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MCC Moderator to Witness Signing of Presidential Executive Orders with NO Exemptions

“We Dare Not Confuse Sincere Prejudice with Sincere Religion”

MCC global moderator to witness signing of presidential executive orders with NO added exemptions

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), which has ministries in over 40 countries.  Dr. Wilson was part of the first LGBT faith delegation to meet with U.S. White House staff in 1979, and she served as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson has been invited to the White House to witness President Barack Obama sign two executive orders. The first will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the 1965 Lyndon Johnson executive order which banned discrimination based on race, religion, gender, or nationality in hiring by federal contractors. The second order adds gender identity to the list of protected classes of federal workers and was first signed by President Richard Nixon, who added disability and age. President Clinton added sexual orientation, and President Obama adds gender identity.

“We are thrilled that President Obama will sign executive orders to include sexual orientation and gender identity within Federal policies of non-discrimination. It is even more historic because no sweeping religious exemptions sponsored by conservatives will be added,” said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, global moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC).

 “Using religious exemptions as a smokescreen for discrimination is the kind of persecution the First Amendment to the Constitution helps us to avoid,” said Dr. Wilson. “Everyone loves religious liberty, but we dare not confuse sincere prejudice with sincere religion. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people know that exemption from the law is a dangerous by-product of religious bigotry, not religious liberty.”

“MCC stands with all people of good will to support President Obama in this historic action,” said Dr. Wilson. “It is a deep honor to represent Metropolitan Community Churches at the signing event. While these executive orders will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes for federal contractors and workers, we will not rest until Congress passes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with no religious exemptions so all Americans will be hired and fired based on their work and integrity rather than their gender identity or whom they love.”

 “We know that conservatives will continue to market their prejudices under the guise of religious freedom, but we will not let their brand of judgmental Christianity be the only voice of faithful Christians that the public hears. We are LGBT and straight people of faith together who know that we are created in the image of God,” said Dr. Wilson. “We categorically reject the disastrous religious dogma that God wants Christians to hate some people.”

Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches Calls for Moment of Prayer In Face of Tragedies and Violence

17 July 2014 -­‐-­‐-­‐ Today, as Israel and Hamas took a brief recess from their 10 -­‐day war, only to have that lull in fighting marred by the deaths of 4 Gaza children hit by missiles while playing on the beach near their homes; while violence claimed the lives of innocent civilians from the airport of Kabul to the streets of places like Syria and Iran, Iraq and Pakistan, someone shot an airplane out of the sky over Donetsk in the Ukraine, an already war-­‐ravaged area of the globe. Fields with purple flowers became the unintended resting place of 295 people on their way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The flight manifest has yet to be released, but we know from our friends around the world that at least 5 AIDS activists on their way from points in Europe to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne were among those lost.

At times like this, our hearts are broken for the families and friends, the allies and co -­‐workers of all those lost to violence and the senseless tragedies it produces. While many on the airwaves debate who is responsible for the tragedies, I am drawn to the example of Jesus, who when pressed by the crowds of unrelenting needs around him for relief and healing and peace, would go off to a lonely place to pray.

And so, I ask all MCCers and people of faith to join me in prayer now.

O God,
We give you thanks for the gift of life,
and the chance you give to all of us
to live each day with a heart for compassion and care
and a spirit attuned to peace.
We mourn all our brothers and sisters lost
to violence and needless violence and tragedy today,
especially those on Malaysia Airlines flight 17
and those 4 little boys on the beach in Gaza Cit y.
Be with their families and friends left behind,
and help them to find some comfort in knowing that
they are at peace with you, and that
we will all one day be together again.
With a full heart, O God, we pray for
peace on this earth
and goodwill among a ll.
Regardless of our political persuasions or belief systems,
help us to renounce all violence and to seek to live
in a way that promotes the wellbeing of all your children.
Give us all the courage to follow in the footsteps of Jesus the Christ,
Prince of Peace, in whose name we pray. +Amen

The Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches

From The Moderator

MISSION

 

Metropolitan Community Churches proclaims and practices a spirituality that is anchored in the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ and confronts the issues of our volatile, uncertain, and complex world.

We are called to develop and equip leaders, congregations, and ministries that foster spiritual growth, do the work of justice, act with compassion, and integrate sexuality and spirituality.

We will do this through offering high-value training, local church support and resourcing, cutting edge theological exploration, and expanding partnerships.


