I'm NEW to MCC... Tell Me More!  |  Find a Local Church  |  Give To MCC  |  Contact Us

Archive for the ‘Impact’ Category

World’s Largest Democracy Reverses Decision Upholding LGBT Equality

World’s Largest Democracy
Reverses Decision Upholding LGBT Equality
Activists Vow to Fight On

On Wednesday, December 11th, the Supreme Court of India hearing the case of Suresh Kumar Kaushal v. Naz Foundation overturned the historic 2009 Delhi High Court ruling decriminalizing the life of LGBT citizens in India and upholding the full equality of all India’s peoples.

The former February 2009 decision had been hailed as an historic victory for all nations plagued by the remnants of colonial era imposed legislation. Chief Justice Shah’s premise of “constitutional morality” and the principled belief of Dr. Ambed Kar that majorities have no right to discriminate against minorities simply because the former outnumber the latter served to embolden a decade of activism in India that changed the face of LGBT life and inspired Queer people throughout the region.

Today’s decision will, in effect, reinstate section 377 of the Penal Code dating back to 1860 and India’s days under British Imperial rule, imposing a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted of “sex against the order of nature.”

Though today’s decision represents a loss, it also serves as a reminder to all of us that laws come and go with political and social climates. We must not be defeated by the momentary defeats, nor be content with singular and isolated victories, but rather keep our eyes on the prize of universal and full human equality for all people everywhere.

We must hold to the conviction that human rights are not given or taken away by courts or legislators. Human rights belong to all the people of God by virtue of our common humanity. What we fight for is the recognition of the inherent truth that we are all the valued and beloved children of God, worthy of being treated equally and with dignity in all things.

Let us all commit to living our lives openly and with heads held high, and to praying for our brothers and sisters in India who must once again summon the resolve to battle both the external forces of hatred and violence that are fueled by decisions such as today’s, and the fear and temptation to hide that become the internal battles of those under siege. Let us together pray for the day when honesty is no longer criminalized, but rather recognized and lauded as the virtue of all people who know themselves to be fully human and absolutely created in the image of God.

This statement prepared in conjunction with the Global Justice Institute
and the Public Policy Team of Metropolitan Community Churches,
Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Executive Director, Mr. Kareem Murphy, Public Policy Team,
and Rev. Jim Merritt, Marriage and Relational Equality Liaison.

Year End 2013

endofyear_noclick

Do you want to know more about Metropolitan Community Churches?

What does it mean to “Be MCC”?

Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) values inclusion, community, spiritual transformation, and social action. We are committed to spread the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ and to respond faithfully to God’s call for justice. The context of doing justice is the creation of community and the preservation of all creation.

To sign up for Headline News - MCC’s electronic bimonthly international newsletter – click here.

For MCC Moderator’s Circle - Members contribute directly to MCC to support its ministry and vision through a monthly donation – click here.

To find out about  bringing an MCC to your area please email revdarlenegarner@mccchurch.net

To learn more about MCC’s virtual church opportunities please email revdarlenegarner@mccchurch.net

If you have a Prayer Request please email prayers@mccchurch.net

From the Moderator

Dear MCC Friend:

As the year begins to move to its end, our thoughts turn to gratitude and to that which means the most to us–our friends and family, our deepest connections and commitments, the kind of world for which we yearn.

Like you, this is a time when I am inundated with requests for holiday giving, and invest in ways that will bless others and confirm my own values about justice, hope, and compassion, including my local MCC church.

More than ever, I am proud every day to serve as the global leader of Metropolitan Community Churches, a movement that saves lives, that gives birth to new communities, that opens its doors to refugees – political, religious, and spiritual. A church that supports activists in difficult and dangerous places that embodies love and radical inclusion in our divided world. A church that recently made a powerful witness at the World Council of Churches in South Korea. A movement which for 45 years, has been speaking up for a Jesus who tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Earlier this year, I got an email from Vittorio, a young man from Italy. He was starving for connections with LGBT people of faith, feeling so isolated and disconnected. He loved watching Founders MCC in Los Angeles, California (USA), and Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas, virtually but still longed for face-to-face community.

marchingwithbanner
Vittorio Amaruso (second from right) walks in his first Pride Parade while attending General Conference in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Also holding the MCC banner include, from left: Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, MCC Moderator; Rev. Lisa Heilig, Interim Pastor at MCC of Our Redeemer; Vittorio, and Rev. Marian Cavagnaro, Pastor of Congregational Life at MCC of the Palm Beaches.

I will let Vittorio speak for the joy and gratitude he feels for our response to his need:

“My name is Vittorio Amoruso. I live in Italy. After a long period of deep thinking and feeling oppressed by the Italian Catholic Church because of my being gay, I decided to make a change, with the support of my family. I just wanted to be myself in a place where it is called CHURCH. After discovering the presence of Metropolitan Community Churches, I asked Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, to give me an opportunity to be part of an MCC church in the United States. She forwarded my email to Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt who gave me the possibility to spend two months as a guest of Trinity MCC in Gainesville, Florida, and discover how God has an unconditional and everlasting love for each human being, including LGBT people. MCC saved my life and helped me understand the plan that God has in store for me. I’ve been called to be an MCC Pastor/Minister and serve the LGBT community in Italy, where there is no MCC at present.”

Rev. Jim Mulcahy, an MCC pastor who works in Eastern Europe and Russia, sent me this note recently:

“I received this note from a young Russian woman from a very traditional family who literally would kill her if they knew she was a lesbian. ‘Hi Jim! Let me again thank you for your visit to Moscow. Last Sunday’s service gave me the strength to live. It was the first time I took communion not in an Orthodox Church. It your actions I recognized Christ breaking the bread. Thank you very much for your inspiring sermon full of love, hope, and sincerity. Your words taught me to accept and love myself.’ ”

Young people like Vittorio and this young woman from Russia need us, in every country, including in the United States. They need us to be MCC, with our strong, unequivocal message, our inspiring worship, our vibrant, local communities committed to justice and radical inclusion.

christmastree

So, for all the Vittorios and all of us who know we must be family and community for so many like him, join me in remembering MCC this holiday season in your generous giving! Every gift makes it possible for us to save lives and heal hearts.

Grace and Peace,
2462[1]

Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson
Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches




wishing-you-a-blessed-christmas

Transforming graphic (black/transparent)

 

 

Opportunity to Serve on the Board of Pensions, USA

Current BOP members: Jeremiah Nelson, Rev. Mark Bidwell, Rev. Carolyn Mobley,
Rev. Wes Mullins, Chuck Phelan, Bill Hooper (Administrator), Devon Avery,
Rev. Tom Emmett (Not shown: Hank Hueber)

Opportunity to Serve on the Board of Pensions, USA

Our MCC clergy are the lifeblood of our community. The MCC Pension Plan is one way we show them we care about their future. The Board of Pensions is an active board which not only oversees the clergy pension plan, but strives to improve and expand it as well.

We have 1 opening on our National Board, which carries a four-year term. The current opening is a non-clergy position. Investment knowledge, marketing, communication and/or technological skills would perfectly complement our Board make up. Please contact us for more information. The successful candidate will be appointed by the Governing Board and Moderator.

Our deadline to receive resumes/references is 5 October 2011. Please send to Devon Avery, President, UFMCC BOP: .

MCC Impact – June, Volume 2

the MCC IMPACT

June 2011 – Volume I

Editor: Judy Dale

 

DISASTER RELIEF UPDATE – JOPLIN, MISSOURI

Dear MCC Friends:

I would like to recognize Linda Beckstead and Terry Curry, our Network Leads for this area, who are representing MCC during this difficult time. Linda was on the ground the first day anyone was allowed in the city, organized clean-up and distribution of supplies, and stayed in constant communication regarding needs. Terry provided vital support, even though she was out of the country. Both are doing a fantastic job!

And kudos to Kurt Krieger, Melissa Smithee, and Katie Hotze-Wilton for all the work they did to support the local church and the network, as well as planning and coordinating last Sunday’s worship service.

I wanted to share some information with you from the past week of activity in and for Joplin. The generosity of MCCers and people around the world continues to amaze us.

At least 10 trucks, including a twenty-one foot trailer, brought supplies and food.

Over $1,000 (USD) in gift cards have been donated.

At least 6 MCCs assisted with clean-up and the worship service. We know of representatives from First MCC of Kansas (Wichita), MCC of Greater Saint Louis (Missouri), MCC of Topeka (Kansas), MCC Omaha (Nebraska), Spirit of Christ MCC (Joplin, Missouri), and Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri).

115 people attended the Come As You Are Community Healing Service, during which over $1,000 (USD) in donations was collected.

At least 4 MCC churches contacted Spirit of Christ MCC directly to offer monetary donations.

$9,621.40 (USD) has been donated (as of Friday, 3 June) to MCC’s Disaster Relief Fund, which we began distributing last week.

I feel the need to reiterate what I know of disasters and also have heard from people volunteering in Joplin; many well-meaning people show up at disaster sites or insist on helping before needs are assessed. This is often more harmful than helpful. Please be respectful of people and communities, and do not assume you know the best way to help.

Here’s a great picture and story from the worship service:

Joplin Healing Service

Rev. Steve Urie, pastor of SOCMCC, was presented with a newly framed copy of his ordination certificate that was found in the rubble, along with a copy of his certificate of service for his work in previous years with disaster relief. Oh, the irony.

And here is a wonderful testimony to MCC by an HRC board member.

We are making plans for Phase II support. Check for updates on the MCC Disaster Relief page on our website.

To donate to MCC’s Disaster Relief Fund, which allows us to respond quickly in cases such as this:

1) Go to http://mccchurch.org/ministries/disaster-relief/.

2) Click on the Donate button.

 

Again, thank you for your prayers and support.

Faithfully,

lillie signature small

Rev. Elder Lillie Brock

 

MCCer GRADUATIONS

Doctorate of Ministry (DMin)

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson – Episcopal Divinity School

To read a transcript of Nancy’s graduation address at Lancaster Theological Seminary from 14 May 2011, click here.

Danny Spears – Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Gale Smith – Claremont School of Theology

Jim Merritt – Episcopal Divinity School

Joint recipient (with Candy Holmes) of .

Susie Chamness – Andersonville Theological Seminary

Cum Laude

Doctorate of Divinity

Sherry Poepsel – United Graduate College

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)

Alex Warner (History) – Rutgers University

Masters of Divinity (MDiv)

K. Booth Towry-Iburg – Episcopal Divinity School

Miak Siew – Pacific School of Religion

Received the Koinonia distinguished service award, and as the highest-ranking academic student, also carried the PSR banner at the Commencement ceremony.

Patrick Ryan – Pacific School of Religion

John Ransom – Florida Center for Theological Studies

Megan More – Claremont School of Theology

Chelsea Masterman – Pacific School of Religion

Joshua Love – Episcopal Divinity School

Katie Hotze – Eden Seminary

Earning “The Robert L. Tiemann Book Award” – given to a student of the Seminary who is deemed by the administration to excel in business acumen that will be transferable and useful in the ultimate ministry of the recipient

Candy Holmes – Episcopal Divinity School

Joint recipient (with Jim Merritt) of .

Jakob Hero – Pacific School of Religion

Received the preaching prize at graduation, and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Boswell prize for GLBT scholarship.

Norma Gann – Brite Divinity School

Johnna Faber – Lancaster Theological Seminary

Received the Rev. Thomas W. Rhoads Academic Prize in Biblical Interpretation (Old Testament)

Leonard Dacy – Brite Divinity School

Received the 2011 Chalice Press Book Award, and the 2011 Latino/a Church Studies Award

Masters

Dustin Williams (Hispanic Studies) – Louisiana State University

Jen Jones (Sports Management) – University of the Pacific

Bachelors

Diane Pierce (Interdisciplinary Studies) – Ellis University

Robin Davvis (Healthcare Management) – Jefferson College of Health Sciences

Certificates

Joe Shore-Goss (Spiritual Direction) – Stil Point Center for Spirituality

John Magisano (Economic Development Finance Professional) – National Development Council

Also received a certificate in Interim Executive Leadership from the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, and will receive a certificate as an Organizational Development Practitioner from the NTL Institute this month

Roger Bernardo (Carpentry) – Piscataway Vo-Tech

High School

Ashley Brow

Amanda Brow

 

LA’S FIRST LGBT HERITAGE MONTH – TROY PERRY HONORED

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and Christopher Street West/LA PRIDE (CSW) kicked off the City’s first ever Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Heritage Month celebration at 10:00am on Friday, 3 June 2011, in the City Hall Council Chambers in Los Angeles, California. The City’s first ever LGBT Heritage Month themed “LGBT LA: Paving the Way Toward Equality” highlighted Los Angeles as a driving force in the LGBT equality movement. The event was presented by Toyota and Toyota Financial Services.

Rev. Elder Troy Perry (June 2011)

Mayor Villaraigosa presenting award to Rev. Troy Perry

(photo credit: Mark Hahn)

At the formal Council presentation, the Mayor recognized CSW co-founder, the Reverend Troy Perry, with the Spirit of Los Angeles Award; media strategist Chad Griffin with the Dream of Los Angeles Award; and actress and comedian Wanda Sykes with the Hope of Los Angeles Award. Vox Femina led the Council procession.

LA LGBT Heritage Month (June 2011)

Chad Griffin, Wanda Sykes, Mayor Villaraigosa, Rev. Troy Perry

(photo credit: Mark Hahn)

Following the event in Council Chambers, there was a reception on the South lawn of City Hall with Master of Ceremonies Alec Mapa, special guest Dustin Lance Black, and live performances by So You Think You Can Dance,
musician Our Lady J, and Out & About Tours.

The Mayor held a private reception with LGBT leaders at his private residence, the Getty House, to commemorate Christopher Street West/LA PRIDE’s 41st Anniversary.

To read about the event, click here. To see a full album of pictures from the event, by Mark Hahn, click here.

 

PEOPLE

Following a viewing of For the Bible Tells Me So, Rev. Paul Whiting, pastor of MCC London (Ontario), spoke on a panel before a crowd of 180 at the offices of their local Board of Education.

Rev. Dr. Mona West will be teaching Sexuality and Spirituality in Lancaster Theological Seminary’s Summer Academy, 20-24 June.

Rev. Dr. Tony Thieman-Somora is writing the section on mental illness and dealing with combative clients for a new training and webinar series, which will be used throughout the state of Illinois.

Jen Taylor is planning to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event, so her friends at Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan) helped her raise funds by contributing the donations from one of their Sunday dinners.

The Angel Collie story is available on the website of St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina). It’s the transition story of our own MCC staffer in his own words and a delight to read. Click here.

Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo was the guest preacher Sunday at Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York).

Florin Buhuceanu represented MCC in Berlin, Germany, during the 2011 General Meeting of the European Gay and Christian Forum, where he offered information about the ongoing projects concerning Eastern Europe during a workshop and organized a booth about MCC work in this region.

Pastor Melissa Smithee threw out the first pitch at the Omaha Storm Chasers’ Diversity Night. Thirty folks from MCC Omaha (Nebraska) were there to watch and to staff an information booth about the church.

