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Archive for the ‘Impact’ Category

MCC IMPACT – February 2011

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact
CREATE YOUR AVATAR AND JOIN THE STUDY

Using Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, Rev. BJ Hipster is facilitating a study on Second Life.  They have just begun meeting and will continue for a total of 14 weeks at 6:30 pm (EST) on Thursdays. Everyone is invited to join in!

Simply go to www.secondlife.com, download the software, make your avatar, and then log on. Once there “search” MCC NOVA or Sunshine Cathedral on the “Classifieds” tab. There you will find a “teleport” button that will land you in the courtyard of the facility where the study will be held. Search CristoferAslan Muircastle (Rev. BJ) and offer friendship to connect in SL.

You can do this before the next meeting and she’ll help you get ready to join the group. For more information, go to http://inmylifetime.typepad.com/bkhipsher/2011/02/eds-grads-bring-charter-for-compassion-to-second-life.html.

CHURCH BUILDINGS

River of Life MCC Centre was governmentally sanctioned as a Registered Building for the Solemnisation of Marriages in Church BuildingDorchester, England. The next step is for Rev. Catherine Dearlove to be granted a License as a Registrar in order to perform same sex and straight weddings.

MCC Rehoboth (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware) signed a contract with Morton Builders of Pennsylvania to construct a church building on their property. The sanctuary will seat approximately 120 people.

On 6 March at 10:30 FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) will have their first service in their new facility, much of which they completed themselves.  The official Building Dedication will be 3 April.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Rev. Ty Sweeting weekly authors “Practically Spiritual”, a blog on Holy Ground, the Topeka Capital-Journal‘s religion site, which is located at www.holyground.topeka.net.

Rev. Andy Braunston is speaking tonight at the inter-faith panel for Manchester, England. The topic is human sexuality. He will encourage them to focus, not on ideas about sacred texts, but on the sacredness of the lives in our community. Congregants of MCC Manchester will be there to rise and tell their stories when he asks for people to stand who have been or felt excluded from a faith community because of sexuality.

Methodist minister Rev. Jimmy Creech, a former presenter at General Conference, has released his new book Adam’s Gift. Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson commented, “I am very excited to recommend Jimmy Creech and his new book, Adam’s gift to Metropolitan Community Churches. Jimmy is a friend of mine, and has been an ally and friend to the LGBT community, to LGBT people of faith, and to MCC in particular for many, many years. He is someone who has paid the price for radical inclusivity and for being in solidarity with us! Invite him to your church to preach and sign copies of this story of amazing grace. His ministry will be a blessing to you and your congregation, and will help you reach out in new ways.”  Click here to purchase a copy of Adam’s GiftFind us on Facebook

Shawn Thomas will be in concert at Open Circle at the Villages MCC next Sunday at 10 am.

Rev. Jane Clarke, pastor of MCC Glasgow and Patrick Harvie, Member of Scottish Parliament, were studio guests for an hour long BBC Radio Scotland programme about the Equal Marriage campaign.  The programme attracted the largest number of comments on the Facebook page, “Call Kay”, where a huge majority of contributors were in favour of same sex marriage.

Jane Syftestad and Camille Araullo were in concert at MCC San Francisco (California) earlier this month.

Diane Leah, director of music at MCC Toronto (Ontario) will travel to San Francisco to provide the piano accompaniment for the Tony Award-nominated Louise Pitre for two shows at the Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko on 20-21 March.

Rev. Marilyn Bowens will be honored with the Dorothy Award presented by the Pride Center of New Haven, Connecticut, on 5 March, for her work in the LGBT community and with MCC New Haven.

Joe Goins and Rob Martinez were pictured in the Houston Chronicle as they kissed on the steps of City Hall as part of a protest by people being denied a marriage license on Valentine’s, despite the fact that they had been joined the day before in a ceremony at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas).

Rev. Gale Rawson is attending Vancouver School of Theology part-time, working as a mental health clinician at the local jail in Alaska, and is a foster parent.

Last Sunday Rev. Pressley Sutherland led the worship celebration for Our Tribe, MCC’s presence in Edinburg, Scotland. He used music and reflection to guide the exploration of the diverse experiences of LGBT people of faith in South Africa.

Marsha and Cindy Stevens-Pino will be at Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) 5-6 March to share their music as well as their stories.

Rev. Victor H. Floyd was ordained in Palo Alto, California, earlier this month. He is the part-time pastor of worship and celebration at MCC San Francisco (California). Participating in the service were Rev. Drs. William H. Knight and Penny Nixon, Revs. Rebecca Anderson, Jeff Bart, Alice Cabotaje, Terri Echelbarger, and Elisabeth Middelberg, and the praise and worship team from MCCSF.

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes was quoted in the newspaper in Fredericton, New Brunswick, concerning the need for gay/straight alliances in the schools there.   Click here to read the article.

Rev. Judith Maynard accompanied two couples who attempted to apply for marriage licenses on Valentine’s Day in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The local newspaper and TV stations covered the event.

Rev. Vickie Miller began her duties on Sunday as the Temporary Pastor for Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Richey, Florida) and will serve in that position at least through Easter.

SUICIDE IN THE QUEER COMMUNITY:

A DAY OF FAITH, HEALING, AND HOPE

On 5 March MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) will host a one day conference which will confront bullying and suicide. They will bring together people from a variety of faith communities, as well as those who have made suicide attempts and those who have lost someone to suicide.

Representatives of various mental health organizations, therapists, and clergy will provide resources to those who are struggling with taking their own lives. There will be panel discussions, presentations, a keynote speech by Mariette Hartley, break-out groups, resources, and a healing service. Leading sessions will be the Didi Hirsch Foundation,Beyond Surviving, American Federation of Suicide Prevention, and the Trevor Project.

The cost for the day is $25 (USD), which includes lunch. To register, visit www.mccla.org,  scroll down the home page to the event, or contact Rev. Dr. Pat Langlois . The day begins with registration at 9 am and concludes at 9 pm with a break for dinner at 6:00.

LENT

Many of our churches host Pancake Suppers on Shrove or Fat Tuesday, the final day of Mardi Gras festivities. Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) is planning a traditional Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper with the University Congregational UCC.

MCC Windsor (Ontario) will have a joint Ash Wednesday service with their host church, Westminster United Church, to signify the beginning of the holy Christian season of Lent. They will share in the repenting of sins through careful reflection and prayer.

Peter, Pontius Pilate, a woman in the crowd, and a Roman soldier will each tell their story during the service at Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan).

On the first day of Lent, MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) and MCC Charleston (South Carolina) will have special services, while University Christian Church will join MCC San Diego (California) for their Ash Wednesday service.

To begin Lent at Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama), Sara Sills will present photos from her seminary sponsored visit to the Holy Land and studies of perspectives on Palestinian and Israeli relationships in promoting peace in the Middle East.

Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York) will have their annual Soup Supper and Bible Study on Wednesday evenings during Lent.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin will be the basis for the Lenten study at MCC Key West (Florida). The author improved her life by tackling a different attribute of happiness each month for a year.

Folks at Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California) are writing one-minute stories which will be shared during Lenten worship services.

Each Sunday evening during Lent Patricia Snow will teach a class on the History of Christian Art at Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas). They will explore the artists’ lives and learn about the spirituality of the artists as depicted in their works.

Lenten Reflection groups will meet weekly at Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida). On 16 March there will be a special Lenten Theater production, on the 30th a Lenten Labyrinth Walk, on 7 April a Lenten Prayer Surge, and on the 12th the Stations of the Cross.

February 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 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

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 .

MCC YOUNG ADULT MISSION TRIP

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

JUNE 23 – 30, 2011

Applications are now being accepted for MCC’s Young Adult Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic (D.R.)!  The Mission Trip is scheduled for June 23 though 30, 2011.  Applicants must be between the ages of 18 to 25.  During the trip, MCC mission team members will spend several days working and worshiping with one of MCC’s newest churches in Latin America, MCC Santo Domingo.  In addition, the mission team will present a three day Bible School to 100 elementary school students attending the El Tamarindo School, located in an impoverished area outside of Santo Domingo.  All successful applicants will be required to sign a Code of Conduct and to raise at least $1,800 (we have a great fund-raising program to assist you).  Transportation to and from the D.R., lodging, some meals, and traveler’s insurance are provided.  The cost of some meals and money for snacks and souvenirs are the responsibility of the mission team member.  To receive an application or for further information, please contact Mission Coordinator Tim Helm .  Applications must be received by March 7, 2011!

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!

UPDATE FROM CHRISTCHURCH

Kia Ora everyone

It now has been more than 48 hours since anyone alive has been located in our devastated city. The search continues however and as a community we continue to hope that even one of the over 200 still missing will be found. The death toll currently sits at 145 souls. Reports that over 20 people still lie buried in the heart of the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral is a raw reminder of how much work and pain is to come. Stories of bravery are beginning to circulate and the resilience of so many people in the midst of such tragedy is inspiring.

I was given two days off from work at the hospital so beginning the clean up at home. Power is being restored, but water and sanitation is going to be a major issue. It is expected that water delivery by tankers and the use of portable toilets in the streets will be required for many months.

I finally got power last night which was so overwhelming I just kept bursting into tears (in a manly nursing kinda way, of course). My house is weather tight although cracking on the outside, and my deck is pretty warped. The drive was coated in the liquefaction silt and still no water or sewerage at this point. I live inside the inner city cordon so I am allowed into my home (with ID and proof of address) but no one is able to visit due to the instability of the buildings on the surrounding streets. I am two blocks from the devastated CTV and Pyne Gould Guinness buildings and the extent of damage in the CBD (Central Business District) is heart rending.

My boyfriend Tony is a civil defence volunteer who has been working long hours at the Civil Defence headquarters in Latimer Square, and has seen much of the extensive damage close up.

Marion has water, power and phone and an enterprising neighbor has dug a toilet in the small park over her back fence – which has been a great “relief”. Both she and her Mother are fine.

Between Marion (the other worship coordinator) and I contact with all but one MCC member has been made to date which we are grateful for. Everyone has reported damage to homes of varying levels from minor cracks to chimneys fallen through a roof and structural damage resulting in a barely liveable property. Due to the restrictions on travel around the city and we have not been able to identify any damage at the Nancy Ave worship centre.

Neighbours and communities are pulling together which is wonderful to see. Those without vehicles are struggling with access to groceries with some businesses and shops increasing the cost of some basics such as bread and milk. Some supermarkets are open, and there is sufficient food, although it requires a long drive through damaged streets which takes some time, especially as some areas of the city do not have an open supermarket in their local area and travel is limited by cordons and curfews.

One of my work colleagues was killed while driving to work and I am sure that everyone in Christchurch will know someone who has been killed. We are a small city and as such are close knit, which is being shown in the amazing way people are supporting each other again.

We are grateful for all the messages of support and prayers, and apologise if we are unable to reply to all of them individually. For those who would like to support the earthquake relief, donations can be made via the New Zealand Red Cross and will be very gratefully received.

Ka Kite

Neil Hellewell

NETWORK GATHERINGS

MCC Sacred Journey (Hendersonville, North Carolina) will host the 2011 Carolinas’ Spring Network Gathering 18-19 March. It will be a weekend of workshops, worship, and fun!  Their theme is “Imagining the Future Face of an Including Church”.

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) will host the next Central Florida Network Gathering on 19 March.

ACTIVE CHURCHES

MCC Austin (Texas) has initiated an ongoing online study group reading Walter Wangerin, Jr.’s The Book of God, the Bible written in novel form. Pastor Alycia Erickson is facilitating the study and Facebook group. If you would like to become a part of this, please friend” her, requesting to join the group.

On Visioning Day at MCC Newcastle (England), they got a taste of what other MCCs are doing throughout the world, including a literal taste of desserts and sweets from other countries or regions, as well as reflecting on their own future together.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) has opened their prayer ministry to the community as a whole.  An open Facebook group, “Atlanta Prays,” allows anyone to join, post prayer requests, celebrate answers, and offer support.  They want “Atlanta Prays” to become “Atlanta Praise” for the miracles that happen.

Next Sunday a team from King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) will join other area churches for the annual CROP Walk, sponsored by Church World Service to raise funds to end hunger locally and around the world.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) will have a guest speaker from Child Safe on 13 March to discuss the training and process for adopting or fostering children. The Youth Ministry is providing snacks for the attendees.

MCC Tampa (Florida), Francis House, and Metro Wellness and Community Centers are sponsoring an afternoon of golfing fun on Saturday, 26 March at the Rocky Point Gold Club. All levels of play are welcome. The registration fee includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, a goodie bag, lunch, and an awards dinner.  Click here for more information.

Two churches have just unveiled exciting new websites. The one for MCC Louisville (Kentucky) was designed by Juston Brinley with most of the photos taken by members of the MCCL Photo Club. http://mcclouisvilleky.org/ Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin, Rev. Dr. Robin Provis, Bob Risse, and Amiee McCaffrey designed the one for Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Jamaica). http://www.sunshinecathedral.org/

MCC El Paso (Texas) celebrated Black History Month by studying the lives of Bayard Rustin and Audre Lorde.

At MCC New York (New York) “The Journey Series: from Whitman to Lady Gaga” is exploring several queer or queer friendly pieces, reflecting on how the love each bespeaks is like or unlike the love of God has for us, and how to approach each piece devotionally.

MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, Texas) will host a Green Forum on 6 March. They will view and discuss the film Texas Coal Wars.

MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) will celebrate their 30th anniversary 11-13 March. There will be a family-friendly talent show on Friday evening. The Mardi Gras Dinner Celebration is Saturday. Tickets are $65 (USD). www.mccnova.com Their Sunday worship at 11:00 will be moved to Providence Elementary with Rev. Pat Bumgardner as their special guest.

The youth (9-16 year olds) at MCC Omaha (Nebraska) will have a lock-in on 11 March with pizza, wii games, music, activities, movies, popcorn, and more.

MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) had a movie lock-in for adults and children last weekend. After they watched Despicable Me and Hairspray, prizes were awarded for the best and worst jammies!

Congregants at Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) have been gathering to call state legislators every Thursday evening.

MCC of the Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) held their final Saturday evening worship service last week, but they will begin a new Sunday evening gathering on 20 March, exploring different worship styles.

MCC Toronto has created a Dedication Day calendar. For a contribution, people can list a birthday, anniversary, memorial, special organization, or anything they want to honor.

Brian Basinger, president of the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia, joined MCC of Our Redeemer (Augusta, Georgia) last Sunday to make a presentation about the new LGBT-friendly hospital visitation regulations which took effect last month.

MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) will host another “Saturday Night Live” event at AIN (AIDS Interfaith Network) on 19 March. The theme this time will be Soup, Salad, Sandwiches and Sweets.

Healing Touch Outreach. Practitioners of energy healing will be available at Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) to provide free sessions. Ministers of Community Care will be there offering support.

MCC Detroit (Michigan) is compiling a new cookbook for sale. 

Paul Solly, director of the Genesis Trust, spoke at Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) about the work that the Trust undertakes to assist the homeless and disadvantaged in their city. The congregation is now collecting toiletries and towels for them as well as designating their Community Giving Box receipts over the next few months to this cause.

Redeemer MCC (Flint, Michigan) had such success in spiritual growth and development  with the MCC written study “Holy Conversations” that they have decided to make it part of new member training.

All things green to benefit MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) is the theme for their St. Patrick’s Day dance on 11 March.

MCC Impact – January 2011

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

CONGRATULATIONS TO MCC TORONTO

MCC Toronto (Ontario) is the recipient of a $1,000,000 (CD) gift, the largest ever received by an MCC.