 

VISION

Metropolitan Community
Churches is compelled

by an unfinished calling
and a prophetic destiny.

We are a global movement
of spiritually and sexually
diverse people

who are fully awake
to God’s enduring love.

Following the example
of Jesus and empowered
by the Spirit,
we seek to build
leading-edge
church communities
that demand, proclaim,
and do justice in the world.

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RevNancy

We Are Stronger Together

As marriage equality is making unprecedented strides, and human rights challenges are growing every day, we know that MCC’s message of the unconditional love of God and our life-giving ministry is needed more than ever.

Building on our record-breaking global General Conference in Chicago last year, we are laser-focused on efforts to amplify our impact globally and ensure that our spiritual message of hope and justice lives on in our diverse people and communities.

Some of our investments this year include:

• Research and strategic planning for a powerful, new virtual presence for MCC around the world in partnership with our churches.

• Equipping and training leaders for a new era in church starts globally,  including opportunities in the U.S. and Hispanic North America.

• Implementing an Online Learning Center for MCC congregations and leaders worldwide.

• Training Clergy Wellness coaches to support our clergy and their families.

• Ramping up our work through the Global Justice Institute to support activists and victims of violence and discrimination.

• Bringing our Lay Leadership Training program (LEAD: Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship) to the Philippines and other new locations.

But what matters are the stories of redemption
and hope that are the continuous narrative
of MCC since our founding days.

We recently held our first REVM–a clergy retreat for those becoming MCC clergy–in Estonia. The event served people from all over Eastern Europe and Russia, and Rev. Elder Mona West tells the story of a young man from Russia. “[He] was so overwhelmed by the experience of consecrating communion for the first time as a lay person and a gay man . . . that he started crying on the plane ride home, hoping people near him did not think him crazy.”

People are paying an incredible price for their activism and their spiritual leadership, and MCC is there, encouraging, supporting, and equipping leaders for the present and future.

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MCC New York, where our Global Justice Institute is housed, happily reported that a Ugandan refugee the church had been helping got his work permit, and two young men who had to flee from Jamaica were granted asylum!
REVMEstonia
On May 20th, Pennsylvania became the 19th state in the U.S. to recognize marriage equality for same sex couples. Rev. Janice Bowker, pastor of Imago Dei MCC, married Jim, age 76, and Chuck, age 82, who have been together for 35 years, in a small ceremony after church on May 25th, among the first in their state to take advantage of this law.
Rev. Gordon McCoy, of Chicago, tells of performing the first same sex wedding in a nursing home in Cook County, Illinois–with tears of joy!I am so proud of the resilience and perseverance of MCC members, leaders, and churches through all the ups and downs of a challenging global economy.  You have proven over and over to me that the power of the grace of God is always being renewed in us.In June, I had the honor to participate in the World Pride Human Rights Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, reaching out to activists around the world, with Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, to share our 21st Century Gospel of a Jesus who is with us as we seek justice and offer radical love and inclusion.

REVM IN ESTONIA

Rev. Elder Mona West, PhD., Director of MCC’s Office of Formation and Leadership Development, facilitated the REVM Program (Readiness for Entering Vocational Ministry) in Estonia in May 2014. In addition, Rev. West said this program became a powerful connection for activists and spiritual leaders. Some in the photo protected their identity by facing away from the camera because their safety would be threatened. MCC Staff include Florin Buhuceanu, kneeling front row, far left; Rev. West, standing, middle row right; Rev. Jim Mulcahy, back row, far right.

There are four things you can do today to help us move forward in faith together–any one of which would bless me and those who are still needing love, justice, and community today:

Thank you for helping us change lives and history every day!

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Nancy Wilson Signature

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson

Global Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

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Scholar in Residence – Religious Institute

RELIGIOUS INSTITUTE 21 CHARLES STREET, 140 – WESTPORT, CT 06880 – 203-222-0055 – WWW.RELIGIOUSINSTITUTE.ORG

Organization:
Position Title:
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Salary:
Benefits:
Duration:
Work location:
Religious Institute (www.religiousinstitute.org)
Scholar in Residence
30 to 40 hours per week
$30,000 to $40,000 annually
75% to 100% of cost of “bronze level” on health insurance exchange covered
October 1, 2014 –September 30, 2015 (may be renewable for second year)
Westport, CT accessible by Metro North commuter rail

General Purpose

The Scholar in Residence will provide direct program assistance on grant funded programs, including administrative tasks, online network management, conference and travel management, and research. The Scholar in Residence will also assist in general Religious Institute projects as needed.

