different congregations, focused on the “Phone Pal” program. Volunteers were trained to make weekly calls to homebound seniors, especially in the LGBT community, who just need someone to talk to.

As part of their series on relationships, MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) will present Balancing Adult Relationships with Parenting Responsibilities, led by Sam Adams-Berger, LCSW, on 20 June.

This month King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) will be offering two classes: Developing Your Personal Strategic Plan (Part 1) and Budgeting for the Money-Challenged.

 

FUN(D)RAISERS

MCC Tampa (Florida) is having their own version of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. “Dust off those fancy hats, break out those stilettos, slide into the fanciest outfit you own, and make plans to attend our version of the Kentucky Derby. Buy a $25 horse for the race. As the ‘owner,’ you get to name your horse, pick your jockey, and pick the heat and lane your horse will race. During your race, you sit at the Owner’s Circle VIP box. If you win, you get a trophy and a photo taken in the winner’s circle. After the races, use leftover ‘betting bucks’ at the auction.”

Following a picnic on the 19th, Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) will have a Bring & Buy Sale, a great way to get rid of unwanted items, plants, etc., and to purchase those brought by others!

MCC Paducah (Kentucky) got folks to donate their loose change each Sunday by keeping a basket in the church foyer. Adults and children alike took a plastic egg from the basket and filled it with whatever change was in their pockets.

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MCC Headline News – 31 May 2011

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Comments from the Moderator regarding the HRC Clergy Call
HRC Clergy Call 2011
Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson speaking at HRC Clergy Call 2011

This was a very successful and powerful HRC-sponsored event! It is my third Clergy Call, and I was proud to represent MCC at the Press Conference on Tuesday, along with Bishop Flunder. The highlights for me were:

  • At least 40 MCCers, both clergy and laity, participated in and volunteered for and staffed this event! Thanks to Rev. Colleen Darraugh for gathering us all together for lunch that first day. In some cases, like Kansas and Montana, MCC provided the only voices from those states.
  • The collaboration with our MCC PAD Conference was outstanding and made the intersections even more clear between different kinds of activism. Thanks to Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and Rev. Candy Holmes for pioneering this “bridging” event. This was a much more diverse Clergy Call in terms of the participation of African Americans from many faith traditions, and Trans clergy and lay leaders as well.
  • Standing next to United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano, from Arizona, a tireless advocate for the human rights of immigrants, who took the time to offer visible solidarity from a denomination that still does not fully accept LGBT people.
  • The participation of so many from Brite Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas, including MCC folks, was the beginning of a “trend” to recruit seminarians into this work.
  • HRC is simply the best at helping U.S. pastors and people of faith who are LGBT or allies to witness on Capitol Hill – the speakers, the coaching and preparation were all outstanding!
  • Sharon Groves is a wonderful successor to Rev. Harry Knox at HRC, and we applaud her leadership in building our movement and building up the voice of people of faith in Washington, D.C.
  • I loved surprising my Republican congressman’s staff with the news that MCC’s Moderator’s Office is in Sarasota, a mile from his office. . . and educating one of our Florida senator’s staff that trans-inclusion in the ENDA (ending employment discrimination) bill is simply non-negotiable!

+ Nancy

 

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson

 

 

To see comments and pictures by other MCC clergy, click here. We welcome other submissions.

 

Disaster Relief: Joplin, Missouri

 

Worship Site of Spirit of Christ MCC

Worship Site of Spirit of Christ MCC

 

For updates, visit our Disaster Relief page at http://mccchurch.org/ministries/disaster-relief/. (To donate, click on the Support tab.)

 

Note: If you are purchasing gift cards to donate, please consider prepaid credit cards instead to allow congregants to purchase food and other necessities.
We are beginning to hear back from people who were in Joplin last week and over the weekend. Powerful and moving testimonies! We will be sending out another update soon.

 

Summer Reading Sale!

 

Need a little stimulus for your summer (or winter, for those of you nearer the South Pole) reading list? Announcing special new pricing (up to 40% off) for books in the Rev. Troy Perry cycle:

  • The Lord is My Shepherd & He Knows I’m Gay – $15.00
  • Don’t Be Afraid Anymore – $8.00
  • 10 Spiritual Truths for Successful Living for Gays and Lesbians (and Everyone Else!) – $7.00
  • Troy Perry: Pastor and Prophet – $8.00 (includes book & CD!)

*** Or buy the whole set for $35.00! ***

 

All prices in US dollars. Free shipping/handling (within the continental US) for orders of $15 USD or more. While supplies last.

