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Archive for the ‘Impact’ Category

MCC Impact – August Volume II

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

Check Out the Moderator’s Blog

 Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson
Click Here to read the Moderator’s Corner!

Just in Case You Missed It…

 MCC Impact August Volume I Released 13 August – Click Here 

MCC Headline News Released 23 August – Governing Board & Senior Leadership Team Updates – Click Here

OFLD News & Information – Queer History Class Registration is Now Open
MCC Stewardship List for July 2010 – Click Here

 What’s Going On In Your 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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All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) has constructed and planted a Rain Garden, which is eco-friendly, protects the environment, and beautifies the neighborhood.
Rain gardens are designed to capture rainwater, so that it can penetrate into the soil, reducing the storm runoff, which takes pollutants from the air, yards, and streets, carrying it into the lakes, rivers, and wetlands.  The special design and plantings of low maintenance perennials capture the runoff and allow the water to drain slowly into the ground, recharging underground aquifers with filtered, cleaner water.
The church received a grant from Metro Blooms for the design, excavation, plants, and mulch.  They only had to do the planting and occasional weeding.



Raised Voices is a new ministry being offered by Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) after noticing that there were specific queer and trans pen pal projects, but none which brought the two together.  They knew that letter writing programs are important for inmates, since such mail may be their only contact with people on the outside.  


Raised Voices currently serves TGI inmates at facilities in Washington and Oregon. They feel a regional focus will help with relationship building and resource referral. Inmates don’t have to be wary of getting religion pushed on them if they sign up, but knowing that there is rarely any queer-affirming pastoral care provided, it would be available if the inmates so chose.


If you know someone incarcerated in Washington or Oregon, let them know about Raised Voices, so they can send a letter to Raised Voices, C/O Emerald City MCC, 1122 East Pike Street, PMB 930, Seattle, Washington 98122.

Beginning in September, Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas) will be offering a spiritual development cycle called The Journey.  There will be a seTake the Journeyries of classes and experiences to help participants discern where they are spiritually and understand where they would like to be.  Each person will be equipped to create his/her own Rule of Life… a planned rhythm for living in which people are gradually transformed into Christlikeness. 
Over the next three months, different people will lead classes in spiritual gifts, spiritual types, and Benedictine spirituality as they become intentional about their spiritual lives beyond Sunday worship and engage those things that lead to centeredness, wholeness, authenticity, service and deep love of Spirit, neighbor, and self.


On 5 September New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) will host an afternoon Pet Blessing service in conjunction with a Barbeque at a member’s home.


Healing Spirit MCC (Rochester, Minnesota) is participating in a Habitat for Humanity build.  They worked several days in July and will be back on the site next month and in November, too.  They share their shifts with the Hindu community and a Catholic church.


Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York) will have workshops next month on Discovering Your Own Personal Mission Statement and on Discovering Your Own Personal Vision Statement.