Essential Duties

  • Provide research, program, and dissemination assistance on domestic and international reproductive justice, LGBT full inclusion, and sexuality education projects.
  • Support project-related programs, events, and workshops including travel and conference planning (in collaboration with Office Director), coordination with host institutions, and arrangement of conference calls.
  • Coordinate and schedule social media postings.
  • Coordinate administrative tasks for specific projects, including filing, maintaining contacts, and general clerical assistance.
  • Provide research and writing for publications, including creating new program resources.
  • Represent the Religious Institute on coalition calls and meetings.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience

  • Demonstrated commitment to sexual justice.
  • Recent M.Div. or M.P.H. or related graduate degree
  • Experience in not-for-profit agency in office-based job preferred.
  • Experience with WordPress templates/websites, PHP, and/or Filemaker a plus.

Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to take initiative in setting priorities and capacity to work independently on multiple projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with staff.
  • Excellent oral communication, editing, and research skills. Public speaking skills preferred.
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated use of MS Office programs, proficiency with social media, demonstrated ability to use (or learn to use) web-based programs such as Formstack, Google forms, Survey Monkey, Mail Chimp, etc.

To apply, send resume and cover letter to godoi@religiousinstitute.org. Review of applications begins immediately until position is filled.

Communications Director job opening at More Light Presbyterians

Communications Director (part-time)

This job is title is “Communications Director” — because that’s the closest approximation we could find — but really this position is about so much more. An ideal candidate (could it be you?) is somebody who’s willing to be bold about what’s possible for MLP’s communications in the future. We want creativity, collaboration and — above all else — somebody who wants to dive in and make this job their own. The movement for LGBTQ inclusion in the church and world is in an exciting place right now. We are in the process of achieving marriage equality in the PC(USA) as we are working on expanding our welcoming congregations. More Light Presbyterians is leading this movement, shaping the conversation and setting the course for the coming years. Everything this position does is vital to this effort.

One thing to note is that MLP doesn’t expect the ideal candidate to have all of the qualifications listed here. (But if you’re a unicorn and you, in fact, do have all of these then by all means please apply immediately if not sooner.) We’re more interested in somebody who has some of these qualifications but is willing to learn the others they’re lacking. We want somebody who’s going to work hard, be a team player and show real passion for our mission. MLP is dedicated to leadership development and if you have some but not all of these qualifications, apply anyway! We can make sure you get the training you need along the way.

Essential Responsibilities 

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director to create and implement integrated communications strategy that reinforces key messages consistently across communications channels.
  • Develop opportunities for media exposure for MLP, via press releases, advertising and coverage of events
  • Co-Convene with MLP Board point person the Editorial Board blogger team.
  • Create, schedule, and monitor social media content including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Create bi-weekly e-newsletters including identifying and soliciting content, writing, and formatting text and photos.
  • Oversee website content creation and monitor for accuracy, up-to-date news, active links, and consistency across organizational pages.
  • Coordinate the production, printing, and distribution of MLP mass mailings including the More Light Update, quarterly appeal letters, and other documents as requested.
  • Manage registrations for MLP’s bi-annual National Conference, General Assembly events, and smaller events. Create registration forms and documents as needed to assist Board members in managing conferences and events.

Qualifications:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to frame issues for specific audiences (Presbyterian and secular)
  • Broad knowledge of relevant software, network management and social networking processes, including MS Office, Google docs and google apps, wordpress, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
  • Strong organizational skills required to manage multiple fast-paced projects simultaneously
  • Experience using Adobe Creative Suite software (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) or Final Cut Pro or iMovie a plus

Reports to: MLP Executive Director

Location: MLP’s Executive Director is based in Washington, DC, but MLP operates a virtual office, collaborating online. You can do this position from anywhere with a solid internet connection.

To apply, please click here: http://bit.ly/MLPcomms to submit your application, resume, cover letter, and 2-3 writing samples. If you have managed a twitter handle or facebook page please provide a screen shot of your most successful work. The application period is open until August 3.

