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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

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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Metropolitan Community Churches Awards 2015

2015Awards-v2

 

Rev. John H. 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 very first MCC clergy, serving at MCC Los Angeles, California, who became part of the very first Board of Elders, who was Treasurer of MCC and Vice-Moderator of MCC, and who contributed a great deal to MCC’s first Statement of Faith.

 

Rev. John FowlerRev. John Fowler

REVEREND JOHN FOWLER has given decades of faithful, consistent, dedicated ministry to MCC as a pastor and a denominational leader. His partnership with the Office of Emerging Ministries and the Office of Formation and Leadership Development has moved MCC to a new level of excellence and effectiveness.  Rev. Fowler embodies caring and consistent leadership in Australia and New Zealand, sometimes in an upfront role and sometimes behind the scenes, yet always in a way that inspires.

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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. 

 

Pj Dwyer

 

PJ Dwyer

PJ DWYER is being honored for commitment to the LEAD program in Australia. Pj has been a model for lay leadership in MCC through the completion of the LEAD program and continued promotion of the program as the LEAD Coordinator for the Australasia Network.

Liz Bisordi Picture MCC

 

 

Liz Bisordi

Upon retiring from a three-year term on the Governing Board as Treasurer, LIZ BISORDI got to work immediately serving MCC Networks as a Network Facilitator and supporting and training Network Team Leaders. Liz also volunteers for the Office of Church Life and Health, consults with MCC churches, and gives generously of her time and resources to our denomination.

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Be Justice

Nominees are selected by the Council of Elders in honor of outstanding contributions to the work embodying the MCC value of being and doing justice globally and locally from the perspective of faith.

 

Ann Craig fallAnn Craig

ANN CRAIG is nominated for dedicated and passionate intersectional work for justice on behalf of MCC and beyond. Ann’s was founder of DignityUSA, Integrity, and Affirmation (UMC) chapters in the 1970’s in Richmond, VA.  She co-founded the Gay-Straight Coalition at Yale Divinity School in the 1980’s and was national co-convenor of Affirmation in the 1990’s. She is the current co-spokesperson of Affirmation and was the first director of religion at GLAAD where she worked hard to bring MCC into the limelight of the LGBT faith movement. Her willingness to work in coalition with many diverse groups, and unstinting generosity of time and expertise, is inspiring.

 

Latishia James

 

 

Latishia James

LATISHIA JAMES represented MCC at the 2014 U.S. White House Policy Briefing for Emerging Young Leaders. MCC celebrates Latishia’s dedicated work as a reproductive/sexual justice and faith organizer, and the broad impact Latishia presents as a Mary Jane Patterson fellow at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

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Bob Crocker Award for Excellence in Music Ministry

This award is named for Bob Crocker who pioneered excellence in music ministry at MCC San Francisco and at MCC General Conference for many years.

 

Jeremiah_CummingsJeremiah Cummings

JEREMIAH CUMMINGS has demonstrated excellence in music ministry in his local church and through his support of Leadership Mentoring Retreats and denominational events. Jeremiah is a model of healthy, open-hearted leadership in worship and ministry.

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Purple Grass Award

This award is named for a sermon still preached by Rev. Elder Freda Smith, an MCC pioneer and evangelist, 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.

 

Angel Collie photoAngel Collie

ANGEL COLLIE has authentically served and represented the denomination in so many ways – especially as a highly relational, inspirational, and unofficial ambassador for MCC around the globe. MCC celebrates Angel’s accomplishments, the new assignment at a prestigious university, and the continued intersectional work with TransFaith, Creating Change, and other many international justice organizations. In all things, Angel presents a refreshing embodiment of the gospel of Jesus, in the spirit of Purple Grass.

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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. Caedmon GraceRev. Caedmon Grace

REVEREND CAEDMON GRACE has demonstrated faithful service as a leader of the Creative Worship Service at Founders MCC and has been a bold representative of MCC at the 2015 Gay Christian Network Conference, consistently reaching out to encourage other young adults to become spiritual activists with MCC. MCC celebrates your ministry at Founders MCC and your commitment to the denomination.