Life is a Feast … Help Yourself! is the theme of the spiritual retreat for MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) 10-12 September.
This is Pride Month for many of our European churches.  Earlier this month MCC Hamburg (Germany), Brightwaves MCC (Brighton, England), Markens Liljer MCC (Copenhagen, Denmark), and MCC Bristol (England) participated in the Pride activities in their cities.  This weekend MCC Manchester (England) and River of Life MCC (Dorchester, England) will do likewise.
New Life MCC of Hampton Roads (Virginia) gathers on the beach every Sunday evening for a time of meditation, reflection, and sharing.
First MCC of Wichita (Kansas) received a $15,000 (USD) grant from the Cargill Corporation for their Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.  It was presented to Kim Roseberry and Rueben Jarrett, co-directors of the ministry.  The grant will fund non-food items, such as health and grooming products for the 400 clients they serve each week.
The Pride Group from J.P. Morgan will join with MCC Bournemouth (England) for a work day on 4 September. 
MCC Tampa (Florida) is celebrating their 39th Anniversary this weekend. On Saturday Rev. Phyllis Hunt and Vilia will host a brunch at their home.  Then on Sunday evening Ray Boltz and Azariah Southworth will be featured in a concert.
The children and youth of MCC of Topeka (Kansas) raised $554 (USD) at their art auction to benefit the church’s general fund. 
MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) is hosting a Second Chance Prom on Saturday evening at Club Odyssey.  There will be music, a silent auction, appetizers, entertainment, and, of course, dancing.
August on Broadway was the theme at Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland).  Each Sunday’s service and music was based on a Broadway musical, including My Fair Lady, Holly Dolly, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
This weekend MCC Newcastle upon Tyne (England) will be only one of several MCCs attending Greenbelt, a truly inclusive Christian festival.  Over 21,000 campers will enjoy visual and performing arts, music, discussions, comedy, spirituality, and presentations in Cheltenham.
aChurch4Me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois) has joined the Lakeview Action Coalition to address such issues as affordable housing, access to health care, environmental stewardship, and harassment of transgender persons by the police.
MCC of the Chesapeake (Annapolis, Maryland) will host a Creation Spirituality Retreat on 11 September at Cove Point.  They will play, celebrate, walk the four paths, and explore their inner artists, prophets, and mystics.  And, of course, they will eat!
On their Spiritual and Personal Enrichment Thursdays, King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) offers such series as self defense, beginning sketching, Jesus and the Kingdom, writing down your soul, and learning to cook exotic quick breads.
Next month MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) will begin as many as 13 home groups, with two being Spanish language groups.  The theme will be Building Faith and Growing Friendships.
Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) has a most unique item to raffle … a luncheon for four in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Guildhall, which has just been refurbished, something that happens only once every 25 years.
New Covenant MCC (Laurel, Maryland) is offering semi-monthly Revive services, which involve praise and worship music, candlelight prayer in the Taizé style, guided and individual meditation, anointing, personal prayer, Lectio Divina, and artistic expression.  The service is guided by projected words and images instead of by paper bulletins.
At MCC Key West (Florida) they are stretching and learning relaxation techniques with semi-weekly yoga classes.
MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) is planning a Homecoming Sunday for 12 September complete with a potluck dinner.
On each Sunday this month congregants at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) were given the opportunity to go to lunch with Board members to enjoy a meal, discuss the sermon series and meet new friends.
Several members of SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) have been actively involved in working with Equality Florida to get a Human Rights Ordinance, including sexual orientation and gender identity, passed in their city. 
An End of the Summer Ice Cream Social is planned for Saturday night at Pikes Peak MCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado). They will enjoy watermelon, ice cream, and fun activities.
The Rising Action Theatre, which produces plays, musicals, and one-person shows for the LGBT community, is moving to
Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida).  Beginning with their September production, they will perform in the Robert Graham/Paul Fasana Chapel & Little Theatre.
Congratulations to MCC Austin at Freedom Oaks (Texas) on their capital campaign, Being Church ~ Building Community.  They raised $1,052,016 (USD) in pledges and one-time gifts, so now they are in the process of borrowing an additional $500,000 and soliciting bids from contractors in order to launch the first phase of their building plan which will include a sanctuary, gathering space, nursery, classrooms, offices, and parking spaces.
LifeJourney MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana) hosted the worship service during Indiana Black Pride.  Rev. Candy Holmes was the guest preacher, music was provided by their Gospel Choir, and the service was followed by a soul food potluck.
MCC of the Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania) hosted the Kidspace Tent during Pride earlier this month.  They provided fun activities and the opportunity for the children to celebrate diverse families.
The Dynamic Dolphins at MCC Richmond (Virginia) help the church attract first-time guests by improving the ways people see their building, signs to direct them once they are inside, their website, social networking, partnerships with community organizations and much more.
The folks who are part of Vision of Hope MCC in Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania, all gathered together for a worship service and picnic in the park.


Excel is a lay educational program for Christian renewal. The purpose of Excel is renewing Christian life among people in the churches where it is used.  The weekend focuses on new life, new vitality, and new effectiveness to congregations through prayer, study, action … Amen!  
Excel of the Armadillo will host their 43rd spiritual retreat weekend 3-5 September at the Christian Renewal Center in Dickinson, Texas.  
Excel of the Sand Dollar will lead a weekend 1-3 October at Beckwith Camp and Conference Center in Fairhope, Alabama.  
Excel in the Southland will be at the Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, California, 8-10 October.  
Excel of the Rainbow Zebra will host their weekend retreat 22-24 October at Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, Alabama.  

