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Archive for the ‘Global Justice News’ Category

Sign the petition – stop the drownings

We’ve been shocked by the image of the drowned innocent boy all over the media this morning and have joined this campaign demanding EU politicians take urgent action to save lives and give sanctuary to people fleeing war and hunger.

They’re meeting in a few days so we need to act fast. Join me here by signing the petition, sharing the link on any social media you’re on, and forwarding the email below to friends and family:

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

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

While studying the Bible together, a young man, apparently well-schooled in racially inspired hatred and animosity, announced he would kill those gathered simply because they were black.


There are no words to take away the anger, pain, sorrow and loss of the families and friends of the victims and the community of Charleston, or that will adequately address the outrage of those among us who have spent lifetimes working for the dismantling of racism and its systemic supports and the promotion of goodwill among all.


There are, however, words to address this senseless act: STOP THE VIOLENCE! STOP THE HATE! JUST STOP IT! Pass sensible gun laws that protect society from the animosity of the few. Reinstate the legal protections that many fought and died for, like equal voting rights legislation and equal educational opportunities and job programs. Teach and practice love before all other options.   Teach and practice kindness, compassion, acceptance, generosity and appreciation of difference. Someone taught that young shooter that difference was to be eliminated, not reverenced as a part of God’s good design.


There are words we can all remember and hold on to for inspiration and guidance as we move through this tragedy. A little over 50 years ago, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, facing a similar tragedy with the murder of 4 little girls at Sunday School in a Church in Alabama, called the nation and the world to accountability when he said, those who have been taken from us have something to say.


“They have something to say to every minister of the Gospel who has remained

silent behind the safe security of stained glass windows. They have something to

say to every politician who has fed his constituents the stale bread of hatred and

the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government

that has compromised …. They say to each of us, black and white alike, that we

must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned

not merely about WHO murdered them, but about the system, the way of life

and the philosophy which PRODUCED the murderers. Their death says to us

that we must work passionately and unrelentingly to make the American dream

a reality.”


All of us can and must do something every single day we are blessed to grace this earth to make that dream of a world at peace with its God-given diversity a reality.   As the saying goes, “See something, say something.” Never ever allow a racist remark to go unchallenged or pass for humor. Push for strict and enforced gun legislation that will eliminate easy access to weapons that do nothing but take life. Challenge legislators to reinstate the principles and practices of law and governance that challenge inequality and promote the value, dignity and worth of each life. Preach, teach and practice the ways of nonviolence.


As we collectively mourn this needless tragedy at Mother of Emanuel, let us remember the promise of that community’s name ~ that God is with us ~ and that we can do all things through the One who strengthens us.


Let us pray to the Mother of All Life for the courage to do the things and live in the ways that bring peace to this earth and honor the promise of all life.


Let us pray together ~


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


The people of Mother Emanuel have faced hatred and oppression in the past, and have risen like a phoenix from the ashes of despair and heartache with you by their side.

We pray that they will once again rise from this painful moment, and will be an example of hope that cannot be destroyed, integrity that will always survive, and community that no prejudice can divide as we stand together in solidarity.

Holy One, bless the dear people of Emanuel AME Church and all of us, and let the power of your love bring healing to the hearts and minds of people everywhere who continue to face hatred, injustice, and undeserved pain.

And, loving Spirit, we pray also for the assailant who took innocent lives.  Even as Justice demands that he be held accountable, mercy also requires that we pray for the healing of his soul, and for all souls that have not learned to replace blind hatred with love of self and


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

Join us in supporting The Korea Queer Culture Festival and organizers who have been blocked by local government and police from having the Seoul Pride parade after 16 years. In response to demands by anti-LGBT secular and religious groups, the Seoul police agency officially banned the Korean Queer Culture Festival, which is scheduled for 28 June. The parade traditionally marks the end of the three week-long festival (which starts 9 June).  Anti-LGBT demonstrators recently gathered outside of the Seoul City Hall carrying bigoted signs referring to the Seoul Mayor as the “Mayor of Sodom.”  Religious groups have also pressured South Korean government officials to place hardships on Festival and parade organizers.

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

None of us are free until we all are free to express our pride and our innate God-given human dignity in the public square.


For more information, contact the Public Policy Team at

Awareness, Affirmation & Action

A Conversation and Call To Action


MCC Public Policy Team members Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin (Sunshine Cathedral’s Executive Minister and member of MCC Governing Board) and Rev. DeWayne Davis(Senior Pastor of All God’s Children MCC) invite you to join them as they present a conference call series titled “Awareness, Affirmation & Action.”