 

Special Bonus:

Be one of the first 29 individuals to order 10 Spiritual Truths, and receive an autographed copy!

Additional Value:

A free Would Jesus Discriminate? t-shirt will be shipped with the first 50 orders! (Include your size preference with your order, and indicate what you would like us to do if your size is no longer available.)

 

(This offer is good for orders received no later than 31 July 2011.)

 

You can order online here, or contact Franklin Calvin .

 

LEAD

Registration is now open for MCC’s new Lay Leadership Certificate Program!

 

L.E.A.D. (Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship) is a program developed specifically for laity in MCC to provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and the development of leadership skills so that they may be effective leaders in the church and the world.  Persons who complete the L.E.A.D. Certificate will be placed on a Leader List available to Elders, Senior Staff and MCC Clergy for the purpose of creating a leadership pool from which to choose trained laity to serve in leadership positions in MCC at the denominational, local and international levels. For a list of the core competencies for the L.E.A.D. program, click here.  For a listing of courses for the L.E.A.D. program, click here.

 

There is an application process for the program, and attendance at a L.E.A.D. retreat is required.  The first L.E.A.D. retreat, which is a pilot for the U.S. and Canada, will be offered 18-21 August 2011 at Dayspring Retreat Center in Ellenton, Florida. The cost of the retreat is $400 USD, which includes tuition, three nights’ lodging and all meals.  The deadline for applications to the program is July 5. To download an application packet, click here.  Space for this first L.E.A.D. retreat is limited to 30 persons.

 

In 2012, L.E.A.D. retreats will be planned for venues outside the U. S. and will be designed to be culturally relevant wherever they are offered.  The OFLD plans to offer retreats on a regular basis to accommodate all those who wish to participate in the program.

Making Headlines!
HRC Clergy Call
Disaster Relief: Joplin, Missouri
Summer Reading Sale
L.E.A.D. Program Registration
Updated Program Booklet
Young Adult Mission Trip to the DR
Upcoming MCC Events
Sexuality & Spirituality Course
PAD Conference

 

MCC’s Updated Program Booklet

As we work to use church size theory for our denominational work, we want to ensure that our churches have easy access to programs that support leaders, grow churches and provide care and connection. To that end, we are continually creating and updating resources that are producing results. Click here for the most recent listing of programs being offered this year.

 

Young Adult Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic

 

A team of 14 MCC young adults and their advisors is slated to depart on a week-long mission trip to the Dominican Republic on 23 June 2011. The trip is being organized by MCC Washington DC (for the sixth consecutive year) with the support and guidance of Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and MCCDC Senior Pastor Dwayne Johnson. For more details, click here.

 

The team is actively involved in raising their own funds for this mission trip. For information on how to contribute, click here.

 

You are invited to follow the mission team on their journey. They have developed their own website here.

 

Upcoming 2011 MCC Events

Stewardship Summit

24-25 June

Stewardship Summit

27-30 July

Young Adult Retreat

 

 

2011 Clergy Retreat

12-14 September

OFLD Clergy Retreat

 

 

For a full listing of 2011 MCC events, click here.

 

 

Sexuality and Spirituality course at Lancaster Seminary this summer

Rev. Dr. Mona West will be teaching Sexuality and Spirituality in Lancaster Theological Seminary’s Summer Academy, June 20-24, 7-8:45 pm. This course will satisfy the ordination requirement in MCC and will also count for credit toward the new L.E.A.D. Lay Certificate Program. Cost for the course is $160 USD. For more information, click here.

 

 

PAD Conference

 

The 2011 PAD Conference was a huge success! Rev. Elder Darlene Garner (Conference Convener) and Rev. Candy Holmes (Conference Chair) extend their gratitude to the more than 75 speakers, presenters, preachers, worship participants, on-site volunteers, host church representatives, and members of the Planning Committee for working harmoniously together to create this year’s PAD experience. Watch the next issue of Headline News for a post-conference summary.

MCC Details Regarding Disaster Relief in Joplin, Missouri

Dear MCC Friends:Rev. Elder Lillie Brock

We are pleased to let you know that we have MCCers on the ground in Joplin, Missouri, as of yesterday afternoon. Today, they have been able to let us know a lot more about what is really going on there and what we all can do.