Excel of the Lamb is offering the basic Excel weekend retreat 29-31 October at Pine Lake Retreat Center, just north of Orlando in Groveland, Florida.  For more information about this Exercise in Christian Community Living, click here or contact


Earlier this month the congregation made the pilgrimage from the hotel where they had been meeting to their new location, where they celebrated Communion together.  The next Sunday they held their first full worship service in their new home.
The building has a reception area, a 2520 square foot sanctuary, a large fellowship hall and kitchen, three offices, two classrooms, a bookstore, a large meeting room, storage, restrooms, and a parking lot.
They have built their own stage and sound booth, as well as done much of the work around the building as they are settling into their new facility.  MCC GD is now located in Carrollton, Texas, just off I-35.


On 20 September Rev. Paul Gratz will lead a worship service in the piano bar of the Carnival ship Legend during First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia)’s cruise.  They are inviting all passengers to join them.
Rev. Elect Rebecca Anderson is serving as the sabbatical pastor at Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California) while Rev. Terri Echelbarger is away.
Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) is hosting a Tribute Dinner on 11 September to honor Rev. Lisa Heilig as she concludes her interim pastorate there.
Rev. Jim Merritt was installed as senior pastor of Trinity MCC (Gainesville, Florida) in June with Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson officiating.
Rev. Pat Bumgardner just returned from Pakistan where she led a three day retreat for the LGBT community in and around Lahore.
Rev. John Middleton has resigned as senior pastor of Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) in order to become a care giver for a member of his family.
Next month, Rev. Paulette Armstead will begin serving as the intentional interim pastor of MCC Fredericksburg (Virginia) and Rev. Dr. Y’Lon Dozier will become the intentional interim at MCC Baltimore (Maryland).


Instead of having a committee plan and execute several fundraisers to help the Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) reach its goal of raising $15,000 (USD) for Habitat for Humanity by the church’s 30th anniversary, they are challenging individuals to facilitate a project which they create themselves.
Ventures so far this month have included a lemonade stand, selling homemade cupcakes, can recycling, and a spaghetti supper.  Yet to come are a garage sale and a brisket dinner. 
What a neat idea for fundraising for any church!

Notice of Retraction

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

The Forest & The Trees

MCC Impact August 2010/Vol. I

Notice of Retraction

It is with deep regret that we report that the MCC Communications Office conveyed misinformation in the Transitions section of the August, Vol. I issue of the MCC Impact regarding the pastoral transition at Imago Dei MCC (Glen Mills, Pennsylvania). The information that was included in our most recent publication was unverified and incorrectly conveyed. On behalf of the Communications and Editorial Staff of Metropolitan Community Churches we sincerely apologize to the people and community of Imago Dei MCC, Rev. Janice Bowker and her partner Marina Laws for any undue strain and or confusion that our report has caused. We wish all parties well in their endeavors and bless each step of your spiritual journey with peace and grace.

We thank you for your continued support of the MCC Impact and all other publications of Metropolitan Community Churches.


Kathy Beasley
Kathy Beasley

Director of Communications

Metropolitan Community Churches

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The MCC Impact! – August 2010

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

The Forest & The Trees

MCC Impact August 2010/Vol. I

Filipino MCCers on CNN

Members and officers of MCC Quezon City (Philippines) were part of the motorcade of the Ang Ladlad (Come Out), a national organization of the LGBT community active for the purposes of legislation, prior to the recent elections.

CNN was there observing the event and chose some MCCers to interview on the last day of the campaign. Click here to find out more.

MCCQC is actively involving the political arena in the Philippines and participating in social activism as part of the Core Values of MCC globally.

MCC New York Charities Launched

a New Mental Health Care Program

As part of their extensive program for queer runaway and homeless youth, MCCNY Charities has now added crucial mental health services for those young people. The mental health care program is under the direction of Dr. Andres Ricardo Schneeberger, chief resident psychiatrist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He brought together a dynamic team of experienced mental health professionals to provide such vital services as psychiatric evaluations, short-term therapy, case management, life skills training, social work services, psychiatric nurse practitioner services, and on-site medical services.

Beginning later this year, the MCCNY Homeless Youth Services will collaborate with Hunter College to provide additional mental health counseling, certified rehabilitation counseling and school counseling through a team of skilled interns.

Services for those 16-24 are offered in both English and Spanish.


Rev. Michael Patrick Ellard joined the Dixieland Dykes to play for the Lutheran Rite of Reception and Reinstatement at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Jose, California. The Lutherans were celebrating a major shift in their denomination: LGBT clergy who had been denied recognition or removed from the clergy roster were now being welcomed as full members, as were churches which had previously stood with their LGBT clergy and left the denomination.

