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.
Collegiate Church Corporation
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
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.
Online Engagement / Communications
Education and Experience Requirements
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
World Student Christian Federation North America
Student Christian Movement, USA
Gender and Sexuality Working Group U.S.A
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:
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.
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, email@example.com
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:
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.
Here are some actions you can take to engage the campaign:
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
DATE: 13 June 2014
Contact: Jason O’Neill, MCC Communications
MCC Moderator Urges Southern Baptists to Stop Condemning God
SBC condemns transgender people and creates a climate of persecution and discrimination
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, which has ministries in over 40 countries. Dr. Wilson was part of the first LGBT faith delegation to meet with White House staff in 1979. She served as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, global leader of Metropolitan Community Churches, spoke out today to urge Southern Baptists to learn about humanity rather than to pass resolutions that reject people based on their gender identity.
“Jesus said, ‘judge not lest ye be judged,’ but the Southern Baptist voting members ignore this core message of grace when they reject God’s children who happen to be transgender,” said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson. “The lives of transgender people are at stake. When a person’s outer gender does not match their inner identity, it is almost impossible for them to lead a full and meaningful life. For over 45 years, MCChas provided a church home for all people who are rejected by their churches because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Now it’s time for all churches, including the Southern Baptist Convention, to learn about the diversity of humanity as created by God. Stop condemning God for creating wonderfully diverse human beings who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer!”
“When churches reject transgender people, it contributes to a climate of rejection and condemnation,which leads to persecution and violence against transgender people,” said Dr. Wilson. “In one study, 83% of transgender people reported suffering verbal attacks, half experienced job discrimination, and a third experienced physical attacks. Transgender women of color are literally hundreds of times more likely to experience violent attacks than the average person. Where are Southern Baptists when a child of God who is transgender is murdered?”
Founded in 1968, Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) has been at the vanguard of civil and human rights movements by addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, economics, climate change, aging, and global human rights. MCC was the first to perform same gender marriages and has been on the forefront of the struggle towards marriage equality in the US and other countries worldwide.
OFFICE OF EMERGING
ISSUE 5 – JUNE 2014
EMERGE— to come forth into view, as from concealment; to become evident; to come forth from obscurity; to arise
Confidential Assistant to Rev. Garner
Program Coordinator for Iberoamerica
Emerging Church Specialist
Eastern Europe Coordinator
|Welcome to the Emerge, the newsletter of the Office of Emerging Ministries (OEM). MCC wants our churches and global movement to be well equipped to minister in a rapidly changing, culturally-diverse world.
In this issue:
Emerging Ministries Invitation
In the News
Emerging Ministries News
2014 People of African Descent Conference Highlights
Young Adult Gathering
IN THE NEWS
Rev. Steve Pieters, longtime MCC clergy, HIV/AIDS activist, and long-term survivor, did an internet radio station interview on 14 March. It was the first media interview that he had done in a long time. His friend Alison Arngrim (who played Nellie Oleson on the TV show Little House on the Prairie) joined him for the interview. The host Sheena Metal is quite gifted at helping people relate their stories. Steve says, “We talked mostly about living with AIDS in the 80s, but we actually managed to have some fun in doing so. Listen particularly for my Medical Anomaly song towards the end of the show!” The archived link for the interview is http://www.latalkradio.com/archives/Sheena-031414.mp3. Fast forward to 1:06:00 for the interview.
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Emerging Ministries Invitation
Calling all clergy, chaplains, or lay leaders to help create what will Be MCC in the 21st century! People in many places around the world are yearning to Be MCC. There is plenty of room to live into the broad vision of what it is to be “Church” in the name of MCC. New churches are being planned and new works are emerging around the globe. Where do you feel called to serve?
The Office of Emerging Ministries is actively speaking in many languages, going to different places, and working in NEW ways to intentionally and strategically create and support new churches. The “MCC Emerging Church Program” provides three pathways for the creation of emerging churches. An Emerging Church can be sponsored by a local church, an MCC Network, or by the denomination. There is a comprehensive system of support for lay and clergy leaders who are willing to lead an Emerging Church. If you feel called to help begin a new MCC Emerging Church, please contact Rev. Rachelle Brown, Emerging Church Specialist at RevRachelleBrown@MCCchurch.net.
Emerging Church News
On 22 January 2014, our office announced the authorization of a new emerging church in Auckland, New Zealand led by Emily Worman. This ministry is called Church in Progress MCC. To find out more about them, check out their blog, http://church-in-progress.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/be-mcc-yes-please.html or write to Emily Worman.
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner was in Winchester VA on Sunday 27 April to present the 2014 MCC New Church Start award to Shenandoah Valley MCC and to install their new Pastor, the Rev. Gail Minnick. Over 75 people attended. An article about this event appeared in the Winchester Star eEdition.
On 7 May 2014, our office granted authorization of Internationale Roze Kerk MCC to be an emerging church. It is located in The Hague, The Netherlands and the founding pastor is Rev. Barbara Rogoski. If you would like more information about this church send an email to RevBarbara@internationalerozekerk.nl.
El Instituto “Darlene Garner “de Formación del Liderazgo Iberoamericano, es un proyecto de la Oficina para el Desarrollo del Liderato y de la Red Iberoamericana de las Iglesias de la Comunidad Metropolitana. El Instituto ofrece: un certificado de pastor laico/laica, un certificado de requerimiento mínimos conducente a la ordenación en ICM, educación continua para pastores ICM y estudios libres. Los idiomas del Instituto son español y portugués. Los profesores recibirán las tareas en ambos idiomas y además intentaremos colocar las lecturas en ambos idiomas. Si usted no está en Iberoamérica pero sirve a la comunidad hispana en los Estados Unidos o Canadá, el Instituto es también su recurso educativo.
