Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, MCC Global Moderator, celebrates the historic decision by SCOTUS to support same-sex marriage.
Contact: Linda Brenner-Beckstead, Linda@MCCchurch.net, 941-321-7886
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, which has ministries around the world. Dr. Wilson was part of the first LGBT faith delegation to meet with a sitting president in 1979.She was a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
“Today, love and equality win! The Supreme Court concluded that all loving couples deserve the right to marry! Finally, the U.S. Constitution applies to every family,” said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, global Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches. “More children in America can now go to school proudly and know their families are protected by the highest court of the land. I am thrilled but we cannot rest until all people, regardless of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation are free to live without fear.”
“O happy day! LGBTQ couples in the United States have the right to marry! MCC was the first to marry same-sex couples in1968. In 1970 we brought the first lawsuit for marriage equality,” said the Rev. Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches. “Metropolitan Community Churches demonstrated for marriage licenses every Valentine’s Day. We married couples at Pride marches. We performed thousands of marriages in our churches, and we never gave up!”
“We are thrilled with the Court’s decision for marriage equality. Today, we redouble our efforts to let the world know that discrimination is wrong-not just in marriage, but in employment and every walk of life,” said Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt, Director for Marriage Equality for MCC’s Public Policy Team.
“We are celebrating-and getting back to work,” said the Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Executive Director of the Global Justice Institute. “LGBTQ people in Kenya, Eastern Europe, and 76 countries live in fear for their lives. After almost 50 years, MCC is still on the cutting edge of ministry. Known as ‘The Human Rights Church’ in many countries, MCC knows the next chapter will be Global. LGBTQ people in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America deserve to live in peace.”
“While marriage equality is a significant stride toward justice, injustice remains for too many people. We have learned the painful lesson that unless we stand up for each other, some people will never experience justice. Black lives matter, Trans lives matter, Immigrant lives matter-and the list goes on! We are not finished with our work for justice until all lives matter,” said the Rev. Darlene Garner, Director of Emerging Ministries with responsibility for diversity and inclusion.
Contact: Linda Brenner-Beckstead, firstname.lastname@example.org, 941-321-7886
Ann Craig, email@example.com, 917-280-2968
WHAT: MCC Media Event: Call in via Adobe Connect link
Log in with your name under “guest.” Click video and microphone icons at top left
WHEN: 6 pm Eastern time today 26 June 2015
WHO: Media, MCC members, and all Interested Parties may log in.
MCC Spokespeople: Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson
Rev. Elder Troy Perry
Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt
“Will the U.S. Constitution applies to every family?” asked the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, global Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches. “We will either celebrate or mourn the SCOTUS decisions, but no matter what, we cannot rest until all people, regardless of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation are free to live without fear.”
The Rev. Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches said, “Metropolitan Community Churches have been working for legal marriages for almost 50 years. Every Valentine’s day we applied for licenses. We married couples at Pride marches. We performed thousands of marriages in our churches, and we never gave up and never will until all people are free!”
“The Court’s decision will inspire us to redouble our efforts to let the world know that discrimination is wrong—not just in marriage, but in employment and every walk of life,” said Rev. Elder Dr. Jim Merritt, Director for Marriage Equality for MCC’s Public Policy Team.
Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, Executive Director of the Global Justice Institute. “MCC is on the cutting edge of ministry. In the United States, we help homeless LGBTQ youth and asylum seekers. Around the world, we are known as ‘The Human Rights Church.’ Whether in the United States, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, or Latin America, LGBTQ people deserve to live in peace, and be supported by fair laws.”
|Photo Credit: ABC News|
While studying the Bible together, a young man, apparently well-schooled in racially inspired hatred and animosity, announced he would kill those gathered simply because they were black.
There are no words to take away the anger, pain, sorrow and loss of the families and friends of the victims and the community of Charleston, or that will adequately address the outrage of those among us who have spent lifetimes working for the dismantling of racism and its systemic supports and the promotion of goodwill among all.
