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MCC Celebrates Obama Administration Decision Regarding DOMA

 Tearing Down Walls. 
 Building Up Hope.

From the Office of the Moderator

Metropolitan Community Churches

For Immediate Release:  24 February 2011

MCC Celebrates Obama Administration Decision on the Defense of Marriage Act And Calls for Continued Action

 

Metropolitan Community Churches joins with faith leaders and Marriage Equality proponents around the United States in this time of celebration of the Obama Administration’s decision to no longer defend section three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because it is unconstitutional.  The President’s determination that discrimination based on sexual orientation as it relates to marriage equality should be presumed unconstitutional brings us another step closer to marriage equality.

The President’s decision did not come quickly.  It came in response to countless demonstrations and calls for justice from thousands of marriage equality supporters encouraging him to move forward.  It came in response to hearing the stories of couples and families, many of whom are part of Metropolitan Community Churches.  The President’s response stands on the foundation of MCC’s activism beginning with our founder, The Reverend Elder Troy Perry, and continuing at all levels of our denomination and movement today.

“This decision did not come quickly and it will not end either debate or the numerous efforts to limit or repeal relational equality victories across the United States,” said The Rev. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, “but it is a giant step forward and represents a good faith effort to fulfill the promise our President made to us.  Today’s statement from the White House inspires me, and I pray all of MCC along with people of good will around this nation will continue to work for full marriage equality.”

“This is another example of the way diverse people of faith can stand in solidarity to make a difference in the public policy arena,” said MCC Marriage Equality Coordinator The Reverend Jim Merritt.  “We give thanks to God, and we celebrate what President Obama has done today.”

This statement prepared in conjunction with The Moderator’s Global Justice Team.

Metropolitan Community Churches, The Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Chair.

For further information, contact:

Rev. Jim Merritt

Marriage Equality Coordinator for MCC’s Global Justice Team

Metropolitan Community Churches

E-mail:  revjim@thecommunityactivist.com

Web:  www.mccchurch.org

Call Me Troy – Video

Additionally, you can download the entire movie as a video file at:

https://archive.org/details/CallMeTroy

Application for Leadership Mentoring Retreat: 20-23 January 2014

LMRJan2014Deadline to apply: 6 December 2013

Goals and Expectations

Do you feel called to change the world through serving MCC beyond the local level, either as a volunteer or as a full-time vocation as clergy or lay leader? Have you wondered if you might be called to be a member of our Governing Board or an Elder or to serve as part of the MCC Global Staff? Do you think about serving as a volunteer with our MCC Movement? Or do you want to understand more about the relationship of local church ministry and denominational/movement goals?

Are you a lay person or clergy who wants to help shape MCC’s future? Are you yearning for a few days away to better discover your ministry leadership gifts and calling? Are you ready to put into place plans for your own leadership and personal growth with a small group of like-minded MCCers from around the world?

If so, then this retreat is for you!

This retreat is designed for individuals interested in serving MCC beyond the local level. The faculty includes denominational leaders and staff who will provide registrants with an opportunity for discernment about improving leadership skills in an MCC global context.

This program also includes a small group experience in which you will participate with colleagues and faculty in a “circle of trust” as you design your own plan for improving your leadership skills and abilities. The expectation is that you will develop a plan and that you will meet with your circle on a regular basis, as the group agrees, after the retreat, for at least a year to encourage accountability for your plan.

Application

If you are interested in applying to participate in the Leadership Mentoring Retreat, please submit the following information to the Moderator’s Office: RevNancyWilson@MCCchurch.net.

Please include the data below in your application:

  • Name, Address,
  • Email Address, Phone Number
  • Gender Identity, Age
  • MCC church of which you are a member
  • Senior Pastor’s name and email address

Additionally, please respond to the following statements:

  1. Describe your history in MCC: maximum three pages double-spaced.
  2. Define or explore your sense of calling to Global MCC: maximum three pages double spaced.

References

Select two individuals to serve as references and ask each person to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf attesting to your qualifications to be selected to the Leadership Mentoring Retreat. Please ask those providing references to submit letters to the Moderator’s Office by 6 December 2013. Send to RevNancyWilson@MCCchurch.net.

Anticipated Location/Costs/Application Review

Applications will be evaluated and reviewed by the Leadership Mentoring Retreat Faculty. Only eighteen applicants will be accepted into this Retreat program.

Participants are expected to cover their travel costs and registration fee of $398 USD, which includes four days and three nights lodging, meals, in addition to tuition. An additional night would be available at $126 USD with advance notice to reserve the room. The retreat will be held at DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center in Parrish, Florida.

If you need scholarship support for lodging, meals, and tuition, review the options below and list one of them on your application. Scholarship opportunities are very limited.

______I will need a scholarship to cover $100 of the cost to attend the retreat; I will pay $298 USD.

______I will need a scholarship to cover half the cost of the retreat; I will pay $199 USD.

______I will need a scholarship for the cost of room and board; I will pay for tuition: $128.

______I will need a full scholarship: $398.

Applicants should arrive either at the Sarasota or Tampa airports and may rent a car or carpool to the conference center.

Applicants should arrive in time for the 3:00 p.m. start on Monday, 20 January 2014, and can depart for the airport after lunch on Thursday, 23 January 2014.

Deadline

Please submit applications to the Moderator at RevNancyWilson@MCCchurch.net by 6 December 2013.

Submission Format

Emailed applications are preferred. Applications can also be mailed to Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator’s Office, 3293 Fruitville Road, Suite 105, Sarasota, FL 34237.

2014 LMR Application
2014 LMR Application
2014 LMR Application.pdf
Date Updated: 12 November 2013

Governing Board Slate with Videos

GB 2013.small

Current MCC Governing Board (left to right): Rev. Onetta Brooks, Liz Bisordi, Kareem Murphy, Raquel Benítez-Rojas, Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, Rev. Tony Freeman, Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin, Rev. Dr. Candace Shultis, Bryan Parker

(En español)

Opening Statement from Current Governing Board

As the first Governing Board of MCC, we are very grateful for the service of the Governing Board Nominating Committee (GBNC) as they present the slate of nominees to fill vacancies at our upcoming General Conference. We are pleased that our new structure is fully operational, and we are thankful for the dedicated volunteers who have brought us to this moment. As your Governing Board, we are indebted to those who are completing their terms and excited to welcome new members to our work for the years to come, which will bring challenges, changes, and unprecedented opportunity for our denomination and movement.

 

GBNC Announces Slate of Governing Board Candidates

Governing Board Nominating Committee

Governing Board Nominating Committee (left to right):
Rev. Cathy Alexander, Rev. Catherine Dearlove, Rusty Hall

Peace and blessings to you. We are honored to announce today that the GBNC has completed its work and is recommending a slate of qualified candidates for election to the Board by General Conference.

