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Nachdenken über Gnade – Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC

SoF-Logo-GermanCommission on SOF

 

 

“Unglaubliche Gnade! Wie wunderbar der Klang
Der eine Seele wie mich gerettet hat.”

“Amazing Grace! How Sweet the Sound
That Saved a Soul Like Me.”

“Denn aus Gnade seid ihr selig geworden durch den Glauben, und das nicht aus euch:
Gottes Gabe ist es.” Epheser 2,8

 

Als ich in der United Methodist Church aufgewachsen bin, saß ich (Candace) jeden Sontag zwischen meinen Eltern im Gottesdienst. Es gab immer ein paar Lieder die die beiden lauter als andere sangen und “Amazing Grace” war eines davon. Für mich ist tatsächlich eines der größten Geschenke, von denen ich weiß dass ich sie von meinen Eltern, Kinderkirch-LehrerInnen und normalen Mitgliedern der Gemeinde bekommen habe, das Wissen, dass Gottes Gnade unendlich groß ist und eine Geschenk.

Während wir nicht gerne über Sünde reden oder sogar darüber nachdenken (vergleiche den früheren Newsletter über Sünde), sagt Paulus, “…und werden ohne Verdienst gerecht aus seiner Gnade durch die Erlösung, die durch Christus Jesus geschehen ist.” (Römer 3, 24) Es scheint mir also dass wir ein Verständnis unserer eigenen Sündhaftigkeit , unserer eigenen Trennung von Gott, unserem eigenen Versagen das Ziel der Liebe zu erreichen brauchen, um Gottes Gnade voll zu erfahren.

Das gegenwärtige MCC Glaubensbekenntnis sagt in Teilen folgendes: “Jede Person ist durch Gottes Gnade gerechtfertigt durch Glaube an Jesus Christus. … Solche Gnade ist nicht verdient, sondern ein reines Geschenk aus Gottes reiner Liebe heraus.”

Aber was ist Gnade?

Es ist manchmal zu einfach, Gnade einfach als den Knie-Reflex Gottes auf Sünde zu sehen. Die ersten Kapitel der Bibel erzählen eine andere Geschichte. Dort sehen wir, wie Gott von Anfang an gnädig handelt, und nicht von menschlichem Versagen geblendet ist.

In 1. Mose 1, 1 ist Gott nicht gezwungen eine Welt zu erschaffen. Gott erschafft die Welt einfach aus der Freude und dem Behagen heraus, die die Schöpfung mit sich bringen wird (1. Mose 1,31), und damit Gottes Herrlichkeit durch sie sichtbar wird. Gott hat in Gnade diese natürliche Umgebung gemacht und erhält sie, damit alle Kreaturen in ihr blühen können. Die reine Gnadenfülle der Welt in der wir leben erinnert uns mit jedem Herzschlag und jedem neuen Tag daran, dass Gottes Gnade für uns ewig bleibt.

Detalle de La CreacionDetail Die Erschaffung Adams
von Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Für mich (Candace) ist es das Wissen ohne einen Schatten des Zweifels, dass mich Gott liebt und in einer Beziehung mit mir sein will. Eine Beziehung die jeden Teil meines Lebens berührt und meine Beziehungen zu anderen. Ich werde nie diesen frühen Abend vor vielen Jahren vergessen. Ich stand in einer Schlange in einem Lebensmittelladen mit meinem Brot und meiner Milch. Es war die Schlange für Leute, die nur ein paar wenige Dinge hatten, daher war sie an der Seite der anderen Kassen. Als ich so über die anderen Menschen an all den anderen Kassen blickte, hatte ich die unglaublicher Erfahrung zu “wissen” dass Gott all diese anderen Menschen genauso liebte wie Gott mich liebt. Es war, um eine Formulierung von John Wesley zu benutzen, als ob “mein Herz ganz eigenartig erwärmt” würde. Dieses Gefühl kam aus dem Nichts und es hat mein Leben verändert.

El Regreso del Hijo PródigoDie Heimkehr des verlorenen Sohnes
von Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Der Verfasser des Ersten Johannesbriefes schreibt: “Niemand hat Gott jemals gesehen. Wenn wir uns untereinander lieben, so bleibt Gott in uns, und seine Liebe ist in uns vollkommen.” (1. Joh. 4,12) Daher ist Gnade, obwohl sie ein Geschenk ist, ein Geschenk, das wir leben, wenn wir einander lieben. Gottes Geschenk der Gnade ist ein Geschenk der Vergebung. Und wir sind gerufen, dieses Geschenk der Vergebung in allen unseren Beziehungen zu leben. Das ist sicherlich keine einfache Sache.

Ich schreibe dies am Höhepunkt von Karfreitag. Daher weiß ich: Auch wenn Gnade ein Geschenk ist, das frei gegeben wird, so ist es doch nicht ein Geschenk ohne Preis. Es ist nur so, dass wir diesen Preis nicht bezahlen müssen: Jesus hat das für mich und für Euch am Kreuz getan. “Vater vergib ihnen, denn sie wissen nicht, was sie tun.” (Lukas 23,34)

Als christliche LSBTTIQ Menschen haben wir, die wir Gottes Gnade erfahren haben, ein Geschenk, um es mit der Welt zu teilen. Genauso wie die Erde erbebte als das Grab geöffnet wurde am Ostermorgen, so können auch wir die Erde erschüttern mit der Guten Nachricht von Gottes Liebe und Gnade, die Sünde und Angst überwindet.

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Einige Gedanken zum Nachdenken.

Wir würden gerne von Euren Erfahrungen hören. Schließt Euch der Diskussion auf unserer Facebook Seite an oder schickt uns eure privaten Antworten durch die MCC Webseite. …. Diesen Monat interessieren wir uns besonders für die folgenden Fragen.

  • Könnt Ihr Euch daran erinnern als ihr verstanden habt, dass Gottes Gnade und Liebe für Euch gemeint sind?
  • Was war das für eine Erfahrung?
  • Welche Auswirkungen hatte das auf Euer Leben?

Ihr könnt uns auch gerne Eure Gedanken über das Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC mitteilen.

Wir wollen von Euch hören!

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Danke, dass Ihr Teil dieses Gedankenaustausches seid. Wir freuen uns darauf, diesen Dialog fortzuführen.