 

Karen Hettel

 

 

Karen Hettel

KAREN HETTEL founded and chairs the “UPSTARTS” group of young adults at Open Circle MCC in The Villages, Florida, USA. She spearheaded the work to combine it with the Men’s Group in order to be more effective and include more members. The congregation recently elected her to the Board of Directors, and she serves as the Vice Moderator. Karen is excited about helping lead the church through this season of enormous change.

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Phoenix Award  

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

 

Betel.groupBetel.Marcos LordBetel ICM/MCC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, DC Marcos Luiz Oliveira da Costa, Pastoral Leader 

For the leadership of your pastor, Board of Directors, and congregation in revitalizing one of MCC’s founding churches in Brazil after a time of change and uncertainty. Betel ICM/MCC’s faithfulness and growth in numbers and ministry is impressive.

Rev. Terri Steed Pierce.2

 

 

Joy MCC, Orlando, Florida, USA; REVEREND Terri Steed Pierce

For the leadership of your pastor, Rev. Terri Steed Pierce, Board of Directors, and congregation in a commitment to rebuild and grow again! We are proud of your efforts and your success in re-framing the vision and mission of your church, and for a new day.  Your leadership in the wider community and your commitment to excellence in ministry is inspiring.

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Distinguished Service

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

 

Rev. Steph MaxsonRev. Steph Maxson

REVEREND STEPH MAXSON is being honored for faithful service as a pastor to Reconciliation MCC of Grand Rapids, her assistance to the Office of Church Life and Health, and in reaching out to Redeemer MCC in Flint, Michigan, USA, in their time of need and transition. MCC celebrates your years of dedicated service to the denomination.

Myke Sotero

 

 

 

Myke Abaya Sotero

MCC is grateful for MYKE ABAYA SOTERO’s faithful, excellent service to churches in the Philippines, especially MCC Baguio. Myke’s tireless example and commitment to justice, as a person of faith, serves as a model to emulate.

 

Rich Hendricks at MCC QC

 

 

Rev. Rich Hendricks

REVEREND RICH HENDRICKS has demonstrated faithful pastoral leadership. Rev. Hendricks models what it is to take justice to heart through endless work for marriage equality and immigration reform.

Rev. Hendricks is inspiring as shown in the efforts to reach out to youth and encourage diversity and inclusion in MCC of the Quad Cities.

 

Sherrill Parmley.1

 

Sherrill Parmley

MCC celebrates SHERRILL PARMLEY for faithful, dedicated service to MCC, especially to the Elders, Senior Leadership Team, and Governing Board in providing extraordinary hospitality, delivered humbly and with joy.  Sherrill has made a difference in the denomination.

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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.

 Antonio Enrique Torres Nevárez

 

 

Antonio Nevarez 

ANTONIO NEVAREZ has demonstrated vision and courage in founding COMAC in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, a social service organization that has been recognized by the Mexican government and provides HIV/AIDS prevention and referral services, support for queer youth, and seeks to meet the needs of a diverse community with excellence, love and justice. Additionally, COMAC now partners with MCC’s Global Justice Institute. Antonio is a lay leader and student in care.

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Network Ministry Award

 

David Zier.3Rev. Margaret HawkRev. David Zier and Rev. Margaret Hawk

MCC celebrates REVEREND DAVID ZIER AND REVEREND MARGARET HAWK for excellent work in taking the Network ministry to a new level, supporting a number of congregations in transition; and providing social, spiritual, and pastoral connection to all churches in the Network that includes Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. David and Margaret want to thank the wonderful CUSEN Network Team including Shannon Harper, Rev. Barry Christensen, Rev. Cathy Porter, and Beth Mink. Without them, this would not be possible.

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Moderator’s Award: Special Recognition for Embodying the Values of MCC

 

Rev. Steve Torrence

Rev. Steve Torrence

REVEREND STEVE TORRENCE has served both Moderators in MCC, providing security at Conferences, and generously giving of time and resources whenever asked. Rev. Torrence is a police officer and chaplain, and models a breakthrough in community policing in his city.  Rev. Torrence volunteers as the pastor of MCC Key West, and has helped the church rebound from challenges in the past several years.  Additionally, he serves on the Global Justice Institute Board because its ministry and projects are among his passions.