In July, Clergy and Lay Delegates will have the opportunity to elect 2 clergy and 3 lay candidates from the slate being presented. From the slate of lay candidates, the two who receive the highest number of votes will each receive a six-year term on the Governing Board. The candidate with the third highest number of votes will receive a three-year term. Of the clergy candidates, the two who receive the most votes will each earn a six-year term on the Governing Board.

From now until July, we encourage you to prayerfully consider the candidates, ask God for clarity and purpose, and consult your congregation. Read the biographical information and listen to the candidates’ videos, which will be coming soon. Learn all you can about them so that as clergy or lay delegates representing your congregation, you can vote for those who best represent the spiritual values, required skills, and future vision of MCC.

The Process

The GBNC’s mandate was to refine and implement a process to recruit qualified candidates and establish specific criteria for evaluation and selection of potential Board members.  The GBNC also had the benefit of lessons learned from the existing Governing Board as to the gifts, skills, and time required to fulfill the demands of Board service.

Candidates were required to demonstrate the following:

(1) Essential Qualifications (Assessed through the candidates’ submissions to the GBNC)

These included active local church membership, multiple levels of MCC involvement and experiences, a record of service or leadership, and a record of accomplishment(s).

(2) Essential Competencies (Assessed through the interview process and personal references)

These included trustworthiness, interpersonal skills, communication skills, ability to use technology and operate in a virtual environment, flexibility, teamwork skills, conflict management skills, support for diversity, and a spirit of generosity.

(3) Important Attributes (Assessed through self-disclosure, interviews and resume)

These included diverse perspectives (candidate diversity) and complementary skill sets critical to the operational needs of the Board (for example, expertise or ability in the law, finance, human resources, strategy, governance, previous Board of Director experiences, and leadership).

The GBNC reviewed candidate submissions, screened them against the required qualifications, conducted interviews, reviewed personal references, and shortlisted the candidates to arrive at the recommended slate.

The Candidates

The GBNC was excited with the response of well-qualified candidates offering different skills, attributes, work, and vocational experiences. In all, 18 people applied from 4 countries. Each candidate had a unique story to tell in their relationship with MCC and brought a love for the people of MCC, a passion to serve God’s people, and an energetic hope for the future of MCC.

Your Slate of Candidates

The GBNC is pleased to announce the following candidates recommended for election to the Governing Board.

All candidate biographies are submitted here as received from the candidates, without editing on the part
of the GBNC or MCC staff.  Please address all questions to .



 Laity

 

Adrian Buganey

Adrian Buganey

Adrian Buganey

I have been a member of MCC Brisbane Australia since 1976, along with my partner Rev Ivor Holmans (deceased).

It is necessary, for us who come from a small church, to fill  many roles, and I am currently serving my second term as Treasurer. I served a term as Assistant District Coordinator before Districts were disbanded  and have been on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Judiciary Committee.

I worked for BHP Billiton for 30 years in accounting before retiring to spend more time with my partner;  God had other plans, and now  I work part time as CEO of Brisbane biggest and best Gay Spa & Sauna, a position I have held for over 10 years. Since the late 1980  I have been a volunteer with the Queensland AIDS Council and its many other names before it was  disbanded by our present State government.

I fought along side Ivor for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in this State of Queensland and continue to fight against homophobia.  I have protested and marched along side my sisters and brothers recently when the current Queensland government rescinded the Civil Partnership Bill. I have fought and continue to do so for marriage equality.

Adrian’s Video submission


 

Richard Henry

Richard Henry

Richard Henry

For most of his l career, Richard was a small business owner.  He ended his professional career at Walt Disney World, where he worked for 15 years as a Systems Administrator and Loss Prevention Manager in the Merchandise division.

He came to Metropolitan Community Churches at Joy MCC in Orlando, Florida in 2003.  As a member of Joy, he served in leadership positions including the Board of Directors and Pastoral Search team.   Richard also led ministries and facilitated classes.     He currently resides in Sarasota, Florida and is an active member of Church of the Trinity.  Richard serves on the Board of Directors, Stewardship team and Programming team.  He is certified to facilitate CLM and has completed the requirements for LEAD certification.   He volunteers at the Moderator’s office.   Richard is a member of the UFMCC Older Adult Advisory Council.

Richard also serves on the board of Trinity Charities, which serves folks living with HIV/AIDS in the Sarasota and Manatee County areas.

Richard’s Video submission


 

Kareem D. Murphy

Kareem D. Murphy

Kareem D. Murphy

Kareem Murphy is a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC, where he has served in numerous volunteer and leadership roles, including Lay Delegate and Member of the Board of Directors.  He has also been active in ecumenical and interfaith outreach and networking for both his church and the denomination.  On behalf of MCC, Kareem organized over 15 different faith groups for the interfaith contingent of the National Equality March (2009), including our own Council of Elders.  Kareem currently serves on MCC’s Public Policy Team, facilitating MCC’s public ministry on issues of national policy. In that role, he helps the MCC Moderator in her service on the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Kareem also brings a passion to the fight for marriage equality, having collaborated with faith leaders across the City and other allies in the marriage equality efforts in Washington, DC and Maryland.  Following the victory in DC, Kareem and his husband and college sweetheart, Rev. DeWayne Davis, celebrated their 20th anniversary with a “dream” wedding in August 2011.  He served as faculty at four MCC Leadership Mentoring Retreats, including the two for Young Adults.  He also served as the Volunteer Coordinator for both the 2010 General Conference in Acapulco and the 2011 People of African Descent Conference.

Kareem has lived in the Washington, DC area for over 20 years.  In his professional life, he is a Partner with The Ferguson Group, a Washington, DC-based government affairs firm specializing in local governments.  He heads the firm’s health care and homeland security practice groups.  He helped recruit and select five of the firm’s sixteen partners.  He led development of the firm’s more than $10 million budget for three cycles and chaired the team managing the last two strategic plans.  Kareem received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Spanish from Howard University and a Master of Arts in History from the University of Maryland at College Park.  He is a graduate of MCC’s first Leadership Mentoring Retreat.  He makes his home in Washington, DC with his husband and their canine child Dmitri.  Kareem is passionate about American Musical Theater.

Kareem’s Video submission


 

Sarah Jane Ramage

Sarah-Jane Ramage

Sarah-Jane Ramage

S-J is an assistant director in Deloitte’s UK restructuring services division of corporate finance.  In this role she is responsible for assisting businesses which are in financial trouble and managing businesses which have entered insolvency proceedings.  These roles regularly challenge her to make a little go a long way, to identify and implement creative solutions to complex and unusual problems.  She holds an MA from the University of Cambridge and is a chartered accountant.