The donation was from Martha McCain, the daughter of Margaret and Wallace McCain, who co-founded McCain Foods Limited. The gift from her family is to ensure MCC continues to grow in Toronto and transform lives while spreading a positive message internationally.

MCCT’s plans for the money include:

$150,000 – Over three years to build social-justice refugee-support work

$100,000- For technology such as webcasting

$  55,000 – Over three years for vision and outreach planning, marketing and communications

$180,000- Over three years to help with senior staffing

$300,000- To pay off debt, primarily the mortgage

$215,000 – To build reserves for future repairs and endowments

Click here to read more.

TIME FOR LEARNING AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH

New GrowthRev. Elder Ken Martin was at MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) over the weekend to lead a Church Size Summit and to preach.

MCC San Francisco (California) has just begun two new classes which will continue for five more weeks. “Meditation Tuesdays” will focus on learning how to meditate and “Group Spiritual Direction: The Tide of Transitions” will use a variety of methods to explore how transitions impact our spiritual lives.

Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) is currently offering two classes: “The Gospel of Thomas” and “Grief as a Healing Process”.

The Finance Team of St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) will present “Biblically Based Finances OR How to Better Manage God’s Money in Your Care” on 12 February. Lunch is provided.

Last Saturday night, Our Tribe, the MCC group within another church in Edinburgh, Scotland, viewed and discussed Milk, the movie about Harvey Milk, the first gay man elected to public office in the US, and then shared Communion together.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) has been tuned into the Spiritual Food Channel for shows (sermons) on “Soul Food, the Master Chef, and You”.

Beginning Wednesday folks at Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) will begin “Embracing an Adult Faith”. Biblical scholar Marcus Bog addresses questions via a DVD for the group to discuss.

On Thursdays at Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) they are studying prayer and enjoying a bowl of soup together to begin the evening.

Last Thursday night congregants at MCC San Jose MCC (California) gathered to view and be inspired by Call Me Troy.

MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) has just begun the seven week series “Living the Questions” to explore what faith can mean in today’s world.

Take the Journey...Next Saturday folks at MCC Austin (Texas) will have an all day retreat. “Journey” promotes a better understanding of and appreciation for self, others, and God.

MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) offers a variety of monthly spiritual growth experiences including walking the labyrinth, a drumming circle, a poetry group, and a contemplative Taizé service.

At the Friends on the Road Gathering at MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) last week they viewed clips from the Women in Faith Conference and then selections from “Big Ol’ Sweet Ice Tea,” a DVD set of Christian Comedy by comedian Anita Renfroe.

On 13 February at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker will begin the sermon series “If You Want to Walk on the Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat” based on John Ortberg’s book of the same name.

Rev. Elder Ken Martin will present a Size Summit weekend at MCC Lubbock (Texas) 12-13 February.

Deacon Bradley Curry led a workshop on Inclusive Language yesterday at MCC New York (New York).

Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) will be marking Homelessness Sunday and Poverty Action Day next week with their guest speaker Paul Solly, the Director of the Genesis Trust.

The small groups at Open Circle at the Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) are doing a six week study on Personal and Communal Prayer.

Rev. Elder Diane Fisher will present a Church Size Summit for MCC of the Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) next weekend.

The Wednesday night Bible study group at MCC El Paso (Texas) is studying the various creation stories which come from different cultures and religions.

“Melting Fear and Nurturing Faith” is the theme for a winter day spiritual retreat at MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) on the 13th.

The Christ-Centered Prayer Group at MCC Corpus Christi (Texas) focuses on listening to Christ, meeting on Friday mornings at 9 am.

The Boards, Delegates, Clergy, and staffs in churches in the North Central US Network (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin) will gather at Heartland Community MCC (Springfield, Illinois) next Saturday for training. Everyone can make it a one day trip by car or train.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Linda Gregory of MCC Louisville (Kentucky) and Reba Norman of Edmonton, Kentucky, will be featured on the cover of Lesbian Connection for their March/April issue, which will be released globally on 3 February.

During the 35th anniversary celebrations at MCC Portland (Oregon) Gail Bumala was presented with the annual Volunteer Award for her work in feeding people, serving as a Lay Delegate, singing in the choir, and numerous other activities. Dave Dishman was the recipient of the very first Lifetime Achievement Award. Dave has served on the Board and finance teams, in the choir, as Lay Delegate, and many of us know him as a professional MCC conference junkie!

In the media Rev. Sharon Ferguson, the Chief Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement in England, praised the court for ruling that a couple who had been joined in civil union could not be denied a single room together at a Bed and Breakfast owned by conservative Christians.

Rev. Bob Galloway will be one of four persons honored with a Peacemaker Award next Saturday at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Knoxville, Tennessee. The event is sponsored by Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.

Rev. Gavin Ward, Associate Pastor of MCC Good Shepherd (Granville, Sydney, Australia), has completed his first phase as a First Officer for “REX,” one of the Domestic Airlines operating in Australia. Who knows, we may have a flying MCC Chaplain!

Adrienne Williams is the new (and very first) Office Manager at achurch4me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois). And, amazingly, they have had 45 talented individuals apply for the new position of Music Minister.

Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis was ordained into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on the 23rd.

Rev. Gordon R. McCoy and Dr. Eugene M. Thomas celebrated their 40th anniversary earlier this month.

Rev. John McLaughlin was installed as senior pastor at St. Jude’s MCC (Wilmington, North Carolina). Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson officiated and MCCer Stan Kimer, president of the North Carolina Council of Churches, was a participant in the service.

Hospital chaplain Rev. Janice Levering was featured in an article in the Topeka Capital Journal. http://cjonline.com/life/religion/2011-01-21/hospital-chaplains-someone-your-side

VALENTINE’S WEEKEND EVENTS

Rev. Elder Troy Perry, Founder, and Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator, will be the special guests at a dinner dance on Friday, 11 February. Rev. Perry will be honored for his pioneering contributions for marriage equality. The tickets for the Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) event are $100 (USD).

Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) will enjoy a Valentine’s Dinner together.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) will co-host the “2nd Annual Love Equality Style Weekend” with the Gay Community Center and People of Faith for Equality in Virginia. There will be a dance and silent auction on Saturday, two appearances by Jason and deMarco on Sunday, and the Annual Witness for Marriage Equality event at the John Marshall Courts Building at noon on Monday.

MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) will host their annual Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dance on the 14th.

MCC of the Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania) will again sponsor their annual Freedom to Marry events. There will be a Courthouse Rally on Friday at 10 am. Saturday evening the Interfaith Freedom to Marry worship service with Rev. Elder Diane Fisher as the speaker will be followed by a reception and dance. Sunday will feature Rev. Fisher preaching at the church’s regular worship service.

United Methodist Wesley Church invited Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) to join them for their Sweethearts Social on the 11th. There will be food, fellowship, and a talent show.

Folks at MCC Key West (Florida) will be sending roses, chocolate covered strawberries, teddy bears, and more to their Valentines and helping the church at the same time. Richard Dennison (Gourmet Nibbles and Baskets…and Flowers by Request) is providing the packages.

Couples from Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) will gather at Carol’s Place for a spaghetti dinner on Valentine’s Day.

ACTIVE CHURCHES

FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) has begun a healthy lifestyles support group.

Yesterday MCC Newcastle (England) hosted a special Holocaust Memorial Day service.

Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York) is working on their outreach. They have created a Facebook page to attract college students and a You Tube campaign to increase their visibility.

“Foods You Love!” is the theme for next Sunday’s Community Lunch at MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas).

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) has added a time of anointing and personal prayer after worship on the fourth Sunday of every month.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) will host their annual Charity Ball on 26 February. All of the proceeds from the elegant evening of dinner and dancing will benefit various ministries of the church.

Reconciliation MCC (Grand Rapids, Michigan) will celebrate their 30th anniversary with a dinner dance at the English Hills Country Club on 5 February.

Great idea! At MCC Topeka (Kansas) congregants bring in gifts they received which they didn’t need and the church uses them for door prizes at various events.

Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas) is working with the Heifer Project to purchase goats for families who can then benefit from the milk and share the offspring with other starving families.

MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) will host the Vagina Monologues on 13 February to benefit the Susan Horn Surgery Fund. Tickets are $20 (USD).

Last Saturday MCC Charleston (South Carolina) had a Chili Cook-off and Brownie Bake-off to raise funds for their upcoming anniversary celebration with Rev. Elder Troy Perry as their special guest.

The Board of MCC Bournemouth (England) offers the congregation the opportunity to join them for a Beer, Wine, and Fellowship Time before they went on retreat over the weekend.

MCC Tampa (Florida) provided a team of volunteers to help with the official homeless count in their city.

Blue Ridge Pride “BLURP” has chosen MCC Sacred Journey (Hendersonville, North Carolina) as a religious location site. Their January planning meeting was hosted by the church.

The Great Mac and Cheese Cook-off was held yesterday after worship at Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California).

The Big Easy MCC (New Orleans, Louisiana) is beginning a transportation ministry for those who are unable to take a streetcar to come to church.

MCC Washington DC will be the host for the DC area’s observance of National (US) Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day next Saturday.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) distributes items from their Food Pantry every Thursday afternoon.

OPPORTUNITIES

Journey MCC (Birmingham, England) is hosting a retreat weekend in Wales, 11-13 March. The theme is “Walking with the Saints” and participants will explore the origins, practice, and personalities of the Ancient Celtic Church, as well as look at its modern-day successors Creation Spirituality and the Iona and Lindisfarne Communities.  Click here for details and booking form.

If you are planning to attend the Creating Change Conference sponsored by The Task Force in Minneapolis, Minnesota, next month, plan on joining other MCCers for a reception on Friday, 4 February, at 8:30 pm. Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker is overseeing the event.

Finding our way...NuWine Press, an independent publishing company dedicated to offering works that provide fresh perspectives on the Christian faith, is sponsoring a revolutionary poetry contest open to individuals who have felt excluded from constructive, empowering participation in the Christian community. Participants may include Christ-followers of all races, denominations, genders, sexual orientations and socio-economic backgrounds, as well as those who may be physically and mentally challenged. Entries must be submitted via e-mail . Winning entries will be featured in an upcoming book, This Is My Story. Further information is available at http://www.nuwinepress.com.

The R. Scott Hitt Foundation is offering both undergraduate and post-graduate internships for 2011 for future leaders in the LGBT community. The undergraduate ones are for eight 40 hour weeks and limited to 501(c)3 organizations in Southern California. The graduate ones are for a seven to nine month full-time position with a non-profit committed to the advancement of LGBT equality. Visit www.scotthittfoundation.orgfor details.

WHY ISN’T MY CHURCH EVER MENTIONED?

The answer to that question is simple … because no one from your church ever sends in any news!

Here’s an easy way to remember to submit something. As soon as you receive an issue of the MCC IMPACT, look ahead on your church calendar two weeks or more and send me information about an upcoming event. We prefer to publish happenings in the future, rather than in the past and only mention a church once per edition. (I even keep a tally sheet to help me try to do that!)

Don’t forget to send significant news about individuals, as well as your church.  If there is a link to a TV or newspaper story, please include it, even if it means it’s a current event.

The 2011 People of African Descent,

Friends & Allies Conference

19 – 22 May 2011

 

– Loving Ourselves Into Liberation –

 

Help Spread The Word!

Graphic Media Downloads:

Use the following printable poster graphics to help spread the word about the 2011 PAD Conference!  Click the image to open the original file, or right-click to download!

Loving Ourselves - ManLoving Ourselves - Press BookLoving Ourselves - Woman

 

If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because

Your liberation is bound up with mine, then let’s work together.

~

Have You Registered?

~

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Looking forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

 

PAD 2011 Conference Media - FemalePAD 2011 Conference Media - Male

Click Here & Register TODAY!

MCC Impact – January 2011

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

WEATHER AND PRAYERS

Many of our MCCers and their nations, as well as others around the world, have been stricken with horrendous weather conditions. We need to continue praying for each of these situations and the people left homeless, without power, mourning the loss of loved ones, unable to work, etc.

Flooding - MCC Brisbane The floods continue in Australia, especially Queensland and northern New South Wales.  Rev. Leigh Neighbour, pastor, and others went to see the damage to the facility MCC Brisbane uses. There was still water in the building and the smell was awful. The items they were able to move to an upper floor were safe; however, everything that remained on the main floor had to be thrown out (desks, room dividers, carpet, etc.).  They are prayerful that their piano, even though it stood in one metre of muddy, smelly water, can be repaired. They have to do cleanup without utilities available in their area. All members of the congregation are safe.

Rev. Dr. Hector Gutierrez, Director of Latin American Church and Leadership Development, wrote “As a community of believers in the God of Life, I invite you to raise our prayers to this same Father/Mother God in whom we believe so that those who have lost their lives in Brazil (more than 700 to date) will be received by God into the Eternal Reign; and so that our solidarity will be made manifest with all those who have seen their belongings ruined and in some cases have lost everything because of the intense rains in the entire Southeast region of Brazil, especially in the States of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. I hope that each one of our communities will pray especially with this intention.”

North America has seen torrential rains on the west coast (and in Hawai’i), unprecedented snowfall in the southern US, and blizzard conditions in the northeast US and Maritime provences of Canada. Many people are without power.

As we just past the first anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, let us remember the 800,000 people there who continue to live in tents and makeshift quarters.

FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT

Rev. Marge Ragona is retiring. She is only 81! She was licensed in 1977 and ordained in 1979. During the past 33 years she has pastored MCCs in Providence, Rhode Island; Ventura, California; MCC Boston (Massachusetts); Pensacola, Florida; and Covenant MCC (Birmingham, Alabama).

She was the founding pastor of MCC of Mobile (Alabama, now Cornerstone MCC) and Bethel MCC (Birmingham, Alabama). Additionally, she served on the staff at MCC Los Angeles (California) and First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia).

Rev. Marge was a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry in the Gulf Lower Atlantic District and in the Southwest District. She spent many years teaching Hebrew Scripture through Samaritan. Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson was her first District Coordinator. She is a breast cancer survivor and was even the Grand Marshal of the Pride Parade in New York City in 1976.

The first church east of the Mississippi River was Good Shepherd Parish in Chicago, Illinois. When they closed most of their vestments, altar ware, etc., were given to achurch4me? MCC, a church plant there.

A while back the host church for Bethel MCC had a disastrous fire and both churches lost almost everything. Upon hearing of this, achurch4me? MCC sent a box filled with stoles, a frontal, an alb and two communion cups. What Rev. Marge and the staff from the host church could not use, she sent to our offices in Abilene to share with others.

Then last month, Angel Collie sent out a request for rainbow stoles which he could take on his trip to Eastern Europe.  Contacts there had requested the stoles.

Bill Hooper saw Angel’s email and remembered Rev. Marge’s donations. He found the boxes and sent some of the stoles to Angel.

Those stoles are carrying a long history of dedicated service in MCC as they make their way to young clergy as MCC reaches a new generation in Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Poland.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Rev Dr. William Knight has left his position as interim pastor of MCC San Jose (California) to become the new provisional pastor for MCC San Francisco (California) where he will serve for the next six months.

Rev. Brendan Boone, senior pastor of St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina), was the guest preacher at MCC Richmond (Virginia) earlier this month.

Denise Rosner just released her new CD “For Good” at special concerts last Wednesday and Thursday. The proceeds from both the concerts and the CD will benefit MCCNY/Charities/Homeless Youth Services: Sylvia’s Place.

Reverend Dr. Pat Langlois is teaching a Bible study at MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) entitled “Going Green with God”.

