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Public Policy Team Decries Massacre and Calls for Preaching, Practicing, and Praying for An End to Racially-Inspired Violence

On Wednesday, June 17th, the world drew a collective gasp of horror once again, as yet another senseless act of gun violence claimed 9 innocent, caring, faithful lives at an historic Black Church, Emanuel AME, in Charleston, South Carolina.
ABC News
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

a reality.”

 

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.

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Let us pray together ~

 

God of hope and healing,
We hold the people of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC (USA) in our hearts today.  We grieve with them as they face the violent and tragic loss of nine members, including their minister.

 

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
neighbor.

Amen.

SCOTUS Decision Day MCC Media Event

SCOTUS Decision Day MCC Media Event

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. EDT

on the day the decision is announced

Join MCC on a webinar featuring the denomination’s top leaders
and their reaction to the SCOTUS decision.

Special Guests:
Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Global Moderator
Rev. Elder Troy Perry, MCC Founder

Panelists:
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.
http://mccchurch.adobeconnect.com/Communications_beMCC

marriagehistorycollageMetropolitan Community Churches
Supporting Marriage Equality since 1968.

marriagecollageThank you to all who gave permission for use of their pictures including Daniel Dunlap Photography and Tommie Adams.

Worship & Creative Arts Director, The Met, San Diego

Position Summary:

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:

  • Believes in a God who is concerned with every human being personally and accepts each one with unconditional love.
  • Affirms each individual as a unique and gifted creation of God and celebrates diversity in sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity.
  • Is fully engaged in their own spiritual growth and with others on their spiritual journey to hope, healing and wholeness.
  • Has a desire to help people become engaged in our mission and ministries by discovering their gifts and developing their strengths.
  • Has a commitment to our core values of Inclusion, Community, Spiritual Transformation, and Justice including the use of inclusive language (sung & spoken).
  • Has high-energy yet is humble, discerning and passionate about creative and artistic ministry (that inspires people toward God).
  • Possesses integrity, character and has clear boundaries.
  • (Using their creative talents) Will direct the choir and be the leader and mentor to musicians, vocalists and other worship arts volunteers including multimedia, sound & lighting.
  • Works well with others and able to organize and mobilize volunteer ministers.
  • Is technically-minded, leadership-focused, and looking to work in a team environment.
  • Bringing the intangible spark to ignite the congregation toward creativity and connectivity with God.

 

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)

 

Regular Responsibilities:

 

  • Oversee Worship & Creative Arts for 2 weekly Sunday morning services, and occasional special services.
  • Provide excellent blended worship for our multicultural and multidenominational congregation, offering spiritual nourishment by weaving word, song, and other worship arts into uplifting worship experience, drawing from the whole spectrum of worship styles – from classical to contemporary, from high church to high energy, from sound to silence, from tears to laughter.
  • Participate in overall duties as part of ministry team including weekly staff meetings.
    • Weekly responsibilities as needed in other areas.
  • Primary Worship Leader and Chief Musician
  • Collaborate with pastor and other presenters toward a unified vision and message for the Sunday Experience.
  • Raise the level of excellence of the Sunday music experience.
  • Assist with planning and execution of services and experiences including different formats and forms of musical and creative expression.
  • Rehearse and direct the choir, choose music and inclusify it.
  • Develop Worship and Creative Arts Teams
  • Work closely with the pastor to develop themes and integrate the various creative elements into a cohesive message that supports the sermon series and other vital areas of church life.
  • Identify, recruit, train and encourage the team leaders and volunteers.
  • Grow the choir and music ministry.
  • Able to plan and budget for your areas of responsibility.
  • Oversee Technical Ministries
  • Supervise maintenance and acquisition of music and technology equipment.
  • Ensure communication and coordination for the Sunday Experience including overseeing multimedia.
  • Recruit, train and schedule weekly special music numbers (offertory), sound booth operators, altar set-up & tear-down, and communion servers.