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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.

 

Rev-Troy-TreashResurrection MCC

RESURRECTION MCC intentionally creates an inclusive, diverse, and equitable faith community through engaging in the difficult yet transformational conversations relating to the full inclusion of all people. Through sermons, panel discussions, ministry offerings, awareness efforts, and support groups, Resurrection MCC makes room at The Table for those who are transgender/gender-nonconforming, heterosexual, over 50 years old, under 35 years old, women, people of African descent, and Latino; those who move through the world with mental and physical challenges; and those infected or affected by immunity disorders (HIV/AIDS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, etc.), cancer (breast, cervical, ovarian, prostate, etc.), body image (obesity, anorexia, etc.), and addiction (overeaters, narcotics, sexual, etc.).

 

 

 

Rev. Jackie Carter

Rev. Jackie Carter

REVEREND JACKIE CARTER is the Program Office for the Women’s Advisory Council for MCC globally.  She pastors a church that has a commitment to those who are hungry. They feed 1,000 people per week and is the second largest food pantry in Kansas. The congregation, under Rev. Carter’s leadership, has been successful in reaching young adults. And her work on the front lines of marriage equality, in performing the first legal mass wedding in Kansas for same sex couples, resulted in excellent media attention, and then death threats. Rev. Carter is a fearless advocate for all who are marginalized.

 

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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 and vision of MCC through their church or organization.

 

Founders MCC TeamsFounders Technology Team/TV Broadcast Team

FOUNDERS MCC TECHNOLOGY TEAM/TV BROADCAST TEAMS: For pioneering and implementing the most far-reaching MCC technology ministry anywhere. For the investment of your creativity, passion, time, and resources to model best practices and a future vision for all of MCC. Many were blessed by your leadership in MCC’s first virtual Network Gathering. Lives have been changed because of your faithfulness!

Metropolitan Community Churches Awards 2014

2014AwardsKerry 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.

 

Gewecke-Jochen_6450Jochen Gewecke  is one of the founders of Salz der Erde MCC in Stuttgart, Germany, and an outstanding lay leader in MCC. He currently serves as the European Network Leader, and recently completed a three-year term on the Steering Committee of the International Task Force (ITF). He has supported the Moderator and the Global Justice Institute in our partnership with religious and secular organizations, including accompanying us to several countries and offering translation assistance. Jochen is well known for his award-winning traveling photographic art exhibit, “Come Together: Mosque, Church, and Synagogue” which received the European Citizen’s Prize in 2009. This bold effort has received international attention for its effort to foster religious and cultural tolerance. Jochen has made the journey to Romania five times since 2007 to attend Gay Fest and plans to attend a Human Rights conference in Bucharest later this year. Jochen shares his gifts of healing prayer and intercession with many in MCC and beyond. As part of his service on the ITF, Jochen developed a dictionary of MCC terms as a way to standardize the translation process . Jochen embodies the spirit and values of MCC in his service.

Paula de Oliveira Warmling

 

Deacon Paula de Oliveira Warmling is a 25-year-old MCCer who is a very important leader in the movement for Trans-women in the State of Paraná, Brazil. Since 2010, she has been in charge of a variety of ministries in ICM Maringá and in the Casa de Missão Amor Gratuito (Mission House “Gratis Love”) that is sustained with the support of ICM Maringá and other churches in ICM Brazil. This facility provides safe space for homeless LGBT people who have nowhere else to turn.  Paula, who is also a talented musician, is a role model for ICM and inspires all who meet her. Paula has earned the admiration of her family and the Metropolitan Community Churches (ICM) in Brazil.

 


Rev. John H. 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 very first MCC clergy, serving at MCC Los Angeles, California, who became part of the very first Board of Elders, who served as Treasurer of MCC, and who contributed a great deal to MCC’s Statement of Faith.