Rev. Reg Richburg has resigned as pastor of New Life MCC of Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia) and is serving as staff clergy at MCC New York (New York).

Rev. Elder Debbie Martin ran the Honolulu (Hawai’i) Marathon in eight hours, 17 minutes and some seconds….suffering only a few blisters and sore muscles.

Rev. Jane Newall is co-chair of the Yakima Associations of Churches and Faith Communities and vice-chair of Planned Parenthood’s National (US) Clergy Advisory Board.

Rev. Presley Sutherland will be the interim support pastor for MCC Newcastle (England) until Easter. Their pastor, Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, remains on compassionate leave with her spouse Monica.

Rev. Jen Glass is beginning an online Bible study on Facebook for Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania). The focus will be the “Five Practices of a Healthy Church”.

Rev. Renee McCoy was the guest preacher last Sunday at Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) to celebrate the weekend honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rev. Roberta (Bobbie) Dunn’s last Sunday at MCC Pittsburg (Pennsylvania) will be 30 January. Rev. Elder Diane Fisher will be the guest preacher.

Casey Easterling of MCC New York (New York) is the new leader for the Northeast Network (New England, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania). Thanks are expressed to Rev. Jim Mulcahy who had been serving in this capacity.

Dr. Steve Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School was the guest preacher on Sunday at MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas).

In addition to his clinical practice, Rev Elijah Nealy is currently teaching at Columbia University School of Social Work and serves as faculty at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in New York City, where he is facilitating a postgraduate clinical program on work within the transgender community.

Rev. Kieren Bourne serves as the Mayor’s Chaplain in Bath, England, and helped prepare the service for the Mayor’s Call to Prayer Breakfast, which was attended by several from Living Springs MCC and featured participants from the LGBT group at Bath University.

MCCs IN SOUTH AFRICA

The MCC congregations and some of their allies joined together under the leadership of Good Hope MCC (Cape Town) to publish a lengthy statement in the Cape Argus newspaper in order to counter the recent crusade of the Family Policy Institute and His People Church, which attacked homosexuality, as well as other issues about sexuality.

Their goal was to ensure that people realized that there were other Christian views, that discrimination and name-calling was wrong, that faith and interpretation of Scripture is personal and not dictated by another or an organization, and that taking a few verses out of context doesn’t speak for all of the Bible.

They went on to affirm their nation’s constitution and the fact that same-sex couples being joined in Civil Union doesn’t infringe on other people’s rights or threaten family values, that there are many definitions of family, that adoption should focus on the best interests of the child, that homosexuals are not any more responsible for child abuse and HIV than are heterosexuals, and that the various sexualities cannot be stereotyped. Click here to download a .pdf copy of the statement in its entirety.

SPECIAL SERVICES AND CELEBRATIONS

MCC Quezon City (Philippines) celebrated a special New Year Worship Service on 5 January with the launch of their new mission statement: “500 Members in 5 Years (2011-2016)”. They also recently held their first Bahay Kubo and Friends Awards Night with guests from different LGBT and human rights organizations, including Ladlad Partylist, Gabrieala Womens Partylist, and other Clans and groups.

Over 50 people attended the Kwanzaa celebration at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas), which focused on the traditional African values of family, community responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement.

At MCC Topeka (Kansas) whenever a week has a 30th in it, on that Sunday the congregation is giving a special offering with 3 in it, like $3, $30, etc., as part of their “3 for the 30th” campaign, as their 30th anniversary approaches.

MCC Toronto (Ontario) celebrated the 10th anniversary of the first legal same-sex marriages in the world by hosting a Renewal of Vows and Reception last Friday.

On the 30th MCC Omaha (Nebraska) will celebrate their 37th anniversary with a potluck honoring all those who joined the church last year.

Open Circle at the Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) celebrated their 1st anniversary on 9 January by being recognized as a fully affiliated church. Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson was their special guest for the event during which charter members were installed and Rev. Carol Rawling-Chambers was welcomed as MCC clergy.

MCC Manchester (England) began the new year with a traditional Covenant Service, which comes from the Methodist setting in which John Wesley encouraged the people to renew their commitment to God at the start of each new year, reminding them of the cost of discipleship.

MCC Wichita Falls (Texas) celebrated their 24th anniversary over the weekend with a spaghetti dinner and a concert by Sandi Baker.

Over 1000 people attended the MCC Christmas Eve Service in the Sydney (Australia) Town Hall. Mr. Justice Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, welcomed everyone and Mrs. Shelly Argent, National spokesperson for PFLAG Australia and Queensland Senior Citizen of the Year, was the guest speaker. There were performances by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir, the Sydney Homotone Band, and vocalists Henry Onzem, Justin J Bear, and Opera Baritone Michael Tesoriero. For photos, click on www.mccgoodshepherd.com, then on the Facebook icon.

ACTIVE CHURCHES

The Couples Ministry at FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) will meet with a lawyer, Rusty Mead, on Friday evening to learn how to legally protect themselves.

Rainbow Cathedral MCC (Yakima, Washington) partners with three other churches to make sandwiches for the homeless. They rotate the responsibility of hosting the event and providing the food and supplies.

MCC Detroit (Michigan) is starting an LGBT Book Club next week, which is open to the community and will meet at a local restaurant. They have chosen Zeitoun by Cave Eggers as their first book.

Next week the Speaker Series Program begins at Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), featuring Val Kalende, who founded the only lesbian organization in Uganda and leads the campaign against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, legislation that proposes the death penalty for LGBT people.

The Young Adults Ministry at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) went bowling together following the potluck lunch at church yesterday.

The “teens and tweens” of MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) will join with the youth of Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship for Winterjam 2011 on 5 February. The contemporary Christian concert will be held at the Greensboro Coliseum.

It’s a Revolution! That’s the name of the group for 18-30 year olds at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota). They meet on Sunday nights to dig into Progressive Christianity and what it means to follow Christ in today’s world.

King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) raised over $34,000 (USD) in 2010 to give away to such causes as MCC Global Justice, MCC Haiti Relief, Suncoast Hospice, Act One Arts, monthly dinners for the homeless, and bus passes and food gift cards to those in need. They also collected hundreds of pounds of personal care items for the St. Petersburg Free Clinic and A Turning Point.

Through the ten Sundays of Epiphany, the sermon series at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) will focus on helping congregants reach their spiritual goals and achieve their highest potential.

Folks from MCC San Diego (California) filled a table at the All People’s Breakfast last Monday morning, celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Monday evenings from 24 January-11 April, folks at MCC Austin (Texas) will be studying The Way of Prayer. Participants will engage is a broad array of prayer practices to integrate prayer into their daily lives.  They are committing to 30 minutes every day for readings and exercises.

Real Men Do Drag! The show at the Aqua Nightclub on the 30th will feature some MCCers, as well as benefit the ministry of MCC Key West (Florida).

Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) hosts a Middle Eastern dance class each month.

Last Saturday there was a stitching party at Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) as part of Share A Square, a group which will put together 150 crocheted afghans to give to children with cancer during summer camps in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.

On 30 January the Board of Directors of MCC Tampa (Florida) is hosting an old fashioned cook out to honor the congregation’s gifts of time, talent, and treasure.

The theme at MCC Charleston (South Carolina) this month is “Journey Inward”.  Next month’s will be “Reaching Outward”.

The topics for Spirit Café on Wednesday evenings at Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) include Quantum Physics and Spirituality, Recognizing Our Saints, Finding Our Place in the “Emerging Church”, and Prayer, Charka Balancing, and Meditation.

Beginning 1 February MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia) will have theological discussions focusing on various Christian doctrines.

MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) has begun “The Cup of Our Life”, a seven week spiritual growth process which includes a 15-30 minute daily discipline, as well as weekly worship participation.

WOW! MCC Las Vegas (Nevada) successfully completed their goal of building four homes in the mountain country of Nepal in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity International.

MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) will have a planning day on the 29th during which they will set goals for 2011, determine what traditions to continue, decide what ministries to let go and what new things to add.

When faced with having to rewire their building within 30 days by order of the Fire Marshal, MCC of Paducah (Kentucky) got on the local news and put up a page on Facebook to get assistance in raising the necessary funds.

achurch4me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois) is spending seven weeks exploring Living Questions 2.0, which features the wisdom of 30 contemporary theologians.

The Adult Bible Study class at Reconciliation MCC (Grand Rapids, Michigan) is using the Bible Reading Plan. For 100 days they are committing to reading designated chapters each day and then gathering on Sunday to discuss the stories.

Folks from SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) are participating in the five week study offered by the Venice Interfaith winter education series “Islam: Beyond Headlines and Soundbites”.

The Women’s Ministry at New Spirit MCC (Cincinnati, Ohio) is recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans, plus they purchased 24 new pew Bibles for the sanctuary.

Bethel MCC (Birmingham, Alabama) held their final worship service on 2 January.

Save the Date!

19 – 22 May 2011 in Washington, DC

~

The 2011 People of African Descent,

Friends & Allies Conference

– Loving Ourselves Into Liberation –

Loving Ourselves Into Liberation

If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because

Your liberation is bound up with mine, then let’s work together.

~

Have You Registered?

~

Click Here & Register TODAY!

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Looking forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

MCC Impact: December 2010

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

CONGRATULATIONS TO

STAN KIMER

Stan Kimer is the newly elected President of the North Carolina Council of Churches! He is the first MCCer to ever hold such a position. He has been involved with the Council since 1995, having served on the Board for the last ten years.

Stan has been active for many years at St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina), as well as serving as the Lay Rep for the previous Gulf Lower Atlantic District, chair of the former Commission on the Laity, and chair of the current Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Ministry Team.

Stan was just appointed by the Raleigh City Council to a two year term on the Raleigh Human Relations Commission and will also become a member of the National Council of Churches (USA) Local and Regional Ecumenism Committee.

He is a retired IBM executive, who has his own consulting practice offering services and training in diversity management (LGBT specialization), career road mapping, skills development, and organizational effectiveness. www.TotalEngagementConsulting.com

CAROL SINGS

Carol Services are a major part of the Advent season among the churches

in the UK.  MCC Brightwaves (Brighton Beach), MCC East London, and MCC North London held theirs on the 12th.

A New Song...

Journey MCC (Birmingham) gathered the community for Queer Carols @ the Nightingale complete with drag artists, lesbian poets, and carol singing.  ABplus, empowering people living with or affected by HIV, was the beneficiary of donations Friday night.

At MCC Bournemouth on Saturday, they hosted the Wessex Chorus & Friends’ Christmas Concert, which raised money for the church and for Round Table Children’s Wish.

The Mayor of Bath attended the Service of Lessons and Carols at Living Springs MCC yesterday. MCC Glasgow, MCC Manchester, MCC South London, and River of Life MCC (Dorchester) also held their services on Sunday.  MCC Torbay will celebrate their Carol Service on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa & Blessings for a Bright and Prosperous New Year!

NEWS ABOUT INDIVIDUALS

Rev. Tony Freeman was appointed as the Provisional Pastor for MCC San Francisco (California) for the next six months.

Rev. Paul Whiting recently led a Homosexuality and the Bible workshop at MCC London (Ontario). Due to that, the local cable TV station interviewed him about the subject for the show “London Under 30″ and is playing it repeatedly.  Then he was invited to do a similar study at Temple Israel, a Jewish Reformed Congregation, as part of the installation of Rabbi Debra Dresler.

Judy Dale was the recipient of the Human Rights Award given by the Louisville, Kentucky, chapter of Church Women United. She was honored for her work through the years with individuals who have mental and/or physical challenges, from serving as the International President of the Council for Exceptional Children to interpreting for church and community events.

The biographies of the following MCCers have been recently added to the Profiles Gallery at the LGBT Religious Archives Network: Judy Davenport, Stan C. Kimer, Michael MankWillie Smith, and Howard Wells. If you don’t recognize a name, go read about his/her contribution to MCC history.

Rev. Jill Sizemore is the new senior pastor at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee). The congregation held an old-fashioned pounding for her.

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes is the chair of the Pride Community Advisory Panel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Rev. Jo Crisco was in a car accident on 21 November and broke her neck at C2. Her front airbag did not deploy. Praise God, it was a clean break and she is not paralyzed. She is in rehab. She cannot take calls, but you can send cards to her at 5300 Millwood Road, Montgomery, AL 36109, USA. Her partner Pat is at her side.

Rev. Sharon Fergusson and her partner Franka Strietzel have now filed a claim of discrimination of the grounds of sexual orientation after their application to marry was refused in London. More information is available at the Equal Love campaign website and a video interview with the couple can be found at Marriage Licence.

Rev. Joseph Shore-Goss represented MCC at the first Ecumenical Prayer Service at St. Leon Armenian Apostolic Cathedral of the Western Diocese, during which prayers were offered in Arabic, German, Spanish and English. He also participated in Liberty and Justice for All, a conference for 130 California organizations to address immigration issues. He represented the California Ecumenical Council.

Lori Walton was the co-organizer and host of the “It Gets Better Canada Rally” held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Rev. Jane Newall and her partner Debbie Vuillemot, are continuing to celebrate the birth of their 5th child, Adian Cadel, born Aug 29, 10lbs, 23 1/2 inches.

CHRISTMAS EVE

Carols, Candlelight, and Holy Communion will comprise the Christ’s Mass Eve Celebration at Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama).

Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) will have three services on Christmas Eve at 7:30, 9:00, and 10:30 pm.

Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) will again join South Mountain Community Church, their host church, for a service at 9 pm, preceded by a dessert reception.

Silent NightMCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) will have a Christmas Eve Carols and Lessons at 10 pm.

The early service at MCC Omaha (Nebraska) will be led by the youth.

MCC Toronto (Ontario) will host their 21st Christmas Eve Service at Roy Thompson Hall. Thom Allison will be the special guest soloist. Admission is $25 (CD) and child care is provided.

MCC San Jose (California), Grace Baptist, First Christian Disciples of Christ, and First Presbyterian Churches will come together to celebrate Christmas Eve.

All the children at MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) will dress as shepherds and participate in the Christmas Eve Service.

Attendees at the service at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) will receive a hand-carved olive wood communion cup from Bethlehem.

During the service at SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) people place roses in a wreath to symbolize prayers that have been answered during the year.

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan) went caroling and chiming at the Clarkston Specialty Health Care Center.

The Deacons of MCC Austin (Texas) decorated a tree with ornaments containing the needs of individuals and families from Maggie Johnson’s Nursing Home, the Austin Children’s Shelter, and those known to the congregation.  Everyone took an ornament, filled the need, and placed the gifts back under the tree for delivery this week.

On Saturday MCC of the Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania) hosted the 5th annual Christmas Party for children of LGBT families.  Santa was there (compliments of PFLAG) and the children enjoyed doing crafts, listening to a story, and sharing refreshments.

Throughout Advent folks have gathered on Wednesdays at 7 am at Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) for special time of Advent Morning Prayers.

The 30 members of Safe Harbour MCC (Halifax, Nova Scotia) hosted the Rev. Darlene Young Christmas Dinner for over 200 people earlier this month and now have provided 35 hampers filled with a complete Christmas Dinner, socks, blankets, home goods and personal health items to the clients of Manna for Health, the church’s food bank ministry serving those living with AIDS and other life threatening diseases.

Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) went Christmas caroling to the homes of members who were sick or otherwise unable to get out during the holidays.

Over the weekend Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) presented two productions of A Certain Small Shepherd: A Christmas Musical for Kids.