Eure Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC

 

Rev. Dr. Candace R. ShultisRev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis ist die Vorsitzende Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC und Senior Pastor an King of Peace MCC in St. Petersburg, Florida (USA).

 

 

 

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand

Rev. Karl Hand, PhD, ist Pfarrer von CRAVE MCC in Sydney, Australien und eine Mitglied der Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC

 

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Bestellt den Newsletter der Arbeitsgruppe

 

Schicke eine private Nachricht an die Arbeitsgruppe.

 

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In the Spirit of Transparency

A Pastoral Letter from the Moderator and Governing Board to Metropolitan Community Churches

22 February 2016

Dear Clergy and Lay Delegates of MCC:

As Moderator of MCC, I am also the Moderator of MCC’s Governing Board. I am proud to have served for nearly six years with over a dozen people who are pioneering a new model for MCC governance, elected by the General Conference. We have done a lot of wonderful work over the last several years, weathered storms, proposed a strategic plan, balanced budgets, and have tried to serve you faithfully.

Recently, we have struggled very painfully with deep disagreements over substantive issues of direction, process, and values. We are in the process of working through this with the assistance of a governance and board consultant; in other words, we are getting some outside help. Those of you who have served on church boards know that getting some outside help can make a difference.

We are accountable to you, and we want you to know we have help, and we invite your prayers.

As we move towards General Conference and a transition to a new Moderator, as I said in my previous pastoral letter, we are engaged in our first selection of a Moderator from among a number of candidates. This is new territory for us. Concerns have arisen, and we are working diligently to work through them and to accurately answer questions that have been posed to us.

In the process, three Governing Board members have resigned.

Rev. Karen Thompson had been newly appointed to the Governing Board and felt that the recent conflicts that existed before she joined the board made it impossible for her to contribute in a positive way. I thank Rev. Karen for her honesty.

Gail Rissler also resigned due to these differences. Gail made many positive contributions during her time on the board over the last several years. We are greatly in her debt. Thank you, Gail.

Finally, Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin submitted his resignation, effective 26 February 2016. Rev. Robert has faithfully served the board since 2010.

We have thanked and expressed appreciation to the Moderator Nominating Committee (MNC). We have asked them to reschedule the March MNC webinar to a later date to allow us to sort through our issues and have resolution before we plunge into the next phase of this process.

In the spirit of full disclosure, we want you to know that a Governing Board motion to reject the slate of nominees that the MNC brought forward, failed. We approved, as a subsequent motion, to review the process and concerns that have surfaced.

With our consultant and outside team, we are reviewing the Governing Board’s role and responsibilities. While this happens, we have asked the MNC to delay the next step in the process which is the webinar to meet the candidates. The webinar is now scheduled for 16 March 2016.

Once we work through our concerns and issues, we will publicly summarize and share our findings.

We will publish the minutes of our Governing Board meetings of the last few weeks after we approve them at our monthly meeting on 25 February 2016.

We thank you for your patience, for your prayers, and encouragement. We respectfully decline as a Governing Board to respond or conduct our business on social media. We hope you will understand that, and bless us for it– just as you would expect of your local church board.

If you have questions for the Governing Board, please contact us directly at GoverningBoard@MCCchurch.net.

Please pray for those you have elected to serve you, and for us to be faithful to the Holy Spirit as we seek discernment and wisdom. Pray for those who will stand for election for Moderator and as members of the Governing Board.

Let’s get ready for our family reunion in Victoria, British Columbia, this coming July, and invite the joy of our God to reign in our hearts and minds. As we welcome first-timers to conference, new churches, new emerging groups, as well as those of us who have been in ministry for decades, let us face the future and BE MCC with love, hope, and courage!

God bless all of you, and God bless MCC!

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Nancy Wilson Signature
Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson
Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

¡Gracia Sublime! ¡Que dulce es el Sonido que salva un alma como la mia

SoF-Logo-SpanishTheologies Team

¡Gracia Sublime! ¡Que dulce es el Sonido que salva un alma como la mia.

“Pues han sido salvados por la gracia mediante la fe; y esto no viene por usted,
sino que es don de Dios.”  Efesios 2: 8

Habiendo crecido en la Iglesia Metodista Unida, yo (Candace) me sentaba entre mis padres cada domingo para el servicio. Había siempre algunos himnos que ellos solían cantar con mayor efusividad que otros, y “¡Gracia Sublime!” era uno de ellos. De hecho, para mí, uno de los mayores regalos que reconozco que he recibido de mis padres, de mis maestros de la escuela dominical y de otros miembros de esa iglesia es la enseñanza de que la gracia de Dios es abundante y que es un don.

Mientras que no nos gusta hablar acerca, o posiblemente pensar sobre el peca do ( consultar el boletín anteior sobre el pecado ), Pablo establece, “…y son justificados por el don de su gracia, en virtud de la redención realizada en Cristo Jesús…” (Romanos 3: 24) Con esto, me parece que necesitamos tener un sentido de nuestro propio pecado, nuestra propia separación de Dios, nuestra propia falla para golpear la marca del amor, a fin de experimentar la gracia de Dios.


La actual Declaración de Fe de ICM dice: “Cada persona es justificada por la gracia de Dios a través de la fe en Jesucristo… Tal gracia no se gana, sino que es pura gratuidad de parte del amor puro de Dios.”

¿Pero qué es la gracia?

En ocasiones es demasiado fácil imaginarnos la gracia como una reacción instintiva de Dios al pecado. Los primeros capítulos de la Biblia presentan una historia diferente. En esos capítulos vemos a un Dios que actúa con gracia desde el principio y no esta desprevenido al fracaso humano.

En Génesis 1:1, Dios no tiene necesidad de crear el mundo, pero en cambio, lo crea simplemente por el placer y la alegría de la creación misma (Génesis 1:31) y para mostrar la gloria de Dios a través de ella (Salmo 19:1). Dios creo amablemente y sostiene este entorno natural donde pueden florecer la humanidad y todas las creaturas. La gracia pura del mundo en que vivimos nos recuerda en cada latido y en cada nuevo día que la gracia de Dios perdura en nosotros por siempre.