Metropolitan Community Church Response to Children’s Immigration Crisis

When immigrants live in your land with you, you must not cheat them.  Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the Sovereign your God.                                   –Leviticus 19:33-34 (CEB)

 

SOS:  Save Our Children

 

The world is facing a humanitarian crisis along the border between the United States of America and Mexico.  Over 50,000 young people have arrived in the U.S. seeking freedom from violence and oppression and opportunities for meaningful work and basic education.  They are innocent children—our sons and daughters, cousins, sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews, God’s children.  They are crying out in need.  The world must respond with favor, compassion, and resources.  Indifference would be the most awful thing in the world.

 

Being compassionate requires us to examine the reasons families have in sending their vulnerable children to cross the border.  A wave of violence has swept the central parts of Latin America, violence unseen in recent history.  Children and their families are making the rational choice to seek shelter and refuge outside of their home countries and in the United States because the treachery of the journey and the uncertain fate awaiting them there pales in comparison to the known threats on their lives at home.  They seek nothing more than a better life.  As people of faith, we cannot idly sit by and let their struggles and their hopes be in vain.

 

Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute call on elected and appointed officials at all levels of government and society to provide safe harbor for these children.  Housing them in anything less than stable homes is inhumane.  Robbing them of educational opportunities, suitable food, fresh clothing, and connection with loved ones in the U.S. is unjust.  We must not treat them like criminals.  They are our children.  They are the world’s children.  As such, they are gifts to be cherished.  We invite faith leaders of every tradition to join us in this call for justice.

 

We call on governments from around the world to address the violence in Latin America that is driving migration.  We call on the U.S. government to open our immigration system so that civil society can care for these children.  The crisis highlights the need for comprehensive immigration reform and we call on the Congress to take that measure back up.  Through the lens of compassion, let us see this crisis.  Through the lens of faith, may be stand up and respond.

 

This statement prepared by Kareem Murphy on behalf of The Moderator’s Public Policy Team,

Metropolitan Community Churches, The Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Chair.

To contact the Public Policy Team:  RevJim@RevJim.org

Program Associate, Believe Out Loud

Collegiate Church Corporation


REQUISITION:   
JOB CODE: 
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INT-2014-BOL PA
Two-Year Grant Funded Position (eligible for benefits)
Program Associate, Believe Out Loud
Non Exempt (1 FTE)
Believe Out Loud Program Director
Intersections, Midtown NY
Up to mid-$40’s

Program Summary

Believe Out Loud, an online network empowering Christians to work for LGBTQ equality, seeks a passionate and organized Program Associate to provide support across our program areas. This position is ideal for an individual with strengths in online engagement, communications, and operations. The Program Associate reports to the Program Director of Believe Out Loud and is a collaborative voice within our three-person team.

Essential Duties
Online Engagement / Communications

  • Engage members by coordinating daily posts on six social media networks;
  • Monitor and moderate member engagement across Believe Out Loud’s online networks;
  • Identify multi-media content to promote mission and resources across online networks;
  • Create branded content to engage audiences across online networks, as needed;
  • Collaborate with Senior Editor to ensure publication of daily blog and email newsletters, as needed;
  • Support Director and Senior Editor in designing and implementing digital strategy to engage core audiences across Believe Out Loud’s online networks;
  • At all times, represent and uphold brand of Believe Out Loud.

Operations

  • Administer merchandise, including sales and fulfillment of online orders;
  • Ensure all donors receive follow-up correspondence from Believe Out Loud;
  • Implement, oversee and maintain Believe Out Loud’s volunteer program;
  • Liaise with denominational partners and LGBTQ movement partners, as needed;
  • Assist with event planning, as needed.

Education and Experience Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED equivalent;
  • Associate’s degree in communications, new media, theology, or related field ideal.

Qualifications

  • Strong communications skills, including writing, editing, and social media engagement;
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a small team;
  • Ability to meet daily deliverables while managing multiple ongoing projects;
  • Proficiency in MS Office software, including Word, Outlook and Excel;
  • Understanding of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube,
  • Flickr, and social media management systems;
  • Passion for creating LGBTQ-affirming spaces within churches and Christian denominations;
  • Nuanced understanding of both LGBTQ and Christian faith communities.

Working Conditions:
Position resides in open work space environment. Normal work week is 40 hours, Monday through Friday with occasional weekend hours. Employee may be required to visit a variety of direct service settings across the community. Additional mobility is required during this activity. Occasionally may be required to lift moderately heavy objects (up to 25 pounds) during the course of the workday. Business casual is the expected style of dress with occasional business professional attire for meetings and special events.

