Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President, sponsors blessing ceremonies and celebrates Cuba Pride
In another historic first for Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), the Rev. Troy Perry, founder of MCC, was one of the presiding clergy at the first blessing of unions in Cuba. About a dozen couples pledged their love to each other as part of Cuba Pride on May 9, 2015. The Associated Press reported:
Luis Enrique Mederos and his partner for 14 years, Alain Morales, approached clergyman including Troy Perry, founder of Los Angeles’ gay-friendly Metropolitan Community Church, and held hands beneath a canopy while the pastors blessed their relationship. “Luis, I give you my life,” Morales said, as the crowd of 300 applauded and cheered. “It’s a step to strengthen our relationship because we’re both religious, believers,” said Mederos, a 47-year-old graphic designer. He said he saw the ceremony as an important step toward the eventual legalization of gay marriage in Cuba.
Mariela Castro was in the middle of Cuba’s Pride celebration, and she gave her blessing to the proceedings but was not present for the actual blessing of the unions. The MCC delegation had informal conversations with Mariela Casto and met more formally with Cuba’s Religious Affairs Commissioner, with officials in the Cuban Council of Churches, and with the Fraternity Of Baptist Churches in Cuba.
Rev. Elder Troy Perry traveled with his husband Phillip De Blieck, as well as the Rev. Elder Dr. Mona West, and the Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez. The delegation talked with Cubans about the global challenges faced by LGBTQ people of faith and plan to continue collaborations with LGBTQ religious leaders in Cuba.
“As the founder of MCC going back to 1968, I have lived long enough to see so many churches open their doors — and to see MCC congregations on almost every continent,” said the Rev. Elder Troy Perry. “It is exciting to be part of a moment when Cuban people of faith and political leaders are opening doors to all loving couples and to LGBTQ people!”
“We were honored for MCC faith leaders to be part of this historic event,” said global MCC Moderator, the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson. “These blessings for loving couples in Cuba parallel MCC’s many firsts — first to marry same-sex couples, first to convene AIDS awareness day, and first to provide a welcoming worshipping community for LGBTQ people.”
“Throughout the Americas and the world, people know that Cuba’s future will impact everyone’s future,” said the Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez, head of the Latin American MCC network. “I meet people in los pueblos where they live their daily lives and increasingly see families supporting each other, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. I am so hopeful about supportive relationships with our partners in Cuba.”
The Director of Development is a member of MCC’s Senior Leadership Team and reports to the MCC Moderator. The Director of Development is responsible for leading the MCC’s Development Program and paid/volunteer staff, within the framework of the strategies and annual fund development plans adopted by the Governing Board. The Director is also responsible for developing, managing and maintaining active and productive relationships between the Development Program, institutional funders, individual donors and local church partners.
Specific areas of responsibility include:
More than 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, but one in six does not know they are positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) recommends all people between the ages of 13-64 get tested for HIV as part of routine health care. Early diagnosis and treatment improves health, extends life and helps prevent the spread of HIV.
Greater Than AIDS is proud to support our partners across the nation in your outreach and testing efforts around National HIV Testing Day. Greater Than AIDS makes available free informational and promotional HIV/AIDS materials for download under the theme of ‘I Got Tested,’ produced especially for this day.
Greater Than AIDS partners with Walgreens and local AIDS organizations to offer FREE HIV testing during June. You can also find local free and low cost HIV testing throughout the year here: http://locator.aids.gov/
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated each year in the month of June in most of the world to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, New York USA. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement. The last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the world the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
Over time, the smaller marches and gatherings organized by community members evolved into a highly organized slate of events attracting a broad range of LGBT community members and straight allies. The increasing popularity and visibility of Pride events can partially be attributed to greater levels of acceptance towards the LGBT community. While Pride events play a key role in raising the profile of the LGBT community and commemorating the history of the LGBT social movement, Pride also marks an opportunity for the LGBT community to come together, take stock and recognize the advances and setbacks made in the past year. It is also a chance for the LGBT community to come together and celebrate in a festive, affirming atmosphere.