There are, however, words to address this senseless act: STOP THE VIOLENCE! STOP THE HATE! JUST STOP IT! Pass sensible gun laws that protect society from the animosity of the few. Reinstate the legal protections that many fought and died for, like equal voting rights legislation and equal educational opportunities and job programs. Teach and practice love before all other options. Teach and practice kindness, compassion, acceptance, generosity and appreciation of difference. Someone taught that young shooter that difference was to be eliminated, not reverenced as a part of God’s good design.
There are words we can all remember and hold on to for inspiration and guidance as we move through this tragedy. A little over 50 years ago, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, facing a similar tragedy with the murder of 4 little girls at Sunday School in a Church in Alabama, called the nation and the world to accountability when he said, those who have been taken from us have something to say.
“They have something to say to every minister of the Gospel who has remained
silent behind the safe security of stained glass windows. They have something to
say to every politician who has fed his constituents the stale bread of hatred and
the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government
that has compromised …. They say to each of us, black and white alike, that we
must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned
not merely about WHO murdered them, but about the system, the way of life
and the philosophy which PRODUCED the murderers. Their death says to us
that we must work passionately and unrelentingly to make the American dream
All of us can and must do something every single day we are blessed to grace this earth to make that dream of a world at peace with its God-given diversity a reality. As the saying goes, “See something, say something.” Never ever allow a racist remark to go unchallenged or pass for humor. Push for strict and enforced gun legislation that will eliminate easy access to weapons that do nothing but take life. Challenge legislators to reinstate the principles and practices of law and governance that challenge inequality and promote the value, dignity and worth of each life. Preach, teach and practice the ways of nonviolence.
As we collectively mourn this needless tragedy at Mother of Emanuel, let us remember the promise of that community’s name ~ that God is with us ~ and that we can do all things through the One who strengthens us.
Let us pray to the Mother of All Life for the courage to do the things and live in the ways that bring peace to this earth and honor the promise of all life.
Let us pray together ~
The people of Mother Emanuel have faced hatred and oppression in the past, and have risen like a phoenix from the ashes of despair and heartache with you by their side.
We pray that they will once again rise from this painful moment, and will be an example of hope that cannot be destroyed, integrity that will always survive, and community that no prejudice can divide as we stand together in solidarity.
Holy One, bless the dear people of Emanuel AME Church and all of us, and let the power of your love bring healing to the hearts and minds of people everywhere who continue to face hatred, injustice, and undeserved pain.
And, loving Spirit, we pray also for the assailant who took innocent lives. Even as Justice demands that he be held accountable, mercy also requires that we pray for the healing of his soul, and for all souls that have not learned to replace blind hatred with love of self and
on the day the decision is announced
Ann Craig, MCC Communications Consultant
Rev. Candy Holmes, Program Officer, People of African Descent
Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt, Public Policy Team
To attend: paste the address below into your browser, sign in.
Our Mission is to bring people closer to God and one another. Our Vision is to be a vibrant, inclusive, progressive community of faith that transforms lives and transforms the world. We are a spiritually and sexually diverse community who is fully awake to God’s enduring love.
We are seeking a full-time (exempt) individual who:
Reports to: Senior Pastor
Theology of The Met Church: Please click the following link to see our “Who We Are” document. (http://storage.cloversites.com/themetropolitancommunitychurchofsandiego/documents/MCCSD%20Brochure%2020141215%20Final.pdf)
Education & Experience
Gifts & Abilities:
Dan Koeshall, Senior Pastor
A complete application should include:
Join us in supporting The Korea Queer Culture Festival and organizers who have been blocked by local government and police from having the Seoul Pride parade after 16 years. In response to demands by anti-LGBT secular and religious groups, the Seoul police agency officially banned the Korean Queer Culture Festival, which is scheduled for 28 June. The parade traditionally marks the end of the three week-long festival (which starts 9 June). Anti-LGBT demonstrators recently gathered outside of the Seoul City Hall carrying bigoted signs referring to the Seoul Mayor as the “Mayor of Sodom.” Religious groups have also pressured South Korean government officials to place hardships on Festival and parade organizers.
None of us are free until we all are free to express our pride and our innate God-given human dignity in the public square.