After a time of refreshments, folks from MCC Key West (Florida) boarded the Holly Jolly Trolley for a ride around town to view the Christmas lights, sing carols, and share stories.

Elvis, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and a band joined Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri) as they went caroling at three nursing homes last Saturday night and took goodies and needed items to the residents.

MCC Newcastle (England) and MCC Bournemouth (England) both hosted Blue Christmas Services to support those for whom the holidays are not a joyous time, providing them with the opportunity for reflection and remembering.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) had a dinner Saturday night and showed The Nativity Story afterwards.

Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) adopted a single mom and her 18 month old son for Christmas.

At Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York) they lit the candles of both an Advent Wreath and a menorah. The latter belonged to the grandmother of Steve Freedman and his wife Roza, members of the church.

Each person at MCC El Paso (Texas) brought an ornament which represented Christmas past, present, or future to them.

At MCC Elizabethtown (Kentucky) they raised more than $450 (USD) in a raffle in order to provide Christmas for families in need.

The new choir at Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) premiered at yesterday’s Christmas service.

After visiting a hospital and nursing home, Santa and the folks from New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) took gifts to the mothers and their children at the Women’s Refuge.

On the 23rd, MCC Quezon City (Philippines) will conclude their MCC Simbang Gabi, a nine day novena worship service before the Christmas Season. They also provided gifts for 80 pupils with disabilities at Payatas B Elementary School.

The workshop, Peace for the Holy Days, was offered at MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) to help people cope with the stresses of family, finances, busy-ness, and other holiday anxieties.

MCC Tampa (Florida) held their annual Christmas Bake Sale with the great pastry chefs in the church offering delicious goodies for sale to everyone else to benefit the church’s ministry.  MCC Topeka (Kansas) held a similar event.

All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) collected for Toys for Tots this year.

Dressed in red and green with antlers and bells, folks from Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) went caroling at the Shady Grove Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center.

Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California) filled Christmas stockings for the people of Puente Costa del la Sur, where Kerry Lobel is Executive Director.

MCC Boston (Massachusetts) will have a Childermas Service on Tuesday evening.

Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) will participate in Churches Together in Bath’s annual Epiphany service at St Mary’s Bathwick on 16 January.

Folks at MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) are giving gifts to their church for Christmas, everything from plastic cutlery to office supplies to donations for curriculum, a new sign, and a media computer.

Rev. Elder Freda Smith and recording artist Gene Viale were the special guests yesterday for a Christmas service with an old fashioned flare at A Church for All MCC (Sacramento, California).

At Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) during Santa’s Workshop, creative elves assisted everyone in making delightful ornaments, delicious cookies, and other unique treats for Christmas. Carols, hot chocolate, a special hayride, and photos with Santa were all part of the fun.

Nativity Idol was presented twice at MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico). This funny, yet powerful, play featured contestants competing for a role in a Christmas pageant. A Nativity tableau slowly built to show Christ as the light of the world.

The children at MCC San Diego (California) decorated bags which were then filled with goodies and taken to the Wounded Warriors at Balboa Naval Hospital when the church went caroling there.

MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) partnered with the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry to provide gift cards to families and individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS.

The Women’s Ministry at New Spirit MCC (Cincinnati, Ohio) held a Kitchen Basket Raffle with the proceeds used to sponsor a needy family for Christmas.

River of Life MCC (Dorchester, England) prepared one large Christmas card to be more ecologically sound, to raise money for local charities, and to ensure that people in the community receive card from the church.  They sold slots for individual messages.

The Rock MCC (Chattanooga, Tennessee) is providing a Christmas Dinner for the community on Wednesday evening.

MCC Lubbock (Texas) went caroling at retirement homes, nursing homes, and the homes of MCCers.

CHRISTMAS DAY

The Lay Chaplains at Water of Life MCC (Tucson, Arizona) are hosting a pot luck dinner.

Rev. Jeff Miner and David Zier will again provide a full Christmas dinner and open house at their home on Christmas Day for the folks at LifeJourney MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana).

At MCC New York (New York) a Service of Lessons and Carols will be followed by a gala holiday brunch.

NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS

At FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) there will be a three day Camp Out on their church property. The $10 (USD) charge will go to their Building Fund.  There will be singing, bonfires, storytelling, dancing, music, food, and lots of fun!

MCC Louisville (Kentucky) will host their traditional Game Night followed by a Watch Night Service at 11:15 to bring in the New Year with singing, prayer, and Communion.

Come as You Were is the theme of the New Year’s Eve dance at MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California).

MCC Charleston (South Carolina) will have a Watch Night Service to ring in the New Year.

MCC of the Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) is planning a family-friendly social for New Year’s Eve.

OTHER NEWS FROM OUR CHURCHES

Kimberly Brown, Dave Dishman, and Rev. Nathan Meckley of MCC Portland (Oregon) hosted a 25th anniversary party for SisterSpirit and Rev. Dr. Frodo Okulam.

On the 27th MCC Manchester (England) will enjoy walking together on the grounds of Lyme Park in Cheshire.

Tonight Rev. Dana Cagel will complete a month-long study at MCC Los Angeles (California) on discovering spiritual gifts using the Bible, Myers Briggs, the Ennegram, and other perspectives.

House of Rainbow presented ‘Daily Prayers and Praise’ in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) has begun a weekly prayer circle at noon on Wednesdays in their sanctuary. “We know prayer changes us, and that as we are changed, so is the world.”

The Prayer Warriors at MCC Amarillo (Texas) meet at noon on Thursdays.

The Big Easy MCC (New Orleans, Louisiana) participated in an “It Gets Better” event along with NOAIDS Task Force, Forum for Equality, the LGBT Community Center, HRC, Touro Synagogue LGBTQ Group, and PFLAG-New Orleans. Over 500 people taped messages to be posted online.

After much prayerful consideration, Healing Spirit MCC (Rochester, Minnesota) has voted to close.  Their final service will be 2 January.

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will be the special guest at the celebration of affiliation and the first anniversary of Open Circle at The Villages MCC on 9 January. Over 50 charter members will be received into membership. Rev. Carol Rawlings-Chambers, pastor, will be welcomed as MCC Clergy after transferring her ordination from another denomination.

MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia) collected 163 sweaters and coats, plus 112 miscellaneous winter clothing items (hats, gloves, scarves etc), exceeding their goal by a whopping 450%. Not bad for a church with 25 members!

Rev. Elder Debbie Martin and Open Arms MCC (Pahoa, Hawai’i) were featured on the front page of the Tribune-Herald for their World AIDS Day service.  Click here to read the article.

Milwaukee MCC (Wisconsin) collects hygiene items for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin.

Rainbow Cathedral MCC partnered with Yakima County Systems of Care to host the first Yakima Gay Youth Conference this past October.  The all day event included tracts for youth and for adults and had over 50 people involved with the event.

LOCAL CHURCH: Resurrection MCC – Rev. Harry Knox joins leaders in prayer vigil supporting the DREAM Act

Houston pastor is former member of U.S. President’s Advisory Council
on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 14, 2010 — Rev. Harry Knox will join such leaders as Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO of Sojourners, Rev. Peg Chemberlin, President of the National Council of Churches, and Dr. Arturo Chávez, President and CEO of Mexican American Catholic College, as well as a representative from Church World Service, in prayer and support of the DREAM Act at Noon on Tuesday in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) provides qualifying undocumented youth with a provisional path to citizenship that requires achieving a college degree or serving two years in the military. The DREAM Act requires that the youth entered the U.S. before the age of 16, has been in the U.S. for at least five years, has no criminal record, and graduated high school or obtained a GED.

Rev. Knox, a past member of President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is currently the Director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Program. Rev. Knox will preach his first sermon as Senior Pastor of Resurrection MCC in Houston, Texas, this Sunday, December 19, 2010.

“We pray today for our neighbors who were not given the privilege of US citizenship by birth, but who are seeking it through hard work, education, and persistence,” says Rev. Knox.

“As their older sisters and brothers, we recognize our responsibility to help them continue their studies or find their way into service of our country – and to guide them as they seek to become citizens of the nation they love and already serve. We can do no less for those who have worked so hard – and for whom God cares so much.

“We pray also for our family members whose opposition to this legislation puts us at odds for a season. We perceive that they are afraid – afraid for their own livelihoods, whether in Houston or in Washington. There is more for us all when we share in thanksgiving, and never enough for any of us when we cravenly hoard the gifts we have received from God.”

Founded in 1972, Resurrection MCC serves more than 850 members and friends and is one of the largest congregations within Metropolitan Community Churches, a Christian denomination with churches in more than 35 countries. The church is widely known for its positive, affirming ministry to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, along with their friends, families and allies, and for its strong commitment to social justice as an expression of the congregation’s Christian faith.

For additional information on the ministry, services, and programs of Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, visit www.ResurrectionMCC.org .

For additional information on the DREAM Act, visit www.dreamactivist.org .

MCC Impact – November, Volume II

 

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

 

MCC Impact

 

MCCer TO ADDRESS WCC CONVOCATION

Henry Onzem of MCC Sydney (Australia) has been selected to present a workshop at the World Council of Churches’ International Ecumenical Peace Convocation next year in Jamaica.

“My World is between Worlds – Second Generation Young Fitting into Community” will focus on identifying a correlation between media presentation of violence (TV/movies/music/video games) and the impact it has on youth, as well as looking at how social networking sites (Facebook/MySpace) help to propagate violent and intrusive ideas.

He will conclude with a response in which common issues are identified and address how the centrality of the church as a point of origin can offer a stabilizing option to the youth. His goal is to provide an opportunity to sit and discuss these issues in an ecumenical forum, so that the church can find solidarity in preventing teenage suicides.

Pray for him as he prepares this important presentation.

 

THANKSGIVING (US) DINNERS

LifeJourney MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana) will provide the meat with everyone bringing side dishes for their Thanksgiving Dinner.

Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Ritchey, Florida) will be providing food for the homeless and elderly through the organization Home with a Heart.

FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) will have their Thanksgiving dinner on their church property, where the porch is almost finished and decisions are being made about the plantings and trees.

Wichita Falls MCC (Texas) is filling boxes with food staples to be given out for Thanksgiving.

Our Hope MCC (Athens, Georgia) held their Thanksgiving Potluck after worship yesterday, as did MCC El Paso (Texas).

On Saturday Church of Our Savior MCC (Boynton Beach, Florida) held a Thanksgiving Bingo fundraiser with refreshments, raffles, surprises, and more.

Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) is selling “Turkey Tickets” for $5 (USD) to raise funds for The Agape Network to purchase a Thanksgiving turkey for each of their HIV+ clients. Every ticket is also entered into a raffle for an HDTV flat screen TV.

Folks from Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas) will gather for dinner at the church.

At MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) they brought all their food items to the altar to be blessed before filling the Thanksgiving baskets to be distributed by their Deacons.

MCC Northern Virginia (Fairfax, Virginia) is gathering non-perishable groceries and other necessities for their annual food drive.  This year they are partnering with Our Daily Bread and D.C. Central Kitchen.

 

ADVENT

Over recent years MCC Manchester (England) has shared a day The Season of Adventtogether near the start of Advent to provide space to reflect more on the meaning of Advent and Christmas. They will do so again this year on 4 December beginning at 10 am at the Police College.

MCC Lubbock (Texas) will have their annual Hanging of the Greens service next Sunday at 11 am.

Eternal Joy MCC (Dayton, Ohio) had a Hanging of the Greens Party yesterday, complete with soup, chili, and snacks for the participants.

 

WORLD AIDS DAY (1 December)

The Community Giving box at Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) has designated the next beneficiary as the Terrence Higgins Trust in light We Are One...of World AIDS Day.

Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) will host a special service on World AIDS Day.

Rev. Todd Goewey has been on the planning committee for the interfaith World AIDS Day service in Rochester, New York.

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will speak at Faith Communities for an AIDS Free World in Venice, Florida.

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS GIVING

New toys are filling the altar at MCC Los Angeles (California) as part of their Holiday Toy Drive.

On Saturday Good Hope MCC (Cape Town, South Africa) will be hosting their 5th Christmas Party in Gugulethu with those less fortunate. This event has grown over the years from 40 to over 200 little children between newborn and 8 years old. They take gifts, food, and sweeties, as well as their presence to make this day a memorable special occasion.

The choir will sing, the band play, and children will have photos taken with Santa. At the gathering on 4 December at Anderson Photography, the folks from New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) will also draw for their special Christmas raffle.

MCC San Diego (California), led by David Root, will have a special holiday outreach to Wounded Warriors at the Naval Hospital on 7 December.

“WMCC Christmas Radio” is an original production written and directed by Doug Gazlay. Proceeds from the show and auction on 4 December will benefit ministries at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia).

Santa Claus visited Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) and was pictured with children, pets, adults, whomever! for portraits to be given for Christmas presents.

 

MCC Calls for Applications to Serve on the International Task Force

ITF

 

Click here

to learn more and complete an online application today!

 

Season of Gratitude

Grateful?

If your answer is yes, Click here to share your gratitudes with our global community.

 

Upcoming MCC Events

Registration is Now Open for the 2011 MCC Conference for People of African Descent, Our Friends and Allies

Click here to learn more and register for this life changing event!  Look for more information on MCC’s 2011 PAD Conference in your inbox.

19 – 22 May 2011 in Washington, DC

 

Are You Making An Impact In Your Local Community?

Share your stories of tearing down walls and building up hope in your local community.

Do you have news to share? If so, please click here to contact Judy Dale, the editor of the MCC Impact to help lift up and share what God is up to in your local MCC!

 

Looking for Resources?

Children & Youth Resources


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Click here to check out the latest collection of children & youth resources.

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Pastoral Search Resources

Lead the Way

to check out the latest pastoral search resource.

 

MCC has an entire collection of free resources.

 

 

Click here to view the MCC collection of theological resources

 

 

Have you completed the MCC 2011 Clergy License Renewal?

It’s Not Too Late!

 

Online License Payments and Downloadable Forms

Click Here To Renew!

 

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Rev.Ceejay Agbayani was featured on QTV Channel 11 in the Philippines last week. It was his life story as a gay pastor and a minister in MCC.

Shawn Thomas’ new book, Unashamed (Coming Out of the Second Closet), has been released. His new website is now online at UnashamedOnline.com and click here to view his new Facebook domain. is There was an excellent interview and article in the Times Free Press in Chattanooga, Tennessee, about his ministry.

Rev. Dr. Leigh Neighbour and Adrian Bugany were invited to attend the General Council of Queensland Churches Together (QCT), since MCC Brisbane (Australia) applied to become a member. They were given the opportunity to share about MCC and their ecumenical involvement in the city. On the 24th they will give a more descriptivepresentation on the work of MCC to all the members of QCT and to share with them the church’s vision in working with and becoming members of QCT.

Our sympathy is extended to Rev. Teri Lubber in the passing of her mother, Mary Perata. A Memorial Service was held at Agape MCC (Fort Worth, Texas) on 13 November.

Stephen Keiley was named Teacher of the Year in San Diego County (California). He will be an “Ambassador for Education” for the next year, speaking to teachers, throwing out the ball at a Padres game, riding on a float in the Holiday Bowl parade, being pictured on Wells Fargo ATMs, and attending other events.

Rev. Harry Knox was overwhelmingly elected senior pastor of Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas). His ordination service was at MCC DC (Washington, D.C.) on 13 November. He will begin his ministry at Resurrection MCC on 1 January.

Rev. Jim Merritt was featured in an article in the Gainesville Sun. Click here to view the article

Rev. Wally Lanchester died suddenly and unexpectedly of a massive heart attack. He was in his late 80s, but was still working at an antique store and had planned a trip with Bob to Paris for Christmas.

