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Archive for the ‘General Confernece’ Category


RevNancyRev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator of MCC, is preparing to appoint up to five additional MCC members to serve on the Council of Elders, which serves in a pastoral role and directs the spiritual life of MCC. The appointment process will conclude by June 2015, at which time the Council of Elders will consist of the Reverends Nancy Wilson, Darlene Garner, Hector Gutierrez, Mona West, and the new members.

The Moderator is asking for the assistance of current and former Elders, members of the Governing Board, MCC clergy, and Lay Delegates to identify prospective appointees from among lay and clergy members of MCC. To submit a recommendation, complete the on-line recommendation form (Click Here for Form) by 31 July 2014.


In addition to meeting the qualifications of Elders as defined in UFMCC Bylaws, prospective appointees must meet the following selection criteria:

  1. Be loyal to MCC and to MCC’s mission, vision and values
  2. Have demonstrated giftedness in pastoral and spiritual leadership
  3. Be sensitive to cultural difference
  4. Be able and willing to embrace diversity
  5. Be MCC clergy or a graduate of the MCC lay leadership development program (Leadership Empowered for Active Discipleship, L.E.A.D.)
  6. Possess demonstrable theological depth
  7. Be committed to global justice
  8. Model excellence and high standards in ministry
  9. Be capable in ecumenical and interfaith ministry settings

Once the recommendations have been submitted, the Moderator will then ask the prospective appointees to complete an application form and to indicate their willingness to participate in the selection process that has been designed by the Moderator and approved by the Governing Board.


General Conference Mandates regarding the Council of Elders

(UFMCC Bylaws Article V.E.3.a and b)


COUNCIL OF ELDERS:  The Council of Elders of the UFMCC is that body authorized by the General Conference to serve in a pastoral role and direct the spiritual life of the Fellowship.  This Council shall consist of a Moderator and Elders appointed by the Moderator, subject to approval by the Governing Board and affirmation by General Conference.  All UFMCC Elders are deemed professional ministers and are authorized to perform all of the Rites and Sacraments of the church.


QUALIFICATIONS:  Elders must be those individuals of obvious spiritual quality and leadership who are mature, have sound judgment, have a proven record of accomplishment as lay or clergy members within the Fellowship, and have successful experience in envisioning and strategic planning for the future.  Elders must be excellent communicators, skilled motivators and teachers, self-motivated and devoted to continuous learning.  Further, Elders must be capable of understanding and working within sound fiscal guidelines, be sensitive to cultural differences, and be able and willing to embrace diversity.  It is desirable that the Council of Elders reflect the diversity of the Fellowship.


DUTIES:  The primary responsibility of Elders shall be to give pastoral leadership and care to enable the Fellowship in our spiritual journey.  The Elders shall exercise spiritual and pastoral authority to build a shared vision for the UFMCC, prepare the UFMCC for the future, and support UFMCC’s strategic direction.  The Elders serve as official representatives of the Fellowship in the areas of public and community relations; provide oversight and support to congregations; consult with churches on issues related to church development; and fulfill other ecclesial and ceremonial duties.


Further Clarification Regarding the Council Elders


1. All members of the Council of Elders will be volunteers, including Elders who may also be a compensated member of MCC staff. While continuing to be compensated for their work, such Elders would not be compensated for their service as an Elder.


2. By 2015, the Council of Elders will include the Moderator, the Rev. Elders Hector Gutierrez, Mona West, Darlene Garner, and 4 or 5 new Elders.


3. Every effort will be made to ensure that at least one-third of the members of the Council of Elders live outside of the United States.


4. Every effort will be made to ensure parity in terms of gender identity.


5. Every effort will be made to ensure that at least one of the members of the Council of Elders is a young adult (18 to 35 years of age) at the time of appointment.


6. Elders serve for five years as members of the Council of Elders; the Moderator may extend an appointment as many times as seems appropriate:

    • For the purpose of transition, before the end of 2015, the Moderator would modify the appointments of the Rev. Elders Hector Gutierrez, Mona West, and Darlene Garner to serve until 31 December 2018, at which time the appointments could be extended, if deemed appropriate by the Moderator.