Rev. Melanie Martinez wrote an article, which appeared in the Sunday edition of the Abilene (Texas) Reporter News, about bullying and her participation in the Human Rights Campaign’s Clergy Call in Washington, DC. You can read the article here.

Jane Newall was appointed to the national Planned Parenthood Clergy Advisor Board.

 

PRIDE ACTIVITIES

 

Remembering Stonewall will be a Pride event for the community next Saturday at FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida). There will be vendors, food sales, and a picnic outdoors, with movies all day inside in the air conditioning.

Next weekend, all of the MCCs in and around Washington, DC, will participate in the Capital Pride March on Saturday and Celebration on Sunday. Churches confirmed are Holy Redeemer MCC (College Park, Maryland), MCC of the Blue Ridge (Roanoke, Virginia), MCC DC (Washington, DC), MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia), MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia), MCC Rehoboth (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware), MCC Richmond (Virginia), New Life MCC of Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia), New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland), and Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland).

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) will host an evening of Pride consisting of a Spaghetti Dinner, a panel presentation, and a book signing by their own Richard White, author of A Fairy in the Palace.

Appalachian MCC (St. Alban’s, West Virginia) is working on their annual Pride Hot Dog Sale. They’ll have 500 hot dogs, 100 vegan dogs, regular and vegan chili, slaw, chips, and soft drinks for sale at the state-wide event in Charleston on Sunday.

In Seattle, Washington, they will be observing Pride 19-26 June. Emerald City MCC will be involved with all the events, especially the Interfaith Service which they will be planning and hosting with All Pilgrims Church. Other sponsors include First Baptist, Prospect UCC, University Baptist, University Christian, and University Lutheran.

Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) will host an MCC Pride Tea Dance on 18 June at 4:00pm.

This month, New Spirit MCC/UCC/DOC (Berkley, California) will feature original compositions and arrangements by LGBT composers, many of whom will be present in their worship services.

Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) won the prize for the best float in their city’s Pride Parade!

MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) will have a float in the Northwest Indiana Pride Parade on Saturday.

At the conclusion of Pride events there, MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) will host the Pride Worship Service next Sunday.

Rev. Delores Berry will be in concert on the 18th at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee). On Sunday, she will preach for the morning worship and lead a healing service that evening. The Pride Picnic, the longest-standing event in that area and hosted by the church, will be that afternoon.

MCC Charleston (South Carolina) had one convertible, three trucks, three banners, countless balloons, and at least 25 folks walking/riding in the parade and they had new folks at church because of their booth at the rally!

As part of Pride, MCC Key West (Florida) will host a dinner at the New York Pasta Garden Friday night, with the proceeds going to their various ministries.

Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri) hosted the Pride Interfaith Service with Randy Roberts Potts, the grandson of Oral Roberts, as the speaker. Participants included faith leaders and congregants from many traditions, the Kansas City Coalition of Welcome Ministries, and the Heartland Men’s Chorus.

King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) will sponsor a showing of Call Me Troy this Thursday. Next Thursday, they will screen In Anita’s Wake: The Irrational War on Florida’s Gay Families, a documentary about Anita Bryant’s anti-gay crusade and the ongoing impact of Florida’s adoption ban. There will also be a question and answer time with Vicki Nantz, the film’s director.

Making the Impact!
Disaster Relief Update – Joplin, Missouri
MCCer Graduations
LA’s First LGBT Heritage Month – Troy Perry Honored 
People
Pride Activities
Opportunities
Active Churches
Youth
Celebrations
Transitions 
Serving Others
Fun Activities
Learning Times
Fun(d)raisers

 

OPPORTUNITIES

Rev. Jimmy Creech, a long-time friend of MCC and author of Adam’s Gift, is available to preach and do book signings at any church. He is already scheduled at New Spirit MCC/UCC/DOC (Berkley, California) and MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California). Why not invite him to your church? Email Chris Weedy for booking information.

Justin Ryan’s “I’ve Been There” tour, an outreach to bullied and abandoned LGBT youth, began last month at MCC Pittsburg (Pennsylvania). He will appear at MCC Elizabethtown (Kentucky) on 26 June. Next month, he will visit several MCCs in Florida. For a preview, check out his video. For more information about his tour or to book him for your church, visit JustinRyanonline.com or email .

Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) is looking for a full-time Director of LGBTQ Student Life. For more information, visit the website, click on Administrative/Staff Jobs (External Candidates), then on Search Openings. Leave all defaults, go to the field labeled: Auto req ID, and enter 23731BR.

MTV is planning a docu-series about youth (ages 14-21) with LGBT parents. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have MCC youth talking about their family’s involvement in church and their faith? GLAAD would like to train any families desiring to submit an application. Contact Ross Murray at for that assistance. To apply for the show, please send photographs, videos, and a brief description of each family member to . More information is available here.

 

ACTIVE CHURCHES

Hands Across Hawthorne Bridge saw many participants from MCC Portland (Oregon). In response to an attack on two gay men for holding hands in public, members and friends of the LGBT community gathered and held hands spanning the entire length of the bridge.

The 4th Annual Broadway Series is underway at MCC Austin (Texas). The shows featured this year are “The Wiz,” “Pippin,” “My Fair Lady,” and “The Fantastiks.”

You never know who might be visiting your church! MCC Manchester (England) had a visitor who turned out to be a blogger who reviewed churches. You can read the review here.

As part of their weekly e-newsletter, Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) includes a Community Bulletin Board for congregants to post needs for jobs, furniture, moving assistance, items for sale, apartments to lease, etc.

Like to get your hands dirty? Then join the folks at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Saturday as they work in their eco-friendly rain garden.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) launched Spirit of Broadway, its own theatre company. Recently, they presented an original production of “Reunion,” a musical modeled after the popular TV show “GLEE” addressing bullying in schools.

ICM Betel (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) has recently begun an affinity group for members of the congregation who are People of African Descent. Their pastor is Rev. Marcio Retamero.

ICM Misericordia (San Salvador, El Salvador) has received the legalization of MCC in their country.

ICM Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) received the recognition of the government as a religious non-profit group.

 

 

YOUTH

Kids4Christ performed in sign language and dance for MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina).

Rev. Sandy Osteen of Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida) and her son Ryan co-preached the sermon on Youth Sunday at Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama).

Pandamania VBS will take place at LifeJourney MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana) 20-24 June for 3 to 13 year olds. Then in July, those 8 and older will go to Camp Forust for five days.

 

CELEBRATIONS

MCC Richmond (Virginia) will be celebrating their 33rd anniversary 11-12 June with Rev. Delores Berry as their special guest. On Saturday evening, there will be a gala concert featuring Rev. Berry and Spirits of Joy/Voices of Praise. Rev. Berry will preach on Sunday morning and lead a Healing Service that evening. After morning worship, everyone will enjoy a potluck picnic.

Rev. Tania Guzman, Leader of the MCC Hispanic Ministry Development Team, will be the guest preacher on Pentecost Sunday at Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida). In the spirit of all people hearing in their native tongue, parts of the service will be bilingual (English, Spanish).

ICM Los Angeles (California) celebrated their 19th anniversary last Sunday with a reception after their weekly worship service.

Azania, the People of African Descent group at MCC Los Angeles (California), will host a Juneteenth Celebration Barbeque Chicken Dinner on the 19th after the 11 am worship service.

MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) will have Jason and deMarco as their guests for Pentecost next weekend with a concert on Saturday and worship on Sunday.

 

TRANSITIONS

After many years of pastoring and serving MCC, Rev. Elder John Gill is retiring. His last Sunday will be 12 June at Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona). Rev. Gale Rawson was elected yesterday as the new Senior Pastor.

Rev. George Chein has submitted his resignation as pastor of MCC Hartford (Connecticut). His last Sunday will be 12 June.

Safe Harbor MCC (Halifax, Nova Scotia) has voted to close. Their final service will be on 19 June with Rev. Elder Diane Fisher joining them.

 

SERVING OTHERS

MCC New York (New York) is now offering free, confidential, rapid HIV testing seven days a week. Additionally, they have expanded their syringe access program to three days a week for those needing clean syringes and a place to dispose of used ones.

MCC Toronto (Ontario) is expanding their work with refugees under their new Refugee & Immigration Project. In addition to their LGBT Refugee Peer Support Group, they will offer one-on-one support to those who cannot attend the group, financial sponsorship support for up to one year, small group spiritual support for a number of faith traditions, and advocacy for justice in refugee and immigration policy. Brian Brenie will serve as Coordinator.

Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) celebrated LOL (Live Out Loud) Weekend, during which congregants did something to serve others, such as participate with Habitat for Humanity, visit LGBT folks in a nursing home, pass out water and snacks to the homeless, mow a neighbor’s yard, run an errand for someone who is homebound, etc.

Open Circle at the Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) collects newspaper, junk mail, and other recyclable paper for fundraising by Temple Shalom, who offers them space to meet.

 

FUN ACTIVITIES

Play Ball! Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) will enjoy an outing to the Reading Phillies game on Saturday.

Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California) recently enjoyed a Game Day. Not only did they play board games after worship and lunch, they also went to see the San Jose Giants play the Stockton Ports.

 

LEARNING TIMES

The Book Club of MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri) just read Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian.

Each Saturday this month, aChurch4Me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois) will offer the study “LGBT People in the Bible” for the community at the Center on Halstead.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal are the featured books in a 12-week study on creativity at MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California).

During Sunday School on the third Sunday of each month at Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas), folks share their personal testimonies of their experiences with God.

Heartland Community MCC (Springfield, Illinois) recently held their first training for “Over the Rainbow Senior Outreach,” a program they’ve developed to help churches and organizations become a community resource. The first session, which had participants from four different congregations, focused on the “Phone Pal” program. Volunteers were trained to make weekly calls to homebound seniors, especially in the LGBT community, who just need someone to talk to.

As part of their series on relationships, MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) will present Balancing Adult Relationships with Parenting Responsibilities, led by Sam Adams-Berger, LCSW, on 20 June.

This month King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) will be offering two classes: Developing Your Personal Strategic Plan (Part 1) and Budgeting for the Money-Challenged.

 

FUN(D)RAISERS

MCC Tampa (Florida) is having their own version of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. “Dust off those fancy hats, break out those stilettos, slide into the fanciest outfit you own, and make plans to attend our version of the Kentucky Derby. Buy a $25 horse for the race. As the ‘owner,’ you get to name your horse, pick your jockey, and pick the heat and lane your horse will race. During your race, you sit at the Owner’s Circle VIP box. If you win, you get a trophy and a photo taken in the winner’s circle. After the races, use leftover ‘betting bucks’ at the auction.”

Following a picnic on the 19th, Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) will have a Bring & Buy Sale, a great way to get rid of unwanted items, plants, etc., and to purchase those brought by others!

MCC Paducah (Kentucky) got folks to donate their loose change each Sunday by keeping a basket in the church foyer. Adults and children alike took a plastic egg from the basket and filled it with whatever change was in their pockets.

Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Join Our Mailing List
DONATE

MCC Impact – May 2011 (Vol. 2)

the MCC IMPACT

May 2011 – Volume II

spacer

STANDING FOR EQUALITY

When Baylor University said no, Central Texas MCC (Waco) said yes. Baylor Social Work students were putting the final touches on their group project about LGBT adoption when they received word from Baylor University, just days before the final presentation, that they would not be allowed to show a film that featured a same-sex couple trying to move from being foster parents to adoptive parents. Central Texas MCC promptly offered its facilities for the event, which was very successful.

FUN(D)RAISERS

Church Lady Bingo is not your average bingo game, and the 3 June event will be even more unique at MCC New York (New York). The vegans are taking over the show to offer meat-eaters and herbivores alike an exciting evening of over-the-top entertainment, starring the hostess with the mostest, Sybil Bruncheon, fabulous cruelty-free prizes, and delicious all-vegan concessions!

MCC of the Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) is one of the non-profit organizations to which PrideFest attendees may donate $1 of their $5 (USD) admission charge.

On Tuesdays beginning 7 June, MCC Key West (Florida) will have the opportunity to host its own Aqua Idol contest at Aqua Nightclub. Every dollar donated to the contestants will be given to the church.

Postage stamp? Coverall? Kite? Bingo is coming back to MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) on 4 June.

A giving tree, decorated with flowers, stands in the vestibule outside the sanctuary of MCC Detroit (Michigan). Each flower contains the name of an item the church needs. Congregants select a flower and purchase that desired article. It doesn’t raise funds, but it does reduce expenditures for things like paper products, ink cartridges, plastic cutlery, etc.

Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) has monthly Bingo nights to raise money for the church. Packs begin at $12 (USD), with $50 winners and $250 jackpots. Plus, they sell refreshments.

OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

The Children’s Choir of MCC Austin (Texas) will be performing during worship one Sunday this month. They practice during Sunday School each Sunday.

The children at MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) held a car wash and then a Hoop-a-thon to raise money. People pledged based on how many baskets they thought the child could make with a basketball.

The first Youth Service was held at CRAVE MCC (Paddington, Australia). The young adults explored “The Guts of Freedom” in the service. Youth from MCC Sydney and Good Shepherd MCC supported the event as an outreach to their peers in that part of New South Wales.

The Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) Pre-Teen Sunday School youth delivered hand-made greeting cards to a local nursing home communicating well-wishes and reminding folks that God loves them.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) will offer evening Vacation Bible School 6-10 June for those ages 5 -15. Following dinner, the children and youth will study scripture, enjoy crafts, sing, and have fun.

Because the Children’s Church at MCC of Greater Dallas is growing so much, there’s been a shift in rooms. They took the Pastor’s office, she moved to the Board’s space, and the Board got the children’s area.

RESEARCH TO FOCUS ON MCC YOUNG PEOPLE

The School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology at Newcastle University (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England) is advertising for a full-time research position to undertake literature reviews, fieldwork, and interviews about Making Space for Queer-identifying Religious Young People.

This is a case-study exploration of Christianity and sexuality in young people’s lives, investigating the everyday practices, experiences and identities of LGBT young people involved in MCC in the UK.

The position will begin in September and last for approximately 18 months. Applications are due by 1 June. For more information, go to the Newcastle University website.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

The University of Trinity College in Toronto, the oldest centre for theological study in the Anglican Church of Canada, conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity upon Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes in recognition of his advocacy for marginalized groups and championing for equality. Can you believe that it was 10 years ago when he performed the first legal same-sex wedding in Canada?! Click here to read the news article.

The web’s first and only LGBTI Music Video channel is conducting a Trivia contest this month based on the lives, music and videos of fantastic OUT Artists, including Shawn Thomas. You can win CDs of your favorite artists, plus have fun with some crazy trivia about each of them. To get in on the fun and test your knowledge, visit RightOutTV on Facebook and click “Like,” and then it will all just magically happen!

Rev. Karl Hand participated in the Gay Marriage Rally in Sydney, Australia.