Rev. Sharon Ferguson and Franka are spearheading a marriage equality campaign in the UK. They have hosted a press conference, appeared on the BBC programme “Sunday Morning Live”, and went to their local registry office to make an application for a marriage license which, of course, was refused. Click here to read the article.

Rev. Julie Two Seuss and her partner Tara Ann will be leaving Phoenix, Arizona, next month to return to Atlanta, Georgia, where Tara Ann will be doing an internship.

Rev. Michael Diaz will return to his hometown to assume his duties as Director of Connections at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) on 5 December.

Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, was the guest preacher earlier this month at MCC San Francisco (California).

 

CHURCH CLASSES AND GROUPS

Redeemer MCC (Flint, Michigan) will begin using the MCC series Holy Conversations on Wednesday evenings as they explore faith and theology.

Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) is currently offering a several classes: A Course in Miracles, Decorating the Sacred Journey: A Journey of Writing, and How to Respond When Crap Happens.

God in My Life is a faith-sharing support group which meets every other week at MCC Austin at Freedom Oaks (Texas).

The Education and Enrichment Ministry of Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) is offering a Taste of CLM this month. The three classes cover the main areas that will be taught in the full Creating a Life that Matters program beginning in January.

St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) is doing the series of Holy Conversations. This month’s topic was suicide, which was especially relevant given the number of gay-related suicides lately.

 

 

ACTIVE CHURCHES

Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) has joined with their host church in recycling certain items. Cardboard tubes go to the Humane Society as toys for small animals. Complimentary toiletries from hotels and cruise ships are given to local area food banks. Aluminum cans raise funds to purchase Bibles and send kids to camp. Empty medicine bottles go the Interfaith Cooperative Ministries where they are filled with shampoo or laundry soap for the homeless.

MCC Portland (Oregon) created a video for the It Gets Better campaign. Click here to view the video.

Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) just dedicated their new courtyard, expanding their accessible space for fellowship. Now they are planning to construct new patios to quadruple their outdoor meeting and gathering space, to allow for outdoor grilling and dining, and to improve traffic flow between their buildings.

During their recent Celebrate MCC Sunday, MCC Richmond (Virginia) took up a special collection for the global justice and human rights work which MCC does.

Brightwaves MCC (Brighton, England) has moved to Portslade URC Church.  Last Sunday the five young people coming into membership led the service in their new home.

MCC Elizabethtown (Kentucky) held their annual spiritual retreat earlier this month. They camped out in tents or slept in sleeping bags on the porch or living room floor to enjoy God, nature, and one another while strengthening their faith.

MCC New York (New York) celebrated Leather Sunday last weekend to proclaim God’s love for a portion of the LGBT community which is often present, but invisible, in the pews.

Next Saturday Appalachian MCC (St. Albans, West Virginia) will be preparing and serving lunch at Christ’s Kitchen for those who need a place to eat a hot meal. They do this once a month, as do many churches in the area.

Ten students from Anderson College, a Church of God (ultra conservative) institution in Anderson, Indiana, recently attended a worship service at achurch4me? MCC in Chicago, Illinois.

Imago Dei MCC (Glen Mills, Pennsylvania) is currently collecting personal care items for the residents of two emergency shelters serving homeless families and individuals.

At the Community Pride Awards Dinner Trinity MCC (Gainesville, Florida) was honored as the Organization of the Year for its twenty-seven year history of contributions to the greater Gainesville community. They were also recognized for participating with a coalition of faith leaders who stood in solidarity with members of the local Muslim community following threats of spiritual violence by a local extremist religious group.

Last Friday night the music department at SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) presented Murder on the Grill, a cookout dinner with hula hoops, hot rods, leather jackets, and … murder!

MCC Impact – November Volume I

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

Leaves

MCC Impact

CONGRATULATIONS

MCC Transgender Ministries and all of MCC offer a wholehearted congratulations to Rev. Vicky Kolakowski, now also Superior Court Judge Victoria Kolakowski, following her California election last Tuesday.

Rev. Kolakowski was ordained in 1988 and has served local MCC congregations in California, including MCC of the New Vision (Walnut Creek), MCC in Santa Cruz, MCC San Jose, and New Spirit Community Church (Berkeley).

She began her race for the Alameda County Superior Court Judge seat two years ago and ran as the first openly-transgender candidate.  Rev. Kolakowski has been actively engaged in the LGBT community for many years and has used her unique opportunity to educate the legal system about transgender constituents and their needs.  Judge Kolakowski is the first transgender person to serve on this bench.

INTERNATIONAL TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE

20 November 2010

Simple Candle kbGood Hope MCC (Cape Town, South Africa) will host a special service on 21 November to honor the 12th Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

In preparation for this special day, the Transgender Committee of MCC Wichita Falls (Texas) provided lunch after worship, showed a movie, gave a presentation, held a question and answer session, talked about what MCC is doing, and then asked the question: What is God calling our church to do?

MCC Louisville (Kentucky) will host their city’s Transgender Day of Remembrance Service and activities.

DOING FOR OTHERS

Last Saturday, instead of building a new house, LifeJourney MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana) tore down an old dilapidated one, where drug users were going.  It was near a beautiful trail which the Humane Society uses for their dog walkers, making the trail not safe for the homeless dogs and their human friends. Not only did they tear it down, they hauled away all of the debris!

MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) will participate in the 2010 Help the Homeless Walkathon on the National Mall on 20 November. They also recently attended the Poverty Summit for Northern Virginia.  Both events are part of their Micah (social justice) ministry.

The Drag’n Angels of MCC Toronto (Ontario) will have their final pot luck of the year next Sunday as they prepare for their 7th year of ministry in 2011.  The men in this group do outreach in the community in a fun and fulfilling way.

Between now and World AIDS Day, aChurch4Me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois) is participating in a special food drive to benefit Vital Bridges with the hope of ensuring that the Vital Bridges pantry shelves remain well stocked through the winter.

Reconciliation MCC is collecting non-perishable food items and new or gently used clothing for the United Council of Ministries in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

All four of the LGBT music ensembles in St. Louis, Missouri, teamed up to produce a concert benefitting the LGBT Center there.  Band Together, Gateway Men’s Chorus, CHARIS, and the choir from MCC of Greater St. Louis each performed several numbers on the stage at MCC.

From the interest generated by the more than 250 who participated in the Candlelight Walk Against Bullying sponsored by King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida), a new coalition has emerged. The Tampa Bay Safe Haven Against Bullying will be assisting middle and high school students who are being bullied.

The youth at Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) are collecting canned goods and other staples for Thanksgiving baskets to be given to families in the city.  The children are asking everyone for their loose change in order to purchase meat and other items.

Good Hope MCC (Cape Town, South Africa) was a proud supporter of the 17th South African Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and sponsor of the Opening Night movie “Loose Cannons” in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Last weekend MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) hosted another Saturday Night Live event at the AIDS Interfaith Network.  They prepared and served a Mexican themed meal, interacted with the clients, and had fun singing together.

NETWORKS

Next Saturday Rev. Elder Darlene Garner will be teaching Board Training at MCC of the Blue Ridge (Roanoke, Virginia) for the churches in the Central Network, especially those in Virginia.

Over 100 people participated in the recent Gathering of the Kansas/Missouri/Nebraska Network representing First MCC of Kansas (Wichita, Kansas), MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri), MCC of Topeka (Kansas), MCC Omaha (Nebraska), Spirit of Christ MCC (Joplin, Missouri), and Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri). They have already set the date for their next Network Gathering, 1-3 April in St. Louis.

LITURGICAL CALENDAR

Chi Rho Press, the MCC LGBT Christian publishing house, is proud to announce the publication of the Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary for Year A, which starts with the first Sunday in Advent, 28 November.  They are $12.95(USD) plus shipping. The Liturgical Calendar is spiral bound so it can lie flat for easy use.  Click here to view the product.

CAFÉ CANDLEWOOD

MCC of the Coachella Valley (Cathedral City, California) sponsors a unique and creative feeding ministry in the Greater Palm Springs area. The Cafe Candlewood is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for those who are living without shelter, the poor, the working poor, or anyone who is hungry.

It’s not a “everyone eats the same meal” place, but a free restaurant experience. With morbid obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other nutritionally related ailments epidemic among those living at or below the poverty line, the Cafe provides re-worked comfort foods, fresh salads, and sandwiches made to order from which their patrons choose.

The Cafe’s volunteers are church members, as well as many others, who make up the core of the wait staff and kitchen crew. Rather than operating from a philosophy of “…they ought to grateful for whatever they get…”, the Cafe seeks to serves its guests from a “WWYSJ” standpoint: “What would you serve Jesus” if Christ was coming to dine at your house, standpoint. The changes in behavior, attitude, and demeanor of both those serving and those served are nothing less than miraculous!

In addition to the Cafe, the congregation also provides a free store of very gently worn clothing, shoes, household goods, etc.  Nothing torn, stained or tattered is distributed.  There is also a free shower facility, one of the very few in the entire valley, for those living without shelter.

MCC Remembers The Life & Ministry of

Rev. Elder Jean White

It is with deep sadness that Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) shares with you the news that Rev. Elder Jean White died Monday morning, 8 November 2010, peacefully at 7:50am, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Jean was a pioneer and “leading light” in the early decades of MCC’s growth and global calling.

Click here to read more.

Click here to share your thoughts and memories,

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Don’t forget MCC Transgender Ministries’ annual Transgender Day of Remembrance resources!  We have news, commentaries, vigils, advertising and other worship resources available for your immediate download.  Also – if you are observing Transgender Day of Remembrance, sign on and LET Us Know!  Add your voice to our collection of resources, events, and activism opportunities!  Link: http://tdor.mccchurch.org

Are You Making An Impact In Your Local Community?

Tell Us About It…

Do you have news to share? If so, please click here to contact Judy Dale, the editor of the MCC Impact to help lift up and share what God is up to in your local MCC!

Applications are Now Being Accepted for the 2011 Leadership Mentoring Retreat

Leadership for the Ages

Application deadline is 12 November

Please note that there is no tuition for the program.  If you are in need of assistance with the room and board cost, let us know by emailing Connie Meadows in the Moderator’s Office.

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If you are interested in learning more and applying to participate in this retreat, please click here to complete the online application. 

Apply Today!

Just in Case You Missed It…

Seasonal Resources

Click here to review the latest collection of seasonal resources from MCC!

Clergy License 2011

Online License Payments and Downloadable Forms

Click Here To Renew!

ACTIVE CHURCHES

FirstCoast MCC’s Got Talent!  Last Saturday night the folks in St. Augustine, Florida, proved it during an Italian Feast, which included a silent auction and the talent show.

Last month Trinity MCC in Gainesville (Florida) was recognized as Gainesville’s Organization of the Year for its twenty-seven year history of contributions to the greater Gainesville community.  In response to the recent increase in gay youth suicides following anti-gay bullying, the church just completed production of its It Gets Bettervideo.  Trinity was also recognized during August and September for its role with a coalition of faith leaders who stood in solidarity with members of the local Muslim community.

MCC Detroit is sponsoring a Gay Christian Bowling League.

MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) has launched a new program Spiritual Journeys.  Each Wednesday they open to different spiritual practices, such as labyrinth, Taizé, and drumming circle, to bring centeredness and spiritual renewal into the heart of their community.

MCC North London (England) has initiated several small groups which are now meeting in Camden, Enfield, and South London.

MCC Charleston (South Carolina) is compiling a pet calendar for 2011.

MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) hosted their 7th annual Art for Love fundraiser over the weekend.  There were various pieces of art for sale, as well as hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and desserts.

MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia) has formed a team to lead music during worship.

To keep it green and greener ($$$$$$) at MCC Tampa (Florida), their Living Green Ministry collects newspapers and ads, cardboard, phone books, magazines, actually anything paper; aluminum cans; printer cartridges; cell phones; and even junk vehicles to recycle.

Celebration MCC (Naples, Florida) is now worshipping in their very own building!

Friends on the Road at MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) is studying If Grace is True: Why God Will Save Every Person. In this book, two pastors present their controversial belief in eternal salvation for all through God’s perfect grace.

The leadership of First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) became the pace setters for the church’s stewardship campaign, Say YES to God’s Mission.  Their ministry goal for 2011 is $218,000.00 in tithes and offerings.  As congregants download and complete their estimate forms, they are given an “I said Yes!” badge to wear.

Folks at SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) are saving their receipts from the local Denny’s, which they will submit on 10 December and the church will receive 10% of the total amount they spent.Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) has initiated a creative and  welcoming idea by having their first time visitors “go to the head of the line” during fellowship.

PEOPLE FEATURED

Trans/formations: Controversies in Contextual Theology is edited by Dr. Marcella Althaus-Reid and Lisa Isherwood.  Two MCCers were contributors.  Rev. Malcolm Himschoot wrote a liturgy for the Trans Day of Remembrance and Lewis Reay has a chapter on the Eunuchs in the Bible.  The book was published by SCM Press, London, England.

Rev. Tim Agar resigned as the Associate Pastor of MCC NOVA Fairfax, Virginia). The church celebrated his last day with them on 31 October.  He will be focusing on finding a fulltime position for his ministry.

Greg Kuridan of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, passed away last week.  He was a member of the original Board of Administration, serving as treasurer that first year.  He was very active at Sunshine Cathedral MCC, where he had been a deacon and president of the board for the Sunshine Foundation.  Two services will be held; one for the family on 15 November and one for his many friends on 20 November.

Rev. Dwayne Morgan recently provided the “Just a Thought” column for the Faith Matters section of the Daily Echo, the newspaper in Bournemouth, England.

St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) just completed a wonderful weekend of praise and worship honoring Rev. B. Y. Boone’s 9th anniversary as their pastor.  Rev. Marilyn Bowens of MCC New Haven (Connecticut), who trained at St. John’s MCC, was the guest preacher.  She also led a workshop on prayer.  There was a special luncheon to conclude the weekend.

Walter Mason, a Ph.D. candidate from MCC Good Shepherd (Granville, Sydney, Australia) has published his first novel, Destination Saigon – Adventures in Vietnam. (Allen & Unwin, publishers)  He is fluent in Vietnamese and a brilliant raconteur, who gives regular talks and lectures on a wide range of subjects. He has several entertaining blogs including www.waltermason.com.

Dr. Robert Graham, a longtime member of Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) and one of the founding trustees for the Sunshine Community Foundation, passed last month.  His memorial service will be 28 November at 5 pm.

Rev. June Norris, who is now 88 years old and still going strong, was honored by MCC San Diego (California) recently with “Rev. June Sunday”.  She was the first heterosexual person ordained as MCC clergy.  Read her powerful bio.

Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo was invited to write a weekly column on homosexuality last month by Malaysiakini.com, the most read news website in Malaysia delivering over 37 million page views and 750,000 video downloads per month to over 1.6 million absolute unique visitors in English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. Although Rev. Boon is a prolific writer in the Chinese language, this was his first weekly column in English.

Aboard the HSMCC, the crew roasted Captain Nancy during their one last Mexican cruise together. They enjoyed a catered Fajita Bar and beverages.  The party was to honor Rev. Dr. Nancy Horvath-Zurn as she leaves the pastorate of Healing Spirit MCC (Rochester, Minnesota).

Rev. Charles Tigard, the new senior pastor of Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) and the future plans of the church were featured in a recent newspaper article. http://www.bradenton.com/2010/10/16/2659063/branching-out.html

Rev. Carol Lowe, interim pastor of MCC Corpus Christi (Texas) has resigned, having served in that position for almost three years.  Rev. Elder Darlene Garner met with the Board and Rev. Mick Hinson, their Network leader, will be working with them.

PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS

Throughout Advent Healing Spirit MCC (Rochester, Minnesota) is collecting sleeping bags, socks, hats, gloves, and mittens for the homeless.

Instead of going to a restaurant for Christmas Dinner this year, MCC Manchester (England) is going use a caterer for their meal on 11 December.  They’ll enjoy a three course meal with tea/coffee, some games, and a raffle.  They have invited the congregation of their host church, Wilbraham St Ninian’s, to join them.

MCC San Jose (California) is busy with their 4th Annual Christmas Drive for Youth affected by HIV/AIDS.  This year they plan on helping 40 youth, ages 13-17, as well as their families.  These teens have one or both parents living with disabling HIV/AIDS and relying on the Ryan White Care Act from the federal government to pay for the health care they receive.

The Drama Ministry at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) will be presenting the liturgy elements during their Advent worship services.

Last month MCC Newcastle upon Tyne (England) collected toothbrushes, toothpaste, flannels, and soap.  This month it’s hats, scarves, colouring pens/pencils and colouring books/notebooks.  Then in December, congregants bring in shoeboxes in which they have placed small Christmas gifts.  All of the items are then donated to Operation Christmas Child, an activity of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian charity working to alleviate poverty worldwide. The boxes and individual items are given to children who would otherwise receive no gifts.

Shoeboxes are also being collected at Pikes Peak MCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado).  They will be filling theirs as part of One Nation Walking Together with the Christmas gifts going to Native American (First Nations) reservations in the West and Midwest of the US.



MCC Impact – October, Volume II

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

Harvest

MCC Impact

October is Black History Month in the UK.  MCC East London (England) has celebrated with a special children’s service (Adults were invited, too!) and special speakers during the month including Rev. Jide Macaulay from House of Rainbow MCC, Laurence Benkhabeb-House from MCC East London, and Rev. Kieren Bourne from Living Springs MCC in Bath.

In 1926 Carter Godwin, an American historian who initiated the field of black studies, founded the Negro History Week. Later this initiative became Black History Month, which is celebrated in October in the UK and February in the US.  It is a time to acknowledge the enormous contributions by black people to the development of the UK and cultural diversity.

Black communities have been part of East London for centuries. In the 18th century servants, who ran away from their masters’ houses, fled to the East End of London, where they lived with others in poverty.

October is a period of tolerance and reconciliation in African culture, making this time a reconnection with the African source.


  HOLIDAY PLANS

Last week MCC North London (England) celebrated a joint Harvest Service with Trinity URC in the morning and their own Harvest Service in the evening.

FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) hosted a Costume Swap Day as part of their environmental work.  No need to purchase a new, cardboard and plastic-wrapped, polyester outfit and plastic mask, “when you can trade with someone, or go vintage from your own closet!  So whether you’re bartering for a bandolier, or trading away your tutu, you won’t be contributing to landfill waste.”

The folks at MCC Omaha (Nebraska) gathered for a pumpkin decorating social.

Holiday PlansChildren at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) participated in a “Trunk or Treat” following worship yesterday.  After homemade chili and hot dogs, while the children changed into their Halloween costumes, the adults decorated the trunks of their cars so they were ready to pass out healthy snacks and candy.

Last Saturday MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) hosted a Trivia Night with a Halloween theme.  The eight people at each table decorated their tables and competed with other groups in the games and contests.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) hosted a Kids Fall Festival Event entitled “Great Tomb Raid” yesterday morning.  Through the stories, games and fun, the children discovered God’s power in a new way. Costumes and treats were part of the event, of course!  In the afternoon they went on an outing to Cagles farm corn maze.

A Masquerade Ball, dinner and dance, is being planned by Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas) for the 30th.

To observe All Hallows Eve, Eternal Joy MCC (Dayton, Ohio) will hold a special afternoon service on 31 October to celebrate and commemorate the lives of those who have passed during the last year.

Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) began their annual collecting for Christmas shoeboxes for children in need in Eastern Europe and Africa.  They already have a surfeit of cuddly toys!  On the 31st they will take an early look at the nativity stories in the Bible and discuss their meaning and history.

Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan) has already issued the invitations for their Festival of Carols on 11 December!


MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Rev. Carol Rawlings-Chambers reprinted Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson’s letter on bullying in the newsletter of Open Circle at The Villages MCC, a church plant in Oxford, Florida.  A few days later, she received an email from one of their members, the mother of a teen, who said that Ours The Journey!she had been wanting to reach out to their local school around this issue, but hadn’t decided what to do.  When she read Rev. Nancy’s letter, she had her direction. 

She sent an email to the principal, outed herself, and offered up resources of Open Circle MCC and the local LGBT community organization to assist the school around the issue of bullying.  She felt very strongly that Rev. Nancy’s letter gave her the courage to step out and make a difference.

What can you do to address bullying and other issues facing our youth and our communities?  King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) held a candlelight walk downtown.  Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) held a vigil at the church on International Coming Out Day.  Reconciliation MCC (Grand Rapids, Michigan), MCC Louisville (Kentucky), and others used a Litany on Bulling during worship.


Are You Making An Impact In Your Local Community? 

Tell Us About It…

 

Do you have news to share? If so, please click here to contact Judy Dale, the editor of the MCC Impact to help lift up and share what God is up to in your local MCC!


Making the Impact!

Holiday Plans


Making a Difference

Crossroads Worship Concert

The Final Deadline

Churches Reaching Out


Special People

Party Time!

A Night of Black & White


Active Churches


Applications are Now Being Accepted for the 2011 Leadership Mentoring Retreat

Leadership for the Ages

 
Please note that there is no tuition for the program.  If you are in need of assistance with the room and board cost, let us know by emailing Connie Meadows in the Moderator’s Office.

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If you are interested in learning more and applying to participate in this retreat, please click here to complete the online application.  

Apply Today! 


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Seasonal Resources

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Clergy License 2011

Online License Payments and Downloadable Forms

 Click Here To Renew!


CROSSROADS WORSHIP CONCERT

In Concert!!The Ministry of Aaron’s Rainbow Project will produce a special night of worship and praise in West Palm Beach, Florida, featuring the music and message of four different ministries from across the nation: Shawn Thomas, Susie and Linda of Brenner-Beckstead, Jeremiah Cummings, and Jason DeShazo of There’s Victory.

The event will begin at 7 pm at MCC of the Palm Beaches in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday, 12 November.  Click here to find out more and RSVP for the free concert. 


THE FINAL DEADLINE

“Too often we postpone life, as if there were no deadline,” according to author and theologian Rev. Chris Glaser, “but death, to me, is personalized eschatology.”  

In contrast to religious traditions that attempt to shield us from death Deadline!by promising eternal life or by denying or demeaning physical existence, Rev. Glaser looks at death directly and with appreciation for what it teaches us about life.  Death is an inscrutable and even stern Zen master ready to teach us, a spiritual director eager to inspire us, a soul-friend reminding us that our lifespan has sacred worth.

In his new book, The Final Deadline: What Death has Taught Me about Life, he writes movingly of deaths that have shaped him, whether those deaths occurred through murder, suicide, accident, or illness. A few deaths were especially transforming and personal, and all, he hopes, will open readers’ hearts to their own discoveries when facing The Final Deadline.

Chris Glaser ISBN: 978-0-8192-2378-4 $18.00 Paper 144 pgs 5.5 x 8.5 Morehouse Publishing


CHURCHES REACHING OUT

Reaching Out

MCC in Glasgow, in association with Glasgay!, Scotland’s annual celebration of queer culture, is presenting a free showing of “Prayers for Bobby” at the Glasgow Film Theatre next Sunday.   Afterwards there will be a Q and A (Queers and Answers) session “Gotta Have Faith” during which Rev. Jane Clarke will address the aspects of religion, faith, social, and media commentary, as well as audience questions.

Valley Ministries MCC (Stockton, California) set a goal to send youth to the next General Conference in Chicago in 2013 and the fund already has $1000 (USD)!

Folks at MCC Greater Dallas (Texas) are going through their closets and getting out those fall and winter clothes.  While doing so they are setting aside extra coats and sweaters for their “Warm Hearts, Warm Bodies” clothing drive for the homeless. 

MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) had a regular attendee of their Bible Study move out of state, but he really wanted to continue being part of the group.  So, they now interactively Skype their Bible Study with people who have transportation issues right there in LA or live in such places as Oregon, Tennessee, and even Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Knowing that these issues were important to church members, some folks from The Big Easy MCC (New Orleans, Louisiana) participated in the Light the Night Walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma and others the Walk for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, since both were scheduled on the same day.

Carrying umbrellas of various rainbow hues and a large sign proclaiming God Loves You, Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York) led the Wedding March downtown.  Rev. Jim Mulcahy spoke to the crowd.

CRAVE MCC Paddington (Australia) is involved with regularly distributing food and hot drinks at a BBQ for 150 disadvantaged people at the Waterloo Housing Estate. A formal dinner was held to show appreciation for the volunteers living there. They are beginning to see individuals who are now showing interest in spiritual life.

The DUO (Do Unto Others) Fund collections for October at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) will be donated to Training to Serve, which assists service providers in ensuring that LGBT seniors have a satisfying quality of life.

Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) will be spending Saturday morning helping the environment by picking up debris along Route 23 West.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) will host a two hour Financial Management Seminar on 6 November at 9 am focusing on financial education, budgeting, and debt management.

A group at MCC Newcastle upon Tyne (England) is combining the work of Amnesty International and MCC’s Global Justice Ministry into their own effort in doing justice locally and around the world.

Instead of a float or marching unit in their Pride Parade, Trinity MCC (Arlington, Texas) offered two recycling centers during the parade and the street party afterwards.  They collected a pick-up bed full of cans, glass, and plastic to recycle and keep out of landfills.  They wore their Would Jesus Discriminate t-shirts and posted signs which said “Recycling provided by Trinity MCC”.

MCC Manchester (England) is excited about hosting an evening of poetry with Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, on 13 November at 7 pm.  Tickets are 10 pounds and all proceeds are going to the Immigration Aid Unit.  Click here for more information.

 


SPECIAL PEOPLE

Rev. Melanie Martinez was ordained during a special service last Saturday evening at Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas).

Special People!Laurie Gaum has been appointed as the Spiritual Mentor for Good Hope MCC (Cape Town, South Africa).  He will be offering spiritual support and guidance to the Church Council and others in leadership for at least six months.

MCC Detroit (Michigan) member Larry Narvais participated in the Michigan Make-A-Wish Foundation’s 300-mile bike ride to raise money for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Rev. Dave Bieniek is now the Chaplain and Volunteer Coordinator for the Home Health Care and Hospice of Whidbey General Hospital on Whidbey Island in Coupeville, Washington.  He continues to write a blog and develop his website.

Last Saturday Spiritual Director Ravi Verma led a retreat for congregants and guests of MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California).

During a rare hail storm in Phoenix, Arizona, Rev. Elder John Gill’s car was damaged, as were those of others at Gentle Shepherd MCC.

Rev. Renee McCoy preached last Sunday at Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) as they kicked off their “Fighting HIV/AIDS One Prayer at a Time” program.  Prayer Partners signed a Certificate of Covenant, stating commitment to regularly pray for one person with HIV/AIDS throughout the year, and received a pin with the words “One Prayer” on it to initiate conversation with others.

Rev. Ken Storer passed away earlier this month.  He was active in the early days of the Northwest District, but recently has been living as Jamshed Ken Storer in Oregon at Breitenbush Hot Springs.

Bonnie Dlouhy, the partner of Heather Maybee, long-time Lay Delegate for the now closed Christos MCC (Toronto, Ontario), died unexpectedly following surgery.  The funeral was 12 October at MCC Toronto.


PARTY TIME!

MCC of the Spirit (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) celebrated their 30th anniversary last Sunday with An PartyEvening of Song and Spirit.  MCC Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania) and Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) joined in the festivities.

MCC Charleston (South Carolina) will host a Fall Dance on 13 November with the proceeds going to their Food Bank.

Pikes Peak MCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado) will enjoy Dreaming of Decadence: Fun in the Fifties.  There will be a dinner, show, live auction, silent auction, and more!

Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) held a birthday party for MCC’s 42nd birthday!  They showed the film Troy Perry: Pastor and Prophet.


A NIGHT OF BLACK & WHITE

King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) is offering a $5 advance registration for an entry in the Dinnerpre-registration drawing, quick admission to A Night of Black & White on 6 November, and five free raffle tickets.  “Just think you won’t have to stand in the queue at the door with the hoi polloi and buy your own raffle tickets. So, you might want to consider seriously this pre-registration option!”

There will also be special raffle tickets to obtain a chance ona 14-SEER variable speed 410-A Frigidaire heat pump residential (1.5 to 5 ton) system with a Honeywell thermostat, which retails for $7800(USD).  Donations for tickets are 1 for $30, 2 for $50, and 5 for $100.  You don’t have to be present to win.  

A Night of Black & White will be an exciting evening of food, fun, and fellowship with something for everyone.  The guest emcee is Sterling Powell, a local artist and (flamboyant) personality.  There will be silent and live auctions, sign-up events (dinners, cruises, parties, etc.) offered by KOP MCC members and friends, a costume contest, a cash ticket bar, and who knows what else?  You won’t want to miss it!


ACTIVE CHURCHES

Our Hope MCC (Athens, Georgia) partnered with McAlister’s, Loco’s, Applebee’s, and The National & Hollis BBQ, which, for church folks, gave 10% of the tab to the church. They also partnered with a straight ally, Rev. Bob Googe, owner of Jittery Joe’s Coffee to create the OHMCC Anniversary Blend in celebration of the church’s 11th anniversary!  Cans of ground or whole bean coffee can be ordered online by contacting the church.  Cans are $10 (USD) each plus shipping.

At Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) they had a Pink Sunday, a day to wear pink, promote Breast Cancer Awareness, and encourage self check breast exams for both men and women. They provided informational packets and a video after church.

The middle and high school youth at MCC Austin at Freedom Oaks (Texas) and some of their friends enjoyed an evening of BlazerTag last weekend.

Yesterday MCC Toronto (Ontario) hosted their annual Bridges to Hope and Freedom event at the Arcadian Court.  This year they honoured individuals in the legal profession and the progress toward equality of human rights in the LGBT community.  Justice Harry S. Laforme was the keynote speaker.

Planning a trip to New York City?  Going to the theater?  Click here to purchase your tickets and 5% of your ticket price will benefit Sylvia’s Place and other MCC New York ministries.

Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) is offering classes in basic meditation techniques.

Imago Dei MCC (Glen Mills, Pennsylvania) will observe Consecration Sunday by returning their Covenant of Commitment Cards.

Healing Spirit MCC (Rochester, Minnesota) received second place for the monies their team collected in the AIDS Walk.  Only the UU church collected more.

An exciting new group, the Traditionalist Caucus, has formed at MCC Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania). Identifying themselves as theologically conservative and/or evangelical, they are currently working on organizing small-group Bible Studies, as well as developing core guiding principles.

MCC Impact – October Volume I


Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact


NETWORK NEWS

Connection

The North Central US Network Conference will be 16 October at MCC of the Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa).  Participants will arrive from twelve cities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana.  Stan Kimer, chair of the MCC Ecumenical Inter-religious Team and president-elect of the North Carolina Council of Churches will be the keynote speaker on the topic of stewardship.  Since they will be in Iowa, where same-sex marriages are legal, the conclusion of the day will be a worship service and marriage ceremony for those who wish to participate.  For additional information email Rev. Gordon McCoy at GrmChiTown@aol.com.