As you might expect, there are things that can be done by those who live closer to the area and a different set of things that those who are not close can do. Based on the feedback we received this morning from Rev. Kurt Krieger and Linda Beckstead, these are the needs:

For those who are close

Immediate relief is needed in the area of supplies. See this Emergency Supplies List of items needed. The meeting location will be determined today, and they are hoping to begin distribution at 11:00am on Friday and Saturday. The attached sheet will also provide tips related to limited services there (i.e., gasoline). Since both dates will be advertised to the congregation, and others from the larger community may show up, we want to make sure we have volunteers and supplies for both days. Please contact Linda Beckstead if your church is participating and on what date(s). Her email address is linda@brennerbeckstead.com, and her phone number is 1-402-850-7153.

Help is needed in clearing the church lot. A dumpster has been rented at the church location and everything on site needs to go. This Clean Up attachment gives tips about this volunteer opportunity. Clean-up times will be from 12noon to 4:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.

Your assistance is requested to help this community heal and move forward by attending and supporting a church service this Sunday. We are tentatively calling it, “Come As You Are: Community Healing and Growing Service,” sponsored by Spirit of Christ MCC. We will provide food beginning at 3:00pm, and service will begin at 6:00pm. We will determine a location today and secure a park permit. The times may change slightly, and it will be an outdoor event. Pastor Melissa from MCC Omaha and Pastor Katie from MCCGSL will plan the service and meal.

For those who are farther away

  1. If you or your church is called to help in this area, consider hosting a fundraiser to replace home furnishings and clothing that Pastor Steve and Heath lost in the storm. They are searching for an apartment today. Gift cards are likely the best option for this scenario.
  2. Gas cards are a helpful donation as well, especially for relief efforts.
  3. Of course, we all need to pray constantly for our church and pastor in Joplin and for the entire city as they face the reality of all that has been lost.
  4. Thank you so much for the outpouring of concern and offerings of assistance.

As more information becomes available, we will post updates to the MCC Disaster Relief page on our website.

TO DONATE:

  • Go to our website at http://mccchurch.org/ministries/disaster-relief/.
  • Scroll down to the Joplin May 2011 alert.
  • Click on the Support tab.

Again, thank you for your prayers and support.

Faithfully,

Rev. Elder Lillie Brock

MCC Church Stewardship Lists from April 2011

Metropolitan Community Churches
Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.
Leadership in Stewardship Listings for April 2011

Dear MCC Friend:

In these listings we recognize and congratulate MCC congregations for their achievements and leadership in generous giving and attendance.

Below you will find 4 lists, each of which spotlights a particular aspect of Leadership in Stewardship for the month of April 2011.

  • Participation in Early Contributions — featuring churches who have discharged their tithe obligations by participating in “pay as you go” contributions and/or whose tithe remittances are verifiably deposited into MCC denominational accounts prior to the stated due date;
  • Total Tithe Amount — based on the total Base Tithe and Generous in Faith contributions of local churches within broad attendance groupings;
  • Per Capita Giving — based on the ratio of reporting churches’ tithable (after exemptions) income and total attendance for the month; and
  • Gains in Attendance — listing churches across the denomination whose April 2011 average weekly attendance increased by 10% or more as compared to April of 2010.

These lists are prepared from deposit records and data supplied by churches in the April reports they have submitted to the administrative offices in Abilene, Texas (USA). For your church to be eligible for inclusion in these lists, your report and payment(s) must have been dated on or before the 10 April and received on or before 20 April, as part of our covenant of ministry.

I am pleased to share these “Leadership in Stewardship” lists for April.
Grace and peace,

Rev. Dr. Nancy L. Wilson
Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches

 

 

APRIL 2011

LEADERSHIP in EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS

Sixty-four churches participated in early payment by sending intentional pre-pay installments on tithes not yet due, by remitting tithes on their income as it was received, and/or by ensuring that their contribtuions were verifiably deposited in MCC denominational accounts on/before 9 May. Those churches, in random order, are:

New Creation MCC – Columbus, Ohio

Pastored by:  Rev. Margaret Hawk

Spirit of Life MCC – Elfers, Florida

Pulpit Vacant

Agape MCC – Fort Worth, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. David Wynn

MCC South London – London, Great Britain

Pulpit Vacant

MCC Torbay & Plymouth – Torquay, Great Britain

Pastored by:  Rev. Kevin Dudman

New Spirit MCC – Cincinnati, Ohio

Pulpit Vacant

Spirit of Hope MCC – Kansas City, Missouri

Pastored by:  Rev. Kurt Krieger

MCC Melbourne – Melbourne, New South Wales

Pulpit Vacant

Resurrection MCC – Houston, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Harry Knox