Rev. Delores Berry has a brand new website at

On the Rainbow Stage at Capital Pride in Washington, DC, Rev. Jill McCrory was filmed by PBS (Public Broadcasting Station) presiding at a wedding for grooms who had been together for 30 years. The tape will be part of a documentary on Aging in the LGBT Community.

For his 60th birthday, MCC Toronto (Canada) honoured the many achievements of Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes with a Cocktail Reception at the St. Lawrence Town Hall and by establishing the Brent Hawkes/MCC Toronto Legacy Fund, an endowment fund to support the church in perpetuity.

Shawn Thomas’ music video “Out In This World” was shown just prior to the feature documentary film Fish Can’t Fly at the first PITA International GLBT Film Festival in Roanoke, Virginia. He has three new websites. Check them out! Shawn Thomas OnlineShawn Thomas StudiosThe Ministry of ARP

The new officers for the Board of Pensions are: Devon Avery, President; Rev. Wes Mullins, Vice President; Hank Hueber, Treasurer; Rev. Mark Bidwell, Secretary; Chuck Phelan, Past President; Robert Pope, Past Treasurer; and Rev. Carolyn Mobley, Board Member. Bill Hooper is continuing as the Plan Administrator.

Daniel Charles Damon wrote the words and music for a new hymn, Goddess of Love, which was commissioned by New Spirit MCC/UCC/DOC for the LGBT Hymn Festival they sponsored. It is available for MCCs to use.

Rev Jide Macaulay made a statement on Gay Rights Violation at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Click here for the full transcript.

Following an article in the newspaper saying that churches needed to support a ban on abortions and same-sex marriages, Rev. Katie Houts was interviewed on KTSM TV in El Paso, Texas, asking why so many people were leaving the Catholic Church and coming to MCC and other affirming churches.

Churches and individuals throughout the US celebrated Judge Walker’s ruling declaring California’s Prop 8 unconstitutional, taking that nation one step closer to allowing same-sex marriage. One example of the enormous media coverage was this article about MCC’s own Frank Zerilli and Franklin Calvin. Rev. Dr. Cindi Love is also quoted. Click here to read more.


Parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are invited to submit videos to be included in a feature documentary, Gayby Boom, exploring the ever-evolving definition of family values. LGBT parents and their children of all ages are encouraged to participate.  Filmmaker toolkits are available online.

“We need parents from around the globe to submit home videos to represent the many faces and lives involved in LGBT families.  In a time where it is still illegal for LGBT individuals to marry and/or adopt in many countries, it is also the time to share our lives in the spirit of education and awareness for all communities,” said filmmaker Lisa Marie Evans.  “This will be an education tool for LGBT individuals seeking to bring children into their lives as they learn from the stories and experiences of others.”

For more information, visit: The submission deadline is 1 September. Click here to view the video trailer.


MCC Sacred Journey (Hendersonville, North Carolina) is hosting an Affiliation Celebration this weekend. On Saturday there will be an evening of dining and dancing, including a wedding ceremony for Rev. Jane Nelson and Gay Fritzemeier.

Affiliation Sunday will honor the 37 charter members with the Rite of Membership and be the installation of Rev. Nelson as pastor with Rev. Elder Darlene Garner officiating.  On Sunday evening Rev. Candy Holmes will lead a special healing service.

Over 40 guests, family members, and visiting MCCers from several states will participate in the weekend’s festivities to celebrate MCC Sacred Journey being recognized as an MCC church.


Eternal Joy MCC (Dayton, Ohio) is hosting a Gospelpalooza on Saturday. Gospel music will reign for the evening with the festivities including a dinner. Other churches from the Central US East Network have been invited to participate.

Harry Knox, Director of the Faith & Religion Program at the Human Rights Campaign, brought the message, “A Spirit-Filled Movement for LGBT Equality”, earlier this month at MCC Richmond (Virginia).

On Sunday, the God Sound Chimers of FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) will begin a new season of practicing after worship.

Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Pennsylvania) is celebrating their 30th anniversary all year long under the theme of “Celebrating Ministry: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. As part of the festivities they honored the longest pastorate in their history, that of Rev. Deb Coggin for 10 years. During Pride their pastor and congregants members were featured on area billboards. Click here to read more.