The next weekend the Central US East Network (Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia) will gather at MCC Paducah (Kentucky).  The clergy and their spouses will have dinner and a sharing time on Friday evening.  Saturday will be filled with workshops, worship, and idea sharing time based on the theme “Unless You Become as Little Children” … both doing that spiritually as adults and creating programming for children and youth. The evening will feature dinner and singing.  Most folks will stay over to worship with MCCP on Sunday before heading home.  For more information contact Judy Dale at JudyDale13@aol.com.

WJD BILLBOARDS MAKING NEWS

Once again Would Jesus Discriminate? billboards are drawing comments in Dallas, Texas, along Interstate 35.  The ones posted are “Jesus affirmed a gay couple. (Matthew 8:5-13)” and “The early church welcomed a gay man.  (Acts 8:26-40)”     Click here to read the story.   

Four of the Metroplex churches are involved in the project this year: Harvest MCC (Denton), MCC of Greater Dallas, Promise MCC (Oak Park), and Trinity MCC (Arlington).

They have created a website for people who are interested in learning more.  www.whywouldwe.org.


SUPPORTING ONE ANOTHER

Together!If you were in Acapulco, you may have seen the display of handmade items from MCC People of Substance (Kenya) and met their pastor Joseph Nyaisa.  There were extremely beautiful African beads, carvings, and crafts being sold on behalf of the women in the church who do such art work full time. Most of the women are HIV+ and this is the way they support themselves and their children, as well as pay for their medications.

They would like to partner with MCCs in other countries to sell some of their handmade crafts.  Your church can either buy the items directly and keep the large margin of profit from the sales for your church or you can share the profit with MCC People of Substance.  They would also be willing to work with or sell to individuals.  Such partnerships will be life-saving for women in Kenya.

For more information, free samples, photos of the women or their crafts, or to set up a partnership for yourself or your church, contact Leah Wamboi at mccfriendskenya@gmail.com.


 

ACTIVE CHURCHES

Community

The Sanctuary Choir of MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) will be performing along with other church choirs at Spiritfest to benefit PFLAG on 16 October at Wake Forest University.

River of Life MCC (Dorchester, England) will celebrate their second anniversary with the dedication of their new building, the River of Life Centre, on 16 October.  People from all faith groups will participate.

MCC Wichita Falls (Texas) will be hosting their second annual Chili Cookoff on 24 October.

On 23 October MCC Omaha (Nebraska) will host its 2010 Leadership Congress for those involved in current or future ministries of the church to come together to discern what is working and what are the future possibilities for church ministry.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) will host its 5th annual Denim & Diamonds on 22 October at the Bonnett Hunt Club from 7-10. The dinner and show featuring “the kings and queens of country drag” is $55 (USD).

On Sunday MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) will celebrate their 37th anniversary with guest speaker Morris Price, Program Director for the Gill Foundation and an esteemed community leader.

CRAVE MCC – Paddington (Australia) will be doing another street mission outreach this month, based on the success of their first one on the night of their national elections.  A group will gather on Oxford Street in Sydney to share the love of Jesus by offering passers-by free hugs … and information about the church!

Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) is getting ready for their 25th anniversary celebration 16-17 October.  Rev. Elder Troy Perry will be their special guest for the banquet on Saturday and worship on Sunday.

October is Feed the Animals Month at MCC Topeka (Kansas).  Collections each Sunday will benefit the Helping Hands Humane Society, the Cat Association, and the Pet Assistance Network.

Last month Valley Ministries (Stockton, California) celebrated Missions Month.  Every month they send support to the Mother of Peace Orphanage in Zimbabwe, MCC’s Asian Pacific Initiative, the Haiti Relief Fund, Safe Passage, and Encounter Missions International.

MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) has ten home groups which have just begun meeting.  Seven are in English, two in Spanish, and one bilingual. They stretch from Palmdale to Long Beach and east to Pomona.

A new way to recycle.  Folks at Pike’s Peak MCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado) are taking used water bottles and filling them with change. They will collect the bottles on 21 November to see how much difference the change can make in the life of their church.

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) is still taking reservations for their cruise 24-29 January from Tampa to Cozumel, Mexico, and Grand Cayman Island aboard the Carnival Inspiration.  Sign up by 15 November and receive a $50(USD) shipboard credit.  Prices begin at $397 per person.  Contact Lorna at Creative Travel at 941-830-8348.

MCC San Francisco (California) will be “Practicing Self Care and Lovingkindness” all day in a retreat on 16 October.  Leaders will be Rev. Jana Drakka, a Zen Buddhist priest, and Darren Main, a yoga and wellness expert.

During Harvest Festival the congregants of MCC Newcastle (England) are bringing long-lasting food items to be given to The People’s Kitchen, a charity serving homeless and disadvantaged people.

At their Harvest Thanksgiving service folks at Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) decorated the sanctuary with fresh produce and other food items, which were then given to Julian House.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) handed out small key tags labeled “Contentment.” On the back they say, “Lord, help me to be grateful for what I have, to remember that I don’t need most of what I want, and that joy is found in simplicity and generosity.”  It was part of Rev. Robin Gorsline’s message, which is available in full or a shortened form.

MCC of the Chesapeake (Annapolis, Maryland) has become a founding organizational member of Creation Spirituality Communities.  www.CreationSpirituality.com

We’ve heard of Walkathons, Phonathons, Dancathons, but what about a Birdathon?  Well, FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) is doing just that.  Friends will sponsor congregants to count bird species!  Sorry, Ladies, this will be American bird watching, not the English variety!  ;-)

MCC Bournemouth (England) will celebrate their 31st anniversary the weekend of 23-24 October.

The comedy “Fit to Be Tied” is now playing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings at Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida).

Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) set a goal of raising $15,000 (USD) for Habitat for Humanity by their 30th anniversary last weekend.  They exceed their goal and donated $17,112.97 to the organization.

MCC Sacred Journey (Hendersonville, North Carolina) hosted a booth at Blue Ridge Pride (BluRP) in nearby Asheville last weekend.

MCC Windsor (Ontario) participated in a pulpit swap with Bedford United Church, an LGBT welcoming and affirming congregation in their city.

MCC Tampa (Florida) partnered with the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival as hosts for “Mississippi Queen” on 17 October.

Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) is beginning a Children’s Choir for those in the 3rd – 7th grades.

Planning ahead!  Last month the folks at Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) had a kickoff event for their Thanksgiving Food Drive.  There was bingo, entertainment, hamburgers and hot dogs, and door prizes.

Our Tribe (Edinburgh, Scotland) is meeting to plan an overnight vigil for Transgender Remembrance Day, which will begin on the evening of 20 November and conclude at breakfast on the 21st.

Planning even further ahead!  Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) is working on ideas for their Christmas pageant.

MCC Detroit recently donated $2000 (USD) to the Ruth Ellis Center, an organization providing services to LGBT homeless and at-risk youth.New Life MCC of Hampton Roads was delighted to move to their own space in Norfolk, Virginia.  However, when they went to their storage unit to retrieve their pulpit, chairs, etc., they discovered an infestation of mold spores, making the furniture unusable.  Please keep them in prayer as they use rented and borrowed chairs until they can determine what to do.


PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

people

At MCC San Diego (California) Rev. Houston Burnside will lead Adventures in Prayer on Wednesday evening 13 October, during which he will discuss his new book, A Pew-sitter’s Search for God.  A book signing will follow.  He is donating half of the book sales that evening to the church.

On 16 October Dr. Marty Gallagher MD, a founding member of New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) will be the honoree at a dinner fundraiser to benefit the Community Free Clinic.  He and his husband, Bill Stryler RN, started the Community Free Clinic in Hagerstown 20 years ago to serve the medically uninsured in Washington County.  They had over 16,000 patient visits last year.

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson and David Weiss were the special guests … along with the animals … for MCC Austin at Freedom Oaks’ (Texas) 35th anniversary last weekend.  On Friday evening Mr. Weiss spoke.  He is a theologian, writer, poet and hymnist committed to doing “public theology” around issues of sexuality, justice, diversity, and peace. On Saturday, they had a Blessing of the Animals.  And on Sunday, Rev. Elder Wilson brought the message.

New Creation MCC (Columbus, Ohio) is honoring their pastor, Rev. Margaret Hawk, on her 20th pastoral anniversary by hosting a party on Saturday at Club Diversity at 6 pm.

Our sympathy is expressed to the family and friends of Rev. Don Mence who passed away peacefully on 25 September at his home in Te Aroha, New Zealand.  He was in his 80s.  As a Presbyterian minister he assisted with MCC Auckland, which was founded in 1975, and led worship for them during periods when there was no MCC clergyperson available. Annually, the church presents the Don Mence Award for service to the LGBT community.

Our Hope MCC (Athens, Georgia) and Rev. Dr. Renee DuBose are saying “thank you” to PFLAG Atlanta on 17 October by presenting them a copy of the pastor’s thesis, Two Men, Two Movements & Our Call to Seek Justice:  Bayard Rustin, Troy Perry & the Civil Rights & Gay Rights Movement.  PFLAG Atlanta had graciously awarded Rev. Dr. DuBose two scholarships, totaling $4,000, to support her in her pursuit of a D. Min. from Episcopal Divinity School. 

Rev. Dr. Nancy Horvath-Zurn has tendered her resignation as pastor of Healing Spirit MCC (Rochester, Minnesota) effective 7 November.

Rev. B. Y. Boone will be the guest preacher for A Faith Revolution, a revival weekend at Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) 15-17 October.  There will be a praise and healing service on Friday evening.  Saturday will feature workshops in the morning, a plenary by Rev. Boone in the afternoon, and a worship service in the evening.  Rev. Boone will preach at three services on Sunday: at 10 am in Mountville, at 4:00 in York, and at 7:00 in Reading.

Rev. Lisa Heilig will become the interim pastor at Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) this month. She begins a two week period serving with Rev. John Middleton, the current pastor, on 10 October, just in time to participate in Orlando’s Come Out with Pride Parade that afternoon.  Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will preside at a special Transition Service on 24 October.

If you were planning on viewing the live Ray Boltz concert at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) via the web on Saturday night, you will want to know that it has been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.  Event organizers are working to reschedule the event, so stay tuned! 

Rev. Michael Diaz from the Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) and Nilda Roman, an MCC student at Lancaster Theological Seminary, participated in the 2010 Hispanic Program at Princeton Theological Seminary. They both served on the worship team and Rev. Diaz was a guest panelist for Latina/o Churches and Our LGBT Brothers and Sisters.

Rev. Jill Sizemore has accepted the call to become senior pastor of MCC Knoxville (Tennessee). She and her partner Jen Ru will be moving there from San Francisco as soon as their house sells.

Don Ross, partner of Elder Mel Johnson, transitioned to the next life on Monday night at his home with his family, Mel, and their dogs around him, just as he wished.  A memorial service is being planned, probably for November.  He was treasurer and webmaster for the A. Austine Amerine Retreat Center and a Buddhist priest.  lowerlakemel@yahoo.com

 

Leon Hampton passed on 30 September and will honored at a Memorial Service at 2:00 on Saturday at MCC Washington, DC.  Leon was very active at MCC DC, having served as a Deacon, Lay Delegate, and choir member, as well as volunteering whenever needed.  He served for many years on the MCC Board of Pensions (USA), including as President of the Board.  His family resides in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was well-known among political leaders.


Happy Birthday MCC!!!

Making the Impact!
NETWORK NEWS
SUPPORTING ONE ANOTHER
ACTIVE CHURCHES
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
AIDS WALKS
BOOK RELEASED
SERIES AND SERVICES
REMINDER

MCC Quick Links
 


Applications are Now Being Accepted for the 2011 Leadership Mentoring Retreat

Apply Today! 

If you are interested in learning more and applying to participate in this retreat, please click here to complete the online application.  

Please note the corrected dates are Monday – Thursday

17 – 20 January


 

Registration Ends October 10th 

 

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Dallas, TX (USA)

26-29 October 2010

Register Today 




Honor Our History; Forge our Future

Be a Pacesetter!

 

You are invited to join the celebration!  Pacesetter Churches and visionary individuals honor our history and provide MCC with the means to forge the future of our ministry and movement by receiving and dedicating a special offering on Fellowship Sunday.  Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches says, “The need and demand for MCC’s ministry is growing all the time, and we need to match that demand by growing a generation of lay and clergy leaders committed to sharing the radically inclusive gospel of Jesus Christ.”

 

Forge The Future

Click here to become a Pacesetter today! 

 

Individuals can give too!  If you miss the celebration in your church service, you can participate in this special offering online or by sending your check to MCC, PO Box 1374, Abilene, TX  79604 for “Fellowship Sunday.”



Opportunity to serve on the MCC Board of Pensions, USA

 

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 2 openings on our National Board, which carry a four year term.  Marketing, communication and/or technological skills would perfectly complement our current Board make up.    Please contact us for more information.  We will provide applications to those interested.  Successful candidates will be appointed by the Governing Board and Moderator.

Our deadline to receive resumes/references is October 15, 2010. Please send resumes to: Devon Avery, President, UFMCC BOP dhavery@att.net


Featured in the October Issue of Synergy!

 

New Local Church Resource: 

 Holy Conversations

 

At General Conference the Moderator’s Theologies Team unveiled a new resource for local churches that is user friendly and seeks to create opportunities for Holy Conversations about theological topics in MCC.  Click here to download this free resource. 

 

Topics include:

  • Ministry
  • Sexuality and Spirituality
  • Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Issues
  • Trans-Formations and Trans Experiences
  • Holy Communion
  • Who is Jesus?
  • Baptism
  • Global Justice
  • Ecclesiology

 


 

Clergy Renewal
Every year, The Office of Formation and Leadership Development (OFLD) receives clergy license fees in order to renew the licenses of our clergy in local communities. Clergy are responsible for completing the appropriate forms and paying yearly renewal fees.  Click here for more information and to renew.


AIDS WALKS

Red Ribbon

Team LifeJourney MCC will be walking Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis, Indiana, to raise funds to be distributed by the Greg Powers/ Direct Emergency Financial Assistance Fund (DEFA).

In Sarasota Florida, it is Trinity Charities, an arm of Church of the Trinity MCC, which sponsors the AIDS Walk.  They have already begun the fundraising and team gathering for the 2010 event on 4 December.

The 12 walkers from King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) raised $700 (USD) at their AIDS Walk.

MCC San Jose (California) will have a team in their walk on 17 October.


BOOK RELEASED

Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo just published a book Our Stories in Malaysia and it has quickly become a bestseller in the country. It is a collection of coming out stories of 15 Chinese queer people around the globe. It is the first book of its kind in the Chinese language anywhere in the world to include pictures and the real names of the authors.

Because of the encouragement of Rev. Boon, Chinese queer people are coming out loud and proud to dismantle heterosexism by telling their stories. This is Rev. Boon’s 20th book. He is currently finishing his doctoral degree in theology at Boston University. He is also an adjunct professor of sociology at St. Peter’s College. Last semester, he taught Queer Studies and Sociology, the first course of its kind offered at the Jesuit college, drawing 50 students instead of the limit of 30. He lives with his partner Phineas Newborn III in New York City.


SERIES AND SERVICES

MCC Lubbock (Texas) has begun a ten week series, the Crown Biblical Financial Study, which provides a biblical perspective of earning, spending, saving, investing, giving, and getting out of debt.