She lives just outside Brighton on the South Coast of England with her partner Andrew and his two adult children.  She has been a member of MCC Brighton (UK) for 10 years, having searched for MCC since graduating in 2000.  She has served in a variety of roles both administrative and worship focused and currently serves on the Worship team and board of directors.  Since attending general conference in Acapulco in 2010, her interest in the wider denomination has grown and she served on the International Task Force during 2011 and 2012.  S-J has always demonstrated her faith in her secular life and truly embodies the values of MCC both spiritually and in matters of social justice and diversity, participating in her employers diversity network specifically considering trans and bisexual issues.
Sarah-Jane’s Video submission


 

Gail Rissler

Gail Rissler

Gail Rissler

I have been an active member since 1996 when I found in MCC a church home that would truly honor my commitment to God and my relationships with others. My MCC experience includes facilitating the Denomination 2014 – 2018 Strategic Vision, Mission and Action Plan. I am working with several MCC churches facilitating their five-year strategic plan development and providing leadership guidance. As a local church member, I served as a Board member (Treasurer), facilitator, strategic planner, organizational development consultant, Spiritual Autobiography and Personal and Spiritual Strategic Planning teacher, Covenant Team member and silent retreat leader.  I co-authored and teach an advanced Servant Leadership program focused on ministry leader growth, development, planning and action. I completed the MCC Creating a Life That Matters course, attended MCC Church Size and Stewardship Summits, developed church policies and procedures and led stewardship and capital building initiatives. Currently, I am a member of King of Peace (KOP) MCC, a rapidly growing and enthusiastic congregation, where I serve as the Strategic Planning Ministry Leader and a Spiritual and Personal Development teacher.

As the owner of Rissler Consulting, LLC, I design, facilitate and teach strategic planning for profit-based businesses, government, non-profit organizations and individuals across the nation. Previously, I was the Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of McDonald Bradley, Inc., an information technology firm specializing in high-end data solutions for the Intelligence Community. I hold a B.S.P.A. and M.P.A. in Public Financial Management from Indiana University and am an active member of the Association for Strategic Planning. I am an internationally certified Strategic Management Professional and hold a Gold Mastery Certification in Reinventing Strategic Planning. I believe I would bring key core competencies to the MCC Governing board including leadership and vision, strategic planning, business operations, budget and forecasting, contracts management, personnel management, corporate management and communications, organizational development and growth, and teaching and facilitation skills. I would be honored to serve our churches and our denomination.

Gail’s Video submission


 

Toni L. Smith

Toni L. Smith

Toni L. Smith
Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Saint Louis
Saint Louis, MO

Toni’s Spiritual Gift Assessment consistently shows her gifts are in generosity, faith and administration. Toni is extremely grateful for the foundation of faith laid by her family, in particular her Mother, and credits her for instilling the spiritual practice and joy of tithing. Toni is also extremely grateful for MCC – where she found we can have full spiritual freedom. In light of the legacy that she has received, her passion is to share that with others. In her 15 years at MCC of Greater Saint Louis, Toni L. Smith has served as a leader in many capacities:  Board Member (twice) and Vice Moderator during a time of a pastoral search, Lay Delegate, and Executive Director of the three-year Building Together Capital Campaign that secured the pledges necessary to buy and renovate the congregation’s current “home.”  She has also served as Stewardship Team Leader, L.E.A.D. Team Facilitator, MCCGSL liaison with Metropolitan Churches United (a coalition of churches in St. Louis), as well as having served on various worship teams and committees throughout the years.  Toni is recognized for her deep and abiding faith and spirituality and has served as a guest preacher.  She is highly principled, trustworthy and value centered with a deep commitment to diversity and equality.  Toni has a proven ability to build relationships and coalitions with both individuals and groups.  She has experience in financial management in both business and the church.  Additionally, Toni served on the board of Neighborhood Housing Services.

Toni is currently a State Farm Agent in St. Louis with 29 years’ experience in management and as an agent with her own business.  Prior to working for State Farm, she taught physical education and coached athletics in high school and junior high.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude with both a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s of Science in Education from Southern Illinois University where she was inducted into the SIU-C Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.

 



 Clergy

 

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Griffin

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Griffin

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Griffin
Master of Divinity, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
Doctor of Ministry, Florida Center for Theological Studies, Miami, FL

Dr. Griffin is a current member and former Vice-Chair of the MCC Governing Board and is standing for re-election. His various leadership roles have included being a Religious Programming Specialist in the US Navy, a church planter and senior pastor in MCC, an MCC Intensive and REVM faculty member, a denominational staff member assisting three different elders (including the Moderator), a volunteer police chaplain, a board member of various non-profit organizations, and a Large Church staff minister.

He says: “It has been both an honor and a privilege to serve MCC on the Governing Board. It has been a joy to be part of this dedicated team that has led our denomination into our current structure. As we prepare for the next triennium, I am very excited about our future as a movement and I believe strongly in the work of the Governing Board in partnership with the Senior Leadership Team and with clergy and lay leaders in the field to strengthen our denomination and help it move forward. If re-elected, I will continue to offer my services and skills to the best of my availability to help MCC be as healthy and vibrant as possible. In the style of servant leadership I will offer my experience of working in one of our corporate size churches, the Sunshine Cathedral MCC, where I serve as the Chief Programming Minister. In addition, I will also continue to find ways to utilize the skills I’ve developed from other work that I do and have done, such as church planting and serving as a Trustee for the Episcopal Divinity School, as a Board Member for V.I.S.I.O.N.S., Inc., and as a Fellow of the Rockwood Leadership Institute.”

Rev. Dr. Robert’s Video submission


Rev. Dr. Danny A. Spears

Rev. Dr. Danny A. Spears

Rev. Dr. Danny A. Spears 

Danny was involved in various capacities as a lay person in MCC since 1981, before receiving his ordination as MCC clergy in 2001. He served as pastor at MCC of Corpus Christi, Texas from 2001 until 2007, and has served as pastor of Holy Covenant MCC in Brookfield, Illinois since 2007. Danny is a member of MCC’s Judiciary Pool and MCC’s Advisory Council for Older Adults. He holds both the Master’s and Doctor of Divinity degrees from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. Danny’s primary gifts are administration, leadership, preaching and teaching.

Danny has specific interests in hunger issues and interreligious dialogue and cooperation both within and outside of MCC congregations; and he believes such cooperation and dialogue is crucial for promoting and implementing the various justice issues of our time—what may be interpreted by some as making the kindom of God visible in the here and now.

Danny and Richard Lofstrand, his spouse of almost 17 years, share their home with their three cats, Powder, Anthony and Cleopatra (Tony and Cleo). He is blessed to share in the family lives of Richard’s three children and three grandchildren. Danny enjoys cooking, reading, exercise, and is currently training for his first Sprint triathlon in August.