From the tragic killing of Trayvon Martin, to institutionalized racial targeting in Ferguson, MO, USA to a series of African-American youth being killed by authorities in various cities, to voting rights being threatened, to remembering the struggles of the Civil Rights era during the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march, we continually are witnessing events that impact human dignity, security, and well-being.  These reminders let us know that our work for justice is not yet complete; there is much more to do.


We invite you to join the call and listen to voices that will inspire and challenge us to keep our movement for justice alive and strong.

  • Thursday, April 2nd – 2:00 PM/ET – Bishop Dr. Yvette Flunder, Founder & Senior Pastor of City of Refuge United Church of Christ, Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries
  • Thursday, April 9th – 2:00 PM/ET – Ruby Sales, Human Rights activist
  • Thursday, April 23rd – 2:00 PM/ET – Imam Daayiee Abdullah, an “out” gay Muslim cleric

Call in information:

Call Center:   1.626.677.3000

ID:                 778024


For more information please email Rev Dr Robert Griffin at


27 March 2015

Dear MCC Leader:

We are writing to share that the response to this year’s Easter Offering for the Global Justice Institute has been strong! 32 congregations have signed up already!


If we haven’t yet heard from you, will your congregation join in collecting a special offering for Global Justice between Easter and Pentecost? Write to Global Justice Institute executive director Rev. Pat Bumgardner at and let us know that your church will collect a special, designated 2015 Easter offering.

Click here to find out more about the projects this offerings support!

You’ll be joining with the following 32 congregations that are leading the way for this year’s offering!

All God’s Children MCC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Central Texas MCC, Waco, Texas, USA
FirstCoast MCC, Saint Augustine, Florida, USA
Founder’s MCC/ICM Fundadora Los Angeles, California, USA
Holy Cross MCC, Pensacola, Florida, USA
King of Peace MCC, Saint Petersburg, Florida, USA
Love Alive International Sanctuary of Praise, New York, New York, USA
MCC Austin,Texas, USA
MCC Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
MCC Boston, Massachusetts, USA
MCC Brisbane, Australia
MCC Good Shepherd, Granville, Australia
MCC Hartford, Connecticut, USA
MCC Key West, Florida, USA
MCC London, Ontario, Canada
MCC Louisville, Kentucky, USA
MCC New York, New York, USA
MCC of Greater Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
MCC of Paducah, Kentucky, USA
MCC of the Blue Ridge, Roanoke, Virginia, USA
MCC of the Spirit, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
MCC of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
MCC Portland, Oregon, USA
MCC Sacred Journey, Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA
MCC Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Neema MCC, Nairobi, Kenya
Northern Lights MCC, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Open Circle MCC, Oxford, Florida, USA
Open Door MCC, Boyds, Maryland, USA
Peninsula MCC, San Mateo, California, USA
SunCoast Cathedral MCC, Venice, Florida, USA
The Village MCC, Brighton, UK
And an individual pledge from Barb Crabtree, MCC Director of Operations


Join us in bringing a message of hope to our global siblings!


Grace and peace,

Rev. Nancy Wilson Signature

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson


Metropolitan Community Churches

Help promote LGBT rights in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia

Hello friends,

This summer Rev. Dr. Boon Lin Ngeo will be traveling to Asia on behalf of the Global Justice Institute. Rev. Boon has worked extensively abroad for the Institute and this year will visit China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia. In addition to making connections with LGBTQI centers and organizations, he will also being giving at least 20 talks in 15 cities on religion and sexuality, social justice, and human rights. Rev. Boon will be attending the gay pride parade in Vietnam as well. We would love support from communities around the world in order to make this trip and future work possible.
Please see the following link to learn more about his work and how you can contribute:
Rev. Dr. Boon


In a few days, the United States will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of one of the most famous events in Civil Rights History:  the March from Selma to Montgomery.  It was a painful and bloody moment in the struggle for racial equality, where activists of many faiths, Selmabackgrounds, and regions of the U.S. gathered to press government at every level for dignity, justice, and the right to live freely.  Marchers were met with extreme violence that was broadcast around the country on television and in newspapers.  Hate and violence were exposed for the world to see.  While the segregated South died a legal death, racial discrimination is still a reality for far too many.