Praise and Ponder is the title for a new Wednesday night service at Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan).  They will have a brown bag dinner and then sing praises and ponder scripture.

Saints and Sandwiches is the name of a new service on Thursdays at MCC Manchester (England). They gather for a reflection based on the life of a saint or other honored individual in the calendar of the Church, a simple celebration of Holy Communion, and a shared lunch afterwards.

MCC Toronto (Ontario) has just begun a seven part sermon series about people in the Hebrew scriptures entitled “Bible-Based Living for a Joy-Filled Life”.

MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) just began a Bible study to help them discover a deeper understanding and practice of prayer.

Affinity, the praise team at The Big Easy MCC (New Orleans, Louisiana), during a special concert, released a new CD.  “Here to Worship” has all original songs by Nickolus Brent Harrison.

At MCC New York Steve Johnson will lead a three week series beginning next Sunday, “Journey through Praise, Thanksgiving, Lament”, exploring how our spiritual ancestors cried out to God.


REMINDER

By MCC Bylaws churches are required to elect new Lay Delegates and Alternates at the first congregational meeting following a General Conference.  For many churches, those elections will be taking place in October and November.  Be sure to send the names and contact information for those elected to your Network Leaders, your Elder, and to Leah Sloan to update your listing in the directory.  This would also be a good time to check other information there and send Leah a full contact listing for your church. 

Making An Impact In Your Local Community?

 

Do you have news to share? If so, please click here to contact Judy Dale, the editor of the MCC Impact to help lift up and share what God is up to in your local MCC!

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MCC | PO Box 1374 | Abilene | TX | 79604

MCC Impact – September Vol II

Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

THE LATEST FROM MALAYSIA

There was an excellent article about Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo and the gay community in the newspaper in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month. He has been instrumental in moving the community forward in a Muslim-majority nation where homosexuality is punishable by 20 years in jail. This conservative country is also home to large ethnic Chinese and Indian communities.

Some Muslim and Christian fundamentalists in the country have publicly urged the government to take actions against Rev. Boon and the church.

Good Samaritan MCC is now three years old and continuing to grow and reach out to the LGBT and straight communities. It is the only Christian church in the nation welcoming all sexualities and Rev. Boon is the only openly gay clergyperson in Malaysia.

NETWORK NEWS

Connection

Last weekend the Southern Coastal Network joined with Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama) for three days of Spiritual Renewal and celebration of their 25th anniversary. Bishop Yvette Flunder was the special guest for the fifth annual Great Gulf Coast Camp Meeting.

The Kansas/Missouri Network Gathering will be combined with the MCC Homecoming Concert at Spirit of Christ MCC (Joplin, Missouri) 8-9 October. There will be a light supper and Healing Service on Friday evening. Saturday will be filled with workshops and then the concert featuring Rev. Delores Berry, Brenner & Beckstead, Sam Sampson, Marsha Stevens-Pino, Shawn Thomas, and the MCC Topeka (Kansas) Drumming Circle. For more information, go to the Event page at www.socmcc.org.

A WINNING CHOIR Sing!

MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri) has made it to the Regionals in the Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Competition. They are scheduled to compete again on Tuesday, 5 October, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. They will be singing “Hallelujah Anyhow” in this third round of the contest. Of course, they are hoping to move on to the national level after that. There are competitions in 14 cities with up to eight choirs competing in each location. For making it to the Regionals, they will receive $3000 for their music program, which is under the direction of Jerry Smith.

One choir from the large choir category, in which MCCGSL is competing, and one from the small choir group will be selected to receive $10,000 and compete in the Finals in Washington, DC, in November. Individual choir members will receive a new phone. There is also a $5000 prize for the people’s choice award based on audience voting. The grand prize winner in November will receive $25,000 with the runner-up getting $15,000 and the people’s choice $5000.

Wouldn’t it be exciting next year to have MCCs in every Regional competition? Click here to check it out!

ACTIVE CHURCHES

Community

Need a good reason to travel to Hawai’i? Open Arms (Pahoa, Hawai’i) will host a Gala, including a dinner dance, variety show, silent auction, and raffle, on 6 November for a mere $15 (USD) per person. Interested? Contact Joe Parker at hawaiijoe@yahoo.com.

MCC Tampa (Florida) has gone to the dogs … and other pets! Congregants are submitting pictures of their pets ($5 each) to be voted on in early October ($1 per vote). Then the top 40 will appear in a calendar, which will be available to give as Christmas presents ($15 each). Great fundraiser and great fun!

The Samaritan Institute of Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) is currently offering six weeks classes entitled Buddha, Lao Tzu, & Jesus Walk into a Bar: Traditions in Dialogue, Spanish for Cruisers, and Understanding Queer Christian Theologies, Part 1.

During Harvest Festival the congregants at MCC Newcastle (England) are bringing long-lasting food items to be given to The People’s Kitchen, a charity working with the homeless and disadvantaged people of their city.

Folks from MCC New York (New York) will be participating in the 7th NYC Wedding March on Sunday. There will also be events in Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester to remind people that all New Yorkers deserve equality.

MCC Lubbock (Texas) has just started the Crown Biblical Financial Study, a ten week series on effectively handling personal finances.

Church of Our Savior MCC (Boynton Beach, Florida) will be one of many MCCs hosting a Blessing of the Animals service to commemorate the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. Theirs will be on 2 October.

As part of their Homecoming Weekend this weekend, MCC Toronto (Ontario) will host a Euchre tournament, leadership forum, and welcome home reception.

MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia) enjoyed a cookout and bonfire last weekend.

During a Youth Retreat, participants made “peace poles”, one for their home and one dedicated at Valley Ministries MCC (Stockton, California). Photos are posted on their Facebook page. Peace poles were begun in 1955 in Japan by Masahisa Goi, who dedicated his life to spreading the prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in response to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They can be seen all over the world with the prayer written in various languages.

MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) will host their annual Friends and Family Sunday on 3 October.

MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) began a transgender ministry service and outreach to not only provide a safe haven for many who feel abandoned by their own churches, but also to serve as an entry way into MCC. Megan More, a Claremont School of Theology student, leads the afternoon service.

MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) will host a Spirituality Retreat on 2 October during which participants will be guided in various types of meditative and prayer methods.

MCC Quezon City (Philippines) just celebrated their fourth anniversary with over 100 people in attendance! They had a 15 voice choir. Three of the professors from Union Theological Seminary were present, as were representatives of six community organizations with which MCCQC is partnered in various activities. Rev. Elder Ken Martin was the special guest for the weekend.

For the LGBT softball tournament in El Paso, Texas, MCC El Paso and the local PFLAG chapter have joined together to field a team coached by Mario Magallanez.

Folks from MCC Charleston (South Carolina) attended a meeting featuring Nate Phelps, son of anti-gay leader Fred Phelps, where they were able to share God’s unconditional love for the LGBT community.

Folks at Church of the Spirit MCC (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) are bringing in extra fruits and vegetables from their gardens to be given to local food banks through the Plant a Row for the Hungry program.

Redeemer MCC (Flint, Michigan) is hosting an Open House on Saturday to which the Greater Flint Deaf Community has been invited. They will be especially reaching out to the unchurched portion of that community.

EVENTS SURROUNDING 9/11 We Remember

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson was one of those signing the Interfaith Leaders Statement denouncing the derision, misinformation, and outright bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community. Click here to read the article.

Many of our churches participated in vigils or other ecumenical events to observe 9/11 and to show support for both the families around the world affected by that horrific event, as well as to support the millions of faithful, peace-loving Muslim people. MCCNOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) did so in Northern Virginia. MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) was invited to the one in Oak Ridge. MCC San Jose (California) joined the Santa Clara County rally.

Rev. Renwick Bell was quoted in the newspaper and on Voice of America. He was among the Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian leaders who met with Muslims in his area for peaceful dialogue. Click here to read more.

As they do every year, Rev. Susan Deitrick and Rev. Jane Carl participated in the ceremonies in Pennsylvania where United Airlines Flight 93 went down. They also work toward raising funds for a permanent memorial there.

A CLEAN UP DAY BY ANY OTHER NAME…
Clean up

Does your church have a Sparkle Day? Well, Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) had one last Saturday. Everyone got together and made the church sparkle! Sure beats calling it a Clean Up Day! Participants were enticed with coffee and doughnuts … watch out for the crumbs!

At First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) they did the same thing under the title of Cherish Your Church Day.

At Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) they called for “innies” with a “clutter-free” mentality to join in organizing decorations, clearing out books, making space, and having a good time with friends, and for “outies”, who just can’t stay inside, light yard maintenance was offered as well a Lunch and Laughs.

PEOPLE

people

Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos has a chapter entitled “Too Political for My [Clerical] Shirt” in the newly released book, Split Ticket: Independent Faith in a Time of Partisan Politics, published by Chalice Press. This is the newest in the WTF? (Where’s the Faith?) series. Click here to view the book trailer.

Rev. Charles Tigard has been elected as pastor of Church of the Trinity (Sarasota, Florida).

Rick Smith, who served on the staff of MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) for 12 years, is now the clinical manager for Rocky Mountain Cares.

Rev. Dwayne Morgan was the only non-Catholic interviewed by Wave 105 radio in Bournemouth, England, regarding the Pope’s visit to the UK.

Rev. Dr. William Knight is the intentional interim pastor at MCC San Jose (California).

Rev. Marilyn Bowen at MCC New Haven (Connecticut), Rev. Brian Hutchinson at New Covenant MCC (Laurel, Maryland), and Rev. Brad Rice at The Rock MCC (Chattanooga, Tennessee) were awarded financial assistance for educational debt as MCC pastors who recently completed seminary degrees and have taken smaller churches. This program was made possible by a grant from the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, which Irma Bauer-Levesque, MCC’s Director of Development, hopes will be renewed for 2011.

Rev. Patrick Rogers is being honored with a dinner Saturday evening in gratitude of his year’s service as provisional pastor of MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida). His final sermon will be preached on Sunday.

Tim Johnson, spouse of Rev. Ron Pannell, passed away last month after a long battle with COPD. He served as Vice Moderator of the Board at Golden Gate MCC, where the couple met 20 years ago. A Celebration of Life service was held at MCC of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, California). Timron31795@msm.com


Making the Impact!
NETWORK NEWS
A WINNING CHOIR
ACTIVE CHURCHES
EVENTS SURROUNDING 9/11
A CLEAN UP DAY BY ANY OTHER NAME
PEOPLE
WORKING TOGETHER ECUMENICALLY
PRIDE EVENTS
AIDS WALKS
NEW WEBSITES
HARVEY MILK STAMP CAMPAIGN

Quick Links

Coming Soon!

Information on the 2011 Leadership Mentoring Retreat

Registration Ends October 10th

CLM Logo

Dallas, TX (USA)

26-29 October 2010

Register Today


Fellowship Sunday is October 10th


Pastors, click here to become a 2010 Pacesetter Church!


Fellowship Sunday Resources are Now Available

Click here to download the 2010 Fellowship Sunday Resources


Generous in Faith

Click here to read

the invitation from

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson and

Rev. Tony Freeman.

Click here to sign up to be a Generous in Faith

church or to see which other MCC churches are participating.

MCC News & Information Just in Case You Missed It…


MCC Impact
September  Volume I Released 10 September – Click Here

MCC Headline News released on 20 September –  Click Here

MCC’s TRANSFormative Church Ministry Program – Get Your Copy Today!

MCC Transgender Ministries is pleased to announce the release of our local church focused-ministry program entitled “MCC TRANSFormative Church Ministry Program”.  Click here to read the entire anouncment and find out how to obtain a free copy until October 1st!

Clergy Renewal
Every year, The Office of Formation and Leadership Development (OFLD) receives clergy license fees in order to renew the licenses of our clergy in local communities. Clergy are responsible for completing the appropriate forms and paying yearly renewal fees. Click here for more information and to renew.

Opportunity to serve on the MCC Board of Pensions, USA

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 2 openings on our National Board, which carry a four year term.  Marketing, communication and/or technological skills would perfectly complement our current Board make up.    Please contact us for more information.  We will provide applications to those interested.  Successful candidates will be appointed by the Governing Board and Moderator.

Our deadline to receive resumes/references is October 15, 2010. Please send resumes to: Devon Avery, President, UFMCC BOP dhavery@att.net

WORKING TOGETHER ECUMENICALLY

Together

MCC Sydney (Australia) initiated a relationship with the Uniting Theological College, a seminary run by one of the largest mainstream protestant churches in their country, to engage their Third Year Theological Candidates to spend time at MCC and provide preaching and worship.

All students who are participating are straight and come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. It has been a journey of learning and relationship building between the churches, and MCC continues to be blessed and amazed at God’s providence.

They ask that we pray that this relationship will create opportunities for MCC and the greater ecumenical community as we all strive to be re-imagine the work of God in Australia and our churches globally.

PRIDE EVENTS

Odyssey

This is the weekend for North Carolina Pride. St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) will be marching in the parade and staffing a booth at the festival on Saturday. On Sunday they will host special worship services and a Pride luncheon. That evening will be a Gospel Drag Show, including the selection of Ms. St. John’s MCC and Mr. St. John’s MCC!

Agape MCC (Fort Worth, Texas) is taking their gift shop to the Pride Festival in Dallas this month and building a float for their county’s Pride Parade on 3 October.

FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) will host booths at both Ancient City Pride (St. Augustine) this weekend and the River City Pride (Jacksonville) on 17 October.

Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) will staff a booth at the Rainbows Festival on both 2 and 3 October.

MCC Paducah (Kentucky) again planned and hosted the Pride Day activities for Western Kentucky. Over 300 people attended the barbeque, games, entertainment, and visiting with others from a four state area.

As part of Pride First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) will host a Ray Boltz concert, which will be streamed live on the internet. It will be on Saturday, 9 October, at 7 pm (EDT). U-stream tickets must be purchased by the 8th for $9.99 (USD). Click here for more information.

AIDS WALKS

Red Ribbon

Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) will have a team in their city’s walk on Saturday.

A group from MCC Louisville (Kentucky) will walk across the Second Street Bridge to Indiana and back on Sunday afternoon.

Last weekend Healing Spirit MCC (Rochester, Minnesota) raised money for those with HIV/AIDS in southeast Minnesota by participating in their city’s 10th event.

On Sunday the folks from MCC San Diego (California) will be up early to participate in the run/walk there before they go to church to hear the final sermon in Rev. Elder Ken Martin’s weekend Deepening Your Spiritual Life series. As of two weeks ago they had already raised over $1500 (USD).

NEW WEBSITES

Online

MCC East London (England) has recently rebuilt their website. http://mcceastlondon.org.uk/

Ian Tiele has designed a new website for Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois). www.holycovenantmcc.org

Crave MCC – Paddington (Australia) has been getting around 200 hits every day. They have added their original music, fun polls, and some great resources such as “Good Sex”, their paper on Christian Sexual Ethics. www.cravemcc.com.

HARVEY MILK STAMP CAMPAIGN

Stamp

This drive is being led by the International Court Council for Canada, Mexico, and the US, to encourage that a stamp be issued in honor of Harvey Milk and the work he did to ensure civil rights for all people.

To participate in this campaign requesting the creation of such a stamp, write a note or send a postcard to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, % Stamp Development, US Postal Service, 1735 North Lynn Street, Ste. 5013, Arlington, VA 22209-6432.

Making An Impact In Your Local Community?

Do you have news to share? If so, please click here to contact Judy Dale, the editor of the MCC Impact to help lift up and share what God is up to in your local MCC!