Detalle de La Creacion

Detalle de La Creación de Miguel Angel di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Para mí (Candace), es saber más allá de toda sombra de duda que Dios me ama y desea estar en relación conmigo, en una relación que afecta cada área de mi vida y mis relaciones con los demás. Nunca olvidaré una tarde, de hace muchos años, cuando estaba parada en la fila de una tienda de abarrotes con mi pan y leche. Era la línea para la gente que tenía sólo unos pocos artículos, así que me encontraba al final de las líneas para pagar. Miré hacia todas las personas en todas las otras líneas, tuve esta increíble experiencia de saber que Dios amaba a todas esas otras personas tanto como Dios me amaba a mí. Fue como, usando una buena frase de John Wesley, “mi corazón estaba extrañamente preparado”. Esta sensación salió de la nada y me cambió la vida.

El Regreso del Hijo PródigoEl Regreso del Hijo Pródigo
de Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

El autor de la Primera carta de Juan escribió: “A Dios nadie le ha visto nunca. Si nos amamos unos a otros, Dios permanece en nosotros y su amor ha llegado en nosotros a su plenitud”. (1 Juan 4:12) Así que, mientras la gracia es un don, es un don que debe vivirse hacia las demás personas así como nos amamos unas a otras. El don de la gracia de Dios es un don de perdón. Y estamos llamadas a vivir este don  de perdón en todas nuestras relaciones interpersonales. De ninguna manera es una tarea fácil.
Escribí esto en la cúspide del viernes santo. También sé que mientras que la gracia es un don dado libremente, no es un regalo ofrecido sin un costo. Es sólo que no tenemos que pagar el costo: Jesús lo hizo por mí y por ti en la Cruz. “Abba, perdónalos; Porque no saben lo que están haciendo”. (Lucas 23:34)

Como personas cristianas LGBT, que han experimentado la gracia de Dios, tenemos un regalo para compartir con el mundo. Al igual que la tierra tembló cuando se abrió la tumba en la mañana de Pascua, así que, también, podemos sacudir al mundo con las buenas noticias que el amor  y la gracia vencen al pecado y al miedo.

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Preguntas a Considerar
Queremos escuchar sobre sus experiencias. Participen en nuestra conversación en la Página de Facebook, o envía un mensaje privado a través del sitio web de ICM. Consulta los enlaces más abajo.
Este mes, estamos particularmente interesados en las siguientes preguntas:
  • ¿Recuerdas el tiempo en que te diste cuenta de que el amor y la gracia de Dios eran importantes para ti?
  • ¿Cómo fue esa experiencia para ti?
  • ¿Qué impacto ha tenido en tu vida?
Pueden también compartirnos sus pensamientos sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM.Queremos escucharles.
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Muchas gracias por ser parte de esta conversación. Esperamos continuar el diálogo.
Su Comisión sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM.

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis

Rev. Obispa Dra. Candace R. Shultis es la Presidenta de la Comisión sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM.

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand

Rev. Karl Hand, PhD, es pastor de CRAVE MCC en Sydney, Australia y miembro de la Comisión sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM.

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O que há com o Pecado? (Nós não gostamos do Pecado)

SoF-Logo-PortugueseTheologies Team

O que há com o Pecado? (Nós não gostamos do Pecado)

Esta newsletter mensal é escrita junto com um escrito convidado da equipe de Teologia da ICM, Kelby Harrison

Quando a comissão da Declaração de Fé da ICM se encontrou pela primeira vez, nós mandamos uma pesquisa com amigos, amigas e membros da ICM para perguntar o que achavam sobre o Estatuto de Fé da ICM revisado. Você pode ler o relatório completo com as respostas

Fizemos uma pergunta:

O que há com o Pecado

Trinta e seis porcento (26%) dos entrevistados disseram que o tópico pecado não deveria ser incluído na Declaração de Fé revisada.

Esta oposição ao pecado faz todo o sentido. A palavra e a concepção de pecado tem sido usada contra a população LGBT, de maneira veemente, as vezes apontando para a morte. E ainda em uma religião baseada numa relação pessoal com Deus, nós precisamos buscar maneiras de explicar o nosso distanciamento nessa relação. Nós precisamos de uma linguagem que fortaleça nossa decisão espiritual, não uma linguagem que tem sido usada para esmagar nossos espíritos e nosso amor.

Olhando ao mundo ao nosso redor, é óbvio que as coisas nem sempre são ótimas. As igrejas da ICM sempre tem um número desproporcional de pessoas que tem sofrido muito. As vezes isto é devido a nossa sexualidade, identidade de gênero ou expressão de gênero, embora nem sempre. Muitos são desempregados ou sub-empregados, se sentem solitários ao lidar com alguma doença crônica, ou sentem falta de coisas que para outras pessoas são muito simples. Perto de casa, eu (Bryce) sou muito consciente das minhas próprias deficiências: uma quase compulsiva necessidade fazer tudo sozinho, ter pavio curto, uma tendência para curar meus sentimentos com comida… como lidar com essas coisas?

Afastar-se completamente da discussão sobre pecado pode ser prejudicial. Como podemos falar profeticamente ou praticar justiça social sem ser capaz de nomear sistemicamente desigualdades como racismo, sexismos, classicismo, preconceito com portadores de necessidades especiais, preconceito de idade e heterossexismo? Como podemos ser curados se nos recusamos a admitir nossas próprias deficiências?

Talvez parte da nossa diferença de opinião se dá pela nossa definição de pecado. O entendimento grego de pecado (hamartia) era errar o alvo. A ideia é mais complicada que se parece a primeira vista.

Um pecador deve ter um conhecimento de retidão moral, um alvo a alcançar, e ter conhecimento de olhar bem na mosca. Ao longo da história do Cristianismo esse alvo tem sido retratado como a lei de Deus.

Em algum ponto da história deles, nossos irmãos Judeus concebiam o pecado como algo amplamente comum a todos, e que um membro poderia contaminar o grupo inteiro. Os cristãos costumam enfatizar o pecado pessoal e que nossa própria salvação estava nas nossas próprias mãos. Embora sobre todos esses movimentos de Santidade, o pecado que é comum a todos ainda tem um importante papel.

Desde os primórdios do Cristianismo, a concepção de “pecado” tem evoluído em muitas direções, muitas delas baseadas em um conhecimento anterior (na tradição Ocidental) de “pecado original”. Devemos entender o pecado como um vício; como uma separação de Deus, de nós mesmo, ou de outros; ou como uma desobediência intencional a Deus? O pecado é dependente das nossas intenções, das nossas fraquezas diante das tentações ou é somente inevitável em vida? O nosso mais íntimo relacionamento com Deus depende da graça de Deus ou é incorporado nos nossos atos?