Holy Redeemer MCC – College Park, Maryland

 

Pastored by: Rev. David North

 

Spirit of Christ – Joplin, Missouri

Pastored by:  Rev. Steve Urie

 

Treasure Valley MCC – Boise, Idaho

Pastored by: Rev. Renee McCall

 

Antelope Valley MCC – Palmdale, California

Pastored by: Rev. Gale Smith

 

Living Springs MCC – Bath, England

Pastored by: Rev. Kieren Bourne

 

Open Circle at the Villages MCC – Oxford, Florida

Pastored by: Rev. Carol Chambers-Rawlings

 

MCC Knoxville – Knoxville, Tennessee

Pastored by: Rev. Jill Sizemore

 

MCC Washington D. C. – Washington, District of Columbia

Pastored by: Rev. Dwayne Johnson

 

MCC of Windsor – Windsor, Ontario

Pastored by: Rev. Martha Daniels

 

Heartland MCC – Springfield, Illinois

Pastored by: Tony Thieman-Somora, DMin

 

MCC Sacred Journey – Hendersonville, North Carolina

Pastored by: Rev. Jane Nelson

 

Reconciliation MCC – Grand Rapids, Michigan

Pastored by: Rev. Steph Maxson

 

Milwaukee MCC – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pastored by: Rev. Wendy Woodruff

 

MCC San Diego – San Diego, California

Pastored by: Rev. Dan Koeshall

 

King of Peace MCC – Saint Petersburg, Florida

Pastored by: Rev. Dr. Candace Shultis

 

MCC Sydney – Sydney, New South Wales

Pastored by: Rev. Greg Smith

 

Appalachian MCC – Charleston, West Virginia

Pastored by: Rev. Michael Shields

 

Gentle Shepherd MCC – Phoenix, Arizona

Pastored by: Rev. Elder John Gill

 

MCC of Tampa – Tampa, Florida

Pastored by: Rev. Phyllis Hunt

 

New Life MCC of Hampton Roads – Norfolk, Virginia

Pastored by: Rev. Mark Byrd

 

MCC Detroit – Detroit, Michigan

Pastored by: Rev. Mark Bidwell

 

MCC Charleston – Charleston, South Carolina

Pulpit Vacant

MCC of Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge, Louisana

Pastored by:  Rev. Keith Mozingo

MCC Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pastored by:  Rev. Todd Goewey

MCC Boston – Boston, Massachusetts

Pastored by:  Rev. Michael Cooper

MCC Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada

Pastored by:  Rev. Wayne Lindsey

MCC New Haven – New Haven, Connecticut

Pastored by:  Rev. Marilyn Bowens

MCC San Jose – San Jose, California

Pastored by:  Rev. Rebecca Anderson

MCC of Topeka – Topeka, Kansas

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Ty Sweeting

Holy Cross MCC – Pensacola, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Sandy O’Steen

MCC Philadelphia – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pastored by:  Rev. Jeffrey Jordan

Central Texas MCC – Waco, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Charley Garrison

Imani MCC – Durham, North Carolina

Pastored by:  Rev. Phillip Matthews

MCC Austin at Freedom Oaks – Austin, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Karen Thompson

MCC of Greater Dallas – Dallas, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Colleen Darraugh

SunCoast Cathedral MCC – Venice, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Sherry Kennedy

MCC Newcastle – Newcastle, Great Britain

Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

Exodus MCC – Abilene, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Margaret Walker

MCC Good Shepherd – Granville, New South Wales

Pastored by:  Rev. Robert Clark

MCC of Pueblo – Pueblo, Colorado

Pastored by:  Rev. John Mark Hild

MCC of the Lehigh Valley – Allentown, Pennsylvania

Pastored by:  Rev. Elizabeth Goudy

achurch4me? MCC – Chicago, Illinois

Pastored by:  Rev. Kevin Downer

FirstCoast MCC – Saint Augustine, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Ruth Jensen-Forbell

MCC Toronto – Toronto, Ontario

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes

Emerald City MCC – Seattle, Washington

Pastored by:  Rev. Ray Neal

MCC Brisbane – Brisbane, Queensland

Pastored by:  Rev. Leigh Neighbour

First MCC of Kansas – Wichita, Kansas

Pastored by:  Rev. Jackie Carter

MCC Elizabethtown – Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Pastored by:  Rev. Cathy Porter