 

Rev. Danny’s Video submission


 

Rev. Peter Trabaris

Rev. Peter Trabaris

Rev. Peter Trabaris

Rev. Peter Trabaris is honored to be nominated to serve on the Governing Board of MCC.  Pastor Peter as most call him, brings more than twenty-years of active Lay and Clergy ministry to the Governing Board.  Peter has served as the pastor in four MCC congregations.  He also previously served the denomination as a member of the former Great Lakes District Committee, serving variously as West Area Coordinator, Member-at-Large, and for more than six years as the Clergy Representative.  Peter was also blessed to serve MCC as a representative to the National Council of Churches of Christ USA, during the days when MCC was seeking to join that body, and working with GLBTIQ members of mainline churches helping them to organize and expand their own presence within the NCCC, and in their host denominations.  While a lay person, Peter served Good Shepherd Parish MCC, Chicago, as Lay Delegate, Board Member, and Treasurer.  Finally, in the religious sphere, Peter has also served on the Executive Boards of the Hyde Park/Kenwood Interfaith Council, the Chicago Church Federation, and the Lakeview Overnight Shelter Board, as well as co-founding the North East Lake County Clergy Network.

In the secular realm, Peter has worked for such notable firms as Baxter Healthcare Corporation, where he was hired to create the position of Customer Master Coordinator, and Grubb & Ellis Company where he rose through the ranks to become the assistant to the Senior Vice-President of Human Resources, and as such, a member of the HR Senior Leadership Team.  Peter holds a BA Degree in Organizational Management from North Park University, Chicago, IL.  Peter was trained for Pastoral Ministry by Samaritan College of MCC.  He is currently working on a Master of Arts in Theology degree from the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.

 


 

Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell

Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell

Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell

Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell joined Metropolitan Community Churches at Joy MCC in Orlando, Florida, in May 1995.  She became a member of the staff as the Assistant to the Pastor, the late Rev. Jimmy Brock, in August of that same year.  After being ordained, Carol served as Assistant Pastor, Interim Pastor, and was elected Senior Pastor in July 1998.  In November 2003, Carol accepted the call to serve as Senior Pastor of MCC of Greater Saint Louis and ministered there through April 2012.  Appointed to serve as Intentional Interim Pastor at MCC of Topeka in May 2012, Carol resides there with her pet family and co-parents her 14 year old son, Nathaniel.

Before joining Joy MCC, Carol served as a bookstore manager, Vice-President of Accounting at an insurance underwriting firm, Site & Unit Director with YMCA, and as manager of a small CPA firm.  Her professional degrees include a BS degree in Accounting (1980), a Masters of Divinity degree (1988), and she was conferred the degree Doctor of Ministry (2004).  Carol’s ministry project was entitled “Who is God?  Discovering Models of God in the Gay & Lesbian Faith Community”.  Professional certifications are Certified Public Accountant (1984 to 2005), MCC ordination (1997), MCC Supervising Clergy, and MCC Intentional Interim Specialist.  Carol has served as a non-profit board member with Baptist AIDS Partnership of North Carolina, Mental Health Association of Central Florida, and One St. Louis.  Her spiritual gifts are faith, leadership, and wisdom.

Rev. Carol’s Video submission


 

MCC Ecumenical & Inter-Faith Advisory Council

Program Description & Questions for Consideration

 

Downloads

Ecumenical / Inter-Faith Advisory Council description201.7 KiB139 Ecumenical / Inter-Faith Advisory Council application235.8 KiB125

 

MCC is dedicated to ecumenical and inter-faith work at the denominational level to build partnerships and awareness of MCC’s presence within other religious and faith traditions. The MCC Ecumenical & Inter-Faith Advisory Council aides in guiding MCC’s ecumenical and inter-faith dialogues with a global focus. Appointed by Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator of MCC, this team serves as a guide and reference for MCC’s historical ecumenical and inter-faith work.

 

Purpose

The purpose of the Ecumenical & Inter-Faith Advisory Council is to (1) identify and seek ways in which MCC can engage with others to fulfill the goal of “proclaiming a spirituality that is liberating and sufficiently profound to address the issues of our complicated world” (MCC Statement of Direction), and (2) unite across denominational and religious lines to advocate an inclusive and genuine respect for the sacred worth of all people; to reduce human suffering; and to establish justice, peace and equality in the world.

 

Current Members:

Rev. John McLaughlin

Rev. Diane Fisher

Rev.  Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, liaison to Staff and Governing Board

 

Open Positions:

There are five open positions

 

Period of Appointment:

Two years

 

Meetings:

Bi-monthly conference calls via Skype
Bi-annual, in-person meetings

 

Functions

As advisors to the Office of the Moderator, the Council will:

  1. As requested, provide input to the Senior Leadership Team, MCC staff, and the Governing Board on the potential impact of MCC programs, polices, and practices on MCC’s presence in local communities throughout the world, e.g., participation in local, national, or global councils.
  2. Recommend resources that will enable our churches to become faith communities that are not only more diverse within our own churches but are active participants in the communities in which we live.
  3. Propose strategies and partnerships that might help MCC lead in dialogues on inclusion, tolerance, and social justice in ecumenical and inter-faith contexts.
  4. Provide leadership and resources for local churches, MCC conferences and gatherings.
  5. Assist in development of MCC’s public position statements on matters related to ecumenism and inter-faith topics.

 

Considerations for applying to Council: 

  1. How has MCC taken a leadership position in cross-religious dialogue in your locale?
  2. How do you understand MCC’s role as a global leader in promoting inclusion and acceptance?
  3. How does MCC differ from others doing similar work from a faith perspective?
  4. What is needed to advance MCC’s message of Inclusion, Community, Spiritual Transformation and Social Action?
  5. What ecumenical or inter-faith organizations are in your area? Are you, or your organization, active participants or members?
  6. What shareable resources has your congregation/organization developed?
  7. In what precise ways can the denomination encourage and support our congregations to become more active in ecumenical and inter-faith work?

Brief review and promo video for the MCC Clergy Well-Being Retreat

Anuncio de la Elección de la Junta de Gobierno

GB 2013.small

Junta de Gobierno de ICM Actual (de izquierda a derecha): Rev. Onetta Brooks, Liz Bisordi, Kareem Murphy, Raquel Benítez-Rojas, Rev. Obispa Dr. Nancy Wilson, Rev. Tony Freeman, Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin, Rev. Dr. Candace Shultis, Bryan Parker

 

Declaración de la Actual Junta de Gobierno

Como primera Junta de Gobierno de ICM, estamos muy agradecidos por el servicio de Comité Nominador de la Junta de Gobierno (GBNC) al presentar la lista de candidatos para llenar las vacantes en la próxima Conferencia General. Estamos contentos de anunciar que nuestra nueva estructura es completamente operacional, y muy agradecidos por los voluntarios tan dedicas que tenemos en este momento. Como su Junta de Gobierno, endeudados con aquellos que completan sus períodos y emocionados de poder recibir a nuevos miembros a nuestro trabajo en los años próximos, lo que aportará retos, cambios y la oportunidad sin precedentes para nuestra denominación y movimiento.