As people of faith whose movement was born out of discrimination and violence, MCC and the Global Justice Institute (GJI) know the harm injustice can do to a people.  We stand in solidarity with all who live on the margins and stand in need of a more just and equitable society.  We recognize that the movement for LGBT equality in the U.S. was rooted in the Civil Rights Movement.  Hatred motivated people to bomb both the 16th Street Baptist Church and Founders MCCLA.  Through the lens of faith, one cannot see a difference between charred bodies hanging from of a Louisiana lynching tree or the charred body framed in the window of a fire bombed Upstairs Lounge.  We are united.  And we seek to practice a faith that crosses lines of race, gender, gender expression, sexuality.

In this spirit, we extend an invitation for you to join us for the 50th Anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March.  We invite all MCCers, friends, allies, and all people of faith to join us in Selma, Alabama, 5-9 March 2015.


 Selma 50

Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin, who was raised in segregated Alabama, will lead a delegation from the Global Justice Institute and Metropolitan Community Churches in participating in the commemoration of the march. The GJI/MCC delegation will take part in all the weekend’s activities, including the march across the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on Sunday 8 March. 


Join us.  And pray for justice.


Contact Rev. Robert if you plan to attend.  Click here to register.


For more information, please contact:
Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin
Executive Minister, Sunshine Cathedral MCC
Governing Board Member
MCC Global Justice Institute

Join MCC’s 2015 Easter Offering Campaign for Global Justice

Dear MCC Leader:

We’re reaching out to you to ask for your congregation’s participation in MCC’s Easter Offering Campaign for Global Justice! As we’ve seen in the past year, this work is more important now than ever before.


Your church’s participation in the Easter Offering Campaign for Global Justice will accomplish amazing things in the lives of oppressed people and advance the cause of justice around the globe.


Beginning next week and continuing through Pentecost, I’ll share details of this year’s project with you and tell you about opportunities for your congregation to interact with representatives from the Global Justice Institute.


Last year, your generous Easter Offerings empowered the Global Justice Institute to work with grassroots organizations to:

The Global Justice Institute joins with activists in Seoul to demand recognition of LGBTQ people
The Global Justice Institute joins with activists in Seoul to demand recognition of LGBTQ people.
  • Sponsor meetings in Kenya for affirming clergy working to create safe space for LGBTQI people;
  • Fund a safe house in Nigeria and safe scattered site housing in Kenya for Queer refugees;
  • Open the Asylum Seekers Assistance Program as the 1st full service ministry serving LGBTQI asylum seekers in New York City, offering legal, therapeutic and spiritual support, as well as peer mentorship;
  • Participate in the International Consultation on Church and Homophobia at Jakarta Theological Seminary, producing a joint declaration on sexuality and human equality mentorship;
  • Establish a partnership with Casabierta in Costa Rica, serving LGBTQI asylum seekers from Central America;
  • Convene a working Board of Directors representing our global interests and work;

Our goals for accomplishments in for 2015 include but are not limited to:

  • Further developing a partnership in Costa Rica for sheltering marginalized populations and working to reintegrate clients into society;
  • Partnering to establish the 1st satelite location of the Global Justice Institute in Kenya, giving us a working base in Africa;
  • Reviving the work of GJI and MCC in Jamaica;
  • Expanding outreach and developing small groups offering support in China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan;
  • Developing contacts in Argentina;
  • Expanding partnerships between local MCCs and GJI projects;
Celebrating our new partnership with Humanitas in Costa Rica!
Celebrating our new partnership with
Humanitas in Costa Rica!

By signing on, your church will support this critical work accomplished through the Global Justice Institute at a time when the support is needed globally more than ever!




Write to Global Justice Institute executive director Rev. Pat Bumgardner at and let us know that your church will collect a special, designated 2015 Easter offering.


In the coming weeks, we’ll send you the tools you need to get your congregation excited about the Easter Offering and the work of the Global Justice Institute!


What better time could there be than Easter for our shared offerings to bring hope and promise to our global siblings?


Can I count on your response this week?


Grace and peace,

Rev. Nancy Wilson Signature

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson


Metropolitan Community Churches

Black LGBT Religious Leaders Statement of Unity and Purpose

Black LGBT Religious Leaders Act with Historically Black Churches: “Black Bodies Matter”