 

Qualifications:

Education & Experience

  • Experience as a Worship/Creative Arts director
  • Success in the Worship/Creative Arts area
  • Higher Education in the area of music desired
  • Theologically aligned with our Guiding Documents (see attached)

 

Gifts & Abilities:

  • Ministry Heart
  • Inspirational leader who is humble and Spirit-led
  • Grounded in progressive Christian theology
  • Understands Team Ministry
  • Leadership
  • Excellent oral and written communications
  • Multi-tasking
  • Detail-oriented and task-focused
  • Tenacious and resourceful
  • Able to implement creative vision
  • Confidently manage lay leaders, teams, and other volunteers
  • Technical
  • Read music and/or charts
  • Proficient in sound systems
  • Proficient in multi-media
  • Working knowledge of lighting systems
  • Strong interest in overall worship design

 

Contact:

Dan Koeshall, Senior Pastor

(619) 521-2222

pastordan@themetchurch.org

 

A complete application should include:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Salary history or salary expectations
  • Links to samples of your work (YouTube or other)

 

 

Join the Human Chain of Peace Against Hatred and Discrimination in Seoul

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.

Seoul
We are determined to meet hatred and bigotry with activism and prayer.  MCC is joining our South Korean brothers and sisters in joining a “Human Chain of Peace Against Hatred and Discrimination” on 9 June and and again on 28 June.  We call on fair-minded people of faith around the world to join us.
  • Sign the Online Petition, encourage others to do the same by sharing it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc).  Show your support for all of those fighting to show their pride.
  • On Tuesday, 9 June Pray for Justice, Peace, and Pride for the organizers and participants in the Korea Queer Culture Festival (Virtual, Global Prayer Chain)
  • On Tuesday, 28 June, pray for Justice, Peace, and Pride for the Seoul Pride Parade organizers and participants (Virtual, Global Prayer Chain)

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 mccadvocacy@mccchurch.net.

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

SoF-Logo-EnglishCommission on SOF

 

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

 

“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.”

But what is grace?

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
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 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)

As Christian LGBT people, we who have experienced God’s grace have a gift to share with the world. Just as the earth shook when the tomb was opened on Easter morning, so, too, can we shake the world with the Good News that God’s love and grace conquers sin and fear.

—————–

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:

  • Can you remember the time you realized that God’s love and grace were meant for you?
  • What was the experience like?
  • What impact has it had on your life?

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

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. Dr. Karl Hand

 

 

Rev. Karl Hand, PhD, is pastor of CRAVE MCC in Sydney, Australia and a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith.

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Subscribe to the Commission’s newsletter by sending us a request: Statement of Faith Newsletter

 

Send a private message to the Commission.

 

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Eine Reflektion über die Frage wer wir sind und was wir sind

SoF-Logo-GermanCommission on SOF

 

Eine Reflektion über die Frage wer wir sind und was wir sind

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.

church

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….”

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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.

  • Was ist MCC für Dich? Wie erlebst du sie? Vor Ort? Oder breiter?
  • Welche Worte, Sätze oder Bilder tauchen in Deinen Gedanken auf, um Metropolitan Community Church zu beschreiben?

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

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Eure Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand

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

Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert ist ein Mitglied der Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC und ein Mitglied des Theologie Teams der MCC.

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Bestellt den Newsletter der Arbeitsgruppe

 

Schicke eine private Nachricht an die Arbeitsgruppe.

 

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What’s Up With Sin? (We Don’t Like Sin)

SoF-Logo-EnglishCommission on SOF

 

What’s Up With Sin? (We Don’t Like Sin)

 

This month’s newsletter is co-written by a guest contributor
from the MCC Theologies Team, Kelby Harrison.

When the Commission of the MCC Statement of Faith first met, we sent out a survey to Friends and Members of MCC to ask for your thoughts about a revised MCC Statement of Faith. You may wish to read the full report on your responses.

In one question we asked:

What topics do you feel strongly SHOULD NOT be included
in a revised MCC Statement of Faith?

chart

Thirty-six percent (36%) of respondents told us that the topic of sin should not be included in MCC’s revised Statement of Faith.

This opposition to sin makes perfect sense. The word and the concept of sin have been used against LGBT people, egregiously, sometimes to the point of death. And still in a religion based on a personal relationship with God, we need ways to articulate and account for feeling distant in that relationship. We need language that strengthens our spiritual resolve, not language that has been used to crush our spirits and our love.