 

GBNC Anuncia la Lista de Candidatos para la Junta de Gobierno

Governing Board Nominating Committee

Comité Nominador de la Junta de Gobierno (izquierda a derecha):Rev. Cathy Alexander, Rev. Catherine Dearlove, Rusty Hall

Paz y bendiciones para ustedes. Estamos honrados en anunciar, que el día de hoy; el GBNC ha cumplido con su trabajo y está recomendando una lista de candidatos y candidatas cualificados(as) para la elección a la Junta de Gobierno por la Conferencia General.

En Julio, los(as) clérigos(as) y Delegados(as) Laicos(as) tendrán la oportunidad de elegir a 2 clérigos(as) y 3 laicos(as) de la lista que está siendo presentada. De la lista de candidatos(as) laicos(as), los dos que reciban las más altas votaciones recibirán un periodo de 6 años en la Junta de Gobierno. El candidato que tenga el tercer más alto número de votos recibirá un periodo de 3 años. De los candidatos(as) clérigos(as), los dos que reciban el mayor número de votos recibirán un periodo de 6 años en la Junta de Gobierno.

Desde ahora hasta julio, le motivamos a considerar en oración a los candidatos, pedir a Dios claridad y propósito y consultar con sus congregaciones. Lean la información biográfica y escuchen los videos de los candidatos, que pronto estarán siendo ofrecidos. Conozcan lo más que puedan acerca de ellos para que como clérigos(as) y delegados(as) laicos(as) representando a su congregación puedan votar por aquellos que mejor representen los valores espirituales, las capacidades requeridas y la visión a futuro de ICM.

Proceso

El mandato del GBNC era definir e implementar un proceso para reclutar candidatos cualificados y establecer los criterios específicos para la evaluación y selección de los potenciales miembros de la Junta de Gobierno. EL GBNC también tuvo el beneficio de las lecciones aprendidas de la actual Junta de Gobierno así como sus dones, habilidades y tiempo requerido para cumplir con la demanda del servicio de la Junta.

Se pidió a los candidatos que demostrarán lo siguiente:

(1) Cualificaciones esenciales (Evaluado por medio del documento enviado al GBNC)

Esto incluye la actividad en la membresía de la iglesia local, la participación y experiencias en los múltiples niveles de ICM, un reporte del servicio o liderazgo y un reporte de los logros.

(2) Competencias esenciales (Evaluado a través del proceso de entrevista y referencias personales).

Esto incluía la confiabilidad, las habilidades personales, capacidades de comunicación, habilidad en el uso de la tecnología y operación en un ambiente virtual, flexibilidad, trabajo en equipo, capacidad de manejo de conflictos, apoyo de la diversidad y espíritu de generosidad.

(3) Atibutos importantes (Evaluado a través del compartir personal, entrevistas y currículo)

Esto incluía diversas perspectivas (diversidad de candidatos) y habilidades complementarias para poder trabajar en las necesidades operacionales críticas de la Junta (por ejemplo, experiencia y habilidad en cuestiones legales, finanzas, recursos humanos, estrategia, gobierno, anteriores experiencias en Juntas Directivas y liderazgo).

La GBNC revisó las solicitudes de los candidatos, repaso de nuevo las cualificaciones requeridas, condujo entrevistas, revisó las referencias personales y elaboró una pequeña lista de candidatos para llegar a la lista de recomendados.

Los Candidatos/b>

La GBNC estuvo emocionada con la respuesta de los muy cualificados candidatos ofreciendo diferentes habilidades, atributos, trabajo y experiencias vocacionales, en todas, las 18 solicitudes de 4 países. Cada candidato tiene una historia única para contar sobre su relación con ICM y mostraron el amor por las personas de ICM, pasión por servir al pueblo de Dios y una esperanza energética por el futuro de ICM.

Tu lista de Candidatos

La GBNC se complace en anunciar la recomendación de los siguientes candidatos para la elección de la Junta de Gobierno.

Todas las biografías que aparecen fueron revisadas por los candidatos, sin edición de parte del GBNC o del personal de ICM. Favor de enviar todas las preguntas a .



 Laicos(as)

 

Adrian Buganey

Adrian Buganey

Adrian Buganey

Ha sido miembro de MCC Brisbane Australia desde 1976, junto con tu pareja el Rev Ivor Holmans (fallecido).

Como suele ser necesario, para aquellos quienes venimos de iglesias pequeñas, el tener varios roles, actualmente sirvo en mi segundo período como Tesorero. He servido como Coordinador Asistente de Distrito antes de que fueran eliminados los Distritos y he sido parte de la Junta del Ministerio Ordenado y del Comité Judicial.

He trabajado para BHP Billiton durante 30 años antes de mi jubilación para tener más tiempo para mi pareja; Dios tenía otros planes, actualmente trabajo medio tiempo como CEO of Brisbane el mayor y mejor Gay Spa & Sauna, puesto que he tenido por más de 10 años. Desde finales de los 80´s he sido voluntario del Queensland AIDS Council y sus muchos nombres antes de que fuera desintegrado por el gobierno estatal actual.

Luché al lado de Ivor en contra de la descriminalización de la homosexualidad en el Estado de Queensland y continúo en la lucha contra la homofobia. He protestado y marchado junto con hermanos y hermanas recientemente cuando el gobierno de Queensland rescindió la ley de Uniones Civiles. He luchado y continuaré haciéndolo a favor del matrimonio igualitario.

 


 

Richard Henry

Richard Henry

Richard Henry

La mayor parte de su carrera, Richard fue dueño de su propio negocio. Terminó su carrera profesional en el Mundo de Walt Disney, dónde trabajó por 15 años como Administrador de Sistemas y Gerente en la Prevención de Pérdidas en la División de Mercancía.

Se unió a las Iglesias de la Comunidad Metropolitana en Joy MCC en Orlando, Florida en 2003. Como miembro de Joy, ha servido en posiciones de liderazgo incluyendo la Junta Directiva y el Equipo de Búsqueda Pastoral. Richard también dirigió ministerios y ofreció clases. Actualmente vive en Sarasota, Florida y es un miembro activo de Church of the Trinity. Richard sirve en la Junta Directiva, el Equipo de Administración y el Equipo de Programación. Ha sido certificado para ofrecer el CLM y ha completado los requerimientos para la certificación para LEAD. Es voluntario en la oficina de la Moderadora. Richard es miembro del Consejo Consultivo de Adultos Mayores de la FUICM.

Richard también sirve en la Junta de Caridades de Trinity, la cual presta servicios a personas viviendo con VIH/SIDA en las áreas de los condados de Sarasota y Manatee.