How to Apply
Please send résumé and cover letter to Lucretia Holden, Director of Operations & Human Resources at lholden@intersections.org. Please reference BOL Program Associate in the subject line. Submissions will be accepted be accepted until midnight, Friday, August 8, 2014.

COLLEGIATE CHURCH CORPORATION IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

ORGANIZATONAL SUMMARY
Intersections International is a dynamic, multi-cultural, multi-faith, global initiative of the Collegiate Church of New York, the oldest corporation in North America, dating back to 1628. Intersections is dedicated to building respectful relationships among diverse individuals and communities to forge common ground and develop strategies that promote justice, reconciliation and peace. It is an innovative organization with a small diverse and dedicated staff. For more information visit us at www.intersections.org.

About Collegiate Church Corporation
Collegiate Church Corporation is part of Collegiate Church, the oldest Protestant Church in North America with a continuous ministry since 1628. It has ministered under three flags – Dutch, English, and American. It is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. The Collegiate Church maintains four places of worship under the care of one Consistory – Fort Washington, Marble, Middle and West End Churches. It operates under a charter granted in 1696 by King William III of England acting upon a petition for religious freedom. The charter was confirmed in 1753 by the legislature of the colony of New York and continued in force by the Constitution of the State of New York.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer & Trans*gender Intersectional Justice – West Coast Conference Organizer

World Student Christian Federation North America

Student Christian Movement, USA

UTOmnes

Gender and Sexuality Working Group U.S.A

lgbtqwscf@gmail.com

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer & Trans*gender Intersectional Justice – West Coast Conference Organizer

The World Student Christian Federation North America (WSCF-NA) and the Student Christian Movement- USA (SCM-USA) are seeking a dynamic, and energetic organizer for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer & Trans*gender focused conference of the Student Christian Movement (USA).

SCM-USA is a progressive national ecumenical Christian organization.

 

Work location: Anywhere in the US, Preference for West Coast Resident

10 Hours a week @ $20.00/hour wage. No benefits.

Start date: ASAP

End Date: November 15th, 2014

 

The WSCF and SCM are building a national movement of progressive Christian students and young adults who engage in the work of peace, justice and global action, following Jesus’ Good News. The WSCF, through the SCM-USA, builds local and global networks, provides opportunities for leadership training, Biblical and theological reflection, ecumenical movements, mutual support and global solidarity actions.

 

This fall we will be holding a west coast regional conference addressing intersectional justice issues for LGBQ & Trans*gender people in our faith communities in the U.S. The conference will prioritize workshops and presentations on issues urgent for LGBTQ people that include but are not limited to: racism and racial justice movements, immigration, disability, poverty, mass incarceration, HIV & AIDS, street violence and systemic barriers targeting gender non-conforming and Transgender people. This conference seeks to further the work of empowering and healing our church communities through creative, educational, and faith-full tools and resources.

 

The SCM-USA LGBTQ Conference Organizer will:

 

  • Plan the 3 day long 2014 LGBTQ Conference to be held in the Fall (preferably October) of 2014 including:

o   Work in close communication with the WSCF N.A. Regional Regional Secretary and the Coordinating Chair for LGBTQ issues for preparation of the conference

o   Find, finalize, and prepare conference location and venue and communicate with its staff

o   Connect current SCM groups to the conference

o   Recruiting and planning worship leaders and service(s) for the conference and its participants

o   Connect and develop relationships with already existing LGBTQ movements within a diverse range of Christian denominations in the U.S.

o   Create a resource booklet of LGBTQ and other relevant resources for participants to return to their communities/SCM chapters with

o   Develop conference program

o   Recruit workshop leaders and presenters (specifically those that address the issues described above, and whose work prioritizes the leadership and knowledge of communities heavily targeted/impacted by a specific issue.)

o   Organize housing and transportation venues or resources

o   Prepare conference materials

o   Design and implement web-based publicity and communication through email, phone, and social media.

 

Qualifications

 

  • Passion for empowering students and building young adult leadership
  • Familiarity of the SCM’s and WSCF’s core values including its political and theological orientation as a progressive Christian movement
  • Experience working on LGBTQ issues within a Christian faith community, or faith based organization
  • Experience working on issues based in, and relevant to communities of color in the U.S.
  • Clear understanding of issues distinct and specific to Transgender communities
  • Former conference organizing, or event planning
  • Experience in ecumenical settings, work, or organizing
  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant field, or equivalent experience

 

The conference organizer will be supervised by and work in conjunction with the WSCF North America Regional Secretary, Luciano Kovacs, the SCM-USA National Organizer, and the Coordinating Chair for LGBTQ issues Sonny Duncan, and supported by SCM members and lumni.