Looking at the world around us, it’s clear that things aren’t always great. MCC congregations often have a disproportionate number of people who have suffered greatly. Sometimes this is due to our sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, though not always. Many are unemployed or under-employed, feel alone in dealing with chronic illness, or lack many things that others take for granted. Closer to home, I (Bryce) am very much aware of my own shortcomings: an almost compulsive need to go it alone, shortness of temper, a tendency to medicate my feelings with food… What about these things?

Shying completely away from discussion of sin can be harmful. How can we speak prophetically or practice social justice without being able to name systemic inequalities such as racism, sexism, classism, ableism, ageism, and heterosexism? How can we be healed if we refuse to admit our own shortcomings?

Perhaps part of the difference in opinion is our definition of sin. The Greek understanding of sin (hamartia) was missing the mark. This idea is more complicated than it seems at first glance.

A sinner must have knowledge of moral righteousness, a target if you will, and have knowledge of its bull’s-eye. Over the history of Christianity that target along with its bull’s-eye has often been referred to as God’s law.

At some points in their history, our Jewish siblings conceived of sin as largely communal, with one member able to pollute the whole group. Christians have often emphasized personal sin-our salvation was in our own hands. Although among those of the Holiness movement, communal sin still has an important role.

Since early Christianity, the concept of “sin” has developed into many targets, most hanging on a backdrop (in the Western tradition) of “original sin.” Are we to understand sin as vice; as brokenness from God, ourselves, or others; as willful disobedience of God? Is sin dependent on our intentions, weakness to temptation, or just inevitable in life? Is our ultimate relationship to God dependent upon God’s grace or embedded in our deeds?

Contemporary Christian theologians have articulated modern sins: racism, social injustice, debt, even un-medicated depression. Marriage equality has been denounced as sin.

The theological stigma of the LGBTQ community is so often that of “sinner.” How do we choose to reclaim our belovedness and grace in the face of this? How do we still understand our moral shortcomings in Christian terms?

The current MCC Statement of Faith includes the following words:

We are saved from loneliness, despair and degradation through God’s gift of grace…
We further commend the community of the faithful to a life of prayer; to seek genuine forgiveness for unkind, thoughtless and unloving acts; and to a committed life of Christian service.

Perhaps this is a place from which to continue our conversation.
The MCC Theologies Team has also created a new chapter for our Holy Conversations 2 resource that we invite you to use with others in your local MCC to talk about sin.

—————–

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:

  •  Read through quote above from the current MCC Statement of Faith. What thoughts and feelings do you have about the current formulation?
  • When have you felt shamed by the language of sin? Does this language hold any positive value for you?
  • We invite you to use the Holy Conversation on sin that we’ve linked to below. Are there any observations from your group’s discussion that (maintaining personal confidentiality) you would care to share with the Commission?

You may also share your thoughts about the MCC Statement of Faith.
We want to hear from you!

—————–

Additional Resources
The MCC Theologies Team has developed a new chapter in the popular Holy Conversations series for congregations and small groups to explore the topic of Sin. Follow these thinks:

—————–

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. Kelby Harrison

Reverend Kelby Harrison, PhD, is a member of the MCC Theologies Team.

Bryce

 

 

Bryce E. Rich is a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith and the Chair of the MCC Theologies Team.

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Like us on facebook

 

Subscribe to the Commission’s newsletter by sending us a request: Statement of Faith Newsletter

 

Send a private message to the Commission.

 

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Uma reflexão sobre a mesa aberta

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Uma reflexão sobre a mesa aberta
por Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis & Bryce E. Rich

 

Tem um ano desde que a Comissão sobre Declaração do Estatuto de Fé da ICM começou o seu trabalho. Mais uma vez, nós gostariamos de convidar a grande comunidade da ICM a continuar nossa discussão. Para este fim, nós estaremos compartilhando alguns dos nossos pensamentos iniciais sobre vários tópicos que temos discutido entre nós, incluindo a Mesa Aberta, nossos pensamentos sobre Jesus, a missão especial da ICM dentro da Igreja e nosso papel como mordomos da criação de Deus.