Promise MCC – Dallas, Texas

Pastored by:  Rev. Jon Robert Haack

MCC of the Quad Citites – Davenport, Iowa

Pastored by:  Rev. Rich Hendricks

St. Jude’s MCC – Wilmington, North Carolina

Pastored by:  Rev. John McLaughlin

New Life MCC – Charlotte, North Carolina

Pastored by:  Rev. Mark Deane

 

MCC of Our Redeemer – Augusta, Georgia

Pastored by:  Rev. Jeff Pulliam

 

Celebration MCC – Naples, Florida

Pastored by:  Rev. Rick Sosebee

 

LifeJourney MCC – Indianapolis, Indiana

Pastored by:  Rev. Jeff Miner

 

 

APRIL 2011
LEADERSHIP in TOTAL CONTRIBUTION AMOUNTS in SIZE GROUPINGS
(Payment dated on/before the 10th and received on/before the 20th of May)

NON-NORTH AMERICAN CHURCHES  (approx USD amts)

 

Avg Weekly Att of 51 to 150

 

MCC Sydney – Sydney, NSW                                                      $  778.30

Pastored by:  Rev. Greg Smith

 

Avg Weekly Att of less than 51

 

MCC Good Shepherd – Granville, NSW                                         $  568.67

Pastored by:  Rev. Robert Clark

 

MCC Newcastle – Newcastle, GB                                                 $  424.91

Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

 

MCC South London – London, GB                                                $  291.24

Pulpit Vacant

 

Good Hope MCC – Capetown, SA                                                 $  212.52

Pastored by:  Laurie Guam, Spiritual Mentor

 

NORTH AMERICAN CHURCHES

 

Avg Weekly Att of less than 51

 

Open Door MCC – Boyds, MD                                                      $1,216.38

Pastored by:  Rev. Jill McCrory

 

Celebration MCC – Naples, FL                                                      $1,075.30

Pastored by:  Rev. Rick Sosebe

 

Gentle Shpeherd MCC – Tallahassee, FL                                       $  786.51

Pulpit Vacant

 

New Creation MCC – Columbus, OH                                              $  691.00

Pastored by:  Rev. Margaret Hawk

 

MCC Philadelphia – Philidelphia, PA                                              $  683.99

Pastored by:  Rev. Jeffrey Jordan

 

Imani MCC – Durham, NC                                                             $  665.00

Pastored by:  Rev. Phillip Matthews

 

Reconciliation MCC – Grand Rapids, MI                                         $  634.41

Pastored by:  Rev. Steph Maxson

 

MCC London – London, ON              (approx. USD amt.)                 $  633.67

Pastored by:  Rev. Paul Whiting

 

MCC Hartford – Hartford, CT                                                          $  630.75

Pastored by:  Rev. George Chien

 

MCC New Haven – New Haven, CT                                                $  618.64

Pastored by:  Rev. Marilyn Bowens

 

Holy Redeemer MCC – College Park, MD                                      $  609.19

Pastored by:  Rev. David North

 

Avg Weekly Att of 51 to 150

 

MCC of Northern Virginia – Fairfax, VA                                          $2,200.08

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos

 

SunCoast Cathedral MCC – Venice, FL                                         $2,022.29

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Sherry Kennedy

 

MCC of the Palm Beaches – West Palm Beach, FL                       $1,918.75

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Lea Brown

 

FirstCoast MCC – St. Augustine, FL                                             $1,598.59

Pastored by:  Rev. Ruth Jensen-Forbell

 

St. John the Apostle MCC – Ft. Myers, FL                                     $1,490.11

Pastored by:  Rev. Stephen Filizzi

 

MCC of the Lehigh Valley – Allentown, PA                                      $1,422.41

Pastored by:  Rev. Elizabeth Goudy

 

MCC of Greater Dallas – Dallas, TX                                                $1,393.01

Pastored by:  Rev. Colleen Darraugh

 

MCC Lubbock – Lubbock, TX                                                         $1,316.64

Pastored by:  Rev. Renae Phillips

 

First MCC of Kansas – Wichita, KS                                                $1,309.03

Pastored by:  Rev. Jackie Carter

 

Avg Weekly Att of 151 to 350

 

King of Peace MCC – St. Petersburg, FL                                        $3,954.63

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Candace Shultis

 

Church of the Trinity MCC – Sarasota, FL                                       $3,581.62

Pastored by:  Rev. Charles Tigard

 

MCC Austin at Freedom Oaks – Austin, TX                                     $3,475.14

Pastored by:  Rev. Karen Thompson

 