 

SCM-USA prioritizes building a staff team that reflects the diversity of communities we serve. People of color, immigrants, transgender and gender non-conforming people are encouraged to apply.

 

ROLLING DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS. Start Date as soon and hire is finalized. Please submit a CV, and contacts for three references and a short essay on your vision of how to execute the goals of this conference. For more information, contact Sonny Duncan, lgbtqwscf@gmail.com

ConferenceOrganizer flyer

MCC Moderator: “Religion Will be an Excuse to Discriminate”

U.S. Supreme Court allows corporations to have religious freedom-opens the door to discrimination

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), which has ministries in over 40 countries. Dr. Wilson was part of the first LGBT faith delegation to meet with U.S. White House staff in 1979, and she served as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Today, the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, global leader of Metropolitan Community Churches, condemned the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on what is popularly known as the “Hobby Lobby” case. Dr. Wilson said, “The high court of the United States put all of our freedoms at risk today. Conservatives may now seek to deny a range of civil liberties and religion will be an excuse to discriminate.”

“Although this decision impacts women and adds unnecessary steps to accessing reproductive health care, the scope of this decision could be much broader. We are deeply concerned that this decision could turn back the hands of time for generations. Religious dogma may now impact sexual minorities, religious minorities and historically oppressed racial groups. Any group that has been told to ‘stay in your place’ based on the Bible is a target again. We have worked for 45 years to claim civil liberties for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. This decision makes our work harder but we will not rest until justice comes for everyone!”

The MCC Statement of Faith on Women’s Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice states in part:

[MCC] affirms that all people are entitled to the rights and resources that equip them to make their own decisions about their bodies, their sexuality, and their well-being, including the inalienable right of women to control their bodies. We call on all levels of government and civil society to honor and respect those rights. … It is not up to government, civil society, or organized religion to instruct them on what their choice should be. We honor that tradition by calling on all levels of government to ensure that all women have the right to choose their reproductive health care options and the means to exercise those options at their sole discretion.

For the full MCC Statement of Faith on Women’s Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice, click here:
http://mccchurch.org/statement-of-faith-on-womens-reproductive-health-rights-and-justice/

FIRST-EVER (USA) NATIONAL HIV TESTING WEEK

MCC, GLOBAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE, AND HIV/AIDS ADVISORY COUNCIL JOIN TESTING CAMPAIGN

MCC has partnered with the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS) to promote the USA’s first-ever National HIV Testing Week.  It begins Saturday, June 21 and runs through June 27.  The theme is “Talk HIV, Test HIV, Treat HIV.”  The partnership seeks to increase how many people know their HIV status.

  

Culminating in National HIV Testing Day (Friday, June 27), the campaign encourages everyone, including churches, to reach out to health providers and community organizations to plan and expand events to raise awareness, provide testing, and offer supportive services that encourage people to get into care.  Events and testing sites are being hosted around the nation, and they include government offices, doctor’s offices, health clinics, bathhouses, bars, and chemical dependency treatment facilities, among others.  Check out www.nhtwus.org to find a testing site near you or your church.  logo-transBG

 

Here are some actions you can take to engage the campaign:

  • Share your story/program about what you and your church are doing to promote testing, treatment, and/or care.  Share them here
  • Download, share, and promote the coalition’s Testing Week resources. 
  • If your congregation or ministry group does not currently have an HIV/AIDS program in place, consider using this year’s Testing Week to plan the launching of one. Resources on how to start that discussion can be found here.

Knowing one’s status is a crucial first step in getting people into systems of treatment and care.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Treatment Cascade analysis shows that the path to health and viral suppression starts with diagnosis.  If we can get people tested, they will know their status. If they know their status, we can link them to systems of care.  If we can link them to care, we can support them so that they stay in care.  If we can get them to stay in care, we can support an appropriate antiretroviral therapy program.  And if we can keep them on their medication and accessing other supportive services, we can keep them alive and thriving.  It all starts with testing.  As people of faith, we are called to do this work. 

 

Talk HIV, Test HIV, Treat HIV