THE MANY FACES OF PRIDE
The number and variety of Pride events throughout the world reflect the diversity of the LGBT community. Pride events vary from city to city, region to region and nation to nation. Local volunteer groups, often with the sponsorship of corporations and local businesses, organize most LGBT Pride events, and they include a variety of events catering to different segments of the community.
In the early 1990s, Black Prides emerged as a powerful force in the U.S. and now take place in more than 30 major cities. Black Pride events, which include New York City’s “Pride in the City” and Detroit’s “Hotter Than July”, offer a unique opportunity for LGBT communities of African descent to celebrate their myriad of experiences and identities with their allies, friends and families. (For a list of more Black Pride events, please visit the International Federation of Black Prides.)
In recent years, other Pride events specifically targeted to other communities of color, specifically for the Latino/a community, have also occurred.
In many places, Pride events specifically for women occur on the day before or the same weekend as other Pride events. These events are usually offered as a grassroots supplement to Pride celebrations catering to the entire community and often have high-profile corporate sponsors and events. While these events are usually targeted to lesbians and transgender people, they are open to all and usually include a rally and a march.
Youth and young adult Prides have also gained popularity in recent years. These events are for young LGBT people, their families and straight allies. School organizations such as gay-straight alliances come together to celebrate the community in rallies and marches.
In addition, Pride events now occur internationally throughout the year, and they are most popular in Canada, Latin America, Australia, UK and throughout Europe, though events are held in other parts of the world. Pride events and related rallies in some international cities have resulted in conflict and violence, providing a stark contrast to Pride events in the United States and other countries with more visible LGBT populations.
10 Things About LGBT Pride You Probably Did Not Know
The first gay rights group to use the word ‘gay’ in their name was the Gay Liberation Front, which was formed In the immediate wake of the Stonewall Riots. Whereas previous organizations, such as the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, had deliberately chosen obscure names, the GLF believed directedness was necessary, as exemplified by a slogan on one of their fliers: “Do You Think Homosexuals Are Revolting? You Bet Your Sweet Ass We Are!” For more information on the GLF, check out this site.
Europe has a pan-European international Pride event, called, appropriately, Europride. The event is hosted by a different European city each year. For information on upcoming events, check out Europride’s site.
Amsterdam hosts the only Pride parade whose floats literally float on water, as 100 decorated boats travel through the city’s famed canals. For information on Amsterdam Pride, check out their site.
Worldwide Gay Events & Pride Calendar
What MCCers Can Do
Conceived in 2004 by French activist Louis-Georges Tin to commemorate the decision of the World Health Organization (1990) to de-pathologize homosexuality by removing it from the International Classification of Diseases, May 17th has become a globally recognized day to raise awareness of LGBTQI lives and call attention to efforts to end discrimination and violence and promote equality.
This year, from China to the Congo and Canada, LGBTQI peoples and our allies in over 170 nations will sponsor conversations, festivities and events, as well as demonstrations and marches for an end to the criminalization of Queer life and the implementation of policies that recognize and respect the diversity of God’s creation.
In Botswana, activists will showcase the first short theater production focusing on original works with Queer themes. In Iran, the Iranian Queer Organization will make sure that IDAHOBiT artwork is available in Farsi. The United Nations Human Rights Office in New York City will highlight Queer lives worldwide on screens in Times Square.
Everyone can do something to highlight LGBTQI life and our victories or address the challenges that remain before us.
The Global Justice Institute and the Moderator’s Public Policy Team invites MCC congregations around the world to make May 17th INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, BIPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA SUNDAY!
Here are some suggestions for you, your congregation, or your ministry:
Every word offered, every event celebrated, every step taken, every prayer lifted up can and will make a difference for God’s LGBTQI peoples and a world at peace with its own diversity. You can inspire others around the world by sharing what you do. Send your stories and photos to The Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt of the Public Policy Team at revdrjimmerrit@holycrossmcc.