 

Rev Pat BumgardnerRev. Pat Bumgardner has been the pastor of MCC NY for 27 years. Under her leadership, MCC New York has become the “queer cathedral of New York,” which houses Sylvia’s Place, a queer youth shelter; a vibrant food pantry and social service center that serve the neighborhood in “Hell’s Kitchen,” including seniors, and those with HIV/AIDS.  The church also houses an art gallery that promotes new artists in the community. Rev. Bumgardner founded “Rev Pat’s Finishing School,” a successful training program for transgender women seeking to improve their lives and secure employment. Rev. Bumgardner is a community icon who has trained many MCC pastors and leaders over the decades, and has served the denomination in many capacities.

Rev. Bumgardner was invited by the Moderator to become the founder and Executive Director of the Global Justice Institute, the justice and human rights arm of MCC. The Institute manages partnerships and programs globally. Rev. Bumgardner oversees and collaborates with a diverse team of justice workers and activists. She has traveled to Malaysia, Pakistan, Korea, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Romania, Costa Rica and many other countries to offer encouragement, concrete support, hope, and solidarity to many who need to know that we care. Rev. Bumgardner chairs MCC’s Public Policy Team, which was founded in conjunction with other key volunteers to help shape MCC’s voice in the public square.

 



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.

Reverend Pressley Sutherland

 

Rev. Pressley Sutherland has served as the Interim Pastor of MCC of Greater Saint Louis, MCC Newcastle, England, and is now the Interim Pastor of MCC Tampa. Our Office of Church Life and Health appreciates Rev. Sutherland’s bold and pastoral leadership in the interim process, as he helps churches navigate all the challenges of transition. Rev. Sutherland is also a valuable volunteer for our Interim Ministry training program. Pressley originally came into MCC through MCC New York, where he did his internship and served on staff. He has also served MCC churches in London, UK and  Cape Town, South Africa, and served as the OFLD Coordinator for UK/Western Europe.

 


 

Purple Grass Award

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.

Rev. Judith Maynard

 

Rev. Judy Maynard is the senior pastor of MCC Albuquerque, and MCC clergy for 17 years. Rev. Maynard has served as a Network leader for years, in the New Mexico/Texas Network. We are recognizing Rev. Maynard for her amazing efforts in Marriage Equality in New Mexico, where she performed 95 weddings in a week’s time following the decision by officials in Bernalillo County to offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Rev. Maynard became the voice and face of Marriage Equality and of MCC’s pastoral and justice commitments during this critical time in New Mexico’s history. She was pictured in the New York Times, and was featured in the media in New Mexico for weeks.

 


 

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. 

Kakay Pamaran

 

Kakay Pamaran is a leader in her congregation, MCC of Quezon City, in the Philippines. She is a seminarian at Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines, our MCC partner seminary, and a leader in her community. Her leadership in her church, with MCC in the Philippines, and at our recent General Conference is a wonderful sign of all that God is doing through Young Adults in MCC, in many challenging places in the world.

Dominic Kessell

 

Dominic Kessell has been a lay leader for many years at Good Hope MCC in Cape Town, South Africa. He has been a committed part of Good Hope’s Health and Wellness Ministry; he oversaw a project assisting children, and for several years, coordinated a soup kitchen. Additionally, he served on the committee of Cape Town Pride on behalf of MCC. At the denominational level, Dominic served a three-year term on the International Task Force. He also coordinated volunteers as part of his responsibilities as a member of the Core Team for General Conference XXV, held in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in July 2013. Dominic has always given of himself, his time, and his talent tirelessly, to be God’s hands and feet in this part of God’s vineyard.

 


Phoenix Award

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

Vickie clergy photo

 

MCC of Ocala and Rev. Vickie Miller MCC honors REV. VICKIE MILLER AND THE CONGREGATION OF MCC OF OCALA who persevered after the death of their pastor. Rev. Miller responded to an urgent call to step in as a temporary pastor in MCC of Ocala’s time of need, and was called to be their settled pastor in August of 2013. The church is outgrowing its facility, has had to buy new chairs, has a new (growing) choir, and is a (the) hub of the community in Ocala, Florida. They have grown in attendance, membership, vitality, and spirit. The commitment of the church and the willingness of Rev. Miller and her partner, Carol Lidey, to commute to Ocala made the difference in the church’s ability to recover. Rev. Miller’s gifts and skills helped MCC of Ocala re-assess their mission and vision, as they have reached out to their community with love and acceptance.