 


 

Kareem D. Murphy

Kareem D. Murphy

Kareem D. Murphy

Kareem Murphy es miembro de Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC, donde ha servido en varios puestos como voluntario y en liderazgo, incluyendo Delegado Laico y Miembro de la Junta Directiva. Ha estado muy active en los alcances ecuménicos e inter-religiosos y en las redes tanto de su iglesia como de la denominación. En representación de ICM, Kareem organizó a más de 15 diferentes grupos de fe para un contingente inter-religioso en la Marcha Nacional de la Equidad (2009), incluyendo a su propio Consejo de Obispos y Obispas. Kareem actualmente sirve en el Equipo de Políticas Públicas de ICM, facilitando el ministerio público de ICM en temas de política nacional. En este puesto, ayuda a la Moderadora de ICM en su servicio en el Consejo Consultivo Presidencial sobre Bases de Fe. Kareem también aporta su pasión por la lucha del matrimonio igualitario, habiendo colaborado con líderes de fe de toda la ciudad y otros aliados en los esfuerzos por el matrimonio igualitario en Washington, DC y Maryland. Después de la Victoria en DC, Kareem y su esposo y amoroso colega, el Rev. DeWayne Davis, celebraron su XX Aniversario con la boda de sus sueños en Agosto de 2011. Sirve como miembro de la facultad para los Retiros de Liderazgo de ICM, incluyendo dos para Jóvenes Adultos. Ha servido como Coordinador de Voluntarios en la Conferencia General de Acapulco en 2011 y en la Conferencia de Personas Afrodescendientes 2011.

Kareem ha vivido en Washington, DC área por más de 20 años. En su vida profesional, ha sido parte del Grupo The Ferguson, en Washington, DC firma de asuntos gubernamentales especializada en gobiernos locales. Es director de la firma de grupos sobre atención médica y prácticas de seguridad nacional. Ayudó a reclutar y seleccionar cinco de las dieciséis firmas que participan. Dirigió el desarrollo del presupuesto de la firma de más de 10 millones para tres ciclos y fue presidente del equipo de gerentes de los últimos dos planes estratégicos. Kareem recibió el grado de Bachillerato en Artes en Historia y Español por la Universidad Howard y Maestria en Artes de la Universidad de Maryland en College Park. Se graduó en el Primer Retiro de Liderazgo de ICM. Tiene su hogar en Washington, DC con su esposo y su mascota Dmitri. Kareem es apasionado del Teatro Musical Americano.

 


 

Sarah Jane Ramage

Sarah-Jane Ramage

Sarah-Jane Ramage

S-J es directora asistente en Deloitte en Inglaterra restructurando los servicios del corporativo financiero. En su papel es responsable por asistir con los negocios en los cuales están en dificultades financiera y manejando negocios con precedentes de insolvencia. Estos puestos regularmente la retaron a realizar un camino más largo, para identificar e implementar las soluciones creativas a problemas complejos e inusuales. Ella tiene una maestría por la Universidad de Cambridge y contadora.

Ella vive a las afueras de Brighton en la Costa Sur de Inglaterra con su pareja Andrew y sus dos hijos. Ha sido miembro de MCC Brighton (UK) por 10 años, habiendo buscado a ICM desde su graduación en el año 2000. Ha servido en una variedad de puestos tanto administrativos como de enfoque litúrgico y actualmente sirve en el Equipo de Liturgia y en la Junta Directiva. Desde la Conferencia General en Acapulco en 2010, su interés en la denominación ha crecido y servido en el Equipo de Trabajo Internacional durante los años 2011 y 2012. S-J ha siempre demostrado su fe en su vida secular y verdaderamente abraza los valores de ICM tanto espiritualmente como en los asuntos de justicia social y diversidad, participando con sus trabajadores específicamente considerando los temas trans y bisexuales.

 


 

Gail Rissler

Gail Rissler

Gail Rissler

Ha sido miembro activo de ICM desde 1996 cuando fundó una ICM en su hogar que realmente honrara el compromiso con Dios en las relaciones con otros. Su experiencia con ICM incluye el facilitar la Visión Estratégica, Misión y Plan de Acción de la Denominación 2014 – 2018. Trabaja con varias iglesias de ICM facilitando el desarrollo de sus planes estratégicos y ofreciendo guía para el liderazgo. Como miembro de una iglesia local, ha servido como miembro de la Junta (Tesorera), facilitadora, plan estratégico, consultora de desarrollo organizacional, maestro de Autobiografía Espiritual y Plan Estratégico Espiritual, miembro del Equipo de Convenio y líder de retiros de silencio. Es co-autora y maestra de programa de Liderazgo de Servicio enfocado en el crecimiento del líder de ministerio, desarrollo, planeación y acción. Completó el curso de ICM Creando Vidas con Sentido, participó en los Cursos sobre la Teoría del Tamaño de las Iglesias y sobre Administración, desarrolló políticas y procedimientos de la iglesia y guió iniciativas de administración y construcción capital. Actualmente, es miembro de King of Peace (KOP) MCC, una congregación de rápido y entusiasta crecimiento, donde ha servido como Líder de Ministerio del Plan Estratégico y Maestra de Desarrollo Espiritual y Personal.

Como propietaria de Rissler Consulting, LLC, diseñó, facilitó y enseñó la planeación estratégica para negocios no gubernamentales, gobierno, organizaciones non-profit e individuos de toda la nación. Previamente, fue Presidenta Oficial de Estrategia y Vice-Presidenta Ejecutiva de McDonald Bradley, Inc., una firma especializada en información tecnológica especializada en soluciones de altas soluciones para Comunidades Inteligentes. Tiene los títulos de B.S.P.A. y M.P.A. en Manejo Financiero Público por la Universidad Indiana y es miembro activo de la Asociación de Planeación Estratégica. Está certificada internacionalmente como Gerente Profesional Estratégica y tiene una Certificación de Maestría Dorada en Reinventar la Planeación Estratégica. Cree firmemente que puede traer competencias claves a la Junta de Gobierno de ICM incluyendo visión de liderazgo, planeación estratégicas, operaciones de negocios, presupuesto, manejo de contactos, manejo de personal, gerencia corporativa y de comunicaciones, desarrollo y crecimiento organizacional y habilidades de enseñanza y facilitadora. Se sentiría honrada de servir a nuestras iglesias y nuestra denominación.