Teologias Cristãs da atualidade tem articulado pecados modernos: racismos, injustiça social, dívidas, depressão auto medicada. Casamento igualitário tem sido denunciado como pecado.

O estigma teológico da comunidade LGBTQ é frequentemente de que são “pecadores”. Como podemos reivindicar para ter de volta nosso amor e graça de Deus em razão disso? Como podemos ainda entender nossa imperfeição moral nos termos Cristãos?

A atual Declaração da Fé inclui as palavras seguintes:

Estamos salvos da solidão, desespero e degradação através da Graça de Deus
Encorajamos ainda mais a comunidade dos fiéis a uma vida de oração; para buscar o perdão genuíno por atos maldosos, impensados e de desamor; e uma vida comprometida ao serviço cristão.

Talvez este seja um lugar onde podemos continuar esse diálogo.

A equipe de Teologia da ICM também criou um novo capítulo para nosso “Santo Diálogo 2” (Holy Conversations 2 ), uma das maneiras que convidamos você a usar com os outros membros da sua igreja local para falar sobre pecado.

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Algumas questões para considerar

Nós gostaríamos de ouvir sobre suas experiências. Participe do nosso fórum na nossa página do Facebook, ou nos mande uma resposta privada pelo site da MCC. Segue os links abaixo.

Este mês, estamos particularmente interessados nas seguintes questões:

  • Leia sobre a citação acima da atual Declaração de Fé. Que pensamentos e sentimentos você tem sobre a formulação atual?
  • Quando você se sentiu envergonhado pela linguagem do pecado? Esta linguagem guarda algum valor positivo pra você?
  • Te convidamos para usar o “Santo Diálogo sobre o pecado” que colocamos no link. Existe alguma observação do seu grupo de discussão que (manteremos a confidencialidade de casa um) que você gostaria de compartilhar com a Comissão?

Você também pode compartilhar suas idéias sobre a Declaração de Fé.

Nós queremos ouvir de você!

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Material Adicional

A Equipe de Teologia da ICM tem desenvolvido um novo capítulo na popular série “Santos Diálogos” para congregações e grupos pequenos para explorar o tópico pecado. Segue os links:

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Obrigado por fazer parte da discussão. Queremos muito continuar esta conversa.
Sua Comissão da Declaração de Fé da ICM.

Rev. Dr. Kelby Harrison

 

 

Reverenda Kelby Harrison, PhD, é membro da Equipe de Teologia da ICM

Bryce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bryce E. Rich é membro da Comissão da Declaração
de Fé da ICM e Presidente da Equipe de Teologia da ICM.

 

 

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MCC Statement of Faith – Wonderful Words of Life

SoF-Logo-EnglishTheologies Team

 

Wonderful Words of Life: Your Word is a Light to My Path

Stories are some of the most powerful things we can share. It’s our life stories that give us a sense of identity. We don’t know someone until we hear their story. We don’t feel a part of a community until we share stories with other members, and usually, it’s the understanding of those stories that makes us want to join communities.

Genesis
B’reshit by Andrea Hernandez

In MCC, our story has often been one of overcoming rejection and loneliness, and finding community. In fact, we are part of a bigger story than this, a story that begins with the Spirit of God hovering over the waters of chaos, creating a world, setting apart the people of Israel as God’s special people, freeing them from captivity in Egypt and in Babylon, and then through Jesus the Messiah, bringing the Good News to the whole world.

The credits have not yet rolled on this greatest story. It’s not just a story that we remember. We are a part of it.

Our world presents us with many different stories. One such story is the story of Empire, of one nation fulfilling its manifest destiny to have control over the world. Another story tells of technological progress, that eventually industry and science will create a utopia. Others put faith in the story of “The American Dream,” that working hard and buying property will create happiness-and this story of middle-class, suburban bliss has spread beyond America into many lands.

crossroads
Crossroads by Ross

But we stand at a crossroads. The stories of Empire, Technological Utopias, and Suburban Dreams are not compatible with the story we are called to.

We are people who have adopted instead the story of the Bible: the story of Creation, Community, Liberation, and Reconciliation.

In this story, we meet with God, we hear God speak, and we remind ourselves of who we really are.

Since this story is so central to our identity and our purpose, it is no surprise how painful it can be when the Bible is weaponized, and especially when it is used against us or those we love. Sometimes we are caught in the cross-fire between a fundamentalism which worships the book, and a liberalism which rejects it.

We’ve a story to tell the nations. Sacred texts range from poetry to wisdom to history to teaching to heartfelt story and mystery are enduring. All at once they can inspire, challenge, comfort, enrage, and soothe. Hebrews 10:16 notes:

This is the promise that I will make to them after those days, says the Lord: ‘I will put my teachings in their hearts and write them in their minds.

The scriptures witness to the goodness, love, and justice of the Creator. Since sacred texts like the bible have been used to convict, condemn, and marginalize people, it is important to study, to realize their full context, and view them through the lens of the entire body of scriptures.

These texts contain our story too as a people who seek justice, mercy, and God’s enduring love. And God still has more to say to us.

Since we are a denomination moving towards common goal and purpose, yet with many theologies, there are also a variety of convictions regarding sacred texts. Many believe that God, as a living and active God, continues to speak to all of us as beloved.
Books

Sacred writings continue as God continues to inspire, challenge, teach and tell of covenant relationship with the Creator. We co-create our lives, our world, and our continuing story with the great God of our understanding.

Some questions that the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith has been asking about scripture and sacred text include:

  • What is the role of scripture in worship and in spiritual formation?
  • What authority does the Bible hold in theological reflection?
  • Are other texts also sacred, and if so, what is their place?

Some Questions to Consider

We’d like to hear about your experiences. Join the conversation on our Facebook page, or send your private reply to us through the MCC website. See links below.

This month, we’re particularly interested in the following questions:
  • How do you define/identify “sacred text”?
  • What has been your experience with sacred texts and their use?
  • What place do sacred texts have in your faith? In your relationship with God?
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Photo credits:
B’reshit by Andrea Fernandez
Crossroads by Ross

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Thank you for being a part of the conversation. We look forward to continuing the dialogue.

Your Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith

Rev. Cathy Alexander

 

Rev. Cathy Alexander; Washington, D.C. (USA), serves MCC of Washington DC as the Associate Pastor as well as the Network Co-Leader for the Eastern Network.