For more information, contact the Public Policy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It is by grace that you have been saved, though faith – and even that is not of yourselves, but the gift of God.” Ephesians 2: 8
Growing up in the United Methodist Church, I (Candace) sat between my Mom and Dad every Sunday for worship. There were always a few hymns that they both seemed to sing louder than others and “Amazing Grace!” was one of them. In fact, for me, one of the greatest gifts I know I have received from my parents, Sunday school teachers and ordinary members of that church is the knowledge that God’s grace is abundant and it is a gift.
While we do not like to talk about or maybe even think about sin (see previous newsletter on sin), Paul states, “…since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by God’s grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 3: 24) It seems to me that we need to have a sense of our own sinfulness, our own separation from God, our own failure to hit the mark of love, in order to fully experience God’s grace.
The current MCC Statement of Faith reads in part: “Every person is justified by grace to God through faith in Jesus Christ. … Such grace is not earned, but is a pure gift from a God of pure love.”
It’s sometimes too easy to picture grace as a knee-jerk reaction by God to sin. The opening chapters of the Bible present a different story. There, we see a God who acts graciously from the outset, and is not blindsided by human failure.
In Genesis 1:1, God has no need to create a world, but instead, created one simply for the pleasure and joy the creation would provide (Genesis 1:31), and to display God’s glory through it (see Psalm 19:1). God has graciously made and sustains this natural environment where humanity and all creatures could flourish. The sheer graciousness of the world we live in reminds us with every heartbeat and every new day that God’s grace towards us endures forever.
Detail from The Creation
by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
For me (Candace), it is knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves me and desires to be in relationship with me, a relationship that impacts every area of my life and my relationships with others. I will never forget the early evening many years ago when I was standing in line at a grocery store with my bread and milk. It was the line for folks who had only a few items, so it was over toward the end of the checkout lines. As I looked over all of the people in all of the other lines, I had this incredible experience of ‘knowing’ that God loved all of these other people as much as God loved me. It was like, using a good John Wesley phrase, ‘my heart was strangely warmed.’ This feeling came out of nowhere and it changed my life.
The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
The author of 1 John wrote: “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and God’s love is perfected in us.” (I John 4:12) So, while grace is a gift, it is a gift that we live out as we love one another. God’s gift of grace is a gift of forgiveness. And we are called to live out that gift of forgiveness in all of our relationships. Not an easy thing to be sure.
I write this on the cusp of Good Friday. So I also know that whereas grace is a gift freely given, it is not a gift given without cost. It’s just that we don’t have to pay the cost: Jesus did that for me and for you on the cross. “Abba, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
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:
You may also share your thoughts about the MCC Statement of Faith.
We want to hear from you!
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. Dr. Candace R. Shultis is the Chair of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith and Senior Pastor at King of Peace MCC in St. Petersburg, Florida (USA).
Rev. Karl Hand, PhD, is pastor of CRAVE MCC in Sydney, Australia and a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith.
Subscribe to the Commission’s newsletter by sending us a request: Statement of Faith Newsletter
by Rev. Dr. Karl Hand & Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert
Wir, die Metropolitan Community Church, denken gegenwärtig neu über unser Glaubensbekenntnis nach und betrachten es. Wir versuchen zu formulieren, was wirglauben. Jedoch: Wer ist dieses “wir” von dem wir da reden, wenn wir die Worte sagen: “Wir glauben”? Und was ist diese Kirche, die zusammenkommt um diese Worte zu sagen, wie auch immer sie klingen werden?
Das Glaubensbekenntnis zu betrachten und neu darüber nachzudenken ist daher auch eine Zeit, unsere Identität als Kirche zu betrachten und darüber nachzudenken. Es ist eine Zeit, in der wir vorsichtig sein wollen welche Worte wir benutzen, um unsere Identität zu beschreiben. Die Art und Weise wie wir über jemand oder etwas nachdenken – die Kirche und die Menschen – formt die die Realität in der wir leben. Wir haben vor vielen Jahren gelernt, als wir begannen inklusiv über Gender und Sexualität zu reden.