En este enlace encontrará la oferta complete.
O Instituto “Darlene Garner” de Treinamento de Liderança Iberoamericana é um projeto do Gabinete do Desenvolvimento de Liderança e da Rede Iberoamericana das Igrejas da Comunidade Metropolitana. O Instituto oferece um certificado de pastor leigo, um certificado de requisito mínimo para a ordenação em ICM, a educação continuada para os pastores ICM e estudo independente. As línguas do Instituto são o Espanhol e Português. Os professores receberão tarefas em ambas as línguas e também haverá leituras em ambas as línguas. Se você não estiver na Iberoamérica, mas serve a comunidade hispânica nos Estados Unidos ou no Canadá, o Instituto também é o seu recurso educacional.
Neste link você vai encontrar as ofertas acadêmicas de 2014.
The “Darlene Garner” Institute for Ibero-American Leadership Formation is a project of the Office of Formation and Leadership Development and of the Ibero-American Network. The Institute offers a certificate of lay pastor, a certificate of minimum requirement for ordination in ICM, continuing education for MCC pastors and independent study. The languages of the Institute are Spanish and Portuguese. Professors will receive tasks in both languages and there will also be readings in both languages. If you are not in Ibero-America but serve the Hispanic community in the United States or Canada, the Institute is also your educational resource.
In this link you will find the academic offerings of 2014.
The 2014 MCC Conference for People of African Descent, Friends, and Allies (PAD) , rocked Atlanta, GA with over 160 attendees from throughout the US and Canada. We learned, laughed and danced! The PAD theme was Be the Change. Conference programming provided powerful speakers who challenged and inspired attendees with their thought provoking and hope-filled messages to “be the change the world is waiting for.”
Amazing worship is always central to the PAD Conference. This year, the conference began with an electrifying opening worship featuring guest speaker Rev. Dr. Kenneth Samuel the Victory for the World Mighty Men’s Chorus, and the Voices of PAD Choir. Each morning there was dynamic worship and speakers – Rev. Carolyn Mobley and Rev. Mykal Slack. Friday worship was revival night with Bishop Tonyia Rawls. PAD ended on a high note with a celebration in art and song, that included rousing music from Bishop Yvette Flunder, sermonic prose from Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, and a rapping sending forth message from Rev. Elder Darlene Garner. Yes. She rapped!
The PAD Conference was made possible because of the collective efforts of many people. Rev. Dr. Paul Graetz and First MCC of Atlanta (the host church) provided incredible southern hospitality. A special word of thanks goes out to Rev. Candy Holmes (Planning Chair) and the PAD Planning Team who created an exceptional PAD Conference experience. The PAD Conference within MCC and in the larger faith community is always an experience that leaves many wanting to take resources home with them. We are delighted to provide PAD Conference information and resources online. Here you will find the conference program book, 2011-2014 PAD awards and accomplishments, videos of global greetings with translations, worship and programming resources. Video recordings of plenaries and worship will soon be posted online as well.
7-10 November 2014
Applications due: 12 September 2014
Goals and Expectations
Do you feel called to serve MCC beyond the local level, either as a leader, as a volunteer, or as a full-time vocation as clergy or lay leader? Have you wondered if you might be called to be an Elder? Or serve as part of the MCC Global Staff? Or do you want to understand more about the relationship of local church ministry and denominational/movement goals? Do you want to help shape MCC’s future?
If so, then this retreat is for you!
This retreat is designed for individuals under the age of 35 interested in serving MCC beyond the local level, as a volunteer or as a full-time vocation; as clergy or as lay leaders. The retreat will include denominational leaders and staff and will provide registrants with an opportunity for discernment about a vocation on a denominational or movement level with MCC, and to really get the BIG picture about MCC globally.
MCC is long tenured in the response to HIV as it was the first Christian denomination to minister to those with HIV/AIDS. The CDC announcement is good news to our churches because it gives us an additional tool to reduce new HIV infections.
All methods of HIV prevention should still be applied in addition to this new scientifically proven method of taking a daily dosage of Truvadaas described in the guidelines under the direction of a medical professional with the required counseling. However, MCC emphasizes that PrEP is not a substitute for condoms, but another option now available. No single intervention is completely protective in preventing HIV transmission. Clean syringe exchange for people who use drugs, widespread distribution of male and female condoms to populations at risk for HIV transmission, reducing the number of sexual partners, universal access to health services and anti-retroviral treatment, eliminating gender-based violence and gender inequality, age-appropriate sex education and repealing laws criminalizing people with HIV and sex workers and people most at risk for HIV transmission are interventions that we know will work.
PrEP is a medical advance that is the product of peer reviewed research and international scrutiny, and should be made universally available.
We still need a cure for AIDS and a vaccine for HIV. Recognizing that PrEP is not a cure or a vaccine for HIV, we now have evidence that it can reduce HIV infections among populations most at risk for HIV transmission. While new HIV infections overall have declined somewhat worldwide, they are either not declining or increasing in populations most at risk for HIV such as gay men and men who have sex with men and transgender persons.
MCC and the Global Justice Institute call on the world’s medical community to marshal resources and make personal commitments to providing PrEP-inclusive medical care to all those at risk of HIV transmission including those who are incarcerated. We call on people of faith to do the work of justice, in the private and public sectors, by opposing all systems of domination and marginalization that make the use of PrEP necessary. We will judge our work complete when the world fundamentally agrees on the sacredness of sexuality and no one abuses this fundamental freedom.
Click HERE to download information provided by MCC’s HIV/AIDS Advisory Council on PrEP, andHERE for the CDC’s guide to how to talk with your doctor. Click HERE for the Advisory Council’s information on PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).
This statement was prepared by the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council and the Moderator’s Public Policy Team,
Metropolitan Community Churches