 

 

 

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand is a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith and the Senior Pastor at Crave MCC in New South Wales (Australia).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Metropolitan Community Churches Awards 2016

 

Emerging Ministry Award

The Emerging Ministry Award recognizes a person(s) and/or ministry that embodies MCC’s vision and values and shows promise of growth and success.

Brandilynne DearBrandilynne Dear

Pastor Brandilynne Dear is the founder of Joshua Generation MCC, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Her vision, spirit, activism, and saying “yes” to God’s call led to the beginning of a radical and powerful community of faith called Joshua Generation MCC.  Since the first worship service in September 2014, hundreds have heard the message of God’s love and liberation.  Worship and outreach led to multiplication as Marriage Equality arrived in June 2015 and now Joshua Generation MCC is in their 3rd location in less than 18 months with an average of 60 in worship each week.  Joshua Generation MCC’s mission is to “Build the Church that God Intended” and with Brandilynne’s authentic and Spirit-led leadership this vision is alive.  Folks in Mississippi know her as “Pastor BB” and now we honor her as this year’s MCC Emerging Church Leader.

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Distinguished Service Awards

The Distinguished Service Award is given for exemplary efforts that have positively impacted local churches and the MCC movement worldwide. 

Ed MorganIrene LaudemanEd Morgan and Irene Laudeman

Members of MCC, and consultants to the Office of Emerging Ministries in 2014 and 2015, Ed Morgan and Irene Laudeman generously contributed professional services to research on the use of technology by MCC congregations and to make significant recommendations that will enable MCC churches to offer technology-enabled high-quality and culturally relevant spiritual community, pastoral care, and spiritual development.


Susie Brenner (1)Susie Brenner

Susie Brenner receives this award for several reasons: she has been a lay leader and musician/evangelist for many years, with her partner, Linda Brenner, touching many with her original music.  Recently she has been active in music leadership for denominational programs such as the Leadership Mentoring Retreat and Network gatherings. In the aftermath of the death of the pastor of SunCoast MCC, in Venice, Florida, Susie, as lay worship and program staff, held the church together and offered pastoral and spiritual leadership in a time of great sorrow and uncertainty. Her service to her local church and denomination was exceptional, and we are proud to acknowledge it.

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Jennifer Justice and Carlos Chavez Young Adult Award

This award is named for Carlos Chavez and Jennifer Justice, whose commitment to Young Adult leadership and inclusion in MCC has changed the denomination forever. The awards are given each year to young adults who demonstrate MCC’s values, and who show promise of future leadership in MCC.

Rev. Michael-DiazRev. Dr. Michael Diaz

Rev. Dr. Michael Diaz – Resurrection MCC. Has shown leadership from the inception of the current Young Adult movement in MCC, faculty for the Leadership Mentoring Retreat, being the face of clergy advancing LGBT rights in Houston (ballot initiative), cheerleading educational advancement for young adults.

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Rev. Ed Paul Award for Leadership in Transitional Ministry

The Ed Paul Award for Leadership in Transitional Ministry is offered annually to an outstanding Interim Pastor.

Amy Lambert-BurnsRev. Amy Lambert-Burns

Rev. Amy Lambert-Burns served as interim pastor at Emerald City MCC, Seattle, Washington and is currently serving as interim pastor at MCC Knoxville, Tennessee. She provided and continues to provide exception guidance and leadership to both churches during their transitional period. As one of our “next generation” leaders, Amy has a clear vision and understanding of what healthy, functional, successful churches can look like and she strives to plant these seeds in the churches where she has been appointed to serve during their transition. Rev. Amy also currently serves as part of the OCLH’s Transitional Ministry Faculty.

Rev. Wanda Floyd

Rev. Wanda Floyd has served with excellence in her ministry with MCC, as a lay leader, support clergy, Founding Pastor, Senior Pastor and Transitional Pastor for more than 28 years. She founded Imani MCC in Durham, North Carolina; and recently completed her appointment as Interim Pastor with MCC Las Vegas, Nevada. Her gifts for spiritual teaching, project management, executive-level experience, collaboration, wisdom, and sensitivity in tending the journey of change has made MCCLV stronger and focused with purpose for their next chapter.  Rev. Wanda also volunteers time to serve as MCC faculty for training Transitional Ministers. Thank you, Rev. Wanda, for leading the journey from transition to transformation so beautifully and effectively.

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Excellence in Diversity Award

This award is given to honor a church that embodies and models MCC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

AGC signAll God’s Children MCC and Pastor DeWayne Davis

All God’s Children MCC and Pastor DeWayne Davis for reviving the transgender ministry (Transcend), a weekly meeting and support group for trans and gender non-conforming persons, for advancing visibility for trans/GNC persons in Minnesota through partnerships with statewide LGBT and allied organizations, and for your leadership in the Black Lives Matter Movement locally.

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Excellence in Technology Ministry Award

This award is given to a church technology minister/ministry or a ministry group that demonstrates excellence in the use of technology to further the mission of the church or group.

MCC Washington BuildingMCC Washington, DC

MCC Washington, DC current mission includes a commitment to opening doors, to creating and sustaining spiritual growth, to inner strength, and to outward social responsibility.  It is the mission of MCCDC to provide a life-giving home for all. One avenue in moving toward this goal was to perform a technology overhaul for the entire church which will enable video capture, live streaming, virtual meetings and presentations. The overhaul will also allow for the integration of video and visual elements in worship services and as a community hub.

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Founder’s Award

Nominees are chosen by Rev. Elder Troy Perry, Founder of Metropolitan Community Churches, who selects an individual or group that has shown leadership in founding an MCC Church or Organization in a new country or region, or in the creation of a new ministry that impacts MCC’s future.

Somos ICM en CubaElaine Saralegui and Somos ICM

Elaine Saralegui and Somos ICM – For being MCC before they heard about MCC ministry, and their profound commitment to establish not only in their city of Matanzas, Cuba; but looking to expand the MCC presence in the whole country. For their dedication and the proud representation of MCC in each single event that they are invited to take part, sharing the good news of the radical inclusion of MCC’s message.

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Rev. John Hose Award for Dedicated and Faithful Service by a Clergy Person in MCC

This award is named after Rev. Elder John H. Hose, one of the first MCC clergy who became part of the first Board of Elders, served as Treasurer of MCC, and contributed a great deal to MCC’s Statement of Faith. This award honors outstanding service to MCC as Clergy.