 


 

Toni L. Smith

Toni L. Smith

Toni L. Smith
Metropolitan Community Church de Greater Saint Louis
Saint Louis, MO

Toni en su Evaluación de Dones Espirituales muestra consistentemente sus dones de generosidad, fe y administración. Está grandemente agradecida por la fundación de fe guiada por su familia, en particular su madre, y sus créditos en la instalación de la práctica y alegría de diezmar. También está profundamente agradecida por ICM – donde ella pudo encontrar la libertad espiritual plena. En respuesta al legado que ha recibido, su pasión es compartirlo con otros. En sus 15 años en MCC of Greater Saint Louis, Toni L. Smith ha servido como líder en varias capacidades: en la Junta (en dos ocasiones) y Vice Moderadora durante el tiempo de búsqueda pastoral, Delegada Laica y Directora Ejecutiva por tres años de la Campaña Capital Building Together que aseguró lo necesario para comprar y renovar el “hogar” actual de la congregación. Ella ha servido como Líder del Equipo Administrativo, en el Equipo Facilitador de L.E.A.D., enlace de MCCGSL con Metropolitan Churches United (una coalición de iglesias en St. Louis), también ha servido en varios equipos de liturgia y como predicadora invitada. Ella es una persona muy honrada, en quien se puede confiar y con un valor bien centrado en el compromiso con la diversidad e igualdad. Toni ha demostrado una gran habilidad para establecer relaciones y coaliciones tanto con individuos como con grupos. Tiene experiencia en la gerencia financiera tanto en los negocios como en la iglesia. Además, Toni ha servido en la Junta de Neighborhood Housing Services.
Toni actualmente es Agente de State Farm en St. Louis con 29 años de experiencia en la gerencia y como agente de su propio negocio. Antes de trabajar para State Farm, ella fue maestra de educación física y entrenadora de atletas de secundaria y preparatoria. Ella se graduó con Magna Cum Laude tanto en su Bachillerato en Ciencias como en su Maestría en Ciencias en Educación de parte de Southern Illinois University lugar donde fue añadida al Salón de la Fama en 1983.

 



Clérigos(as)

 

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Griffin

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Griffin

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Griffin
Maestría en Divinidad, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
Doctor en Ministerio, Florida Center for Theological Studies, Miami, FL

Dr. Griffin es actuamente miembro y fue vice-presidente de la Junta de Gobierno y se presenta para su reelección. Sus varios puestos de liderazgo han incluido ser Especialista en Progamas Religiosos en la Naval de Estados Unidos, plantó una iglesia y fue pastor en ICM, miembro del Intensivo de ICM y de la facultad del REVM, miembro del personal de la denominación ha asistido a tres diferentes obispos (incluyendo a la Moderadora), es capellán voluntario de la policía, miembro de la Junta de varias organizaciones non-profit y ministro de Iglesia Grande.

El dice: “Ha sido tanto un honor como un privilegio el servir en la Junta de Gobierno de ICM. Ha sido una gran alegria el ser parte de ese equipo tan dedicado que ha guiado a nuestra denominación en su actual estructura. Mientras nos preparamos para el próximo trienio, estoy muy emocionado sobre nuestro futuro como movimiento y creo firmemente en el trabajo de la Junta de Gobierno en unión con el Equipo de Liderazgo y clérigos(as) y líderes laicos en el campo para fortalecer nuestra denominación y ayudar a movernos más allá. Si soy re-electo, continuaré ofreciendo mis servicios y capacidades y lo mejor de mi disponibilidad para ayudar a que ICM sea lo más saludable y vibrante posible. En el estilo del liderazgo de servicio ofreceré mi experiencia de trabajo en una de nuestras iglesias corporativas, the Sunshine Cathedral MCC, donde he servido como Presidente de Programación de Ministerio. Además, continuaré encontrando formas de aprovechar las herramientas que he desarrollado en otros trabajos que hago y he realizado, como plantación de iglesias y sirviendo como Administrador de la Escuela Episcopal, como miembro de la Junta de V.I.S.I.O.N.S., Inc., y como Socio del Instituto de Liderazgo Rockwood”.

 


 

Rev. Dr. Danny A. Spears

Rev. Dr. Danny A. Spears

Rev. Dr. Danny A. Spears 

Danny ha estado envuelto en varias capacidades como laico en ICM desde 1981, antes de recibir su ordenación como Clérigo de ICM en 2001. Sirvió como pastor en MCC of Corpus Christi, Texas del 2001 al 2007, y ha servido como pastor de Holy Covenant MCC en Brookfield, Illinois desde 2007. Danny es un miembro del Cuerpo Judicial de ICM y del Consejo Consultivo para Adultos Mayores de ICM. Tiene los grados de Maestría y Doctorado en Divinidad por el Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary en Austin, Texas. Entre los principales dones están la administración, liderazgo, predicación y la enseñanza.

Danny tiene interés específico en temas de alimentación y diálogo interreligioso y cooperación entre congregaciones dentro y fuera de ICM; y el cree que tal coperación y diálogo es crucial promocionando e implementando varios temas de justicia en nuestro tiempo—lo que puede ser interpretado por algunos como hacer visible el reino de Dios aquí y ahora.

Danny y Richard Lofstrand, su esposo por casi 17 años, comparten su hogar con tres gatos, Powder, Anthony y Cleopatra (Tony y Cleo). Es bendecido de compartir su vida en la familia de los tres hijos y nietos de Richard. Danny disfrutar cocinar, leer, ejercitarse y actualmente está entrenando para su primero Triatlón en Agosto.

 


 

Rev. Peter Trabaris

Rev. Peter Trabaris

Rev. Peter Trabaris

Rev. Peter Trabaris se siente honrado de ser nominado para servir en la Junta de Gobierno de ICM. El Pastor Peter es llamado a ofrecer más de veinte años como Laico activo y Clérigo de la Junta de Gobierno. Peter ha servido como pastor en cuatro congregaciones de ICM. El también previamente ha servido a la denominación como un miembro del actual Great Lakes District Committee, sirviendo en varios puestos como Coordinador de West Area, Miembro General y por más de seis años como Clérigo Representante. Peter ha sido bendecido en servir como representante de ICM en el Consejo Nacional de Iglesias de Cristo en USA, durante los días en que ICM buscaba participar en dicha organización y trabajando con miembros GLBTIQ de las principales iglesias ayudándoles a organizarse y expandir su presencia dentro del NCCC, y en sus denominaciones. Como laico, Peter sirvió en Good Shepherd Parish MCC, Chicago, como Delegado Laico, Miembro de la Junta Directiva y Tesorero. Finalmente, en la esfera religiosa, Peter también ha sevido como Executive Boards of the Hyde Park/Kenwood Interfaith Council, de Chicago Church Federation, y del Lakeview Overnight Shelter Board, así como cofundador de North East Lake County Clergy Network.

En el ámbito secular, Peter ha trabajado en varias firmas notables como Baxter Healthcare Corporation, donde fue contratado para crear el puesto de Costumer Master Coordinator, y en Grubb & Ellis Company donde llegó a ser asistente del Vice-Presidente de Recursos Humanos, y como tal, miembro de HR Senior Leadership Team. Peter tiene un BA Degree en Organizational Management de parte North Park University, Chicago, IL. Peter fue formado para el Ministerio Pastoral en el Colegio Samaritano de ICM. Está trabajando por conseguir su Maestría en Artes en Teología en la Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.