Rev. Bob Shore-Goss and MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) were honored for their ecological initiatives by California Interfaith Power & Light. The church has installed solar panels, established an organic garden, and are doing composting, advocacy, and more.

Doug Landreth and Rev. Patrick Rogers from Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida), and Rev. Lee Carlton from Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama), spoke at a demonstration during a meeting in Tallahassee where lawmakers are considering reducing the funding for services for people with HIV/AIDS.

Rev. Skip Jordan, one of four volunteer pastors at MCC Washington, DC, was recently hired as a Chaplain for Capital Caring, one of the largest hospices in the area.

A video of the Naming Service for Rev. Brendan Yanni Boone at St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) is available for viewing here.

Rev. Dr. Jim Burns had three essays published in Feasting on the Word, Volume 12.

Rev. Renwick Bell was one of seven non-Muslims honored by Al-Hikmat Services because of the stand he took against Qur’an burning. Plus, Church of Our Savior MCC (Boynton Beach, Florida) hosted an informative interfaith panel discussion which unpacked, diffused and dispelled notions of prejudice and profiling. Rev. Bell, Rabbi Silver, Imam Shafayat Mohamed, and Pundit Baldath Maharaj frequently dine together to discuss issues affecting their Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu communities and how they can all work together. Click here to read the news article.

Rev. Paul Graetz received a Progressive Kingdom Award from the African American Community of Atlanta (Georgia, USA) for advancing the progressive message of Christianity in the Metro Atlanta area.

Rev. Dr. Tony Thieman-Somora gave the invocation for the annual awards lucheon of the Illinios Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers at the Governor’s mansion.

CARING FOR OTHERS

UFMCC donated $500 (USD) from the Disaster Relief Fund to Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida) to cover the transportation costs of making a second trip with filled trucks to tornado devastated Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They delivered such items as clothing, toiletries, bug spray, sun screen, ready to eat food items, diapers and baby needs, hand sanitizer, flashlights and batteries, blankets, tennis shoes, and so much more. Holy Cross MCC galvanized the entire Pensacola area into providing the necessities, which were delivered to volunteers who took the items directly to the people who need them most.

Wearing their MCC t-shirts, folks from MCC Lubbock (Texas) served as volunteers at the Special Olympics Spring Games.

Gathering things like household goods and clothing makes one think that a yard sale is being planned. Not so at MCC Charleston (South Carolina). They are going to give the items away to folks in need.

Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) just celebrated Recovery Sunday. There were special prayers, music, Communion, and the sermon, Open to a New Future, proclaiming their commitment to those in recovery from various addictions, as well as their families and friends who support them.

Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas) is collecting snacks to be given to the abused children who are sheltered at Rainbow Room.

On 26 May, folks from Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) will gather to cook sloppy-joes and then go to a parking lot to feed people who are homeless. They will also be giving out homemade cookies.

The Wichita Falls MCC (Texas) Praise Band, Blended Journey, will be the first group performing at the Relay for Life on 3 June.

ACTIVE CHURCHES

A service in a bar? Yes! New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) will be hosting a Pride service at The Lodge for the first Hub City Pride event. Over 40 non-MCCers have registered to participate on 5 June. They will provide a potluck following worship.

Next Sunday, Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) will have a combined Family & Friends Service at 10:30, followed by a community BBQ, with the Ft. Lauderdale Men’s Chorus and the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble in concert that afternoon.

MCC denominational leaders Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, Barb Crabtree and Irma Bauer-Levesque will lead a retreat for MCC of the Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania) next weekend, focusing on how stewardship changes lives!

MCC Richmond (Virginia) is working on updating their strategic plan. Currently, they are interviewing members about what they believe is good about the church and what they want to see in the future.

MCC Newcastle (England) hosted an event for very serious, professional Eurovision fans only! They shared a Euro-themed supper and gave a prize for the best Eurovision-style costume.

The Who-So-Ever Band from MCC Paducah (Kentucky) performed at the Carson Center as the opening act for the annual Human Rights Campaign event in western Kentucky.

MCC Manchester (England) has started a Computer Club to help members learn new skills on their computers, from using the web to searching for resources to understanding how to file things when using multiple computers.

Being ecumenical, MCC San Francisco (California) hosts a Eucharist Mass each month led by lesbian Catholic priest Rev. Dr. Victoria Rue. They also provide space weekly for Q-Sangha, a queer meditation community in the Buddhist tradition facilitated by Rev. Jana Drakka.

A Memorial Day Picnic is planned by Sunshine Cathedral for 30 May. Besides eating, there will be time for games, volleyball, and fellowship.

Heartland Community MCC (Springfield Illinois) finished the series “Following Jesus: Discipleship 101″ this month and will begin “Thriving in Christian Community: Discipleship 102″ in June.

Guess Who’s Coming to Brunch will be just that on 4 June at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas). Ticket holders and hosts won’t know until the last minute who will be dining with whom that day! All proceeds benefit the “Get Rev. Harry’s Mind Off of the Gutters” campaign to replace their rain gutters.

A group at MCC North London (England) gathers for a period of prayer prior to their weekly service.

MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri) is offering “Intro into Complementary Healing Principles and Practice,” which will culminate with a healing circle on 1 June.

Monday Night Sermon Discussions are being held at MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia), during which they discuss the Scripture and sermon points from the day before and then how to apply that to their daily lives.

Singing those old hymns! On Wednesday night at MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado), they will have an old-fashioned hymn sing and enjoy singing those hymns people remember from their childhoods.

The men of MCC Toronto (Canada) will be going on retreat next weekend, and the women will begin an eight-week Coming Out Group next Monday.

Christ Chapel MCC (Santa Ana, California) and Resurrection Beach MCC (Costa Mesa, California) have begun to explore how they can partner to have greater impact in their communities.

Making the Impact!
Standing for Equality
Fun(d)raisers
Our Children and Youth
Research to Focus on MCC Young People
People in the News
Caring for Others
Active Churches
International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia
New Appointments
One World Festival
Celebrations
Network News
Transitions
Global Connection

IDAHO

A Forum on the Anti-Discrimination Bill (HB1483), led by the author of the bill, Congressman Teddy Casino, was hosted by MCC Quezon City (Philippines). There have been numerous LGBT murders across the Philippines.

Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) marked IDAHO with the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Shaun McGall, as their special guest. He spoke of his own experiences of homophobia when he was at the forefront of bringing in Civil Partnerships in Bath. Their worship also focused on the plight of LGBT people in Uganda.

Some of our churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area participated in the IDAHO event at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza in Dallas (Texas). There were speakers and a candlelight march.

MCC Metro Baguio (Philippines) co-sponsored a forum/assembly on LGBT rights and remembrance of victims of hate crimes at the La Trinidad Municipal grounds in Benguet. Later, they released commemorative balloons, followed by lighting candles for the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.

NEW APPOINTMENTS

The MCC Ecumenical and Inter-religious Team has two new people working with them.

Rev. Andy Braunston will be serving as the Ecumenical Representative for MCC in the UK. He will focus on Churches Together in England and other ecumenical and inter-religious groups in the UK, as well as with Christian denominations. He will build a team of MCC volunteers to assist him.

John Ransom has been named the Ecumenical and Inter-religious Liaison for Florida, USA. He will begin a dialogue with the Florida Council of Churches to develop a relationship with them, as well as building a team of MCCers interested in working in the ecumenical and inter-religious setting. Mr. Ransom is in his final semester at seminary and is active at King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida).

ONE WORLD FESTIVAL

Crossing the Divide, an interfaith project of River of Life MCC (Dorchester, England), has received an incredible honour by being asked to support Speak Easy in Dorchester by coordinating the One World Festival this year. Speak Easy is an organisation that was created specifically to celebrate cultural diversity. One of its primary aims is to assist people whose first language is not English.

The One World Festival is a multicultural event in its fourth year and is aimed at bringing together all cultures in a safe arena in order to learn more about each other. River of Life MCC has participated in the festival with a stall and has made some great friends while watching Ghurkha presentations, sampling food from across the world, taking part in or watching Kibaddi, Tug of War, listening to world music, etc.

This year the festival is on 10 July in Kings Road Fields, Dorchester. All are welcome!

CELEBRATIONS

Rev. Elders Lillie Brock and Don Eastman will officiate at the installation service for Rev. Lea Brown as senior pastor of MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) on 5 June.

MCC East London is celebrating their 20th anniversary this month and has entered into an intentional time of prayer as they discern the next steps for their ministry.

To celebrate their 14th anniversary, FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) held a Sock Hop, their first dance in their own building!

Several Northern California MCC churches are planning a Russian River Baptismal Service for 4 June.

MCC Omaha (Nebraska) is celebrating the global expansion of MCC by flying the flags of every country in which there is an MCC presence.

To celebrate Rev. Dwayne Morgan’s 50th birthday, MCC Bournemouth (England) held a BBQ in his honor.

MCC San Diego (California) will celebrate their 41st anniversary 4-5 June. On Saturday, there will be an open mic evening, “The Met’s Got Talent”. On Sunday, they will have two Anniversary Services.

NETWORK NEWS

Rev. Elder Ken Martin and Rev. Dr. Mel White will be the special guests for the Southern Gulf Coastal Network Gathering, 17-18 June, hosted by MCC Baton Rouge (Louisiana). There will be a fellowship time Friday evening. Saturday will feature presentations on stewardship, church planting, and social justice, as well as the closing worship at 3:15. There will be no charge, even though breakfast and lunch are included; however, you must register by emailing .

Earlier this month MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) hosted the Network Gathering for the MCCs in Southern California and Nevada. MCC/ICM Los Angeles provided simultaneous Spanish translation for their six hours together.

TRANSITIONS

On 1 June, Rev. Dexter Brecht will become the new intentional interim pastor at Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Richey, Florida). He will serve there for 18 months.

Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker has tendered his resignation as pastor of All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota), effective 5 June.

Rev. Clinton Crawshaw is the provisional pastor for MCC of the Coachella Valley (Cathedral City, California).

GLOBAL CONNECTION

MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) sold artwork, African beads, crafts, and jewelry on behalf of MCC People of Substance Kenya, which divides the proceeds with the artists and uses the rest for the church’s ministry.

MCC People of Substance Kenya is a young church in the heart of Nairobi with over 25 active members. The majority of attendees are from the LGBT community or are sex workers. However, they have over 10 committed straight congregants, plus 10 children in Sunday School. They meet every Sunday for a two to three hour service.

Twice a month, a team of six church members reach out to commercial sex workers in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Mombasa. They meet with them on the street, individually sharing God’s love and word. A few have begun coming to church. They occasionally visit HIV+ people as well.

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Join Our Mailing List

DONATE

MCC IMPACT – May 2011

May 2011 – Volume I

IDAHO

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is on 17 May every year. Many of our churches hold special events or engage in educational opportunities in their communities.

What is YOUR church doing to observe IDAHO this year? Please send your plans for inclusion in a future edition of the MCC IMPACT.

For free promotional materials and ideas, click here.spacer

CELEBRATIONS

Central Texas MCC (Waco) is celebrating their 25th anniversary this month. The theme is “One Love, Many Faces.” They are using Skype to have Rev. Elders Lillie Brock, Diane Fisher, and Nancy Wilson join them for worship and bring the message on different Sundays.

Our Tribe, MCC’s presence in Edinburgh, Scotland, celebrated their 1st anniversary with a new banner which they carried in the city’s Pride Parade last Saturday.

“All Are Welcome” are the words engraved on the new Communion table at Celebration MCC (Naples, Florida). It was custom-made and dedicated on Easter Sunday. It was rolled down the aisle during a hymn and then those who had contributed to its creation processed with the altar linens, a crystal cross candle holder, the Christ candles, cruets, chalices, patens, and ciborium.

Gay Paris is the theme for Peninsula MCC’s (San Mateo, California) 6th anniversary. The menu will feature French dishes. There will be dancing, raffle drawings, and fun all evening at the Belmont Community Center on 4 June.

MCC London (Ontario, Canada) just celebrated their 31st anniversary. For some time they have been the oldest predominantly LGBT organization in the city, but now they have become the longest continuously meeting LGBT group in the history of London, a title formerly held by HALO (Homophile Association of London), a club which operated for 30 years.

Congratulations! Next Sunday morning Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) will celebrate paying off their mortgage with a Mortgage Burning Service!

MINISTERING TO OTHERS

Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida) filled trucks and trailers with bottled water, canned goods, toiletries, soap, detergent, and clothing, then drove them to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which was devastated by recent tornadoes.

The Women’s Ministry of New Spirit MCC (Cincinnati, Ohio) supplied 17 bags of food for CAIN’s (Churches Active In Northside) recent campaign. The slogan was “Everything but the Ham.” The churches provided the items on the grocery list, and CAIN supplied all the hams for Easter dinners for those in need.

A team from MCC New York (New York) will be participating in the AIDS Walk in Central Park next Sunday. Last year they raised over $3500 (USD) to benefit the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the world’s oldest HIV/AIDS organization. If you can’t join them physically, you can be a virtual walker on their team. Go to www.aisdwalk.net/newyork/index.html, select “Join a team,” and then look for MCC NY.

Wow! Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) held a food drive during Lent to benefit The Pantry of Broward and collected 2,450 pounds of food!

In two months, the ACT (Acceptance, Compassion, Tolerance) group at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) has made over 40 fleece blankets, embroidered with “MCCK”, praying hands, and a rainbow. They are sent to people to let them know that a faith community is praying for them.

Open Circle at the Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) is collecting children’s items for the Maforga Mission Orphanage in Mozambique, Africa, where the daughter of two members works with her husband.

Each Wednesday evening the Clothing Closet at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) provides clothing for those in need who participate in their weekly Dinner for the Hungry.

GREAT FUNDRAISERS

Cantebury Bells and Sweet William will be available at Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) this month. No, that has nothing to do with the recent Royal Wedding. Rev. Kieren Bourne has grown these bedding plants and will sell them, with the profits going to the church. Later, there will be tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, and other plants from his garden available for purchase.

In this time of ever-increasing gas/petrol prices, Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) is raffling $30 (USD) gas cards.

MCC Corpus Christi (Texas) will host Awards Night next Saturday evening, with proceeds designated toward paying off their balloon note. The suggested donation is $52 (USD), a dollar a week since MCC Awards Night 2010.

Church yard or garage sales abound this month, just ask the folks at Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas), MCC Detroit (Michigan), MCC Louisville (Kentucky), MCC Topeka (Kansas), MCC Wichita Falls (Texas), and St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina).

Help Raise the Roof! MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) just had a Dinner & Show fundraiser at Exhale Bar and Grill to raise money to repair their roof.

Sister Glory Alice’s Joyous Jubilee and Spiritual Revival Celebration on 22 May at the La Te Da’s Crystal Room will be an evening of entertainment and frolicking fun to support the programs and ministries of MCC Key West (Florida). There will also be a silent auction and 50/50 raffle.

The Flush Fund! The septic system at Page House, which is part of Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida), has failed, which forces them now to hook into the city’s sewer system. The cost? $20,000 (USD).