7. An appointee who has been approved by the Council of Elders and the Governing Board will join the Council of Elders immediately upon affirmation by General Conference and will serve until 31 December of the fifth year following affirmation.

8. Elders serve at the pleasure of the Moderator and, in accordance with UFMCC Bylaws, the Moderator may remove an appointment at any time, with or without cause.

9. The processes for accountability, discipline, and removal of an appointed Elder (Bylaw Article V.E.3.c) and for filling a vacancy on the Council of Elders (Bylaw Article V.E.3.d) will remain the same.

10. Upon resignation or retirement from the position of Elder, all former Elders (including those who served in former systems, are still on staff in some capacity, or are active in other ministry positions) are referred to honorifically as “Elder,” but do not serve on the Council of Elders unless appointed by the Moderator.

11. All Elders retain the title as long as they maintain active membership in MCC and continue to abide by the Elders Code of Conduct and the Code of Conduct for MCC Ministry Leaders.


Implementing the Role and Responsibilities of Elders


The Role of Individual Elders

Each appointed Elder fulfills specific responsibilities as assigned by the Moderator consistent with those duties as defined in UFMCC Bylaws. Collectively, the appointed Elders fulfill all of the duties of Elders as defined in the UFMCC Bylaws.


The Role of All Elders

All appointed Elders serve on the Council of Elders.  The Council of Elders has three important roles:

  1. To be a discerning, spiritual and pastoral body that assists the Moderator in the role of spiritual, pastoral and prophetic  leader of MCC, as well  as offering spiritual and pastoral leadership to local churches and Networks;
  2. To approve standards for affiliation of MCC churches globally; and
  3. To approve the Clergy Manual that governs MCC clergy globally.

As members of the Council of Elders all Elders fulfill the following responsibilities:


1. As requested by the Moderator, be available to:

      • Support the Moderator and the Senior Leadership  in providing spiritual leadership for MCC
      • Visit Network gatherings
      • Assist with leadership development efforts.
      • Serve as an official representative of MCC in the areas of public and community relations.
      • Undertake ecclesial and ceremonial visits to churches.
      • Counsel with the Senior Leadership Team and the Governing Board.
      • Provide pastoral and spiritual support and mentoring for clergy and lay leaders as needed and requested

2. Participate actively in meetings of the Council of Elders.

3. Participate actively in training and professional development opportunities offered to members of the Council of Elders.

4. Be familiar with MCC Bylaws, policies, procedures, and processes.

5. Ascribe to and actively promote the MCC statements of vision and mission.

6. Be familiar with and actively promote MCC programs and events.

7. Attend General Conference and Network gatherings.


Budgetary Considerations


The budget for the Council of Elders is developed by the Moderator and senior staff assigned by the Moderator in accordance with the policies and processes of the Governing Board. The cost of all appointed Elders to attend and participate in the General Conference and in meetings of the Council of Elders will be borne by the UFMCC within the approved budget.  The cost of fulfilling specific assigned responsibilities are borne either by the UFMCC within the approved budget and authorized by the Moderator, or by local congregations or other organizations per the terms of a mutual agreement.

Moderator Nominating Committee Alternates for General Conference 2016

The MCC Governing Board has appointed Beulah Durrheim (South Africa) and Stuart Sutherland (Australia) as Alternates to the Moderator Nominating Committee (MNC). They will serve dual roles as MNC alternates and as Committee aides. Should circumstances arise that do not allow one or more of the MNC members to fulfill their roles through General Conference XXVI in 2016, one or both would be appointed to serve those terms. Additionally, they will participate in the processes and decisions of the MNC, having voice and no vote.
We are pleased to introduce the alternates to the Moderator Nominating Committee: Beulah Durrheim (South Africa) and Stuart Sutherland (Australia) 

Beulah Durrheim PIC

Beulah Durrheim is currently the Pastoral Leader at Good Hope MCC in Cape Town, South Africa, a position she has held since September 2012. She also serves as the Spiritual Director for Africa Upper Room Ministries, as well as managing staff meetings in the Western Cape.