The Single Men’s Group of MCC Washington, DC, invited their single brothers from New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) to join them for a pool party, complete with hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and a swim suit contest. (No, we don’t have a picture of the winner!)

For their 11th anniversary this weekend, Our Hope MCC (Athens, Georgia) will enjoy a potluck and concert given by the choir from MCC of Our Redeemer (Augusta, Georgia) on Saturday and the sermon on Sunday by Rev. Jeff Pullium from MCCOR.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) and Church of Our Savior MCC (Boynton Beach, Florida) held a joint labyrinth workshop and retreat last weekend.

On 26 August as part of Pride in Manchester the folks from MCC Manchester (England) will be attending a presentation by film maker Mark Dowd and his BBC documentary about the Pope’s visit to the UK entitled “Queer and Catholic: Some Musings on the Papal Visit”.

MCC San Diego (California) is using Rev. Elder Troy Perry’s book 10 Spiritual Truths for Successful Living for Gays and Lesbians (and Everyone Else!) as the basis of a weekly time of studying, sharing, laughing, crying, and praying … along with dessert!

Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) is hosting a 12 week study using The Artist’s Way, the popular workbook by Julia Cameron, which is designed to free one’s creativity by discovering and reconnecting to one’s creative self.

MCC Omaha (Nebraska) is exceedingly active with their community. Earlier this month they hosted a Neighborhood Party with food, music, a local radio station, and activities for the children. Toward the end of the month they will be participating in a Pancake Breakfast at First Baptist to help raise money for a community center. Next month, along with others in Neighbors United, they will collect items to create toiletry kits for those in need.

R. J. Hadley and Rev. Danny Spears led members of achurch4me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois) and Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) in the 200 mile Ride for AIDS Chicago. Others staffed water stations.

First MCC (Wichita, Kansas) hosted a National Neighborhood Night Out earlier this month, an event which was held in many cities across the US.  They provided backpacks full of school supplies, free haircuts for kids, HIV/AIDS testing, healthy food sampling, fitness demonstrations, dental screenings, and music, games, dancing, and more.


There is a contest in Washington, DC, which has now been narrowed to six couples, one of whom will win an all expenses paid wedding. Two are MCC couples: Carl Cox & Darin Henderson and Kareem Murphy & DeWayne Davis. They are friends and members of MCC DC and are asking for our votes.

Go to, on the left click on “Finalists Announced” and follow the directions from there to hear their stories and cast your vote. You’ll even see a picture of Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and Rev. Candy Holmes on the first page of the site.


Each year Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri) observes a Chautauqua during the month of August. They invite visitors to preach in order to hear different voices speaking to them about their mission as a church.

In case you are unfamiliar with the concept, Chautauqua is a time of learning, hearing different speakers and musicians, studying other cultures, traditions, and points of view. In fact, many people spend a whole summer at Chautauqua, New York, doing just that. Chautauquas were also held in small towns as guests came there to lead the experience for the townspeople.

They began the month with Joy Simpson, a student at Saint Paul School of Theology and a member of MCC Topeka (Kansas) preaching.  She recently won the Emile Townes Award for Feminist/Womanist Theology from Saint Paul.  Then last Sunday Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis will be their special guest.

This Sunday will find Rev. Susan Vogel, a friend of their community, in the pulpit. On August 22nd Rev. Kurt Kreiger will bring the church’s 38th anniversary message. The final speaker will be Pastor Emeritus Rev. John Barbone.


Rev. Carol Rawlings-Chambers has resigned her position at Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) to devote her full pastoral energies to serving as Founding Pastor at Open Circle at The Villages MCC, a church plant in central Florida.

Emerald City MCC Seattle (Washington) has moved to the chapel at University Temple Methodist across from the bookstore of the University of Washington.

Rev. Penny Davis was ordained at Crave MCC Paddington (Australia) on 25 July. Click here to view the video. Her mother was able to be present, but her father, who was ill, joined the service by Skype. He passed a week later on 2 August.

River of Life MCC (Dorchester, England) held an Open Day for people to visit their newly leased and decorated facility, which was previously the Salvation Army Hall. They offered live music, entertainment for the children, cream teas, tombola, bric a brac, raffles, and the announcement of the winner of the Arts Competition for Youth.