Rev. Keith MozingoRev. Keith Mozingo

Rev. Keith Mozingo is the embodiment of the service that ministry is. He is tireless in his service. It is that Spirit of service that has inspired his congregations to orient themselves to actively serve the communities of which they are a part. In Chattanooga, he assured that  ties to community organizations such as Chattanooga Cares were strengthened. In LA, he became part of intentional outreach. And, in Baton Rouge, this orientation to service inspired the MCC congregation there to open their building, their hearts, and their lives to the community. That building, because of Rev. Keith’s leadership and inspiration, is abuzz with life, as groups from the community – support groups, social groups, advocacy groups – use the space. MCC Baton Rouge, in fact, has now created the Freedom Center for all of these groups and more to come to use as their home base.

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Kerry Brown Award for Distinguished Lay Leadership

This award is named after a pioneering lay leader, who, among many roles and offices she held, was a founder and mover of the pension plan for clergy in the US. This award honors outstanding service to MCC as a Lay Leader.

Elizabeth Jensen-Forbell - LizElizabeth Jensen-Forbell

Liz is a long time lay professional in MCC, serving as the church administrator for FirstCoast MCC, in St. Augustine Florida since the founding of the church 19 years ago.  Prior to that she served at the MCC in Jacksonville, for a total of 25+ years as an administrator. She has also been a faithful supporter of the denomination, and was among the first persons appointed as a Network Leader to serve in Florida. Liz is a person of great faith, a team player, an organizer, and a connector of people and projects.  She has modeled excellence in the implementation of the Network ideals of connection, caring and community.  She has marshalled the resources within Florida Networks to help with pulpit vacancies, celebrations and urgent needs of churches. She was also in the first class of L.E.A.D. graduates.

Brian BrenieBrian Brenie

Brian Brenie has been a volunteer at MCC Toronto since 1990. He started work at MCC Toronto in 2007 in the Worship area where he assisted the Coordinator of Worship with the logistics and stage managing of worship services at MCC. In May 2011, Brian transferred to the position of Coordinator of Refugee Programs which he managed until December 2014. His work with the Refugee Ministry included helping newcomers to Canada integrate in their new life here, providing written letters of support for refugee claimants seeking asylum from persecution in their home countries, running monthly Refugee Peer Support Meetings, working with the government and overseeing the refugee settlement process. He also assisted inland refugee claimants to have successful Immigration and Refugee Board hearings as well as facilitate the sponsorship of refugees fleeing persecution in their homeland come to safety in Canada. Brian helped MCC Toronto to establish an active relationship with and act as the Sponsorship Agreement Holder for constituency groups in the community including Rainbow Railroad. Brian has also been on the Board of Rainbow Railroad since 2011. His work with Refugee Peer Support  got Brian interested in helping refugees to learn English, so he tutored a number of foreigners who had just arrived.

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Moderator’s Award

Nominees are selected by MCC’s Moderator to recognize exceptional and faithful service to the denomination through the embodiment of MCC’s Values and Vision.

MCC North London membersMCC North London

MCC North London has more than 50 refugees in its membership. More than half their members and regular attendees are asylum seekers or have received asylum status themselves, including at least 3 of the Board of Directors and one of their Lay Delegates.

Northern Lights MCC, Newcastle

Northern Lights MCC, Newcastle –  runs “RAINBOW HOME“, a joint project with MESMAC NE for LGBT people seeking asylum in the UK. Rainbow Home was started in September 2012. It meets once a month for lunch to create a safe, relaxed environment. People come from countries such as Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone. Northern Lights MCC hosts the lunch and acts as the sponsoring organization for the group – they successfully applied for funding for a worker. Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston chairs the Steering Group and the church Treasurer, Charlotte West, acts as treasurer for RH. They also provide letters of support where needed. Members of congregation also provide one to one support, including accommodation, when needed.

Journey MCC BirminghamJourney MCC, Birmingham

Journey MCC, Birmingham runs a monthly LGBT ASYLUM AND REFUGEE GROUP. The group was established at Birmingham LGBT Centre and has been running since 2014. It started from nothing and has grown exponentially. Asylum seekers are being invited to share a meal one Sunday a month to offer a supportive community and contact. People can get additional help and advice. They provides meals, bus passes, clothes, toiletries and letters of support. Advice and support has also been given to those attending tribunals but there is a need for a specialist worker. Journey MCC is the only organisation supporting this critical work in Birmingham apart with support from Pride and BLGBT Centre.

MCC East London

MCC East London – working with 5-6 asylum seekers to provide pastoral care, spiritual support, and practical support, going with people to interviews with the Home Office, visiting them, taking them communion, providing a support network. They have made connections with other organizations that specialize in particular areas to get people the services they need. Most of the people that are referred to them are from Out and Proud Diamond group.

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Moderator’s Award for Partnership

Partner Organizations and/or individuals are selected by MCC’s Moderator to recognize those who share the vision of MCC as a Movement.

Religious Coalition for Reproductive ChoiceReligious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

For inviting UFMCC and the Global Justice Institute to be its first official LGBT identified partner and expanding its message to be explicitly LGBT friendly.  RCRC is a coalition of national religious organizations.  The power of its collective voice for reproductive justice is in fact magnified by the unique, diverse views of its various member organizations – views which are grounded in thousands of years of scriptural texts and accepted beliefs around the moral agency of people to make the decisions that are best for them and their reproductive lives.

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Network Ministry Award

This award is given to a Network for excellent service to its local churches and leaders.

Jacqui JonesMichael SmithGulf Coast Network Co-Leaders: Jacqui Jones and Mike Smith

This team has dedicated their volunteer efforts in strengthening local congregations in their network. They began a relationship with each of the local churches, providing on-site support and care for them.  They worked tirelessly with each local church by providing support and care for them.  They have actively provided advocacy and love for Joshua Generation MCC in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and have openly embraced Holy Cross MCC in Pensacola, Florida as these two churches came under the purview this past year.  They present a well-balanced approach as they make connections and build strong relationships with each individual person in their network.  Watching them work is an absolute pleasure as they use their strengths to build-up a network that hungers for connection, communication, collaboration, care, and resources.

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Phoenix Award for Church Renewal

The Phoenix Award is for those who have revived a church or ministry.