 


 

Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell

Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell

Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell

Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell se unió a Metropolitan Community Churches en Joy MCC en Orlando, Florida, en Mayo de 1995. Llegó a ser miembro Asistente del Pastor, Pastor, poco después del Rev. Jimmy Brock, en August del mismo año. Después de su ordenación, Carol sirvió como Pastora Asistente, Pastora Interina, y fue electa como Pastora en julio de 1998. En Noviembre de 2003, Carol aceptó servir como Pastora de MCC of Greater Saint Louis desde abril de 2012. Fue nombrada para servir como Pastora Interina en MCC of Topeka en Mayo de 2012, Carol vive con su hijo de 14 años y su mascota.

Antes de unirse a Joy MCC, Carol sirvió como gerente de una librería, Vice-Presidenta de una Firma de Seguros, Site & Unit Director con YMCA, y como gerente de una pequeña firma. Su grado profesional incluye BS en Contabilidad (1980), Maestría de Divinidad en (1988), y se le confirió el grado de Doctorado en el Ministerio en (2004). El proyecto de ministerio de Carol se llama “¿Quién es Dios? Descubriendo los Modelos de Dios en la Comunidad de Fe Gay y Lesbiana”. Sus certificaciones profesionales son Certificado como Contadora Pública (1984 a 2005), ordenación en ICM (1997), Supervisora de Clérigos en ICM y Especialista en Ministerios Interinos Intencionales. Carol ha servido como miembro de juntas non-profit con la Baptist AIDS Partnership of North Carolina, Mental Health Association de Central Florida, y One St. Louis. Sus dones son fe, liderazgo y sabiduría.

 


 

Lenten Meditation – Easter Sunday – “Roll Away the Stone”

Easter Sunday 

“Roll Away the Stone”

Luke 24:1-12 

Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson

In preparing for this reflection, I realized that I did not really know very much about MCC’s first Easter.

So, I went to the source.  Rev. Elder Troy Perry was happy to tell me what he remembered.  That Friday, Good Friday, in 1969 was the inquest about the death of Howard Efland, a gay male nurse beaten to death by Los Angeles (California, USA) vice squad officers.  He had been heard screaming, “Help me!  My God, someone help me!”  But no one did.

Rev. Perry and other community leaders publicly challenged the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles.  For him, it was the event that lit the fire of his lifelong activism.  It changed everything.

That Easter Sunday, the church had to move to a bigger room at the Women’s Club to accommodate 120 people — the largest crowd yet at the six-month-old church.  From that moment on, attendance grew and never dropped back, even as they were forced to move from place to place.   They became a movement!

I had never heard the sermon title from that day.  It was “The Stone of Ignorance Has Been Rolled Away from the Tomb of Truth!”

(Image credit: streetandstage.com)

(Image credit: streetandstage.com)

In Luke’s version of the Resurrection of Jesus, the part about the stone being rolled away comes at the second verse.  Earlier in the gospel, Luke has Jesus saying, at the Palm Sunday march into Jerusalem, that if his disciples were forced to be silent, “even the stones will cry out” their Hosannas!

That early Easter morning, a “Hosanna” stone was rolled away, and a “stone that the builders rejected” became our Chief Cornerstone.  That morning, before the first rays of light, Someone moved that stone forever.

It was not a human hand but an act of a just, liberating God.  It was the Exodus of truth from the tomb of obscurity and ignominy.  The truth that can set all free. . .

I believe that the stone of ignorance that was being rolled away in early 1969 was also rolled away by the hand of the Divine Truth-Teller!  As Rev. Perry and 120 worshipped that first Easter, they did so in full knowledge of the terrible cost of lies, of deadly closets, of sexual oppression, homophobia, sexism, and of raw, unchecked power.  And they knew that the Word that was being revealed to them was a gift, a Word of hope, a light in the darkness.

The first women who witnessed the gift of a stone rolled away and an empty tomb were belittled and dismissed as carriers of “an idle tale.”  But today, thousands of years later, their story is our story.  And it is not just an idle tale; it is changing lives and history.

How many of those 120 worshippers would have believed that some of them would live to see this day, of spiritual justice, of marriage equality, of human rights advances?  How could they have imagined tens of millions of all genders and sexual orientations hearing good news, despite the intransigence of so many churches and religious folk?  Today, the stone of ignorance is still being rolled away from places truth is still entombed — in pulpits, in pamphlets, in encyclicals, in places where religious bigotry still fuels violence against our communities.  So many people hunger to know a Jesus who came so that we may have life and have it abundantly!  Today, someone somewhere cries, “My God!  Someone help me!”  Let us be that someone.

When we come together at General Conference this year, a few of those 120 will be there; many more will be surrounding us as our communion of saints.  As we welcome spiritual activists and MCCers from Uganda, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ukraine, as well as places like Peoria, Illinios (USA), we will hear the sounds of more stones rolling away. . .

Today, God needs our hands and our voices raised to bring to fulfillment the promises of justice and peace.  God needs more of us to be fired up into activism that makes a difference.  Happy Easter!

Rev. Nancy’s reading of the Old Testament Scripture at the Inaugural Prayer Service in Washington, D.C.


RevWilsonAtInauguralPrayer

 

Click on the Image to hear Rev. Nancy read the Hebrew Scriptures on behalf of all of us.  Her reading begins at 12:25 into the recording. 


Join the Moderator’s Circle by clicking on the image below–be a part of MCC as we transform ourselves as we transform the world.

 

 

moderators-circle

 

 

 

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Metropolitan Community Church Leader Responds to Arrest of Brandon Hamm, Volunteer MCC Pastor

From the Office of the Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches
For Immediate Release: 6 July 2011

Metropolitan Community Church Leader Responds to
Arrest of Brandon Hamm, Volunteer MCC Pastor 

The Peninsula Metropolitan Community Church recently learned that Brandon Hamm, a volunteer minister, was arrested on 22 June 2012 on charges related to child pornography. Hamm was held, and on 26 June, charged with multiple felony counts of engaging in a lewd act with a minor through social media.

When the news reached The Peninsula MCC and leaders at the Metropolitan Community Churches, officials immediately followed pre-established procedures to respond to arrests or allegations by suspending Brandon Hamm’s license to be a minister within MCC until the investigation and legal proceedings are completed. All MCC ministers annually read and sign a code of conduct that explicitly prohibits “abuse or exploitation of minors.”

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, said, “Leaders, pastors and members of Metropolitan Community Churches are shocked by these allegations. We serve people across the world, and we are committed to creating safe sanctuary for all of our members and community participants. MCC leaders have taken appropriate initial actions and are monitoring developments. It is important to remember that an investigation is in process, and it is in the hands of police authorities. As always, we seek God’s guidance and pray for every person who is impacted.”

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For contact: Ann Craig, MCC Media Coordinator .