The Couples Group at MCC San Diego (California) is hosting an Empty Bowls event after church next Sunday. They are making, or having donated, unique bowls that will be filled with soup and served along with salad, a beverage, and cookie for $10 (USD). The proceeds will be used for sprucing up the altar with greenery and banners.

A new way to recycle! Agape MCC (Fort Worth, Texas) refurbished their sanctuary and now is selling the old lighting fixtures for $100 (USD) each.

Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan) just had a Service Auction with everything from tailgating at a football game to making labels to get you organized to car detailing to gardening up for bids.

“The Sounds of Music” is the theme for the 5th annual Trivia Night at MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri) next Saturday. There will be prizes for the best decorated table, as well as the best (and worst) at the trivia questions. Folks will enjoy live and silent auctions, refreshments, door prizes, raffles, and other games and activities.

EDUCATIONAL EVENTS

MCC Quezon City (Philippines) held a Forum on LGBT Killings in the Philippines. Pictures from the event can be seen here.

Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) is currently offering two courses on Wednesdays: “Eat, Pray, Love … Your Body” and “When ‘Me’ Becomes ‘We’: Stepping Out on the Road to Creating a Family.”

Next Saturday, Reconciliation MCC (Grand Rapids, Michigan) will gather to study “One-Anothers” in scripture, break into teams to create a list of basic characteristics seen in Jesus, and then build a Holy Connections Covenant describing how they will live accordingly.

“Joy Comes in the Mourning” will be presented next Saturday at MCC Topeka (Kansas), acknowledging that it is the journey through grief that leads to celebration.

Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker is preaching a series based on Marcus Borg’s The Heart of Christianity at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota). After worship each week, a discussion group is convened to engage in dialogue about that week’s topic and how it applies to life today.

MCC Austin (Texas) is offering a series of seminars on the Twelve Steps. The focus is not on the drug of choice but rather the disease of addiction. Each session begins with focused meditations and prayers, followed by specific sessions on each Step, with insightful readings and the sharing of personal experiences, concluding with an open discussion time. Handouts are included containing questions intended to help focus personal reflective writing on each Step.

“Dinner and a Bible” has just begun at MCC of the Spirit (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). Folks will bring their own supper, and they will study the Bible together on Wednesday evenings.

Rev. Elders Lillie Brock and Ken Martin will be at MCC Toronto (Ontario, Canada) next Saturday to present a Church Size Summit, helping the congregation learn how to grow in every way…spiritually, numerically and relationally.

“Following Jesus: Discipleship 101″ is being taught at Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri).

MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) is engaged in the discernment program “To Infinity … and Beyond!” Small groups met over the past month seeking holy visions for their church. In gatherings this month, the entire congregation will listen to what was discovered and create a collective vision of their future.

CHURCH ACTIVITIES

“God’s Grace Is…” a Weekend of Praise, Worship, Fellowship & Fun, 13-15 May, at Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) led by Rev. Jeffrey H. Jordan-Pickett from MCC Philadelphia and Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator of MCC. For more information, contact .

Going Viral! SunCoast Cathedral MCC is using Facebook to invite others to church events. The church sends the invitation to congregants, who in turn, send it on to their friends.

Good Hope MCC (Cape Town, South Africa) joined with other churches from their city to not only walk the city streets reflecting on Jesus’ journey to Golgotha, but also to observe the suffering in their own city.

The youth and their families at MCC Omaha (Nebraska) will enjoy a day at the zoo together on Saturday.

MCC Tampa (Florida) will host a Rocky Horror Movie Night Friday. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character for viewing the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

“Stop Dreading and Start Living” on Wednesday nights at MCC Richmond (Virginia) includes a time of singing, prayer, and a brief message at 6:00pm. Then at 6:25 it’s a light dinner, followed by break-out sessions at 7:00, with everyone gathering for a closing prayer and song at 7:50. The current session offerings are Queering the Bible, Eating Consciously, Movie Discussions, Let’s Talk Justice, and a meditation space.

Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) observed Holocaust Remembrance Day on 1 May.

Wanna dance? Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) is offering beginning line dancing classes on Thursday afternoons this month.

The Charleston Pride March and Festival is next Saturday. Folks from MCC Charleston (South Carolina) will be in the parade and at a booth promoting the church.

Kids can “Take the Plunge” at MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) during Vacation Bible School, 21-25 June.

Going Deeper: Gay Men Connecting with One Another and Ourselves is a group being offered at MCC San Francisco (California) on Thursday evening the rest of this month.

Join folks from King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) aboard the Carnival Miracle, 17-25 October. The eight-day cruise visits ports in the southern Caribbean: St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and St. Kitts. Each island offers spectacular scenery, beaches, and attractions, as well as duty-free shopping and casinos. Prices start at $754 USD. Call SeaFreed Travel at 727-367-3737.

MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) is beginning a support group for those involved with elder care, be it parents, spouses, or another loved one. They will share resources and information, in addition to providing a safe place to share feelings and concerns.

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Join Our Mailing List

DONATE

Making the Impact!
International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia
Celebrations
Ministering to Others
Great Fundraisers
Educational Events
Church Activities
L.E.A.D. Program
Sexuality & Spirituality
MCC Youth is a Finalist
Transitions
Active MCC Folk
Flags Stolen

LEAD

Registration is now open for MCC’s new Lay Leadership Certificate Program!

 

L.E.A.D. (Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship) is a program developed specifically for laity in MCC to provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and the development of leadership skills so that they may be effective leaders in the church and the world. Persons who complete the L.E.A.D. Certificate will be placed on a Leader List available to Elders, Senior Staff and MCC Clergy for the purpose of creating a leadership pool from which to choose trained laity to serve in leadership positions in MCC at the denominational, local and international levels. For a list of the core competencies for the L.E.A.D. program, click here. For a listing of courses for the L.E.A.D. program, click here.

 

There is an application process for the program, and attendance at a L.E.A.D. retreat is required. The first L.E.A.D. retreat, which is a pilot for the U.S. and Canada, will be offered 18-21 August 2011 at Dayspring Retreat Center in Ellenton, Florida. The cost of the retreat is $400 USD, which includes tuition, three nights’ lodging and all meals. The deadline for applications to the program is July 5. To download an application packet, click here. Space for this first L.E.A.D. retreat is limited to 30 persons.

 

In 2012, L.E.A.D. retreats will be planned for venues outside the U. S. and will be designed to be culturally relevant wherever they are offered. The OFLD plans to offer retreats on a regular basis to accommodate all those who wish to participate in the program.

Sexuality and Spirituality course at Lancaster Seminary this summer

Rev. Dr. Mona West will be teaching Sexuality and Spirituality in Lancaster Theological Seminary’s Summer Academy, June 20-24, 7-8:45 pm. This course will satisfy the ordination requirement in MCC and will also count for credit toward the new L.E.A.D. Lay Certificate Program. Cost for the course is $160 USD. For more information, click here.

MCC YOUTH IS A FINALIST

Trevor Meader is one of the 10 finalists among those nominated in the US to receive the Youth Courage Award. He was nominated by Rev. Barbara S. Sagat-Stover.

While living in the state with the highest teen suicide rate in the nation, Trevor is openly challenging homophobia and bigotry. The bullying he has endured as a 14 year old Junior High school student has been traumatic. He lives in a small rural Maine community, with no social activities outside school, yet he’s stood proudly and powerfully against the bullies who tried to chase him away.

In August 2010, Trevor attended Project AWARE’s Summer Film Institute where he and other youth collaborators created and produced a powerful anti-bullying PSA, in which he is the main character. He shared his experience with his 600 member student body, the school board, and various local churches.

It is anticipated that Trevor’s PSA will soon be on local television stations throughout Maine. Should he receive this award, he will use the money to fund additional PSAs, as well as benefit from meeting other teen activists at the Creating Change Conference.

TRANSITIONS

Rev. Greg Smith has returned to the pastorate of MCC Sydney (Australia).

Rev. Darrel McDonald was ordained last Friday night at MCC/ICM Los Angeles. The choir from MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California), where he did his internship, sang during the service.

Rev. Mark Byrd is the new interim pastor for New Life MCC Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia).

Rev. Dr. Tony Thieman-Somora will celebrate the reaffirmation of his ordination as he transfers his credentials to MCC.  Rev. Elder Diane Fisher will officiate at the service next Sunday at Heartland Community MCC (Springfield, Illinois), where he is the pastor.

Rev. Todd Goeway is the new interim pastor of MCC Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania).

achurch4me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois) has moved to a larger worship space at the National Pastime Theater, 4139 North Broadway.

ACTIVE MCC FOLK

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will be the graduation speaker at Lancaster Theological Seminary on Saturday.

Tammy Kister, a board member at Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas), was honored as the Texas Apartment Manager of the Year.

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes was named a hero by a student at East Alternative School in the social justice play they performed last week. Other heroes included people like Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and Tommy Douglas. The event was covered by the Toronto Star.

Rev. Colleen Darraugh and Clergy Intern Norma Gann of MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) both received scholarships from the Human Rights Campaign to participate in the Clergy Call on Capitol Hill (Washington, DC) this month.

Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas participated in a special service earlier this month. Yom Hashoah: Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day was cosponsored by Congregation Kol Ami, Jewish World Watch, and the City of West Hollywood, California.

Sam Jones and Saralyn Salisbury, who have been the driving force at pushing the envelope at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, were featured in the New York Times. You can read the article here.

Marsha Stevens-Pino will be performing at the Pride festivities in Long Beach, California.

Rev. Sharon Ferguson and her partner Franka led a large contingent from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and MCC North London (England) to Buckingham Palace a few days prior to the Royal Wedding to present Prince William and Kate a giant wedding card wishing them the best, but pointing out that gays and lesbians in the UK cannot marry.

On Sunday, Rev. Delores Berry will be singing and preaching at MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia).

Rev. Susan Deitrick led a Renewal Weekend at Appalachian MCC (St. Albans, West Virginia).

GAY CHRISTIAN FLAGS STOLEN

MCC Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) has had not one or two, but six Gay Christian flags stolen from the flagpole outside their church this year. They have gone to the police requesting that the thefts be investigated as hate crimes.

Additionally, the flagpole has been vandalized to the point that they can no longer hoist a flag all the way to the top. It will now need to be replaced by the church.

Rabbi Henry Jay Karp of Temple Emanuel there said, “An attack on one place of worship is an attack on all places of worship. If you endorse prejudice against one faith group, you’re endorsing prejudice against all faith groups.”

You can read the local news article here.

MCC IMPACT – April 2011

Impact Newsletter

April 2011 – Volume II

spacer

HELPING OTHERS

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) collected $429.61 USD for restoration in New Zealand following the earthquake and $397.96 USD for the people of Japan.

MCC Newcastle-upon-Tyne (England) is engaged in a letter-writing and petition campaign to urge their MPs (Members of Parliament) to help the homosexual people of Uganda by denouncing the odious legislation, which would bring death to any gay or lesbian person.

MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) is assisting a client of the AIDS Interfaith Network with peel, heat, and eat meals. Because of physical disabilities, he cannot even mix or add water to food items.

MCC Sacred Journey (Hendersonville, North Carolina) will be participating in Western North Carolina’s AIDS Project’s Dining Out for Life next Thursday. Various restaurants in the area will donate 20% of their proceeds that day to support HIV/AIDS prevention, education, advocacy, and services.

MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia) collects at least 112 pounds of food each month for the Fredricksburg Area Food Bank, which delivers food to people living in remote areas.

MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) is collecting used jeans to benefit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The Jeans for Life program helps people living with HIV/AIDS around the world.

OUTSTANDING PEOPLE

Grand Marshalls Galore! Rev. Elder Troy Perry will be the Grand Marshall of the largest Pride in Florida (in St. Petersburg) in June. Rev. Pat Bumgardner has been invited to be the Grand Marshall for the New York City Pride Parade. Rev. Roland Stringfellow and the Honorable Rev. Vickie Kowalski are both nominees for Grand Marshall for the San Francisco (California) Pride Parade.

Tennie McCarty of Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) was interviewed on the Joy Behar Show, featured on CNN Headline News, and appeared on Oprah’s network (OWN) as the “unconventional therapist” in the series “Addicted to Food.” She was also named the Outstanding Woman of the Year by the Abilene branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women).

The Installation Service for Rev. Harry Knox as Senior Pastor of Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) will be Sunday, 1 May, at 3pm. Special guests include Rev. Elders Nancy Wilson and Troy D. Perry. Musical guests will be Jason & deMarco and the Resurrection MCC Worship Arts Department. A reception will follow the service with hors d’oeuvres and a presentation highlighting 39 years of ministry at RMCC. Rev. Elder Perry will preach at both services on Sunday morning.

Rev. Axel Schwaigert from MCC Stuttgart, Germany, was the guest preacher recently at MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California).

Jeff Smith is the new Music Director at Open Circle at The Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida), and Carol Bentley will serve as Assistant Director, working primarily with the band.

Rev. Dr. Cindi Love is one of 12 recipients of a fellowship to the Harvard Business School for Senior Executives for state and local government officials. She is the first person to be selected for this honor that is not a state or local government official and the first ordained minister to be honored. She currently serves as Executive Director of Soulforce.

CHURCH EDUCATION

In May, Pikes Peak MCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado) will begin Dave Ramsey’s 13-week study, Financial Peace University. The goal is to help people get out of debt so they can live more freely. Using the principles taught in the class, the average student pays off $8,000 USD of debt in the 13 weeks of the class. Most pay off more than $20,000 USD of debt within the first year. With 7 out of 10 American living paycheck to paycheck, average giving in churches that use this program has been shown to increase significantly. For more information on this program, contact .

On Tuesday night, the youth ages 14-18 at Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) gathered for Feast, Fellowship, and Food4Thought at the Mountville location.

More than 30 people from MCC London (Ontario, Canada) gathered for a retreat on spiritual growth. Using materials from the Size Summit, participants traveled through the following modules: 1) What are you driving? (What’s your spiritual type?), 2) Acquiring a satellite (worship), 3) Where are you now? (spiritual locations), and 4) Where do you want to go? (getting directions), during which they offered workshops on full body prayer, spiritual gifts inventory, inclusive language, world religions, meditation, healing the soul, and Bible study. A follow-up weekend retreat is planned for 30 September – 2 October.

MCC Austin (Texas) is offering a workshop on Boundaries so that participants can better learn how to say “no” and set limits on the time, resources, and energy spent on others, while still being Christian.

Wednesday evenings find the folks at Redeemer MCC (Flint, Michigan) studying Oneness – Great Principles Shared by All Religions by Jeffrey Moses, providing a wonderful way to help people realize how much Christians share with other faith communities.

aChurch4Me? MCC just began a Wednesday evening series at the pastor’s home on Sexuality and Spirituality.

One of the classes being offered currently at King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) is Gender and the Divine, a three-part workshop, led by Rev. Jake Kopmeier. It explores the cultural concept of gender and its challenges, theological foundations, guidance around gender, and how to help educate the community to appreciate gender variance.