Neue Formen des Redens über unseren Glauben zu finden bedeutet auch zu fragen, wie wir über unsere Kirche reden und denken wollen. Durch diesen Newsletter versucht die Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis nicht, Antworten zu geben. Sondern wir wollen die Frage stellen:
Wer sind wir und was sind wir?
Das Wort Kirche ist die Übertragung des Hebräischen Wortes “qahal“,Versammlung. Es wurde benutzt, um die Versammlung der befreiten Kinder Israels zu beschreiben, nachdem sie die Ägyptische Gefangenschaft hinter sich gelassen hatten. Im Evangelium nach Matthäus benutzt Jesus das griechische Wort ekklesia als Übersetzujng für qahal. Als die Apostel die Botschaft Jesu in der Welt verbreiteten, benutzen die Gemeinschaften die sich bildeten weiterhin das Wort ekklesia, oder die Lateinische Form ecclesia. Unsere Gemeinden im Ibero-amerikanischen Bereich benutzen immer noch die Worte iglesia undigreja.
Es gibt viele Möglichkeiten, über die Realität, die Natur und die Struktur der Kirche zu reden. Da gibt es die Kategorien der akademischen Theologie, die von der ecclesia militans redet, also der kämpfenden, streitenden Kirche hier auf Erden, die aus vielen verschiedenen Arten von Menschen gebildet wird, von uns, die wir “allzumal Sünder” sind, aber auch alle Heilige. Die selbe Theologie spricht von der ecclesia triumphans, die schon in der Freude und im Jubel der Gegenwart der Liebe Gottes existiert, geliebt und gerettet. Da gibt es die Sprache der Bibel, die die Kirche als Leib Christi sieht, oder, wie wir manchmal im Gottesdienst sagen, als die “Hände und Füße Christi” Wir sind Schwestern und Brüder, mit einer gemeinsamen Aufgabe.
MCC ist nicht die Universelle Kirche, oder die “eine, wahre” Kirche. Wir sind nur ein Teil davon. Aber, wenn wir jede Woche auf der ganzen Welt in den Ortsgemeinden zusammenkommen und wenn wir zusammenkommen auf Netzwerktreffen und Konferenzen, dann sind wir ein Manifestation dieser Realität.
Einige Arten der Rede über uns selbst sind die Namen die uns gegeben worden sind, oder die wir uns selber gegeben haben im Laufe unserer Geschichte: Die Kirche für Homosexuelle, die Kirche mit AIDS, eine Menschenrechtskirche, eine Kirche für alle. Heute versuchen wir “MCC zu sein”.
Es gibt Möglichkeiten über die Kirche als die Organisation zu reden, in der wir leben: Einige werden da an die Ortsgemeinde denken, oder die Gemeinden in denen wir Gottesdienst feiern, uns freuen, miteinander trauern. Wir sind aber auch eine weltweite Kirche, die die Grenzen von Sprache, Kultur, Ländern und Hautfarben überbrückt. Einige sehen uns als eine Bewegung von unten, die weit von diesen alten Bildern und Konzepten entfernt it. Sind wir das alles, oder keines, oder mehr?
Wir haben auch eine wichtige Tradition und Grundidee: dass dies eine Kirche ist, die auf dem Priester und Priesterinnentum aller Glaubenden besteht, dass wir Gleiche sind auf der Reise des Glaubens. “Hier ist weder Jude noch Grieche, weder Sklave noch Freier, weder männlich noch weiblich, denn ihr seid alle eines in Christus Jesus.” (Galater 3,28).
Die Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis will von Euch, den Menschen die die Gemeinde bilden und sie leben, hören, was Ihr denkt, wer und was wir sind. Auf diese Art und Weise wollen wir beginnen zu verstehen, was wir meinen, wenn wir sagen: “Wir glauben….”
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.
Danke, dass Ihr Teil dieses Gedankenaustausches seid. Wir freuen uns darauf, diesen Dialog fortzuführen.
Eure Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC
Rev. Dr. Karl Hand ist ein Mitglied der Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC und ist Senior Pfarrer von Crave MCC in New South Wales (Australien).
Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert ist ein Mitglied der Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC und ein Mitglied des Theologie Teams der MCC.