Prior to this, she has served as a Pastor in two Methodist churches for a period of 10 years. She has participated in various pastoral search committees with the task of interviewing and finding replacement pastors. She has been a recent advocate of LGBTI rights, in particular testifying at a variety of meetings within the Methodist church, e.g. Synod (meeting of all the ministers in the Western Cape), youth groups. She has also made herself available to the presiding Bishop to participate/facilitate the conversations regarding same-gender relationships.

She ran her own business, Creative Expressions, where she specialised in facilitating ceremonies, retreats, creating and designing teaching materials, and finding creative ways of facilitating spiritual journeys. It was a spiritual ministry based on the belief that every baby blessing, memorial, wedding, retreat, etc. should be a unique experience, tailored according to the personalities and needs of the client.

She has also volunteered to serve on Chrysalis and Emmaus, inter-denominational spiritual enrichment and training weekends for church leaders. She has served in various leadership roles for 10 years and was elected to be the Community Leader for Chrysalis in the Western Cape from 1999 to 2001. This has included her leading and facilitating team selection committees.

She and her spouse Charmaine were married in 2008, and they have two beautiful cats named Andor and Taishar.

She holds a Bachelor of Theology degree from the University of South Africa.

Stuart Sutherland picStuart Sutherland is currently the Vice Moderator of MCC Good Shepherd in Western Sydney, Australia (MCCGS), where he assists the church in organising fund raising events, leading worship, as Church Representative to local GLBTI Organisations, as MCCGS Representative to local churches, and as MCCGS Legal Representative.

He is a lawyer/solicitor and barrister and has been practising for nearly 14 years.

His job is the Principal Solicitor at Logical Legal Solicitors in Newtown, Australia. His partner Michael helps him run the law firm and works as his executive assistant. He has been helping MCC Sydney and MCC Good Shepherd in Australia with legal advice and governance issues.

He attends the Supreme Court of New South Wales, District and Local Courts of New South Wales, and Federal Circuit Courts. His area of practice involves Corporate Law, Wills, Estates, Powers of Attorney, Guardianship, Family Law, and Mental Health.

He has been active in the LGBT community representing clients in courts and providing legal advice. He has also been active in the past with organising the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras that is held in February/March each year.

He assists Intellectual Disabled people in the community and worked as volunteer solicitor for the Intellectual Disability Rights Service. He has been the President of the Central Coast of New South Wales Blue Light Discos. He was one of the founding law firms on the National Pro Bono Scheme of Australia.

Stuart holds a Master of Laws from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, and a Bachelor of Laws from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He has been a part-time lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He plans to finish a Juris Doctor at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Stuart lives in Granville, Australia, with his partner Michael and their 8-year-old cross maltese/shiatsu, “Fido”, and their foster dog, a 3-year-old miniature poodle, “Barney.”

Stuart and Beulah will join MNC members: Elisa Vega-Burns (Chairperson), Rev. Kevin Downer, and Rev. Dr. Lea Brown. Read more on: http://mccchurch.org/moderator-nominating-committee-for-general-conference-2016/

Elisa Vega-Burns RevKevinDowner Rev. Dr. Lea Brown
Elisa Vega-Burns, Chair Rev. Kevin Downer Rev. Dr. Lea Brown


You will hear more in the next couple of months from the Moderator Nominating Committee regarding the process for recruiting and soliciting candidates to stand for election as the next Moderator of MCC at General Conference 2016.

Please join us in welcoming the Beulah Durrheim and Stuart Sutherland!

Reverend Onetta Brooks
Chair, Governance Committee
On behalf of the MCC Governing Board

Webinars to Prepare for General Conference Business Meeting

If you will be voting at General Conference, please make plans to attend all three of these webinars or to watch / listen to the recordings as soon as you are able.  Participants will be able to ask questions in preparation for your church’s congregational forum prior to the General Conference business forum and business meeting.