ACTIVE CHURCHES

The Transgender Ministry of Central Texas MCC (Waco, Texas) will host a screening of The Teena Brandon Story on Saturday evening. Afterward, Baylor University professor Dr. Jon Singletary will facilitate a discussion of the movie and trans issues.

A number of our churches are busy planting flowers and making their yards colorful. At MCC Toronto (Ontario, Canada), those people are known as the Garden Faeries!

Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) will hold their annual Walk-a-thon on 7 May. They have two routes of three and five miles. Dogs and children are also welcome to walk and to get their own sponsors!

Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) will join with other area religious communities for the Gulf Coast Affirming Interfaith Network’s Interfaith Service on 10 May, during which they will honor young victims of bullying and celebrate the diversity of humanity with a palette of faith traditions.

Eternal Joy MCC (Dayton, Ohio) increased their membership 13% by taking in eight new members this month.

The annual Gong Show at Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan) has now become A Night at the Movies. Congregants and their friends will perform kid-friendly music, skits, comedy acts, dance numbers, etc. Join in the fun at 7pm on 14 May!

Karen Reynolds and Oona Love will perform in concert at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) on 30 April at 7pm. Admission is $10 USD.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) will present Voices of Pride, a combination of The Gay Men’s Chorus of the Palm Beaches and the Sanctuary Choir of MCC PB, in a concert to benefit the MCC Food Pantry. Patriotic, inspirational, and campy music will be included on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $25 USD.

Beginning next Sunday, Appalachian MCC will move to a morning worship time with children’s Sunday School at 10am and Morning Worship at 11am.

Every month, MCC Pueblo (Colorado) is offering a free movie night to the LGBT community.

The Miracle Easter Sunday offering at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) went to purchase five computers, a floor-care machine, bass and guitar amplifiers, a drum shell, and organic and local food for their Community Meal. They also paid their insurance deductible to repair water damage.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) is providing an outreach every other Sunday afternoon in Macon, Georgia, a prayer and study group led by Bill Murphy.

MCC Washington, DC, will be celebrating its fortieth anniversary 13-15 May. On Friday evening there will be a celebration of dancing, food, fun, and song at the HRC Equality Center. On Sunday, MCC Founder Rev. Elder Troy Perry will bring the message. For more information, visit MCCDC’s Facebook page.

MCC Manchester (England) will spend all day on 7 May creating a vision for their church for the next five years with specific plans for the next year.

Restore! Revive!! Rejoice!!!, the capital campaign of Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) has surpassed the $500,000 USD mark. To date, they have replaced one roof, installed new air conditioning units in the Senior Day Care Center and in the chapel, added safety railings on the second floor, built an entry stoop for the worship center, and reduced their mortgage by $125,000 USD.

Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) will be having a special event each Saturday for the next several months to do fundraising for the church, as well as provide a time of fellowship. There will be dinners, concerts, brunches, and many more activities.

On 1 May, the youth ministry of MCC Richmond (Virginia) will present the church’s first effort in adding praise dancing to their worship services.

Couples Bunco will take place next Saturday at LifeJourney Church MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana), while the Singles meet for dinner at O’Charley’s.

Goin’ Cruisin’! Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) and MCC San Diego (California) have paired together again to offer a cruise on Carnival’s Spirit next year. They will depart San Diego on 4 February 2012 for eight days along the Mexican Riviera with ports of call in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. The prices, amazingly, begin at $569 USD. Rev. Elder Troy Perry will be a special guest. For more information, contact .

Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas) will have a monthly Fun and Games Night beginning next Friday.

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game!” The Whosoevers, the softball team from MCC Charleston (South Carolina), is playing in the Weeknight Women’s Church League.

The ReCharge midweek service at MCC Omaha (Nebraska) has changed from a quiet meditative style to a traditional mid-week worship with familiar hymns, a responsive reading, a brief reflection on familiar scriptures, prayer and communion. It will be lay-led beginning next month.

Many of our churches are having yard or garage sales next month, but MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) has a different twist. BAM! It’s a Book, Art, and Music sale featuring used books, DVDs, CDs and albums. Church ministries will benefit, including their food pantry, which feeds 300+ people each week.

MCC Tampa (Florida) will have a booth at Pride on 7th Street next Saturday.

MCC of the Spirit (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) will join others for the Commonwealth Interfaith Service: Prayers for Justice and Peace at Pine Street Presbyterian Church on Monday evening.

MCC Topeka (Kansas) has opened a new store with new or nearly new items, and even some delicious baked goods!

Mark Ridolfi, editor of the Quad City Times, will perform a song he wrote in support of diversity and marriage equality during the worship service next Sunday at MCC Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa).

Making the Impact!
HELPING OTHERS
OUTSTANDING PEOPLE
CHURCH EDUCATION
ACTIVE CHURCHES
IDAHO
LATINO/A QUEER COMMUNITY
NETWORK GATHERING
EURO PRIDE 2011
TRANSITIONS
WANT TO BE ON TV?
ROYAL WEDDING

IDAHO

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is on 17 May every year. Many of our churches hold special events or engage in educational opportunities in their communities.

What is YOUR church doing to observe IDAHO this year? Please send your plans for inclusion in a future edition of the MCC IMPACT.

For free promotional materials and ideas, click here.

LATINO/A QUEER INDIVIDUALS NEEDED

Christopher Bauchman, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Pacific University School of Professional Psychology, is conducting a study for his dissertation that examines the relationship between spiritual beliefs and practices to psychological well-being in the treatment of Latino individuals who may also identify as a sexual minority.

If you are Latino/a, 18 or older, and a member of the queer community in the US, please take this less than 15-minute confidential survey. You may receive an iTunes gift card for your participation.

For additional information, contact Christopher or Dr. Robin Shallcross, Faculty/Research Advisor, .

NETWORK GATHERING

The North Central US Network (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin) will meet 14 May at MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana). Rev. Elder Diane Fisher will share about the latest developments within MCC. There will be a brainstorming session on how the Network can assist in the development of lay leadership. There will also be a workshop on estate planning for the LGBT community.

EURO PRIDE 2011

After seeing the trailer to internationally-renowned theologian John McNeill’s documentary, Taking a Chance on God, the board of directors of EuroPride 2011 decided to hold the world premiere of the documentary at EuroPrideFest on 9 June. Both Rev. McNeill and his producer, Brendan Fay, will be present in Rome, Italy, for the occasion.

Over 20,000 visitors from around the world are expected 1-12 June. The showing of the documentary will be one of the major events at the festival. It will be shown in a park so that as many people as possible can view it. The next day, they will follow up with a panel discussion on human sexuality.

Please email  if you plan to attend, so that we can let John McNeill know to look for you there. More details about EuroPride 2011 can be found here.

 

Florin Buhuceanu has been asked to sit on a panel during Euro Pride. It is the Conference on Faith and Homosexuality held on 10 June. He will be representing “the situation of GLBT Christian people in Eastern Europe and the case history of MCC.”

TRANSITIONS

Rev. Margarita Sanchez de Leon has accepted the position of Provisional Pastor for MCC South London (England) effective 1 May. She has been serving as Pastor of MCC East London.

Under the guidance of their Elder, Emmanuel MCC (Spokane, Washington) decided to close at the end of last year after 28 years of ministering to the LBGT community in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. They want to express their gratitude to all who supported them through the years.

Rev. Cecilia Eggleston and her partner Monica have moved back to Newcastle, England, for her to resume the pastorate of MCC Newcastle effective 1 May. Rev. Pressley Sutherland, who has been the interim support pastor, will be there 14-15 May to lead the “Sex and the Scriptures” workshop and will facilitate their MCCN Community Retreat in the near future.

Rev. Michael Hydes has just returned to New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) following a three-month sabbatical.

DO YOU WANT TO BE ON TV?

Michael Warwick of Cuba Casting is looking for same-sex couples engaged to be married sometime from August until the end of the year who are willing to share their story and participate in a really fantastic documentary about the first year of marriage for a major cable channel.

They want to feature many different kinds of weddings/ceremonies. They will film the couples periodically through their newlywed year, probably three times, including some family events (holidays, births, etc.).

The couples must be willing to honestly and openly communicate about each other and the experiences of this important first year. They want to get the best view of what marriage looks like today in the US through a diverse mix of stories and couples.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Michael at .

THE ROYAL WEDDING

MCC Bournemouth (England) will be celebrating the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton with a day of events at the church.

They will begin at 10am on the 29 April with coffee and pastries and then watch the wedding together on the big screen in the Sanctuary. The afternoon will feature BBQ, Bingo and live music.

MCC Impact – April, Volume I

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

HOLY WEEK IN MCCs AROUND THE WORLD

PALM SUNDAY WEEKEND

The Music Department at The Met, MCC San Diego (California), is staging “The Living Last Supper,” a musical drama, 16-17 April.

On Saturday, ICM LA (California) will present their annual “Passion Play.” The Passion of Jesus’ last days in dramatic readings and song will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

Wayne Besen will be the special guest at Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) for the weekend. He will conduct a seminar on Saturday morning and there will be a fundraiser for Truth Wins Out (TWO) that evening. He will also preach for the Palm Sunday service. Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism and the “ex-gay” myth. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.

Alive, Forever, Amen!” will be presented by the Worship Choir of Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida) at both 11 am and 7 pm on Palm Sunday. Dee Thomas and Scott Allen Johnson will narrate this production, which was compiled especially for their choir.

Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York) will have a membership class on Palm Sunday in order to bring in the new members on Easter.

Shawn Thomas will be performing for the Palm Sunday service at Resurrection Beach MCC (Costa Mesa,California).

TUESDAY

MCC’s Moderator Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will be attending U. S. President Barack Obama’s Easter Prayer Breakfast.

MCC Manchester (England) will have a special service, The Way of the Cross, which will reflect on Jesus’ journey to Calvary using music from Handel’s Messiah and clips from Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.

WEDNESDAY

MCC Austin (Texas) will host a Seder Dinner, the traditional Jewish meal on the first two nights of Pesach (Passover). “Seder” comes from a Hebrew root word meaning “order,” because there is a specific set of information that must be discussed in a precise order during the meal.

LifeJourney Church MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana) will have a church-wide skating party.

The Big Easy MCC (New Orleans, Louisiana) will join Temple Sinai for their Seder meal.

MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) will walk a labyrinth for a time of inner journey and reflection.

MCC Toronto (Ontario) will have a Seder potluck dinner.

MAUNDY THURSDAY

MCC San Jose (California) will join with other downtown churches for their Holy Week services. The Maundy Thursday observance is at First Christian, and Good Friday is at First Presbyterian.

MCC of the Spirit (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) will be open from noon until 8 pm for folks to come walk “The Way of the Cross,” an independent devotional experience.

The service at Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California) will include a special “circle dance” liturgy.

GOOD FRIDAY

The Passion through Broadway’s Eyes” will be presented for the third year at MCC Detroit (Michigan). This powerful service offers the story of Jesus’ journey through Broadway musical songs.

Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) will be taking part in the city’s annual Cross Walk. They will follow the cross around town with several stops until they reach Abbey Churchyard where a pageant will complete the event. Rev. Kieren Bourne will lead the station in Queen’s Square by the obelisk.

Open Circle at the Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) will have an outdoor service at Lake Miona Park with a short meditation, followed by walking the Stations of the Cross.

The robe maker who made Jesus’ seamless tunic, the crown maker who made the crown of thorns, the whip maker who fashioned the whip used on Jesus, the nail maker who made the nails that pierced Jesus’ hands and feet, the cross maker who built the cross, and the stone maker who shaped the stone to seal the grave will all testify during the service at Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan).

Folks from MCC Los Angeles (California) will create a “Way of the Cross” procession from MCC LA to Mount Hollywood UCC, where there will be a joint Good Friday Service.

The Young Adults Ministry at MCC Newcastle (England) is organizing the church’s service to remember Christ’s death.

St Jude’s MCC (Wilmington, North Carolina) is presenting The Last Seven Words of Christ, recounting the final hours of Jesus through word, song, dance and lighting. Guest speakers from the local faith community will participate in the production.

HOLY SATURDAY

For Good Friday and Holy Saturday, Pikes Peak MCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado) will put on three services/shows of “In Remembrance: A Worship Revue of Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and Contemporary Christian Music“. Each free performance will seat 150 people. This is part of the church’s theatre outreach program led by lay music ministry leaders Kyle Jensen and Elizabeth Ford. The production is underwritten by a $2000 (USD) grant from the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado.

Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) will host their annual Easter Egg Hunt and Park Party complete with a jumping castle, an obstacle course, fellowship, and food.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) will begin their Prayer Vigil following their Good Friday service and it will continue until their worship celebration on Easter Sunday. Volunteers have signed up for two-hour segments through the hours Jesus’ body lay in the tomb.

EASTER SUNRISE

Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) will have a Sunrise Service at their Mountville location at 6 am.

Breakfast will follow the 6 am service for St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina).

MCC Louisville (Kentucky) will gather on the same park hilltop where they have greeted Easter morning for the past 36 years. The birds will be singing and ready to enjoy the remnants of Communion with them.

EASTER

On Easter Sunday, Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) will begin having their morning worship services at 10:45.

The children at MCC Charleston (South Carolina) will present an Easter drama for the morning worship service.

All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) will be filled with lilies, tulips, and mums to celebrate the resurrection. The flowers will be donated to honor or memorialize loved ones.

Rev. Elders Nancy Wilson and Lillie Brock will celebrate Easter and the church’s 40th anniversary at Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas). The week before, the church rededicated their newly renovated sanctuary.

A Church for All MCC (Sacramento, California) will celebrate their 5th anniversary on Easter Sunday withan Easter egg hunt for the children and a service filled with inspiration and music.

Bouquets, plants, and flower arrangements will fill the sanctuary at MCC San Francisco (California) to honor loved ones on Easter.

MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) will have a potluck after worship and an Easter egg hunt for the kids, including face painting and other activities.

PEOPLE IN MINISTRY

Karli Fisher presented a workshop at Brock University (St. Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada) on growing up with a lesbian mom and two gay dads, as well as her involvement in MCC.

MCC of the Lehigh Valley’s (Allentown, Pennsylvania) Ed Robinson, Worship Ministry Leader, and Carol Stevens, Health Ministry Leader, have been invited to serve on the United Way’s Strong Families/Vital Neighborhood decision-making team to select those grant applications which will receive funding.

Rev. Jeff Miner was among those escorted from the gallery of the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, after protesting the House’s passage of a bill which would begin the process of making the state law banning gay marriage into a Constitutional amendment. News article with video footage can be foundhere. Jeff was also interviewed on the Michelangelo Signorile Show on OutQ, Sirius 109/XM 98.

Rev. Kieren Bourne was invited to give a lecture to theology students at Wesley College in Bristol, England, on the question “Would Jesus Discriminate?”

Doug Gazlay, Director of Celebration at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) has composed an original song to raise funds for disaster relief in Japan. “Song for Japan (A New Beginning)” can be downloaded from iTunes ($0.99 USD) and CDbaby ($1.99 USD).