 

Este mês, temos discutido as práticas da ICM oferecendo uma Mesa Aberta nos cultos de adoração. Esta tem sido nossa prática desde 6 de Outubro de 1968, quando o Rev. Elder Troy Perry realizou o primeiro culto da ICM na sua casa. Em resposta a este convite que foi publicado na revista The Advocate, 12 pessoas de várias tradições religiosas se reuniram naquele dia. Embora a celebração da Santa Ceia não seja parte integral da tradição Pentencostal do Troy, pelo mover do Espirito, ele ofereceu o pão e o cálice para todos os presentes. As reuniões da ICM por todo o mundo tem feito dessa forma como um convite aberto a todos desde então.

 

Declarações de fé tradicionais sempre começam com declarações simples sobre Deus e nossos deveres como adoradores. Porém quando pensamos em nossas primeiras experiencias na ICM, o que vem em nossa mente é uma Mesa Aberta.

 

Nós acreditamos que Deus convida a todos e a todas para provar e ver. E nós temos visto a cura que ocorre quando participamos da Ceia do Senhor.

Rev. Elder Ken Martin feiert das Abendmahl bei der Weltkonferenz im Juli 2013
Rev. Bispo Ken Martin consagrando a Comunhão na XXV Conferência Geral em julho de 2013. (Foto por L. Brenner-Beckstead)

Em razão de termos vindo de tantas tradições religiosas, incluindo Católica, Batista, Pentecostal, Igrejas Livre, e tantas, tantas outras, estamos conscientes que as pessoas tem uma variedade de crenças sobre a Eucaristia. Nelas se incluem o memorial, a transubstanciação, consubstanciação e presença real. Entretando, no meio da nossa diferença, a Mesa Aberta tem sido o centro da adoração na ICM desde o início.

 

Muitos de nós sabemos a dor que é ser separado da comunhão em outras denominações. Com isto em mente, nossos fundadores decidiram oferecer a comunhão em todos os cultos. Incontáveis pessoas tem se reconectado com o amor de Deus pelo convite extendido a todas as pessoas. Algumas pessoas vem sozinhas, outras com seus parceiros, parceiras, e até mesmo em grupo de amigos.

 

Na ICM King Of Peace, utilizamos a seguinte leitura uma vez ao mês como parte do nosso momento de comunhão. Nós convidamos você para que tome um tempo para ler e meditar:

 

Venha a esta mesa
Para encontrar com o Deus vivo
Amor indescritível e além da nossa imaginação
Mais perto que nossa própria respiração

Venha a esta mesa
Para encontrar o Cristo ressurreto
Carne da nossa carne, osso do nosso osso
Deus Conosco, encarnado na nossa vida

Venha a esta mesa
Para encontrar com o Espírito da vida
Interpretação da nossa busca por verdade e justiça
Inspirando dentro de nós um poder renovador

Venha para achar, reunir, sustentar
Um Deus vivo e amoroso
Se fez novo para nós no pão e no vinho

— Jan Berry in Bread for Tomorrow: Praying with the World’s Poor, ed. Janet Morley (London: SPCK/Christian Aid, 1992), pp. 93-94.

 

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Algumas questões a considerar

Queremos que nos contem as suas experiencias. Curta nossa página no facebook e participe da conversa ou nos mande sua resposta privada pelo site da ICM. Este mês estamos particularmente interessados nas seguintes questões:

  • A mesa aberta é uma pratica importante na sua experiência de adoração?
  • Você se lembra como se sentiu quando foi convidado a participar da Comunhão pela primeira vez na ICM?
  • Que palavras, frases, ou imagens vem a sua mente quando quando falamos da experiência da Mesa Aberta?

Você pode compartilhar também seus pensamento sobre a Declaração de Fé.

Queremos ouvir você!

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Obrigado por participar da nossa conversa. Esperamos continuar o diálogo.

Sua Comissão sobre Declaração de Fé da ICM

 

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis

 

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis, Presidente da Comissão sobre a Declaração de Fé da ICM e Pastora da King of Peace MCC em St. Petersburg, Flórida (EUA).

Bryce E. Rich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bryce E. Rich é membro da Comissão sobre a Declaração de Fé da ICM e Presidente do Grupo de Teologias da ICM.