Rev. Alejandro y Ramón Piña 4

 

ICM Casa de Luz, Monterrey; Reverend Alejandro González and Ramón Piña After a time of transition, ICM CASA DE LUZ, Monterrey, was struggling in survival mode. A longtime committed lay leader, RAMÓN PIÑA, and a new pastor, REVEREND ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ, forged a pathway and plan for ICM Casa de Luz. The church celebrated its sixteenth anniversary this year, held the first Size Summit in Mexico, and expanded their sanctuary which included adding chairs to accommodate the growing attendance. A few years ago, this church fought to survive. ICM Casa de Luz is now the anchor MCC church of its nation, has been featured on several media outlets in Mexico, and is serving its community with excellence.

 


 

Distinguished Service 

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

Rev. Dr.  Jim Merritt. Senior Pastor, Trinity MCC, Gainesville, FL

 

Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt, pastor of Trinity MCC in Gainesville, Florida, is being recognized for his efforts in several areas. He served his Network during the crisis that MCC Ocala faced during the death of their pastor, offering pastoral care and leadership. He has served for several years on the Public Policy Team, especially in Marriage and Family Equality issues. He developed, edited, and published the MCC Advocacy e-newsletter; and he stepped up to the challenge of organizing MCC’s first Pride participation at General Conference XXVI in Chicago. It was an enormous success, as MCC unveiled the global “Be MCC” brand at one of the largest Pride events in the United States.

Rev. Jake Kopmeier

 

Rev. Jake Kopmeier is the founder of The TRANSformative Ministry at King of Peace MCC in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is a leader in the TransAction Florida organization. Rev. Kopmeier has a heart for those who are homeless, or who’s civil or human rights are being violated. His perseverance, commitment and outreach beyond the church walls has helped his own church grow in its visibility and diversity. In addition, Rev. Kopmeier has offered workshops at Network gatherings and at MCC’s General Conference that have inspired us.

Rev. Gordon McCoy

 

Rev. Gordon McCoy has served MCC with distinction in the past in his District and Region, and more recently as a pioneering Network Leader and Coordinator. He has been an MCC pastor for decades, and has continued to serve MCC in retirement with excellence and devotion. Most recently, Rev. Gordon served tirelessly on the General Conference Core Team as the leader of MCC’s host Network Conference Hospitality Team. Rev. Gordon McCoy and his life partner of 43 years, Dr. Eugene Thomas, are an MCC treasure.

 

 Donna Payne

Donna Payne is a lay member of MCC Washington, D.C., and has worked for the Human Rights Campaign for 15 years.

“As one of HRC’s key representatives, Payne works closely with civil rights organizations and their leaders to increase visibility of the LGBT community within the religious and people of color communities. Her work includes being the founder of HRC’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program in supporting LGBT students on their campus and addressing concerns with HBCU administrators . . . . As a change agent, Ms. Payne has directly advocated for open dialogue between African American ministers and the LGBT community . . . . [She] has also written articles nationwide on being a LGBT civil rights African American lesbian and received many awards for her transformational organizing work without regard for race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age. In 2012 . . . [she] was named one of the Top Twenty Black LGBT Movers and Shakers who are making exceptional contributions in their professions and communities.

“In 2001, Donna was the LGBT representative for HRC and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa . . . . She volunteered with the Clinton administration during its national health care reform efforts at the White House [and] is a founding board of the National Black Justice Coalition” (http://www.hrc.org/staff/profile/donna-payne).

At MCC, we are proud that Donna is very public about her MCC membership and always connects her faith to her work.

 


 

New Church Starts

 

Shenandoah Valley MCC building and logo

 

Shenandoah Valley MCC, Winchester, VA, USA began in mid-2012 as a parish extension of New Light MCC. Upon the departure of their founding pastor after only six months, a core of lay leaders moved the new congregation forward with their vision of creating an inclusive church fully committed to living into the MCC vision, values, and mission. Today Shenandoah Valley MCC is growing in numbers and in spiritual depth, a beacon of hope for Northwestern Virginia and a shining example of what it is to be MCC.