MCCNOAlisan Rowland and MCC New Orleans

Rev. Alisan Rowland is an extraordinary pastor whose gifts equate with spiritual growth and success for a church like MCC New Orleans. She has mobilized the congregation to take ownership of their church by making worship, evangelism, and programming an event that is spiritual and vital. They have made a concerted effort to reach out to the city and have increased the spirit of the community. They have partnered with other agencies in the city and increased their spirit of service. They are a great example in a city that truly teaches the country how to rise from the ashes…like the mythical Phoenix.

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Purple Grass Award for Evangelism

This award is named for a sermon still preached by Rev. Elder Freda Smith, the first woman ordained in MCC and elected an Elder. It is given to persons who have a passion for Evangelism, and for sharing the vision and message of MCC in creative and innovative ways.

marcos-lord-dragMarcos Lord

Marcos Lord is nominated for his brave love and commitment to preach not just with his voice and testimony in all places where he takes MCC’s presence, but with his personal performance as Luanda Peron, and take MCC’s message beyond Rio de Janerio, to other continents and countries including  Germany and England among others. Marcos or Luanda is taking the risk to the next level of preaching commitment, raising his voice as a drag queen preacher who is calling  attention to the people that are suffering marginalization, but more important is his physical presence in different fronts or fights looking to get more rights for the LGBTQIA community in Brazil and beyond.  He/She is putting down the roots for expansion of MCC’s vision and mission with this testimony.

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Bob Crocker Award for Excellence in Music Ministry

This award is named for Bob Crocker who led music at MCC San Francisco and at General Conference for many years.

Cassandra-WhiteCassandra White

Cassandra White is the Gospel Ensemble Director of MCC of the Resurrection, Houston, Texas. She is an incredible songstress and Director, and has served the Music Ministry at MCC-Resurrection for many years. She has directed choirs for General Conference and has served as Music Coordinator/Director for PAD conferences. She has done so valiantly, passionately and with a level of excellence that serves as a model and example for others. Cassandra models spiritual values and radical inclusion.

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MCC’s Marie Alford-Harkey Named Next President and CEO of the Religious Institute

Marie Alford-Harkey

Today, Metropolitan Community Churches Global Moderator, the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, congratulated Marie Alford-Harkey, who will be the new CEO and President of the Religious Institute, on 1 May 2016.

“We are thrilled to learn that Marie Alford-Harkey will become the head of the Religious Institute. Ms. Alford-Harkey’s leadership in MCC, academic training, and pastoral heart are a perfect match for the intellectual rigor and practical theology of the Religious Institute,” said the Dr. Wilson. “Marie Alford-Harkeychas a Master of Divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School, a Masters from Wayne State University, and is well on her way through the ordination process of MCC.”

Religious Institute Board Chair, the Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield, said, “The Board of Directors of the Religious Institute is pleased and excited that Marie Alford-Harkey will be guiding us into our promising future as an organization that brings healing, insight, and hope to our world. Marie has so thoroughly demonstrated her skills and creativity as educator, planner, and communicator as well as her vision, passion, and commitment to our mission for sexual justice that we are confident she is exactly the one we need to lead us.”

Ms. Alford-Harkey has served as the Deputy Director of the Religious Institute since 2011, and is stepping into the role of President/CEO following the Rev. Dr. Debra W. Haffner, who founded the Religious Institute in 2001. Together, Religious Institute programs include the Sexually Healthy Seminary Project and online courses in sexuality issues for religious professionals, outreach in Southern states, and the Gilead Sabbath to end violence and persecution against LGBTQ people around the world. Ms. Alford-Harkey is the lead author of the Religious Institute’s guidebook, Bisexuality: Making the Invisible Visible in Faith Communities. She works with faith communities, seminaries, LGBTQ organizations, and reproductive health groups though workshops, keynotes, and training.

2016 Lenten Meditations

German

Spanish

Portuguese

English

Easter Sunday

Als es noch finster war
Osterandacht 2016
(Joh 20, 1)
Mientras todavía estaba oscuro Reflexión de
Pascua 2016
(Juan 20: 1)
Enquanto ainda estava escuro Reflexão de
Páscoa 2016
(João 20:1)
While It Was Still Dark
Easter Sunday
(John 20:1)

DC Window

Mid-Lenten Reflection

“Soll ich bleiben oder soll ich gehen?” Hilfreiche Fragen zu Dazugehören und Gemeinschaft
Vierter Sonntag der Passionszeit
(Lukas 15,1-3.11b-32)
Fomentando las preguntas sobre pertenencia y comunidad
Cuarto Domingo de Cuaresma
(Lucas 15:1-3, 11b-32)
Perguntas de reflexão sobre o “Ser Comunidade”
IV Domingo da Quaresma
(Lucas 15:1-3, 11b-32)
Nurturing Questions of Belonging and Community
Fourth Sunday in Lent
(Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32)

man in sunset

Ash Wednesday Reflection.

In ohrenbetäubender Stille vor Gott Zerreißt eure Herzen . . . und blast die Posaune

En el silencio estridente de Dios Desgárrense el corazón . . . y Toquen la trompeta

O silêncio ensurdecedor de Deus Rasguem o coração . . . e Toquem a trombeta

In the deafening silence of God Rend your heart . . . and Blow the trumpet

Leaf and sun

 

En el silencio estridente de Dios Desgárrense el corazón . . . y Toquen la trompeta

Iglesias de la Comunidad Metropolitana Consejo de Obispos y Obispas

La humanidad parece estar en una carrera veloz. Las historias que día a día nos narran los periódicos, nos dejan sin tiempo para entender lo que está ocurriendo a nuestro alrededor. Las ciudades son un ir y venir de personas inconexas, solas, luchando por sobrevivir las contradicciones de nuestro diario vivir. Si pudiéramos por un momento mirar el movimiento en las redes sociales a nivel mundial, quedaríamos sorprendidos por la gran cantidad de voces, quedaríamos perplejos por la velocidad con que la información se mueve de un lado a otro. Aun así, parece que nadie se oye, aún así parece que no conseguimos mirarnos cara a cara. El consumo voraz, la pobreza, los conflictos bélicos, la desigualdad son plagas que amenazan a nuestra única casa, la Gaia, la Tierra, la Pachamama.