LGBT Black Christians and faith leaders join tens of thousands of historically Black congregations/ denominations and allies to wear black to church on Sunday, December 14 in response to police brutality: “Black LGBT bodies must matter, too!”
  • Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM)
  • Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Director of the Office of Emerging Ministries, Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC)
Black America faces an unspoken agenda of terror and racism. In response, tens of thousands of historically Black congregations/ denominations and allies across the country will be wearing black on December 14, 2014, to protest the criminalization, disproportionate incarceration, and killing of black and brown people by law enforcement. As Black lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) religious leaders, we are all too familiar with oppressive systems that discriminate and kill.
Over the last six years, fair minded Americans have moved the country to elect our first Black president, opened the doors of marriage to same gender loving people in over 35 states and Washington D.C., began a national conversation on the inclusion of transgender brothers and sisters, and confronted the need to finally address immigration reform. This decided shift toward progressive social values has been met with an escalating conservative backlash most abhorrently embodied in the aggressive policing of Black and Brown bodies. The conservative climate has also led to rampant unresolved murders of transgender people.
Action: As more than 150 Black LGBT faith leaders, we commit to mobilize our LGBT led congregations, denominations, and faith communities to participate in a day of solidarity and to pray for healing, justice, and holy boldness as we respond as a united front. We call for the Black community and our allies to stand with us. In turn, we sign on to the following actions:
  • Intentionally collaborate with Black civil rights and faith-based organizations, Black church denominations, and grassroots social justice actions.
  • Participate in Black Lives Matter Sunday, December 14, by wearing black in solidarity and offering prayers to stop the violence against African Americans, to heal Ebola in Africa, and to end to the exportation of homo-hatred by conservative Evangelicals.
We, as LGBT religious leaders across faith traditions and across our country have created an historic alliance among ourselves as we assert that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We declare and decree our wholehearted commitment to participating in a new wave of sacred resistance to power structures, which demean black bodies, and reinforce policies, that undermine the life, and vitality of our community. We uphold that All Black Lives Matter and condemn all the ways Black bodies are marginalized, and subjected to hostility.
To that end, we call for all Black religious voices to unite together across the diversity that exists among us to proclaim that we stand on the side of justice for all and that every life is sacred. To do so we must connect the dots between the forms of oppression that rise up from the toxic root of racism. We stand against oppressive practices wherever they exist and are committed to the practice of peace and we encourage our communities to find common ground.
We commit to moving from the margins to the middle as we articulate an integrated multi-issue justice movement embracing the totality of concerns impacting Black and Brown bodies: police brutality, mass incarceration, violence against trans people, income inequality, immigration discrimination, malnutrition, gun violence, the assault on reproductive health, unequal pay for women, inferior education, disproportionately high HIV/AIDS, Ebola, the homeless crisis among black gay youth, and the lethal exportation of homophobia to Africa by the Religious Right.
As demonstrators around the country are organizing themselves to speak truth to power, we join our voices to this chorus of justice seekers and stand in solidarity with all who seek to change the ways our communities are oppressed and disenfranchised. In response to grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, and in other parts of the country where Black lives are ended senselessly over minor offenses or for no offense at all, our hearts are broken by the lack of justice for the victims of violence at the hands of law enforcement. We grieve with the families in St. Louis, Cleveland, and New York City who have lost their loved ones. We are also dismayed by militaristic police tactics that try to silence the voices of peaceful protesters reacting to the lack of justice from our legal system.
As religious leaders, we lift our voices in solidarity with the families, protesters, and all those who stand against discrimination. We affirm that the walls of racism, homophobia, transphobia and injustice must be pulled down in our communities, nation, on the continent of Africa and throughout the Diaspora.

Statement in response to immigration reform actions by U.S. President Barack Obama

November 21, 2014 – Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute applaud U.S. President Barack Obama for making bold moves to reform the U.S. immigration system.  Building on the immigrant reform actions of his nine predecessors, he announced changes that would permit children brought to the U.S. by their parents to remain indefinitely, expand the system of work permits, reduce barriers to higher education, and support family unification for certain bi-national families.  These measures constitute a major step in the right direction.


While we applaud President Obama, we are reminded that these actions fall short of the comprehensive immigration reform we, along with all other fair-minded stakeholders, have been seeking for years.  We must not leave LGBT families separated across borders, isolate and marginalize LGBT asylum seekers, or exclude any immigrant group from access to health care and social services.  Money spent on border security would better serve immigrants’ need for quality health care, education, affordable housing.  Despite these shortcomings, the President’s reforms constitute an expanded foundation upon which we must pursue greater freedoms.


We remind the President and Congress that immigrants are our sisters and brothers, neighbors, co-workers, friends, classmates, and fellow parishioners. They are contributors to healthy, vibrant communities. They are all children of God who deserve dignity, respect, and the freedom of opportunity that all other U.S. residents enjoy.  Because executive actions by any President are temporary, we call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation to ensure that all who desire a better life in the United States have a permanent and legal pathway toward that pursuit.


For more information on MCC/GJI’s immigration reform principles, see our statement “No Stranger to God: A Call for Sensible Immigration Reform that Supports and Reunites Families