There’s a new book coming out on Christian music and evangelism that contains an article called Coming Out of the Jesus Movement: A Conversation with Marsha Stevens-Pino, about Marsha and BALM Ministries. You can read about the book here, as posted by the author.

TRANSITIONS 

David M. Pelletier tendered his resignation as pastor of MCC of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs,California), effective Palm Sunday.

Rev. Terri Steed’s last Sunday as the pastor of MCC Charleston (South Carolina) will be Easter. She and Kim will be moving to Houston, Texas, for Kim to accept a job promotion.

Rev. Bob Bond’s final Sunday as the intentional interim pastor of Eternal Joy MCC (Dayton, Ohio) is Easter Sunday.

Rev. Pressley Sutherland has been named the Coordinator for the Office of Formation and Lay Development for the Western Europe Network. He will offer courses and programs for those interested in becoming Clergy, as well as liaise with ordained MCC Clergy regarding License renewal and Continuing Education opportunities.

NETWORK NEWS

The Valley and Bay Area Network met last Saturday afternoon at New Spirit Community Church MCC/UCC/DOC and then were blessed at a Revival service in the evening.

“Building and Sustaining Connections” is the theme for the Eastern US Network (Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC) gathering hosted by MCC Richmond (Virginia) 6-7 May 2011, with Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson as their special guest. Friday evening there will be worship, music, and fellowship. Saturday’s schedule includes a session with the Moderator about the exciting happenings in MCC, workshops, lunch, and a time of sharing, prayer and Communion. RSVP .

CHURCH ACTIVITIES

Shave or Style? MCC Tampa (Florida) has created a unique fundraiser. Their pastor, Rev. Phyllis Hunt, is going to get a new hairdo, after giving 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love to make wigs for children with cancer. The church is raising funds to determine whether she will shave her head or get a “new do.” Their goal is $7500 (USD).

Flip Flop! MCC Lubbock (Texas) is collecting flip flops for the men, women, and children of Haiti, who are still struggling from last year’s earthquake.

Lezberados (comedians Sandra Valls and Mimi Gonzalez) will be performing at Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) on 16 April at 7:30pm. Call 941-355-0847 for advance credit card sales.

MCC Elizabethtown (Kentucky) celebrated their 15thanniversary with a spiritual renewal/revival over the weekend led by Jason Deshazo.

The latest episode of Sunshine Cathedral MCC’s (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) Sharing the Light Webcast is titled “A Gay Friendly Jesus.” It is an encouraging, playful, yet rich and powerful discussion. To enjoy this dialogue, click HERE. Share it with your friends!

MCC of the Blue Ridge (Roanoke, Virginia) is one of 12 non-profits to receive a grant through the Strengthening Communities Fund, part of the U. S. Stimulus package. The Board and congregation are working with a consultant to create a strategic ministry plan to guide them for the next three years.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) just started a Children’s Church on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) just started a Children’s Church on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

Stormchasers…no, not chasing tornados! It’s a baseball team. MCC Omaha (Nebraska) will be providing the staff for the concession stands, having fun, and earning money for the church.

Join Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) aboard the Freedom of the Seas, 16-13 October, with ports of call at Labadee, Falmouth, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman beginning at $789 (USD) per person. The initial deposit of $250 USD is due by 24 April. Departure is from Port Canaveral. For more information, email .

This week Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) is beginning a new class, Justice for the Poor, based on Jesus’ ministry to the poor and marginalized.

Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Richey, Florida) is in the midst of a Tax Refund Giving Challenge. An anonymous donor, not a church member, will donate $1500 (USD) to begin an emergency fund for the church if the congregation will match that amount from their tax refunds.

Christ Chapel MCC Santa Ana, California) and MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) have partnered with The Treasure Box, a food ministry providing low cost food options to the community. Each box of food has a retail value of $65 – $100 and sells for only $32 (USD).  Anyone can participate in the program.

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) will host a Spring Fling dance on 15 April at the church.

MCC Quezon City (Philippines) held their LGBT Summer Retreat over the weekend at Union Theological Seminary’s Bahay Alumni and Retreat House. Rev. Ceejay Agbayani was the primary facilitator, in addition to faculty from UTS.

April 2011 – Volume I
Making the Impact!
Holy Week Around the World
People in Ministry
Transitions
Network News
Church Activities
Day of Silence
IDAHO
PAD Conference
Young Adult Retreat
OFLD Clergy Retreat
Rev. Chris Glaser
EMAIL HOAXES
There have been multiple emails circulating lately posing as various MCC clergy, claiming to be stuck somewhere without money or identification, and asking for money. The requests could seem plausible, as they are from recognized email addresses and include a phone number. A good general rule is to never believe an email asking for money and to never send money to someone you have not identified clearly.

 

 

DAY of SILENCE

The annual U. S. Day of Silence for LGBT students and their allies is 15 April 2011. It may be too late to plan anything special, but you can let others know so that they can participate. Details can be found here.
Students take a vow of silence to remind people of the anti-gay bullying and harassment that often happens in schools and colleges. They pass out educational information to those who note their silence.

IDAHO 

 

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is on 17 May every year. Many of our churches hold special events or engage in educational opportunities in their communities.

 

What is YOUR church doing to observe IDAHO this year? Please send your plans for inclusion in a future edition of the MCC IMPACT.

For free promotional materials and ideas, click here.

People of African Descent, Friends & Allies Conference

Loving Ourselves Into Liberation

The MCC Conference for People of African Descent, Our Friends and Allies will be at the Fairmont Hotel, Washington, DC – 19-21 May 2011Click here to register today!

Join the MCC PAD Conference at the 2011 HRC Clergy Call for Justice and Equality

22-24 May 2011

Washington, DC

RSVP now:

HRC.org/ClergyCall

MCC Announces Upcoming Young Adult Retreat!

Led by young adults, this Young Adult Retreat will be an experience of meeting and connecting with your peers, having spirited discussions, and working on strategies for empowering our young adults in their home churches and in MCC’s around the world. The retreat will take place 27-30 July 2011 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event will being at 7:00pm on the 27th and will end at noon on the 30th. This retreat is intended for only those 18-35 years in age.

We will spend time identifying who we are as a young adult group, working to serve others through a service project, discussing the future of MCC with MCC leadership and taking time for Spiritual Connection. We will also focus on coming out of the retreat with a clear vision of what we, the young adults of MCC, see as our future.

 

The host church for the retreat is Sunshine Cathedral MCC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They will provide lunch and dinner for retreat attendees on the Friday and Saturday of the retreat.

 

The host hotel is the Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale Airport North, 1851 SE 10th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The group rate is $69 USD (+tax) per night for double occupancy. The hotel does feature complimentary internet and complimentary continental breakfast. In addition, the hotel has a complimentary airport shuttle that runs from 5:00am-12:00am (midnight.) To make a reservation call 954-763-7670 and mention our group name MCC Young Adult Summit, or click here to select dates of stay and enter group code G-MCCY to receive our discounted rate.

 

To keep costs low and make this retreat as accessible as possible, we have set the registration rate at $50 USD per person. To register, please CLICK HERE.

 

If you have any questions or need more information, email .

Reflect, Renew, Refresh! 

Diana Butler Bass

OFLD Clergy Retreat with Diana Butler Bass

September 12-14, 2011

Duncan Retreat Center, Delray Beach, FL

 

Cost of the retreat is $275 USD which includes 2 nights lodging (double occupancy with a private bath and wireless internet) and six meals. The $275 rate is good until 5 May 2011. After 5 May, through 5 July, cost for the retreat will be $325 USD. Absolute deadline for all registrations is 5 July 2011. Click here to register.

 

Thanks to a generous donation from MCC Austin, the OFLD will be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to help with the cost of registration for the retreat. Please contact Rev. Dr. Mona West () to inquire about scholarship applications.

 

For more information on Diana Butler Bass and to view a video of one of her presentations, go to dianabutlerbass.com. To find out more about the Duncan Retreat Center, go to duncancenter.org.

 

REV. CHRIS GLASER

Have you read Rev. Chris Glaser’s new contemplative blog? New posts are published every Wednesday morning: Progressive Christian Reflections.

He also has a guest post on the blog site of Episcopal Divinity School: “Do Progressive Christians Pray?”

Rev. Glaser has served three MCCs as the interim pastor and is currently available for presentations, workshops, seminars, and retreats. He is a prolific writer. His most recent books are The Final Deadline: What Death Has Taught Me about Life (Morehouse, 2010) and As My Own Soul: The Blessing of Same-Gender Marriage (Seabury, 2009). Learn more at ChrisGlaser.com.

MCC Impact – March 2011

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

 

ARTISTS AT WORK

MCC of the Blue Ridge (Roanoke, Virginia) hosted an incredible art exhibit called “Labyrinth,” in collaboration with the city’s Marginal Arts Festival. Over 200 people attended the opening reception and viewed the exhibit.

The church saw the potential of their unused third floor space, so they invited local, state and national artists to adopt the unused rooms and install art exhibits. Every room on the third floor, plus two rooms on the main floor, were used. Five artists from their church were among the participants. Two of them refinished the balcony, producing a masterpiece to compliment the stained glass windows.

One of the most unique creations was featured in The Roanoke Times. Artist Ralph Eaton took a room full of unused oak Sunday School chairs and created a “Chairway to Heaven” by stacking and cabling the chairs into a cathedral-like archway.

CELEBRATIONS

Christ Chapel MCC (Santa Ana, California) will be celebrating their 40th anniversary the weekend of 9 April. Jay Bakker will be their keynote speaker on Saturday evening, when the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will also perform. There will be a special service of celebration on Sunday at which founding pastor Rev. Rodger Harrison will be a special guest.

Tree of Life MCC (Ann Arbor, Michigan) will celebrate their 18th anniversary on 3 April, the same day that they will officially close the church. There will be a luncheon after worship featuring messages from people who have been touched by the ministry of the church. They are donating their altar ware, linens, and vestments to other MCCs.

FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) will dedicate their new building, much of which they completed themselves, on 3 April.  Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will officiate.

Rev. Harry Knox asked the folks at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) to establish a fund to replace the gutters on the church building rather than give him presents for his 50th birthday. This birthday is especially meaningful since for half his life now he has been HIV+.

MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) and MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) will celebrate their Third Annual Griffith Park Picnic together on 10 April. They will spend the afternoon eating, visiting, and playing family-friendly games.

Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama) celebrated their ‘Founder’s Day’ 26th Anniversary. Corey Hieldebaugh, an M.Div graduate from Pacific School of Religion, spoke on “Into the Future with Hope!”

LENTEN ACTIVITIES 

In addition to a Fish Fry every Friday night, Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) is meeting is small home groups to study Let Your Life Speak, Listening for the Voice of Vocation, which complements the Sunday sermon series on the spiritual practices of listening and discernment.

MCC Topeka (Kansas) is participating with the Seabrook Area Churches in a weekly Lenten Breakfast series, “The Meaning of the Cross in Contemporary Faith”.

At MCC Austin (Texas) the theme for this Lent is “I Wonder as I Wander”. Each Sunday they are exploring something about which people wonder … “Did Jesus Exist?”, “Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People?”, “Is Christianity the Only Way to God?”, “Science and Christianity”, “The Doctrine of Original Sin”, and “The Question of Free Will”.

MCC of the Spirit (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) will view The Passion of the Christ on 8 April.

MCC San Francisco (California) is opening their sanctuary at specified times throughout Lent for a quiet time of meditation, reflection, and prayer.

Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) is raising funds for the XanGo Goodness Meal Packs program, a worldwide movement to address severe malnutrition. $90 (USD) provides a child with nutritional meals for one month. Their Lenten goal is to be able to feed 70 children for a month.

Rev. Dr. Renee McCoy is leading a Lenten Bible Study in her home for the Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) community.

A group is gathering before worship each Sunday morning at Imago Dei MCC (Glen Mills, Pennsylvania) for Lenten Devotions.

“Love is …” is the theme for April Sunday worship services at MCC Newcastle (England). Additionally, they will focus each Sunday on a different aspect of MCC Global Ministries in preparation for their Easter Sunday offering for MCC’s work in Russia, the Philippines, and a safe house in Uganda.

MCC Omaha (Nebraska) is doing a prayer and study time on “Who do you say that I Am?”.

MCC San Jose (California) is joining with three other downtown churches to offer special events during Lent, including weekly Soup Suppers with programs and Holy Week services.

At First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) they have asked congregants to put aside $2 per day during Lent in order to have a Miracle Sunday offering on Easter. Their goal is $12,000 (USD).

The Hunger Action Team at aChurch4Me? MCC is collecting one food item from each congregant each Sunday during Lent to donate to the Lakeview Pantry.

The folks at Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) are carrying a nail in their pockets throughout Lent to remind them of Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice. They will be collected as part of the Good Friday service.

As part of their B1 curriculum (Be One – a disciple), MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) is offering “Christianity 101 from a Progressive Perspective” on the Sundays during Lent.

The Lenten Study at MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) is MCC’s “Holy Conversations”.

CHECK IT OUT! 

Rev. Dr. Patrick Cheng’s new book, Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology, has been released and is available in paper format and in digital download for the Kindle.

This book, written to fill a huge gap in the literature, is the first accessible introduction to LGBTQ theology for pastors, people in the pews, and non-specialists alike. It traces the genealogy of queer theology from the 1950s to today. Rev. Chris Glaser noted that it is “thoroughly Christian and thoroughly Queer”.

There are study questions and suggestions for further reading, so it is ideal for congregational use.  It also has an extensive bibliography that includes the work of many MCC leaders, such as Rev. Elder Troy Perry, Rev. Dr. Mona West, and Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson.

You can read the reviews by Dr. Carter Heyward, Dr. James Cone, Rev. Chris Glaser, Dr. Elizabeth Stuart, Rev. Dr. Bob Shore-Goss, and Virginia Mollenkott at this direct link on amazon.com. Additional information can be found at patrickcheng.net.

In addition to being MCC Clergy, Rev. Dr. Cheng is the Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School.

PEOPLE

MCC Rehoboth (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware) will bid a fond farewell to Rev. Dr. Dusty Pruitt, their interim pastor, on 3 April. The next Sunday they will welcome Rev’d. K’Lynne McKinley to the pulpit. She is an ordained Baptist clergyperson who will be transferring her credentials to MCC.

Rev. Chris Dowd is retiring from his role as MCC’s ecumenical officer for the United Kingdom. Thank you, Rev. Dowd, for your many years of service.

Randy Roberts Potts is the gay grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts. He has worked with juvenile delinquents and as a social worker, middle school English teacher, and freelance writer. He was a speaker on the RSVP 25th anniversary cruise and will be speaking at Kansas City Pride in June. He is available to speak at MCCs and other events. Click here to read a Washington Post article.

Clergy Intern Neil Jones has been liaising with local police regarding the increase in religious-based homophobic literature around North and East London, England.