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Una reflexión sobre la pregunta Quién y Qué somos

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Una reflexión sobre la pregunta Quién y Qué somos 
Rev. Dr. Karl Hand y Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert

 

Nosotros, la Iglesia de la Comunidad Metropolitana, nos encontramos actualmente reflexionando y re-visionando nuestra declaración de Fe. Estamos tratando de redactar para nuestro tiempo lo que nosotros creemos. Así que, ¿quién se incluye en este “Nosotros” de quién hablamos, cuando decimos: “Nosotros creemos”? Y ¿Cuál es esta Iglesia que se reúne para decir estas palabras, de la forma en que podrían sonar? 

Revisando y re-pensando la declaración de fe es también un tiempo de re-visitar y repensar nuestra identidad como Iglesia. Es un tiempo en que deseamos ser cuidadosos con las palabras que utilicemos para describir nuestra identidad. La manera en que hablamos sobre algo o alguien – la Iglesia y las personas -da forma a la realidad en la cual vivimos. Aprendimos de primera mano cuando comenzamos a utilizar un lenguaje inclusivo al hablar sobre género y sexualidad hace varios años.

Encontrando nuevas formas de hablar sobre nuestra fe también significa preguntarnos como pensamos y hablamos sobre nuestra Iglesia. A través de nuestro boletín, la Comisión de la Declaración de Fe no buscamos dar respuestas, sino hacer preguntas:

¿Quiénes somos, y qué somos?

La palabra Iglesia es una traducción de la palabra hebrea, qahal o “asamblea,” la cual se utilizaba para referirse a las reuniones de hijos e hijas libres de Israel después de que se liberaron de la esclavitud en Egipto. En el Evangelio de Mateo, Jesús se refiere a la comunidad e personas que le siguen utilizando la palabra griega ekklesia, la cual traduce qahal. Cuando los apóstoles compartieron el mensaje de Jesus al mundo, las comunidades que formaron fueron designadas con la palabra ekklesia, o su equivalente en latín ecclesia. Nuestras iglesias iberoamericana continúan llamándose iglesia (en español) oigreja (en portugués).

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Hay muchas maneras de hablar sobre nuestra realidad, la naturaleza y estructura de la Iglesia. Existen algunas categorías de las academias teológicas que hablan sobre la Iglesia militante, la Iglesia que batalla y lucha aquí en la tierra, la cual está compuesta por todo tipo de personas, todas pecadoras, pero al mismo tiempo todas santas. Las mismas teologías también hablan sobre la Iglesia triunfante que está ya disfrutando de la alegría y el júbilo en la presencia del amor de Dios y de la redención. Existe un lenguaje en la Biblia que presenta a la Iglesia como Cuerpo de Cristo, o como algunas veces decimos en el culto: “Somos las manos y pies de Cristo”. Somos hermanas y hermanos, con una tarea común.

ICM no es la Iglesia universal, o la “única, verdadera” Iglesia – somos solo una parte del todo. Pero cuando nos reunimos cada semana en las congregaciones locales alrededor del mundo y cuando estamos juntas en nuestras redes y conferencias, somos una manifestación de esa realidad.

Algunas maneras de las que hablamos sobre la Iglesia, son los nombres que nos han dado o que nosotros mismos nos damos a través de nuestra historia: La Iglesia para gays, la Iglesia con SIDA, la Iglesia de los derechos humanos, la iglesia para todas las personas. Actualmente, estamos tratando de “Ser ICM”.
También hay otras formas de hablar de la Iglesia como una organización en la que vivimos: algunos piensan en nosotros como una Iglesia local, o congregaciones donde adoramos, celebramos y lloramos. También somos una organización mundial, Iglesia ecuménica que crea puentes de lenguaje, cultura, países y colores. Algunos nos ven como un movimiento con raíces que han mudado y han ido más allá de imágenes y conceptos. ¿Somos todo esto, o nada de esto, o más que esto?
 
También tenemos una tradición firme y unos valores esenciales, de que esta Iglesia está edificada sobre el Sacerdocio de Todos los Creyentes, de que todas las personas somos iguales en nuestra jornada de fe. “No hay más judío o gentil, ni esclavo ni libre, ni hombre ni mujer, ustedes son uno en Cristo Jesús” (Gálatas 3:28).
 