Thank you for making this world a better place.
This action alert was prepared by the Global Justice Institute and the Public Policy Team of
Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute, Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner-Chair.
International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia: A global celebration of sexual and gender diversities,
May 17 was first known as the “International Day against Homophobia” and mainstreamed through its acronym “I.DA.HO” In 2009, Transphobia was added explicitly in the title of the name, in the recognition of the very different issues at stake between sexual orientation and gender expression. “IDAHOT” became another popular acronym used alongside the initial one. Since 2015, biphobia is added to the title, to acknowledge the specific issues faced by bisexual people.
Rev. Ines-Paul Baumann,
Rev. Pat Bumgardner,
Rev. Tony Freeman,
Rev. Dwayne Johnson,
Rev. Margarita Sánchez De León, and
Rev. Dr. Candace Shultis
were all affirmed to the Council of Elders
Download the full results here in either PDF or PowerPoint format.
Global Justice Institute/MCC Partner with Blue Diamond Society
The earthquake in Nepal has claimed the lives of thousands and devastated the lives of tens of thousands. The Global Justice Institute and Metropolitan Community Churches are partnering with the BLUE DIAMOND SOCIETY, an organization working for the wellbeing of the LGBTQI communities in Nepal, with over 200,000 members.
The devastation in Nepal, especially rural areas, is overwhelming, and many nations are stepping in to help. The LGBTQI communities, however, are often overlooked and underserved if served at all. Camps are being set up and segregated by gender, often leaving “third gender” people to fend for themselves.
The body of Ciatala, a third gender person, was located in a teaching hospital and the Blue Diamond Hospital was able to spare her an unidentified mass grave and provide a proper funeral with her mother in attendance today.
The Society is searching for the dead and trying to meet the needs of the surviving. Immediate needs are survival needs — portable bathrooms that do not exclude trans people and can help with hygiene and disease curtailment, tents, clothes, blankets, umbrellas, food, water, medicine, fuel for generators — the list is long and the need immediate.
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP:
|Job Title:||Administrative Support for the Office of the Moderator|
|Reports To:||Linda Brenner-Beckstead, Associate Director/Communications Manager|
|FLSA Status:||Non-Exempt Half-time (18.75 hours per week), health insurance and moving expenses not provided, temporary position|
|Prepared By:||Linda Brenner-Beckstead|
|Prepared Date:||29 April 2015|
|Job Duties, Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Requirements|
|Job Summary||Provide half-time clerical administrative support to the Office of the Moderator, Governing Board, Senior Leadership Team, Council of Elders, and other MCC teams.|
|Essential Duties and Responsibilities||
|Qualifications – To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.|
|Education and/or Experience||High School degree with education, training, and/or experience in the use of Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint; Outlook; Google Drive; Google Hangouts, Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.|
|Written, Verbal, Interpersonal Communication, Mathematical, and Reasoning Ability||
Ability to read and interpret documents such as Strategic Plan, Profit/Loss report. Ability to review and edit reports for formatting (i.e. column widths) and editing (i.e. punctuation). Generate correspondence according to needs of the Moderator and Associate Director/Communications Manager.
Ability to speak effectively to clergy, congregants, MCC employees, office directors, elders, members of the Governing Board, donors.
Ability to arrange travel by comparing options and making arrangements that meet the needs of the Moderator while meeting budget.
Ability to independently organize time and meet job deadlines. Ability to assist Moderator in meeting deadlines.
Ability to solve practical problems and follow instructions in creating and revising documents to improve or update products produced in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
Ability to effectively communicate in an office environment in which much interaction occurs through phone, email, messaging, Skype, and virtual meetings.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee will need to complete the majority of tasks on a computer (PC or Mac). The employee will need to be able to access internet in a home office in addition to commute to the Moderator’s office in Sarasota, Florida (USA) at employee’s own expense. Vision abilities include vision needed to work on a computer, read typed and handwritten notes from the Moderator, email, messenger, and other electronic messages, access Microsoft Office software (software provided), Facebook, Skype, Adobe Connect, and Google Drive.