Igor Simões

 


Igor Simôes, Interim Pastor at ICM Fortaleza, Brazil.
 IGOR SIMÔES has been the Interim Pastor at ICM Fortaleza since 2006. He is completing the work to get his credentials as MCC clergy. Igor has a profound call to expand the presence of MCC in different places in Northeast Brazil. Although it is not MCC’s tradition to send missionaries, that passion can be seen in Igor. He has worked with different groups to plant emerging churches like Mossoro, Campinas y Teresina, and he has begun working with parish extensions. He visits the new churches every two weeks to give the clear sense of MCC. Igor is always ready to share the word about MCC’s vision, mission, and values to everyone and is one of our most faithful leaders in Brazil.

 


 

Network Ministry Award

 

Network Clergy and NancyNorth Central US Network is being nominated for excellent service, especially in helping with the Office of Church Life and Health (OCLH) in church transitions and in keeping churches connected. The North Central US Network provided outstanding hospitality for MCC members and friends around the world during the Chicago Pride and MCC General Conference. The Network is led by Rev. Rachelle Brown.

Rev. Rachelle BrownRev. Brown says “As the leader of the MCC North Central Network, I speak not only for myself, but the entire Network of pastors, lay leaders, and volunteers. No one person was able to accomplish the work, so as a Network, we are proud to accept this award, acknowledging the generosity of the people who are part of the Network!

The MCC North Central Network worked very hard in preparation for and during the 2013 MCC General Conference. The collaborative planning began many months prior to conference and included multiple pastors and lay leaders. Each church encouraged full participation and dozens of volunteers, which included many people who had never been to a General Conference! In order to prepare everyone, an afternoon session during the Spring 2013 Network Gathering was dedicated to training for conference, and pre-conference, hospitality and event coordination. 

The following pastors and people of these congregations are the real recipients of this award:  Rev. Wendy Woodruff, Milwaukee MCC; Rev. Michael Cooper, MCC Illiana, Portage, IN; Rev. Tony Thieman-Somora, serving at that time at Heartland MCC, Springfield, IL, and MCC Peoria; Rev. Danny Spears, serving then at Holy Covenant MCC, Brookfield, IL; Rev. Peter Trabarias, MCC of Central Iowa, Des Moines, IA; Rev. Rich D. Hendricks, MCC of the Quad Cities, Davenport, IA; lay leaders of Angels of Hope MCC, Greenbay, WI; and finally a special thanks to the lay leaders, especially the retired Rev. Gordon McCoy, and entire congregation of aChurch4Me MCC, Chicago, IL. Thank you to the Senior Leadership Team, Liz Bisordi, the Network Facilitator; Jennifer Justice, Carlos Chavez, and the MCC Staff for their incredible support. 

It was at the 2013 MCC General Conference that the MCC North Central Network expanded to include Michigan MCC churches: Divine Peace MCC, Waterford, IA; Detroit MCC, Ferndale, MI; MCC of Flint; and Reconciliation MCC, Grand Rapids, MI.

We are all so much stronger together, and as a ­Network Leader, it is my prayer our work continues to expand the reach of MCC in the states of the North Central U.S.”

 


 

Moderator’s Award: Special Recognition for Embodying the Values of MCC

Barry Hundley

 

Barry Hundley has served in leadership at his local church and in the denomination for decades. His service to MCC Districts and his Region were always “over and above.” He also served faithfully on the Structural Review Committee that recommended the last global structural changes. Barry has served with our People of African Descent program and conferences, and is a founding leader of MCC’s LEAD program that trains lay leaders like himself to connect the local and the global ministry of MCC. He also has served in various roles at General Conferences, including being a member of the Security and Hospitality Teams. Barry’s long term commitment to excellence, his faithfulness, generosity, decades of volunteer service, and passion for the message of MCC around the world is a role model for all of us.