La Comisión sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM quiere escuchar sobre lo que tú y las otras personas viven y hacen en ICM, pensando en lo que respecta a quién y qué somos. De esta manera, comenzaremos a comprender lo que significa, cuando decimos: “Nosotros creemos….”
 
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Algunas preguntas para tu consideración

Nos gustaría conocer sus experiencias. Participen de nuestra conversación en la página de Facebook, o escriban un mensaje a través del sitio web de ICM. Consultar los enlaces.

Este mes, estamos particularmente interesados en las siguientes preguntas:

  • ¿Qué es ICM para ti? ¿Cómo experimentas a ICM? ¿Localmente?¿Más ampliamente?
  • ¿Cuáles palabras, frases o imágenes vienen a tu mente para describir a la Iglesia de la Comunidad Metropolitana?

También puedes compartir tus pensamientos sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM.
¡Queremos escucharte!

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Muchas gracias por ser parte de la conversación. Esperamos continuar este diálogo.

Su Comisión sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM.

 

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand es miembro de la Comisión de la Declaración de Fe de ICM y Pastor de Crave MCC en New South Wales (Australia).

Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert

Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert es miembro de la Comisión de la Declaración de Fe y del Equipo de Teologías de ICM.

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Siguenos en facebook

 

Inscribirse en el boletín de la Comisión

 

Enviar un mensaje privado a la Comisión

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A Reflection on MCC Mission and Liturgy

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A Reflection on MCC Mission and Liturgy
by Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez & Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis

In MCC, we are living a unique time of reflection, analysis, approach, transition and deep action, guided by the Spirit of God who continues calling us to “Be MCC” in the world. We came to be part of this family that is MCC from different and varied traditions, stories and histories, but no doubt with the strong conviction that the same mission holds us together: proclaiming the radically inclusive message of the Gospel.

Jesus, as he was leaving His disciples, gave them and us what we call the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19a) When we were founded, Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry declared that we preach a three-pronged gospel: Christian Salvation, Christian Community, and Christian Social Action.

Our current MCC Statement of Faith states, in part:

“Founded in the interest of offering a church home to all who confess and believe…The Church serves to bring all people to God through Christ. To this end, it shall arrange for regular services of worship, prayer, interpretation of Scriptures, and edification through the teaching and preaching of the Word.”

Mission and worship are at the heart of who we are. Those who have had the blessing to visit some of our local churches in various corners of the world can with certainty say that there is something deep that makes us MCC. But at the same time, each of our local congregations is unique. Even in one local church, there can be three types of worship services, each completely different from one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Altar

In our personal history, we all keep something within ourselves about how the Spirit inspired us in our first contact with MCC. Personally, I, H??ctor, can say that it was the richness of liturgy yet at the same time a sense of worship that is free, innovative, inclusive, and alive that captured my spirit and my excitement of wanting to be a part of MCC. Because my background is a Latin American tradition well rooted in Liberation Theology, I could experience, in the worship services of MCC, that same richness of the traditions of my communities as well as feel free to live into the manifestation of my faith. Faith and life, for me, are two faces of the same reality.

We also have a willingness and openness to transform our worship spaces for different activities. These might include sacred music, dance, drag and a whole host of endeavors only limited by our imaginations. Maybe we are so comfortable with this and it looks so normal to us, that we miss the opportunity to think about it.

Our worship is one part of our community life, and a manifestation of our mission for transformation and radical inclusion.

One of MCC’s greatest strengths is above all the living experience of the priesthood of all believers. In MCC, all persons can preside over worship and each can share from their own experience of faith.

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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 does your experience with worship within MCC relate to your understanding of MCC’s mission?
  • Do you experience a connection with mission when you worship? If so, how? If not, why not?
  • Do you have a specific rite or liturgy used in worship in your experience of MCC that you would like to share?

You may also share your thoughts about the MCC Statement of Faith.
We want to hear from you!

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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

RevElderHector

Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez is a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith. He is also an Elder in MCC and leads the Iberoamerica ministry as a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis

 

 

 

 

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 Saint Petersburg, Florida (USA).

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Send a private message to the Commission.

 

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