The employee will need to communicate with the Associate Director/Communications Manager and others as needed by cell phone, email, and other systems of communications as needed (i.e. Skype).
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The employee will work from the Moderator’s office and occasionally from a home office in a division of time to be determined. The Associate Director/Communications Manager will determine the frequency the employee will visit the corporate office. Compensation for mileage is not included in the hourly wage.
“Hacia un mundo libre y en igualdad”, Rev. Obispa Dra. Nancy Wilson, Moderadora (Foto: Bill Owen, Allegheny College)
Se enviarán boletas individuales por medio de Survey Monkey vía correo electrónico a las personas delegadas de la Cámara Laical y de la Cámara Clerical elegibles para que puedan abrir la boleta de votación. Recibirás un correo electrónico directamente de Survey Monkey el miércoles, 6 de maya 2015, a la 1 pm UTC/GMT (9 am EDT).
Si no recibes el correo electrónico antes de las 2 pm UTC/GMT (10 am EDT), favor de contactar a la Rev. Vickey Gibbs a RevVickeyGibbs@MCCchurch.net o al teléfono 1-281-940-1558. La Rev. Vickey estará disponible para las personas delegadas hasta las 11 pm UTC/GMT (7 pm EDT) del 6 de mayo y comenzará de nuevo a las 12 hrs GMT (8 am EDT) el 7 de mayo.
Habrá un enlace en el correo electrónico que te llevará ya sea a la boleta de votación laical o clerical, según corresponda. Las instrucciones para la votación estarán disponibles en los siguientes cuatro (4) idiomas: inglés, alemán, portugués y español.
¿Qué puedes esperar en la boleta de Survey Monkey?:
La primera pantalla será la bienvenida y agradecimiento por participar en esta votación.
La segunda pantalla pedirá tu nombre, correo electrónico, tu designación de voto y el nombre de tu Iglesia.
La designación de tu voto para el Laicado será Delegada Laica de Iglesia, Líder Pastoral Interino, Laica Miembro del Consejo de Obispos/as, o Laica Miembro de la Junta de Gobierno. Para el clero, deberán elegir entre Activo o Jubilado.
La tercera pantalla pedirá que emitas tu voto para afirmar a Rev. Ines-Paul Baumann, Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Rev. Tony Freeman, Rev. Dwayne Johnson, Nancy Maxwell, J.D., LL.M., Rev. Margarita Sánchez De León y / o Rev. Dra. Candace Shultis seleccionando SI, No, o Abstención.
Una vez que termines tu votación, debes elegir “Done”. Se te redirigirá a la página web de ICM.
Favor de tener en cuenta que una vez que elijas “Done,” no podrás regresar a la bolete de votación.
La votación se concluirá el jueves 7 de mayo a las 9 pm UTC/GMT (5 pm EDT). Los votos serán contados por una firma independiente, y enviará los resultados a la Junta de Gobierno. La Moderadora ha designado a la Rev. Onetta Brooks, Presidenta del Comité de Gobierno/de la Junta de Gobierno, como Secretaria en esta Conferencia General Especial.
SI TE PERDISTE LOS FOROS DE NEGOCIOS
Si te perdiste los Foros de Negocios en vivo, fueron grabados y se han publicado. Incluso cuentan con ejemplos de las boletas de votación de ambas Cámaras, en la presentación de PowerPoint, así como en las presentaciones grabadas. Puedes consultarlos en el siguiente enlace:
Esperamos tu participación en esta Conferencia General Virtual para afirmar a Rev. Ines-Paul Baumann, Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Rev. Tony Freeman, Rev. Dwayne Johnson, Nancy Maxwell, J.D., LL.M., Rev. Margarita Sánchez De León y / o Rev. Dra. Candace Shultis para el puesto de Obispas y Obispos.
Paz y Bendiciones,
Junta de Gobierno de ICM