MCC of Tampa – Tampa, FL                                                          $3,287.56

Pastored by:  Rev. Phyllis Hunt

 

Avg Weekly Att of over 350

Resurrection MCC – Houston, TX                                                   $6,955.20

Pastored by:  Rev. Harry Knox

 

MCC Toronto – Toronto, ON                (approx USD amt)                $5,682.93

Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes

 

LifeJourney MCC – Indianapolis, IN                                                $4,690.65

Pastored by:  Rev. Jeff Miner

 

MCC Washington D.C. – Washington, DC                                      $4,551.98

Pastored by:  Rev. Dwayne Johnson

 

 

APRIL 2011
LEADERSHIP in ATTENDANCE GAINS

Thirty-four churches reported increases of 10% or more in average weekly attendance for April 2011 (as compared to April 2010.)

 

MCC Brisbane – Brisbane, QLD

81.3%     Pastored by:  Rev. Leigh Neighbour

 

MCC Sacred Journey – Hendersonville, NC

65.2%     Pastored by:  Rev. Jane Nelson

 

MCC of Pueblo – Pueblo, CO

63.9%     Pastored by:  Rev. John Mark Hild

 

MCC of Greater Dallas – Dallas, TX

60.0%     Pastored by:  Rev. Colleen Darraugh

 

MCC Auckland – Auckland, NZ

50.0%     Pastored by:  REv. Doug McGee

 

SunCoast Cathedral MCC – Venice, FL

46.8%     Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Sherry Kennedy

 

MCC Newcastle – Newcastle, GB

44.8%     Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

 

MCC Rehoboth – Rehoboth Beach, DE

44.0%     Pastored by:  Rev. K’Lynn McKinley

 

Antelope Valley MCC – Palmdale, CA

43.5%     Pastored by:  Rev. Gale Smith

 

MCC Ocala – Ocala, FL

34.7%     Pastored by:  Rev. Nevin Wertenberger

 

MCC North London – London, GB

33.5%     Pastored by:  Rev. Sharon Ferguson

 

FirstCoast MCC – St. Augustine, FL

32.9%     Pastored by:  Rev. Ruth Jensen-Forbell

 

Holy Cross MCC – Pensacola, FL

32.6%     Pastored by:  Rev. Sandy O’Steen

 

MCC Good Shepherd – Granville, NSW

30.4%     Pastored by:  Rev. Robert Clark

 

MCC of the Palm Beaches – West Palm Beach, FL

30.3%     Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Lea Brown

 

Treasure Valley MCC – Boise, ID

27.5%     Pastored by:  Rev. Renee McCall

 

MCC Illiana – Portage, IN

24.3%     Pastored by:  Rev. Rachelle Brown

 

Celebration MCC – Naples, FL

24.2%     Pastored by:  Rev. Rick Sosbe

 

Valley Ministries MCC – Stockton, CA

22.8%     Pastored by:  Rev. Terri Miller

 

MCC Torbay & Plymouth – Torquay, GB

21.4%     Pastored by:  Rev. Kevin Dudman

 

Holy Redeemer MCC – College Park, MD

19.0%     Pastored by:  Rev. David North

 

MCC Charleston – Charleston, SC

18.8%     Pastored by:  Rev. Terri Steed

 

MCC in El Paso – El Paso, TX

18.0%     Pastored by:  Rev. Kati Houts

 

Church of the Trinity MCC – Sarasota, FL

17.7%     Pastored by:  Rev. Charles Tigard

 

MCC Montana – Great Falls, MT

17.6%     Pastored by:  Rev. Gina Hartung

 

Heartland MCC – Springfield, IL

17.4%     Pastored by:  Tony Thieman-Somora, DMin

 

Trinity MCC – Ft. Worth, TX

17.0%     Pastored by:  Bro. Curtis Smith

 

MCC Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA

16.0%     Pastored by:  Rev. Jeffrey Jordan

 

MCC Knoxville – Knoxville, TN

14.5%     Pastored by:  Rev. Jill Sizemore

 

Resurrection MCC – Houston, TX

13.8%     Pastored by:  Rev. Harry Knox

 

MCC Lubbock – Lubbock, TX

13.3%     Pastored by:  Rev. Renae Phillips

 

MCC of Our Redeemer – Augusta, GA

10.5%     Pastored by:  Rev. Jeff Pulliam

 

Good Hope MCC – Capetown, SA

10.0%     Pastored by:  Laurie Guam, Spiritual Mentor

 