Christ Covenant (Decatur, Georgia) voted on 28 June to disaffiliate from MCC. The pastor is Rev. Glenna Shepherd, a former MCC Elder.

Rev. Karla Fleshman has resigned as pastor of Imago Dei MCC (Glen Mills, Pennsylvania). Their Interim Pastor will be Rev. Janice Bowker, who, with her partner Marina Laws, will be moving there from England and begin on 1 October.


August is Faith in Action Month at St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina). They began with a Faith in Action Bible Study featuring the movie Rent and their theme song “Seasons of Love”. Next was a BBQ and Chicken Plate Dinner.

Now they are focusing on their Faith in Action Service Projects … creating hygiene kits, doing trash pickup as part of the Adopt a Highway program, helping others with home improvements and landscaping needs, and distributing Lunchboxes of Love at Moore Square. And they are inviting others to join them in these service projects.

The month’s activities will culminate with their move to their new worship space at Moore Square on 29 August at 10 am. The goal this month is not to just GO to church, but to BE the church.


Teri Banks, the Lay Delegate for Resurrection Beach MCC (Costa Mesa, California) went home to Jesus recently. She was surrounded by her closest friends, many from their congregation.

Bev Mason, the Vice Moderator at Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Richey, Florida) has entered into eternal rest. Her memorial service was on 31 July with Rev. Suzie Chamness and Rev. April Clark officiating.

Rev. John Middleton presided at the funeral for Ron Weaver, who had served on the Board of Directors and as church bookkeeper at Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida).

Rev. Caroline Redfearn, the first black woman ordained by MCC in the United Kingdom, lost her battle with cancer this week.  Up until the end she continued working on her doctorate talking of her future, and dreaming of an even better MCC.  Rev. Redfearn dialogued with many pastors in the black community who were against LGBT rights, knowing how important it was to make help them make the connections between racism and homophobia. Previously, she worked with unprotected children as a social worker in the Caribbean, providing her with a deep sensitivity to poverty and those in need.


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MCC Impact – July 2010 – Vol. 2

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

July 2010/Vol. II
In This Issue… 2010 General Conference Awards


Welcome to a special issue of the MCC IMPACT.  This entire edition is devoted to the awards presented during General Conference in Acapulco and to honor the recipients for their dedication to MCC and for all of the work which they do to benefit our churches and denominational movement.


THE HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD ~ Rev. Elder Diane Fisher

Because of her work, we are known as the Human Rights Church in Eastern Europe. She has inspired a new generation of spiritual activists, not only in Eastern Europe, but throughout MCC. She has also been on the cutting edge of human rights work with persons who have various disabilities, the LBGT community, and others.


He has created a path of spiritual formation and growth through SoulShift, an innovative program that offers multiple opportunities for Christian discipleship at LifeJourney MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana), where he is senior pastor.

THE EDITH ALLEN PERRY AWARD ~ the family of James Byrd

Named for the mother of Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry, this award honors parents who unconditionally love their children. The family of James Byrd, an African-American who was dragged to his death behind a truck in Texas, was active in supporting the inclusive hate crimes legislation passed by the US Congress.

THE KERRY BROWN AWARD ~ Marvin Bagwell and Tim Fellows

Honoring distinguished lay leadership, this award was presented to Mr. Bagwell for his service above and beyond on the Board of Administration, especially in the areas of legal, property, and investment issues. It was also given to Mr. Fellows for his many years of service to the churches in the UK and in Region 4.

AwardsTHE PURPLE GRASS AWARD ~ Rev. Fernando Frontan, Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins, and Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin

This award is named for Rev. Elder Freda Smith’s famous sermon and honors her many years of evangelistic work and bringing spiritual renewal to congregations. Rev. Frontan has accomplished pioneering, global work in Spanish language media ministry from ICM Casa de Luz (Monterrey, Mexico). Rev. Drs. Watkins and Griffin have used new technologies to share the Good News through Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) and Sunshine Cathedral MCC Jamaica.

THE PHOENIX AWARD ~ Rev. Mic Hinson and Rev. Charley Garrison

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, so do some of our churches experience renewal. Rev. Hinson fostered a new era of breaking down barriers to growth at MCC San Antonio (Texas) and Rev. Garrison led healthy growth in a small church with a big vision, Central Texas MCC from the Heart (Waco, Texas).