Section 1

TITLE: UFMCC Bylaw Change Proposals
DESCRIPTION: An opportunity for General Conference delegates to ask questions about the Bylaw change proposals as part of preparing yourself for the General Conference business meeting.  Please download a copy of the “UFMCC BYLAWS PROPOSALS” from http://believe.mccchurch.org/?page_id=1263.
FACILITATORS: Rev Onetta Brooks, Governing Board; and Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Director, Office of Emerging Ministries
13 June, 7:00pm UTC/GMT (3:00pm U.S. Eastern time)
TITLE: Governing Board Proposals
DESCRIPTION: An opportunity for General Conference delegates to review and ask questions regarding the Proposals being brought forth by the Governing Board and as found in the Governing Board Report.  These proposals include the future tithe assessment rate, appointment and funding of a Global Covenant Team missioned to create a Global Covenant for MCC churches outlining our identity, statement of values and theological commitments and which will serve as our primary document of alignment, and the appointment of Special Task Force to review, renew and update the MCC Statement of Faith.  Please download a copy of the “REPORT OF GB” containing these motions, which can be found at http://believe.mccchurch.org/?page_id=1263.

FACILITATORS: Rev. Tony Freeman and Liz Bisordi, Governing Board

10 June9:00pm UTC/GMT (5:00pm U.S. Eastern time)

Section 3

TITLE: New Strategic Plan and Review of International Task Force (ITF) Proposals
DESCRIPTION: An opportunity for General Conference delegates to review the new Five Year Strategic Plan (2013-2018) and the major proposals from the International Task Force.  Please download a copy of the “ITF REPORT” and the “REPORT OF GB” containing the Strategic Plan from http://believe.mccchurch.org/?page_id=1263.
FACILITATORS: Rev. Dr. Candace Shultis and Kareem Murphy, Governing Board; with Jochen Gewecke, Dr. Carol Scherfenberg, and Dr. Mark Dalgleish, International Task Force Steering Committee
17 June, 9:00pm UTC/GMT (5:00pm U.S. Eastern time)


Join us!


Your Governing Board

Una invitación a jornada de 30 días de ayuno y oración

El Consejo de Obispos y Obispas invitan a los miembros y amigos de ICM a unirse en nuestra jornada 30 Días de Ayuno y Oración iniciando el 1º de Junio.  Mientras nos preparamos a la reunión de la Conferencia General en Chicago el 1º de Julio de 2013.  Sentimos que es importante el orar, ayunar y CREER que durante este tiempo después de Pentecostés, la inspiración del Espíritu Santo estará muy presente con nosotros.


En 2013, la Iglesia Universal se encuentra a sí misma en una situación de disminución de participantes sin precedentes.  Hoy más que nunca, ICM está llamada a ser un nuevo tipo de iglesia en un mundo nuevo.  El Consejo de Obispas y Obispos no tiene ninguna duda de que ICM puede SER ESA IGLESIA y debemos siempre apoyarnos y dejarnos guiar por el poder del Espíritu de Dios.


En ese espíritu, queremos invitarlos a unirse a nosotros en esta jornada durante los próximos 30 días en los siguientes puntos:

  1. Hacer la oración cada día.  Pedir a las personas de sus iglesias que se unan a nosotros.  “Orando sin cesar” para que el Espíritu de Dios se derrame de nuevo sobre ICM mientras nor reunimos alrededor del mundo.
  2. Junto con la misma oración de cada día, queremos pedirles que se unan a una intensión específica cada día.  La lista de cada intensión también se muestra en el enlace.
  3. Determinar cómo podemos ayunar de una forma que podamos enfocarnos a nuestras mejores intenciones y oraciones para presenciar el milagro de la infusión del Espíritu de Dios en nosotros.  Puede que decidan ayunar dejando de comer por cierto tiempo (incluso solo una comida), ayunar de ver televisión, ayunar de salir a comer fuera, ayunar de dejar de comprar, etc.

El Consejo de Obispas y Obispos estará realizando estas tres cosas y creemos que la oración colectiva y las intenciones del pueblo de Dios harán posible el futuro que Dios tiene prefigurado para ICM.


Enlace al Documento: Jornada de 30 Días de ayuno y oración



Consejo de Obispas y Obispos de ICM

Rev. Obispa Dra. Nancy Wilson

Rev. Obispa Lillie Brock

Rev. Obispa Darlene Garner

Rev. Obispo Hector Gutierrez

Rev. Obispo Ken Martin

Rev. Obispa Dra. Mona West