 

APRIL 2011
LEADERSHIP in PER CAPITA GIVING

 

 

NON-NORTH AMERICAN CHURCHES (approx. USD amounts)

Living Springs MCC – Bath, GB

$  25.94     Pastored by:  Rev. Kieren Bourne

 

MCC Brisbane – Brisbane, QLD

$  21.15      Pastored by Rev. Leigh Neighbour

 

MCC Newcastle – Newcastle, GB

$  20.23     Pastored by:  Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

 

MCC Good Shepherd – Granville, NSW

$  19.64     Pastored by:  Rev. Robert Clark

 

MCC North London – London, GB

$  19.62     Pastored by:  Rev. Sharon Ferguson

NORTH AMERICAN CHURCHES

 

Imani MCC – Durham, NC

$  67.86     Pastored by:  Rev. Phillip Matthews

 

MCC of Windsor – Windsor, ON

$  51.05     Pastored by:  Rev. Martha Daniels    (approx USD amt)

 

MCC of Northern Virginia – Fairfax, VA

$  51.02     Pastored by:  Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos

 

Open Door MCC – Boyds, MD

$  50.68     Pastored by:  Rev. Jill McCrory

 

Holy Redeemer – College Park MD

$  48.74     Pastored by:  Rev. David North

 

Gentle Shepherd MCC – Tallahassee, FL

$  45.59     Pulpit Vacant

 

Emerald City MCC – Seattle, WA

$  42.48     Pastored by:  Rev. Ray Neal

 

MCC Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA

$  40.96     Pastored by:  Rev. Jeffrey Jordan

 

MCC Hartford – Hartford, CT

$  40.05     Pastored by:  Rev. George Chien

 

New Creation MCC – Columbus, OH

$  39.49     Pastored by:  Rev. Margaret Hawk

 

Celebration MCC – Naples, FL

$  38.49     Pastored by:  Rev. Rick Sosebe

 

Church of the Trinity MCC – Sarasota, FL

$  35.89     Pastored by:  Rev. Charles Tigard

 

New Life MCC of Hampton Roads – Norfolk, VA

$  35.07     Pastored by:  Rev. Mark Byrd

 

Peninsula MCC. – San Mateo, CA

$  33.28     Pastored by:  Rev. Terri Echelbarger

 

MCC London – London, ON

$  32.94     Pastored by:  Rev. Paul Whiting       (approx USD amt)

 

Gentle Shepherd MCC – Phoenix, AZ

$  32.70     Pastored by:  Rev. Elder John Gill

 

Appalachian MCC – Charleston, WV

$  32.65     Pastored by:  Rev. Michael Shields

 

achurch4me? MCC – Chicago, IL

$  31.96     Pastored by:  Rev. Kevin Downer

 

MCC of Tampa – Tampa, FL

$  31.50     Pastored by:  Rev. Phyllis Hunt

 

New Life MCC – Charlotte, NC

$  30.92     Pastored by:  Rev. Mark Deane

 

MCC San Jose – San Jose, CA

$  30.48     Pastored by:  Rev. Rebecca Anderson

 

 

 

MCC Update on Efforts in Joplin, Missouri

 

 

Dear MCC Friends:

 

Thanks to everyone for your responsiveness, care and concern for the thousands of people affected by the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, Sunday night, May 22, 2011. If you have been following the news, you know the devastation is profound.

 

As of today, these are the updates we have:

  • Rev. Steven Urie, the pastor of Spirit of Christ MCC in Joplin, and his partner, Heath, are safe.
  • Rev. Carol Trissell, pastor of MCC of Greater St. Louis, Missouri, met with Rev. Steve Urie, pastor of Spirit of Christ MCC, and the congregation to offer grief counseling and deliver additional supplies. Rev. Carol is working with MCC clergy who are also trained in counseling to create a pastoral care plan to meet the needs of SOC MCC tornado victims.
  • Pastor Tom Emmett from MCC Omaha will survey SOC MCC members and friends next week to help shape the role of his visit to the church June 17-20. During that time he will work with the pastor, board of directors, and congregation to begin a conversation to identify short and long term goals which will also include the allocation of donations.
  • Rev. Elder Lillie Brock and network co-leads Linda Beckstead and Terry Curry remain in ongoing contact with Rev. Steve to assess the congregation’s needs and provide support as it is identified.
  • Susie Brenner, from Brenner-Beckstead Ministries and MCC Omaha congregants will travel to Joplin to worship with Spirit of Christ MCC June 12. Susie will provide the music since the church’s sound system and iWorship collection was destroyed in the storm.
  • Additional supplies and donations continue to support Spirit of Christ MCC during this recovery period. You can send donations directly to Spirit of Christ MCC, PO Box 1843, Joplin, Missouri, 64802. You can also contact Network Co-lead Linda Beckstead at Linda@BrennerBeckstead.com or 402.850.7153 if you have any questions.