At the Indiana Senate Hearing on H.R. 6, Rev. Jeff Miner testified against legislation that would amend Indiana’s Constitution to deny gay couples equal protection under the law.

A Potluck is planned for 3 April at New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) to welcome Rev. Michael Hydes home after his three-month sabbatical.

MCC clergy intern Mary Cantrell is the interim at MCC Wichita Falls (Texas).

Ray Boltz will be live in concert at MCC Richmond (Virginia) on 9 April at 7 pm. He is the recipient of three Dove Awards, has sold over 4.5 million records, and performed in every US state, as well as in Bangladesh, Botswana, Cambodia, Canada, India, Mexico, Nepal, Romania, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Tickets are $20 (USD) in advance or $25 at the door. Admission includes a Post Concert Reception, autographs, and refreshments.

Heather Bambrick, Julie Michelsm and Diane Leah presented the “Leading Ladies Concert” last Saturday night at MCC Toronto (Ontario).

An oral history interview with Rev. Elder Darlene Garner has been added to the LGBT-Religious Archives Network as part of a series of interviews with Black LGBT religious leaders.

Deepest sympathy is expressed to Rev. Bruce Barton. His partner, Bruce Harmon, a longtime lay leader and denominational volunteer, had a massive heart attack and went home to Heaven on the morning of the 17th

Jane Syftestad will be in concert at Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) on 2 April.

Rev. Tommy Hutson has resigned his position as Associate Pastor of Congregational Care at MCC Charleston (South Carolina), but will stay an active member of the congregation.

Sue Piva of All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) was presented with the J. Irwin Miller Award of Excellence, the highest national honor that can be bestowed on a Cummins employee.

Rev. Renwick Bell was on an interfaith panel to discuss Perspectives on Social Justice and Action.

Rev. Kieren Bourne was invited to preach at the Bath Abbey (Bath, England).

Rev. Wes Mullins recently partnered with Colorado Springs faith leaders, including Rev. Elder Nori Rost, in a rally to show support for the Civil Unions Bill now being considered in the Colorado Senate.  The bill is supported by over 130 faith leaders and over 30 organizations, including all the MCC churches and pastors in Colorado.

Rev. Patrick Rogers has joined the staff of Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida) as Minister of Congregational Life and Outreach. The installation festivities will be 16-17 April.

IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE

MCC Manchester (England) has been intimately involved in helping five members of their congregation receive legal status in the UK over the last several years.  Most recently Masoud has had his application for British citizenship approved.  When Masoud first arrived in MCC he was a “failed asylum seeker” with no legal right to live or work in the UK.  Through the work of the Immigration Aid Unit he made a new application for asylum, improved his education, and worked very hard in a range of jobs.  His papers allowing him indefinite leave to remain in the UK came through 18 months ago and now he is becoming a citizen with plans to attend university in September to study for a Master’s degree.

Currently the church is working with Nasrin from Iran. When she was 21, she came under pressure from her family to marry despite her wish to pursue a career.  However she had no choice – women do not have many options in Iran.  Her husband beat her every day and raped her many times. Nasrin was not allowed to work, to leave the house alone, or to have any contact with her family and friends. When her son Mojtaba was born, her husband was violent to him as well. The police would not allow her to file a complaint without her husband being present. Domestic violence is not illegal, and it’s almost impossible for a woman to obtain a divorce. Her family was unable to help. Finally, she and her son come to visit her sister in the UK. She claimed, but was refused, asylum. With help her appeal was finally successful.

Throughout Lent, MCC Manchester congregants are filling Smartie (a candy) tubes to raise money for the Immigration Aid Unit who have helped save the lives of five in their congregation.

What is your church doing to make a difference in people’s lives? Send your story .

NETWORK NEWS

The first MCC of the Heartlands Network Gathering will be 1-3 April at MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri). Churches from Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and Indianapolis will all come together for fun, fellowship, food, workshops, and worship. The weekend begins on Friday with a “Meet & Greet” and continues through Sunday morning with a magnificent spirit-filled worship service featuring Bishop Yvette Flunder. Ray Boltz will be in concert on Saturday night. Workshop presenters for the weekend are Rev. Elder Lillie Brock, Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker, Rev. Tom Emmett III, Rev. Tania Guzman, Rev. Melissa Smithee, Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas, and Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell Thompson. Registration is $25 USD. Register Now. For more information, please call 1-785-608-6868.

ACTIVE CHURCHES 

MCC Quezon City (Philippines) has had excellent news coverage recently. Click here to read the first article, and click here to read the second one.

The next RelationShift Dinner for folks at MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) will be 9 April. It is an opportunity for people to be with their church family outside of worship services in a relaxed setting.

MCC Brightwaves (Brighton Beach, England) has just begun the Creating a Life that Matters course.

MCC Tampa (Florida) is sponsoring a team in the Relay for Life of Seminole Heights on 1-2 April.

MCC of the Lehigh Valley will host a gathering for workers on 11 April at 7 pm. Building a Better Work Life will feature ten minute teachings on “Work-Life Integrity”, “Being a Joy to Your Employer”, “Kindness at the Workplace”, and “Developing a Long-Term View of Work”.

MCC Las Vegas (Nevada) selects another MCC and pastor to pray for each month.

Jesus MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana) voted to change their name to LifeJourney Church and adopted a 25 year strategic plan.

MCC Key West (Florida) just received a $25,000 (USD) matching grant for Ms. Kitty’s Pantry, their premier food ministry service, and is busy finding donors to help match the funding.

Journey MCC (Birmingham, England) has instituted the church’s newest ministry, Vegged OUT, a community café that offers a delicious vegetarian menu.

There’s a new paper recycling bin at Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida). Not only are they keeping all kinds of paper out of landfills, they are also being paid for their used newspapers, cardboard, office paper, etc.

Church Hops?  Resurrection Beach MCC (Costa Mesa, California) meets at 7 pm on Sunday evenings, but many of their members are free on Sunday mornings, so they “Church Hop” once a month to visit other MCCs or gay-friendly congregations.

MCC North London (England) just begantheir second CLM course and anointed three new Lay Deacons to assist with ministry.

Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) will begin a Book Study in York on 14 April. The coordinator will be Johnna Faber, their intern from Lancaster Seminary.

In the US, everyone knows about March Madness (college basketball tournaments). And if you are a women’s fan, you know about the Lady Vols! Well, Poised for Greatness (a team raising funds to pay off the mortgage early) at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) is accepting pledges from their congregation for every bracket to which the University of Tennessee team advances!

MCC Corpus Christi (Texas) will begin a 12 week study on 3 April. The One Anothering Class will focus on building strong relationships and caring for each other in the church community.

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) raised $429.61 (USD) to donate to CRAVE MCC in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the devastating earthquake there.

MCC Bournemouth (England) is having major renovation work done to their historic building.

Over the weekend MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) participated in Pridefest by marching together in the parade and sponsoring an information booth at the festival.

Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) is now making Hygiene supply kits for the people of Japan, as well as for the homeless in their part of the world. Kits include soap, towel, nail clippers, band aids, toothbrush and paste, and comb in a zip lock bag.

Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) just completed the study, “Discover Your Inner Goddess”.

King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) is hosting an 8 day western Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Miracle 17-25 October. Cabins begin at $754 (USD) per person and include a round trip bus ride from St. Pete to Ft. Lauderdale for embarkation. Call Ron Oconnor at 727-367-3730.

Beginning this week Reconciliation MCC (Grand Rapids, Michigan) will have groups in two different areas doing a weekly study on Max Lucado’s A Gentle Thunder: Hearing god Through a Storm.

MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) will begin their Bingo fundraisers again on 9 April.

Spring, Spaghetti, and Song is the theme for an event at Open Circle at The Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) on 9 April. There will be a sassiest sauce contest and entertainment by various musicians.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau in New Orleans, Louisiana, asked for two men from the Big Easy MCC to participate in a video about the city in order to show the diversity that is part of New Orleans.

MCC San Diego (California) will participate in the Uptown Faith Community Service Center’s clothing drive on 10 April, collecting gently used items for people who are homeless.

During Baylor University’s Justice Week, Central Texas MCC (Waco, Texas) had a booth to share information about their church and its HIV and transgender ministries.

MCC Charleston (South Carolina) just began a small group, “Making Peace with Your Past”.

MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia) collected 71 pairs of shoes, which they donated to a church in Alexandria whose ministry is to people who are unemployed, disabled, or homeless.

“Listening to God: A Guide to Spiritual Discernment” is the newest class being offered at New Life MCC of Hampton Roads (Virginia).

MCC of the Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) presented the winner of their Chili Cook-off with $100 (USD) last Sunday. They also had a silent and live auction and a show during the event.

Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Richey, Florida) will have a Spring Picnic and BBQ on 2 April with games, praise music, and , of course, great food!

Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) is looking for “hopping” volunteers for their annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny on 16 April, which brings in many neighborhood children and families.
March 2011 – Volume II
 

People of African Descent, Friends & Allies Conference

Loving Ourselves Into Liberation

The MCC Conference for People of African Descent – Our Friends and Allies will be at the Fairmont Hotel,  Washington, DC – May 19-21, 2011 Click here to register today!

Join the MCC PAD Conference at the 2011 HRC Clergy Call for Justice and Equality

May 22-24, 2011

Washington, DC

RSVP now:

HRC.org/ClergyCall

 

Join The State of MCC Webinar on March 31st

 

Dear Members and Friends of MCC,

 

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson and the Governing Board of MCC would like to invite you to join them on March 31st for a webinar presentation on the State of MCC.  The Governing Board is anxious to share with the members and friends of MCC what has been happening in the months since General Conference.  These have been busy times, and we would like to ensure that we are communicating with each of you directly regarding many interesting and exciting activities.

Since the use of webinars is new to MCC, if this method of sharing is useful and successful, we will consider adding further webinar’s.  They will serve as a means for the Governing Board to present and receive information.  To that end, we hope you will join us in support of this new method of information sharing.

 

On this webinar the following will be presented:

  • Report out from the most recent Governing Board Meeting
  • Information on current denominational programs and initiatives
  • Update on the current financial status of our denomination

This webinar will be offered twice on Thursday, 31 March:

1. Noon – 1:30 PM/ET (5:00 – 6:30PM GMT)

 

2. 7:00 – 8:30 PM/ET (1 April, 12:00 – 1:30AM GMT)

 

You can access the webinar in two methods:

1. To listen to the presentation only by phone call:

a. Dial-in Number: 1.218.936.4141

b. Enter Participant Code: 778024

 

2. To listen and view the power point presentation, please use the following information. With our online meeting software, you have the option to listen to the conversation and view the meeting presentation without having to dial in to a conference phone line. Please be sure that you have speakers connected to your computer or that you are using headphones to listen in and check to be sure that the volume on your computer is turned up. To join the meeting, click on the link below or copy and paste the link into the address bar of your web browser. Additionally, please do not use the link prior to the scheduled webinar, as it will not appear to be a valid webpage.

 

Click here to connect and choose the option to enter as a Guest, then enter your full name and your email address in the “Type your name” field. This will allow the meeting presenters to identify you should you have any questions or comments during the meeting. Please enter the information in the following format:

Firstname Lastname, EmailAddress (Bob Sample, )

 

Presenters will be:

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Presiding Elder/Moderator of MCC

 

Rev. Tony Freeman, Vice-Chairperson of the MCC Governing Board

 

Ms. Liz Bisordi, MCC Governing Board Treasurer

 

Ms. Barbara Crabtree, Director of Operations

 

Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin, Governing Board Member & Webinar Facilitator

 

Please Note: The webinar will be in presentation mode. All lines will be muted. The presentation will be recorded  and uploaded at a later time to the MCC website. If you have questions during the webinar, please send an email .

Look forward you to joining us!

 

Peace and blessing in this season of Lent on our way to Easter joy!

 

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson

Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin

 

One Day Without Shoes!
Join over 250,000 people around the world on 5 April 2011. Make a statement. Raise awareness.
Learn more here.

 

DAY of SILENCE
This is marketed as a National event for the US, but it can be observed anywhere. What are YOU going to do to end the silence?
Join MCC, GLSEN and hundreds of thousands of students as we take a vow of silence on 15 April 2011 to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harrassment.
More details can be found here and here.

 

 

MCC Announces Upcoming Young Adult Retreat!

Led by young adults, this Young Adult Retreat will be an experience of meeting and connecting with your peers, having spirited discussions, and working on strategies for empowering our young adults in their home churches and in MCC’s around the world. The retreat will take place July 27-July 30th in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The event will being at 7:00pm on the 27th and will end at noon on the 30th. This retreat is intended for only those 18-35 years in age.

We will spend time identifying who we are as a young adult group, working to serve others through a service project, discussing the future of MCC with MCC leadership and taking time for Spiritual Connection. We will also focus on coming out of the retreat with a clear vision of what we, the young adults of MCC, see as our future.

The host church for the retreat is Sunshine Cathedral MCC in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Sunshine Cathedral has graciously agreed to host our retreat in July and will provide lunch and dinner for retreat attendees on the Friday and Saturday of the retreat.

 

The host hotel is the Hyatt Place Ft. Lauderdale Airport North, 1851 SE 10th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The group rate is $69 (+tax) per night for double occupancy. The hotel does feature complimentary internet and complimentary continental breakfast. In addition, the hotel has a complimentary airport shuttle that runs from 5:00am-12:00am (midnight.) To make a reservation call 954-763-7670 and mention our group name MCC Young Adult Summit, or click here to select dates of stay and enter group code G-MCCY to receive our discounted rate.

 

To keep costs low and make this retreat as accessible as possible we have set the registration rate at $50 per person. To register please CLICK HERE.

 

If you have any questions or need more information, email .

 

 

Reflect, Renew, Refresh!

Diana Butler Bass

OFLD Clergy Retreat with Diana Butler Bass

September 12-14, 2011

Duncan Retreat Center, Delray Beach, FL

 

Cost of the retreat is $275 US which includes 2 nights lodging (double occupancy with a private bath and wireless internet) and six meals. The $275 rate is good until May 5, 2011. After May 5, through July 5, cost for the retreat will be $325. Absolute deadline for all registrations is July 5, 2011.  Click here to register.

 

Thanks to a generous donation from MCC Austin, the OFLD will be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to help with the cost of registration for the retreat.  Please contact Rev. Dr. Mona West () to inquire about scholarship applications.

 

For more information on Diana Butler Bass and to view a video of one of her presentations, go to

dianabutlerbass.com. To find out more about the Duncan Retreat Center, go to duncancenter.org.

 

Correction from the March 8th Edition of the MCC Impact
MCC of the Chesapeake (Annapolis, Maryland) did vote to disaffiliate, as reported in the last issue of the MCC IMPACT. However, they report: “We are remaining a community steeped in the radical inclusiveness of Jesus. We opted to call ourselves a ‘Spiritual Community’ rather than a ‘Church’ in order to be more welcoming to those who deem themselves ‘spiritual, but not religious’ as well as to those who had rejected, or were rejected by, a previous church. Regarding our status as Christian, neither our mission, our vision, nor our core values have changed one iota.”