Named for Rev. Ed Paul and the amazing work he did in transitional ministry, this year’s award honors Rev. Bob Bond’s extraordinary pastoral leadership as the intentional interim pastor of Safe Harbour MCC (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).


Named for an exceptional MCC musician, the award honors the dedicated and faithful service of Ms. Leah and her outstanding contribution as director of music ministry at MCC Toronto (Ontario, Canada).

THE JOHN H. HOSE AWARD ~ Rev. Margaret Walker

The award honoring Papa John is given for dedicated and faithful service. Rev. Walker has done outstanding work mentoring and supporting the intentional interim pastors throughout MCC, as well as being faithful in her pastorate at Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas).

THE ECUMENICAL AWARD ~ Markens Liljer MCC and Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas

Preben Sloth accepted the award for Markens Liljer MCC (Copenhagen, Denmark) for being the first MCC anywhere in the world to become a member of their country’s National Council of Churches. Rev. Dr. Thomas was honored for his tireless work ecumenically for marriage equality in California.


He was honored for his contribution to Queer Theology in the Academy.


He has provided fearless and dedicated contributions as a physician at the Mother of Peace Orphanage in Zimbabwe.


The recipient of this award is selected by our Founder, Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry, rather than by the Board of Elders. CRAVE Australia was honored for their innovative and inspiring leadership in music-based worship and ministry.

THE YOUTH AWARD ~ Mr. Angel Collie

He was honored for his continued work on the Oral History Project and his advocacy for youth and transgender issues in MCC.


He was honored for his leadership role in fostering the campaign.

THE MEDIA/PERFORMING ARTS AWARD ~ the producers of Prayers for Bobby

This documentary has enthralled countless viewers because of their powerful portrayal of the terrible price LGBT youth and families pay for religious homophobia. We are grateful for their positively highlighting the ministry of MCC in this struggle.


Following a global request, the LMC received almost 30 nominations for the four awards which they present at each General Conference. The following were the ones selected for 2010.


Together!Named for JoNee, who served as chair of the Commission on the Laity for 10 years and dedicated her life to the laity of MCC, this award honors a person or team who has been in the forefront of lay leadership, spending countless hours furthering the cause of Christ in various areas of the local community. Doreen Garrett has served MCC London (Ontario, Canada) in every possible capacity, from serving three terms as vice moderator to baking cookies for fellowship. She served on the UFMCC nominating committee and volunteers with local agencies and groups.


The doors at New Spirit MCC (Cincinnati, Ohio) would not be open today if it weren’t for Mary Warders. The church has been without a pastor for several years, but Mary’s faithfulness, dedication, and commitment have been a rock for the church. She works with the board, schedules weekly speakers, and does whatever needs to be accomplished to reach the community with God’s love. She has been a stable force in the church for nearly 20 years.

THE SERVICE AWARD ~ Robert W. Pope and the H.O.T. Team at King of Peace MCC

This award is presented to an individual or team that enables people to access the Good News of God’s inclusive love in ways that were previously unavailable to them. Mr. Pope has been the lay delegate for KOP MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) since it began and coordinated fundraisers during the church’s early years. He established the Human Outreach Team fifteen years ago so that congregants could use their gifts and talents in community outreach, such as preparing meals for persons in need, collecting funds to help children in developing nations, hosting a food distribution site. Through their commitment and passion, they have made Christ visible in the community.

THE MUTUALITY IN MINISTRY AWARD ~ Rev. Kristen Klein-Cechettini

When clergy and laity partner together, amazing things can happen and the priesthood of all believers becomes a reality. As the director of life development at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas), she has created spiritual education programs and activities which inspire the knowledge and practice of the Christian faith and promote growth in health and wholeness.


Crossing Bridges...These awards honor people for the amazing courage they have shown to stand for Christ and the LBGT community in places where their lives could be threatened by doing so.

______ (We cannot endanger her by using her name) for courageous leadership and pastoral ministry in Moldova.

Ms. Judy Cowen for her courage and commitment as a lay leader in the face of challenges.

Rev. Stephen Parelli for taking Other Sheep around the globe in hope and love.

Rev. Michael Kimindu for the work he is doing for LGBT people in Africa, especially in Kenya.


These awards are given to people who go beyond their regular duties to serve the global vision of MCC.