As more information becomes available, we will post updates to the MCC Disaster Relief page on our website.

 

TO DONATE:

1) Go to our website at http://mccchurch.org/ministries/disaster-relief/.

2) Scroll down to the Joplin May 2011 alert.

3) Click on the Support tab.

Again, thank you for your prayers and support.

 

Faithfully,

lillie signature small

Rev. Elder Lillie Brock

Lillie

 

MCC Omaha Updates Regarding Joplin, MO Assistance

The following is a letter to Networks and local churches from Linda Beckstead, Member, MCC Omaha.

Hi Everyone,

Pastor Kurt (Krieger) and I have been working together to determine an organized response to Joplin’s tornado, and, more specifically, to our sister church, Spirit of Christ MCC.  Our elders, Lillie and Diane, have been part of this conversation, as has Terry Curry, who is out of the country at this time.

I realize so many of us want to get in our cars and go to Joplin and HELP.  The last word we heard was to not go to Joplin unless we are trained in search and rescue and can provide medical assistance.  I have personally been anxious to do SOMETHING.  This act of waiting has certainly been a season of patience for me.  However, I apologize if it feels as if the response has been slow.  It’s been important to help in meaningful and relevant ways.

And so, look at this list below and see how your church may be able to help.  I believe the people of Joplin will continue to need help with clean up, but at this time, I encourage this group to focus on the immediate needs that have been put before us.

If you would like to learn more about how Kurt and I created this list, read on.  I put the list first so that you have a sense of how you can help now.

  1. Continue to support local efforts that send supplies to Joplin.  This includes, donating blood.  There are so many charities that are currently supplying water and basic needs.  Let’s not duplicate efforts, but support them.
  2. Raise money to purchase gift certificates and send to the church.  (Read on to learn more.)
  3. Raise money to donate directly tot he church to assist with rent for future services, replacement of service supplies, and/or benevolence fund.  You also have the option to not earmark your donation.  You can send it to Pastor Steve to use as needed.
  4. Make a donation to the MCC Disaster Relief Fund.  At this time, all gifts received to that fund are designated for aid in Joplin.
  5. Contact your local Red Cross and ask about trainings and volunteering to help with clean up.

We have made an offer to bring Sunday service and a meal to Spirit of Christ and are waiting to hear from Steve.  It becomes more complicated when president Obama will be visiting the area that day.

I will be going to Joplin Wednesday with Pastor Kurt and Zach.  When we’re there, we will have a better sense of whether specific supplies or clothing items are needed and finalize plans for church Sunday evening.

If you have any questions, Kurt and I will continue to coordinate an MCC response.  You may contact the Heartland Network through Kay Hale (KayHale@MCCchurch.net).

——–

Information follows to explain more about the list above and to forecast ways that we can help Pastor Steve and Spirit of christ.

We have three goals.

Our first goal is to support the continuation of Spirit of Christ MCC services.  Because the church lost its basic supplies, they will need to replace everything, from communion ware to clergy clothing.

We also want to get Steve reconnected electronically.  A laptop is being sent Wednesday (25 May 2011) and a friend of the church is in the process of locating a replacement AT&T phone.  It will also be important to update their web presence and so it would be helpful to support this outreach ministry.  The web will be an additional way for members and friends to have current information about meeting locations.

Our second goal is to care for the pastor, his family and the congregation.  Steve and his partner lost nearly everything in the tornado and will need to create a new home.  Other congregants have been displaced because the roof blew off their apartment.  Gift certificates might be the most helpful contribution.  A gift certificate to Walgreens and Wal-Mart will allow people to refill their prescriptions.  A gift certificate to Lowe’s or Home Depot can help a family buy materials to repair or replace damaged furnishing or lost trees or plants.  We may be called upon later to help people move to new homes.

Our third goal is to support Spirit of Christ in resuming its ministries.  One ministry is with the Angel Food Ministry.  The next order is June 17 with a June 25 distribution date.  The congregation may need our assistance at that time.  Spirit of Christ also has an outreach ministry to community and college groups and may want help to connect with these people.