 

 

MCC Impact – March 2011

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

UP (Unashamed Praise) RELEASED

“UP” is a brand new compilation CD of LGBT Christian artists and their music created by Shawn Thomas. It features 14 singer/songwriters, groups, and duos with a wide variety of music styles from praise and worship, to jazz, to dance, to gospel, to folk and rock.

Eight of the artists/groups are MCCers. They are Affinity Praise, Rev. Delores Berry, Susie Brenner, Jeremiah Cummings, Justin Ryan, Marsha Stevens-Pino, Shawn Thomas, and Shelly Torres-West.

You can learn more or order a copy at www.unashamedonline.com, which includes links to all 14 artists and their websites!  Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqIBkgQ-3f8, too!

BUSY CHURCHES

Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama) is developing a Theology of Hospitality: “From the parking lot to the pew and beyond”.

MCC Windsor (Ontario) is instituting their first ever Youth/Teen Ministry. Additionally, they have just begun a new study group, The Bible in a Year.

Hand and Foot. No, these aren’t body parts. It’s the name of a popular card game. MCC Key West (Florida) hosts a Hand and Foot tournament each month as a fundraiser for the church. Last month they cleared $600 (USD).

TransHOPE, the transgender ministry group at Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) was invited to lead the worship service at the Third Annual Keystone Conference:  A Celebration of Gender Diversity!  The five day conference is hosted each year by TransCentral PA. The theme for the service was “TRANS/forming Our Praise:  A Time of Spiritual Enrichment and Truth-Tellin’”.

At St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) they are finishing a three month study of all of the faith traditions represented in their congregation.  They studied and discussed each one during their Topics at Ten on Sunday mornings and then participated in progressive dinner groups to get to know one another better.

MCC Manchester (England) has begun a parish extension in Dublin, Ireland! Deacon Stan Dolan, who holds two degrees (theology and pastoral care/chaplaincy) and is working toward credentialing in MCC, is leading the group. They chose the name Branching Out and meet every other week for now. https://sites.google.com/site/branchingoutcc/

Geocaching???  Yes, on Saturday MCC Tampa (Florida) had a cookout, yard games, and a geocache, a treasure hunt with a GPS.  Teams were given the coordinates for various treasurers hidden throughout the park. There were even surprises for the kids at each cache.

MCC of the Chesapeake (Annapolis, Maryland) voted 15-0 to disaffiliate and become a spiritual community, rather than a Christian church.

“LGBT Parenting: ‘Out’ Parenting in a Straight World” will be offered at MCC Austin (Texas) on 19 March 10:00 – 1:00 with lunch and childcare provided.

The folks at Jesus MCC have been challenged to raise their weekly giving by $1700 (USD) because membership and giving have remained flat for several years. When they accomplish their goal, they will hire Vivian Wyatt, their former clergy intern who is about to complete her M.Div.

“The Vagina Monologues” will be presented at MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) on 19 March at 7:00 to benefit the Susan Horn Surgery Fund.

MCC of the Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania) is having a Green Potluck and Beat the Winter Blues Game Night next Saturday. There will be green potatoes, green bread, and green cake, for sure!

Planning ahead! MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) is planning an MCC Day at Disneyland on 21 May. If you are going to be in the area, join MCCers from Southern California for a fun-filled day! Please RSVP to MCCV so that they can secure discounted tickets.

MCC Toronto (Ontario) has instituted yet one more way of being inclusive. At one station for Communion they are offering gluten free wafers.

Last week Open Circle at The Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) began their new fitness group. They are focusing on being healthy from the inside out and will focus on the word of God, explore attitudes and behaviors that have developed over time, and investigate ways to improve their overall health.

“Gender Identity and the Faith Community” is the series this month at Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas).

Children’s Sunday School Classes are held for children age 5 through 5th grade twice a month at Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida). They use a multimedia approach which blends Scripture lessons with dramatic videos, hands-on activities, discussions, music videos, songs, and games.

A group from MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) led by Todd Hartman and Jerry Austin hold a devotional time every Thursday evening at the Spearly Center for individuals who are neurologically challenged. They have prayer, a brief message, and sing with the patients.

Unique Fundraiser! At MCC Topeka (Kansas) a church member is offering to do tax returns for other people with the cost being donated to the church.

Another One! Munchin’ 4 Music & Ministry is the newest fundraiser at MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina). Congregants volunteer to host a dinner party in their homes and ask their guests for donations for the church’s audio/video worship needs.

King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) held their Flapjacks and Flea Market last Saturday.

MCC Newcastle (England) is moving into the main church for their worship services. To get ready they are going to have an Embrace the Space event in the sanctuary to see how they can transform it into their own for their Sunday evening services. Later on they will have an Art and God session to create banners for their services.

Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) will have a congregational picnic on the 27th.

Earlier this month Laszlo Papp and the Fort Lauderdale String Quartet, as well as the Dueling Divas performed at Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida). Vickie Shaw will be there Saturday night and Matt Abler on 2 April.

“Holding on when We Need to Let Go: A Spiritual Study on the Practice of Forgiveness” is being facilitated by Jude Litzenberger this month at MCC San Diego (California).

Pride already? Yes. At Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) their Pride committee is already meeting to design their float and plan other activities for the 16-17 April event.

Children’s Sunday School for those 5-12 began yesterday at MCC Charleston (South Carolina). Their first project will be developing a drama for Easter.

At the Bingo Night at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) next Saturday, everyone wearing green will be given a prize in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

aChurch4Me? MCC will begin two new groups this week. “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” will focus on breaking the bonds of the past and exploring ways to stop doing and begin being. “Crazy Love: Exploring the Relentless Love of God” will focus on that love which calls people to radically address the problems of their community, city, and the world.

On the 27th Marshall Grant Ministries will kick of the weeklong festivities leading up to the Building Dedication at FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine. Florida). Congregants are gathering items from their first 13 years to place in a time capsule to be opened in 2026, 13 years from now.

JAMAICA

We are all aware of the bitter homophobia in Jamaica where gay men have been slaughtered. It has been overshadowed in recent news by the equally virulent homophobia in Uganda, but it is still happening in Jamaica and other places, too.

The Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays (JFLAG) is petitioning their Parliament to include protection for LGBT people in their national Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

JFLAG, Sunshine Cathedral MCC Jamaica, and others in the community there need our support, as well as our prayers. Click hereto sign their petition to include sexual orientation based anti-discrimination in the Charter.

OUR PEOPLE

For the past five years Rev. Karl Hand, pastor of CRAVE MCC (Sydney, Australia), has been involved in a campaign for Marriage Equality. Thousands attend their rallies each quarter, which are increasing in intensity as the Australian Labor Party will meet in December to reconsider its stance on same-sex marriage. He will be speaking at the next rally which is on Saturday.  http://www.caah.org.au/events#rally

Rev. Andy Braunston was honored with an invitation to be a guest preacher at Trinity College Chapel in Dublin, Ireland (the equivalent of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, or Yale). It was part of a series called Seeing Salvation looking at different pieces of art.  He spoke of Salvador Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross, which has a dual perspective. The crucifixion is seen from above, as if from God’s perspective, yet the bottom of the picture is seen from a human perspective. http://www.mccmanchester.co.uk/news.htm

The first combined Network Gathering with MCC churches from Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and Nebraska will be held 1-3 April at MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri). Bishop Yvette Flunder of the Fellowship Churches and Rev. Elder Lillie Brock will be the featured guests.

Jerry L. Sagat, the father of Rev. Barbara S. Sagat and father-in-law of Rev. Sharon Stover, passed away unexpectedly the end of last month following a brief illness with cancer.

Rev. Bernie Barbour was just elected with 100% of the vote to be the permanent pastor of MCC Amarillo (Texas), after having served as their interim since August 2008. .

Rev. Kieren Bourne spoke to the LGBT & Friends group at the University of Bath (England) to help them understand the love of God and dispel the untruths that are used to bash them.

Donna Twardowski will be ordained at Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) on 20 March at 3:00.

Next Sunday Rev. Ray Neal will be the guest speaker at Prime Timers,the gay senior group.  He will share about Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) and show the documentary Call Me Troy.

Rev. Harry Knox and other clergy and human rights activists in Houston, Texas, created a video postcard, which they sent to the US Department of State concerning the rise of deadly homophobia in Uganda. http://www.ResurrectionMCC.org/Uganda

LEARNING AND SHARING DURING LENT

Throughout Lent at Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri) they are looking at how the process of metamorphosis is similar to stages in their personal lives and the life of their church. The theme is portrayed in the Sunday sermons and then discussed in small group studies on Sunday and Wednesday nights at church, or in various homes throughout the week.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) is offering “Love at Last Sight: 30 Days to Grow and Deepen Your Closest Relationships” during Lent. Participants receive a bracelet and a bookmark.

The Lenten Journey Walk at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) will be done in small groups studying The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach Us about Jesus’ Final Days in Jerusalem by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. The groups are meeting in various parts of the area on different days.

One of the special opportunities during Lent at MCC of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, California) will be a screening of the film Jihad for Love, a documentary of LGBT folks in Isalm, with a discussion led by Dr. Matthew Simonds.

At Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) they have several ongoing studies, including “Bullet Proof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide to LGBTQ Christians”, “Following Jesus: Discipleship 101″, and their Lenten Connection Groups are using Robert Holden’s book, Happiness NOW!, to embark on a spiritual exploration towards sacrificing self-doubt, feelings of unworthiness, fear, and shame.

MCC Omaha (Nebraska) is offering a study and prayer group on Thursday mornings entitled “Who Do You Say that I Am?” and another on Sunday afternoons “Overcoming Obstacles to Living an Abundant Life”.

Eight groups in various areas served by MCC Portland (Oregon) will share “Cries of the Spirit: A Season with the Psalms” as they look at the full range of emotions expressed in the psalms.

Ashes to Fire is the theme for Lent and Eastertide at MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico). From the ashes of Ash Wednesday to the flames of Pentecost, they will experience interactive prayer stations, new contemporary music, and much more as they follow in the footsteps of Jesus, longing for a closer relationship with Christ and coming to know the power of God’s love burning in their hearts.

“40 Days of Great Expectations” is the theme at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia). The six Sundays of Lent will be a spiritual journey of personal growth and understanding as they focus on their expectations of God and God’s expectations of them.

“Jesus’ Blueprint for Prayer” is the topic for the Lenten living room series at SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) this year.  They will have two groups meeting in Sarasota, one in North Port, and one in Venice.

MCC New York (New York) is offering two different groups during Lent. One is a Prayer Meeting focusing on the transformation that happens when we pray. “What’s God Got to Do with It?” will use short stories, video clips, and spiritual exercises to look at the fundamental human yearnings of hope, meaning, freedom, and fullness of life.

As their Lenten series, MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia) is using “Holy Conversations”, which was developed by the MCC Theologies Team. Click here to learn more.

At MCC San Francisco (California) the home-based groups are using a fun discussion guide based on the delightful movie Chocolat. They’ll use clips from this insightful film as a springboard for sharing, passages from the sacred texts of scripture, poetry, and –most importantly– life experience, to explore spirituality.

UPDATE FROM REV. DELORES BERRY

Hi, Wonders of God!

While I was in the hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, for pneumonia, it was discovered that my resistance was very low and they gave me two antibiotics for an injury to my foot.  The medicine increased my potassium to an overdose level, which made us think it was my heart again.

All this is well on the way to being healed and I have resumed my full travel schedule in MCC.

Thank you for your prayers … they work every time!

~ Rev. Delores and Judy

STUDY ON GAY FATHERS

Romi Mann, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California, has requested assistance from MCCers who are gay fathers. His dissertation explores how becoming an openly gay father impacts the relationships of gay men with their own parents.

The anonymous online survey is for gay men who became fathers after coming out. It takes 20-30 minutes to complete.  http://sgiz.mobi/s3/Gay-Dads-Survey You may contact him directly for additional information.

March 2011 – Volume I
People of African Descent, Friends & Allies Conference

Loving Ourselves Into Liberation

The MCC Conference for People of African Descent – Our Friends, and Allies at the Fairmont Hotel,  Washington, DC -may 19-21, 2011 click here to register today! 

Join the MCC PAD Conference at the 2011 HRC Clergy Call for Justice and Equality

May 22-24, 2011  |  Washington, DC RSVP now:  www.hrc.org/ClergyCall

Moderator of MCC Issues A Call to Prayer Regarding the Earthquake in Japan

“We pray for all people in the aftermath of the earthquake and in the paths of the waves, for our MCCer’s in the Philippines, in Hawaii, and on the coast of the western hemisphere”

 

Click here to read the entire article.

MCC Announces Upcoming Young Adult Retreat!

Led by young adults, this Young Adult Retreat will be an experience of meeting and connecting with your peers, having spirited discussions, and working on strategies for empowering our young adults in their home churches and in MCC’s around the world. The retreat will take place July 27-July 30th in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The event will being at 7:00pm on the 27th and will end at noon on the 30th. This retreat is intended for only those 18-35 years in age.

We will spend time identifying who we are as a young adult group, working to serve others through a service project, discussing the future of MCC with MCC leadership and taking time for Spiritual Connection. We will also focus on coming out of the retreat with a clear vision of what we, the young adults of MCC, see as our future.

The host church for the retreat is Sunshine Cathedral MCC in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Sunshine Cathedral has graciously agreed to host our retreat in July and will provide lunch and dinner for retreat attendees on the Friday and Saturday of the retreat.

 

The host hotel is the Hyatt Place Ft. Lauderdale Airport North, 1851 SE 10th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The group rate is $69 (+tax) per night for double occupancy. The hotel does feature complimentary internet and complimentary continental breakfast. In addition, the hotel has a complimentary airport shuttle that runs from 5:00am-12:00am (midnight.) To make a reservation call 954-763-7670 and mention our group name, MCC Young Adult Summit or click here to select dates of stay and enter group code G-MCCY to receive our discounted rate.

 

To keep costs low and make this retreat as accessible as possible we have set the registration rate at $50 per person. To register please CLICK HERE.

 

If you have any questions or need for information email .

Reflect, Renew, Refresh!

Diana Butler Bass

OFLD Clergy Retreat with Diana Butler Bass

September 12-14, 2011

Duncan Retreat Center, Delray Beach, FL

 

Cost of the retreat is $275 US which includes 2 nights lodging (double occupancy with a private bath and wireless internet) and six meals.  The $275 rate is good until May 5, 2011. After May 5 through July 5, 2011 cost for the retreat will be $325.  Absolute deadline for all registrations is July 5, 2011.  Click here to register.

 

Thanks to a generous donation from MCC Austin, the OFLD will be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to help with the cost of registration for the retreat.  Please contact Rev. Dr. Mona West () to inquire about scholarship applications.

 

For more information on Diana Butler Bass and to view a video of one of her presentations go to

http://www.dianabutlerbass.com/. To find out more about the Duncan Retreat Center go to www.duncancenter.org.

 

Click Here to Register Today!