Es tiempo de hacer un alto, hemos sido constantes caminantes en nuestras jornadas personales y en nuestras jornadas colectivas. Probablemente hemos intentando solucionar muchos problemas, quizás hemos estado a la caza incansable de soluciones, a lo mejor luchamos por nuevos sueños…y ahora la tradición en nuestra fe nos convoca a un tiempo de quietud. Mas, ¿podemos tener quietud en un mundo de tanto ruido, de tantas imágenes, de tanta necesidad…

Leaf and sun

El libro del profeta Joel parece desarrollarse en mundo estremecido por las contradicciones. Una gran plaga asola al país y en medio de este gran desastre el Espíritu de Dios se derrama sobre su pueblo. En Joel 2 encontramos una de las lecturas que inspiran este llamado a la pausa durante el Miércoles de Ceniza, inicio del tiempo de Cuaresma. Uno de los versos nos invita a rasgar el corazón. Rasgar el corazón podría ser interpretado como una acción simbólica al arrepentimiento, mas también como una invitación a quedar vulnerables. Por un momento silenciar nuestra voz, por un momento detener nuestras acciones para quedar vulnerables y escuchar a Dios en lo que nos rodea. Más también el mismo texto invita a tocar las trompetas. ¿Existe algún instrumento más estridente que una trompeta? Hay que tocar la trompeta para que venga toda la comunidad, nadie quedará afuera y el Espíritu de Dios se derramará sobre ellas y sobre ellos. Aunque el texto interpreta la comunidad de manera muy limitada, es decir solo la comunidad de Sion, hoy miramos el texto con lentes de globalidad con lentes de inclusión. Es tiempo de silencio personal, para esperar desde nuestra vulnerabilidad y también tiempo para ser estridente en la convocatoria de todos, no solo de aquellos con los que siempre caminamos, a los que siempre escuchamos sino la convocatoria de todo el pueblo de Dios, la humanidad toda.

En nuestras oraciones pongamos en silencio nuestras fuertes opiniones y llamemos con toque de trompeta al pueblo de Dios, a los que nos gustan y a los que nos desagradan, a los que conocemos bien y a los que hemos ignorado. En esa convocatoria el Espíritu de Dios se derramará.

ICM como pueblo llamado desde el exilio, desde la periferia tiene hoy una responsabilidad especial: dejar a un lado nuestras opiniones, nuestras ambiciones para por un momento estar en el silencio estridente de Dios. Toquemos la trompeta para convocar a la comunidad y encontrémonos con el Dios vivo que habita en todos nosotros y nosotras. Esa polifonía de voces, nos permitirá escuchar la sinfonía de Dios. Ciertamente el mundo ha estado amenazado por la plaga de nuestras acciones de exclusión, por nuestro individualismo, nos va la vida… rasguemos nuestro corazón y preparemos para escuchar las voces de un Dios que clama en todos los cuerpos.

O silêncio ensurdecedor de Deus Rasguem o coração . . . e Toquem a trombeta

Igrejas da la Comunidade Metropolitana Conselho dos Bispos e Bispas

A humanidade parece estar correria desenfreada. Todos os dias os jornais nos apresentam novas manchetes, e muitas vezes nos fata tempo para entender o que está acontecendo ao nosso redor. As cidades são um grande vai e vem de pessoas que não se relacionam mais, é cada um por si, sozinho, lutando para sobreviver às contradições da nossa vida cotidiana. Se pudéssemos parar um momento para observar o movimento nas redes sociais em todo o mundo, seríamos surpreendidos com as muitas vozes, estaríamos perplexos com a velocidade com que a informação circula de um lado para o outro. Ainda assim, ninguém parece ouvir. O voraz consumo, a pobreza, a guerra, a desigualdade são pragas que ameaçam a nossa única casa, Gaia, a Terra, a “Pachamama”.

É hora de fazer uma pausa, temos sido transeuntes constantes em nossas viagens pessoais e os nossos dias coletivos. Provavelmente nós estamos tentando resolver muitos problemas, sempre buscando soluções, talvez lutando por novos sonhos incansavelmente… E agora a tradição de nossa fé nos chama para uma pausa. Mas podemos ficar quietos num mundo de tanto barulho, tantas imagens, tantas necessidades?

Leaf and sun

O profeta Joel parece viver no mundo abalado por contradições. A grande praga que assola o país e no meio deste grande desastre o Espírito de Deus é derramado sobre seu povo. Em Joel 2, encontramos uma das leituras que mais inspiram este chamado para fazermos uma pausa na quarta feira de cinzas, início da Quaresma. Um dos versos nos convida a rasgar o coração. Rasgar o coração poderia ser interpretado como uma ação simbólica para o arrependimento, mas também como um convite para nos tornarmos vulneráveis. Silenciar por um momento nossa voz, parar nossas ações e nos tornarmos sensíveis para ouvir a Deus em nosso entorno. No mesmo texto também somos convidados a tocar as trombetas. Existe alguma coisa mais alta no mundo do que o som de uma trombeta? Você tem que tocar a trombeta para toda a comunidade, ninguém será deixado de fora e o Espírito de Deus será derramado sobre eles e elas. Embora o texto interprete a comunidade de forma muito limitada, como sendo apenas a comunidade de Sião, hoje olhamos para o texto usando lentes inclusivas. É tempo de silêncio pessoal, é temo de se sensibilizar, é tempo para gritar bem alto a chamada para todas as pessoas, não apenas aqueles com quem sempre andamos, que sempre ouvem o chamado, mas de todo o povo de Deus, toda a humanidade.

Em nossas orações em silêncio, colocamos nossas intenções e a convocação do povo de Deus, aqueles a quem amamos e também aqueles que não gostam de nós, que conhecemos bem e que temos ignorado. O chamado do Espírito de Deus se derramará sobre todas estas pessoas.

Como ICM, somos um povo chamado do exílio, da periferia, da margem. Hoje temos uma responsabilidade especial para anular as nossas opiniões, nossas ambições para estarmos juntos no silêncio ensurdecedor de Deus. Tocai a trombeta para convocar a comunidade e me encontrar com o Deus vivo que habita em todos nós. A polifonia de vozes, permitindo-nos ouvir a sinfonia de Deus. Certamente, o mundo tem sido ameaçado pela praga de nossas ações de isolamento, o individualismo de nossas vidas. É preciso rasgar nossos corações e nos prepararmos para ouvir as vozes de um Deus que chora em todos os corpos.