For translating material into Spanish and Portuguese ~ Rev. Hector Gutierrez

Ours the journey...For sacrificial, creative, and committed work in reviewing the MCC structure and proposing changes ~

Rev. Tony Freeman, Mr. Stan Kimer, Dr. Jonelle Neighbor, Mr. Barry Hundley, and Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

For the diligent and detailed work of reviewing the Bylaws and making recommendations ~ Rev. Michael Cooper, Ms. Judy Dale, Rev. Ron LaRocque, Rev. Robyn Provis, andMs. Leah Sloan

For service on the Judiciary Review Team ~ Rev. Paulette Armstead, Rev. Terri Echelbarger, Rev. Elder John Gill, Ms. Jude Litzenberger, Mr. Ray Nutter, Rev. Clay Witt, and Ms. Vickey Gibbs

For helping shape MCC’s response as a faith community to US public policy and its impact on the world ~ Rev. Dr. Pat Bumgardner, Mr. DeWayne Davis, Rev. Jorge Delgado, Mr. John Hassell, Rev. Jim Merritt, and Mr. Kareem Murphy

For their work in continuing to bring assistance and relief to Haiti ~ ICM Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)


These awards honor those churches displaying outstanding growth in average weekly attendance.

Signs of Growth...For churches with less than 50 each week ~ MCC of the Gentle Shepherd (Vancouver, Washington), Big Easy MCC (New Orleans, Louisiana), and Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Richey, Florida)

For churches with 50 – 150 in average weekly attendance ~ First MCC of Wichita (Kansas)

For churches with 150 – 300 in weekly attendance ~ MCC New York (New York)

For churches with more than 350 each week ~ Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas)


These awards are given based on the strategic priorities of MCC globally.

Marketing ~ MCC Las Vegas (Nevada) for their Season of Prayer program which opened their church to the community in new ways

Finances/Stewardship ~ MCC New York (New York) for their faithful and generous support of the The Way...denomination and the work of Global Justice as the highest single contributing church to MCC in recent years

Global Justice ~ John Hassell for his work with people with HIV/AIDS through the United Nations, especially for his commitment to the activists in Uganda

Resources ~ LifeJourney MCC(Indianapolis, Indiana) for their Discipleship Program resource, which is being used by many MCCs, and the Lay Ministry Councilfor the Lay Delegate Manual, which has helped new and old delegates find their way

Church Planting ~ Rev. Kevin Downer for planting achurch4me? MCC(Chicago, Illinois) and encouraging other church planters in MCC, and Rev. Cee Jay Agbayani, Jr., for planting MCC Quezon City (Philippines) and for his passion for the future of MCC in the Philippines


New Thoughts...

Gratitude was expressed to the members of the Board of Administration who gave many hours of dedicated service under the old structure ~ Rev. Jeff Miner, chair, Mr. Marvin Bagwell, Mr. John Hassell, Ms. Julie Krueger, Mr. John Vespa, and Ms. Marsha Warren.

Appreciation was also expressed to Rev. Dr. Cindi Love for her service as Executive Director of MCC.


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The MCC IMPACT: July 2010

The MCC Impact! – July 2010

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.


Impact July 2010 - Peace

July 2010

This Just In…

A Day of Progress toward Marriage Equality

On Thursday, the Argentine Senate approved by a slim margin the proposed law that recognizes gay marriage after an intense debate in Parliament that lasted for almost 15 hours. The initiative was

Rev. Victor Bracuto, Pastor of ICM de Argentina in Buenos Aires
Rev Victor Bracuto

approved by a vote of 33 in favor, 27 against, and 3 abstentions. With the approval of this law that authorizes marriage equality, Argentina becomes the first country in Latin America to allow weddings to be celebrated between person of the same gender throughout the country.  “Argentina has made history by approving marriage for all.  The enabling law passed exactly the same rights for all couples. God bless Argentina,” said The Rev. Victor Bracuto, Clergy of Metropolitan Community Churches in Argentina.

Also today, the DC Court of Appeals ruled against foes of DC marriage equality who had wanted to put an initiative on the ballot to invalidate same-sex marriages entered into in the District. In its decision, the Court of Appeals, D.C.’s highest court, decided 5-4 to support the City Council in its efforts to prevent discrimination against gays and lesbians in the District, which is prohibited by the D.C. Human Rights Act.

The Rev. Jim Merritt, Marriage Equality Coordinator of MCC’s Global Justice Team said “We celebrate with people of faith and others who believe in equality and justice, including Marriage Equality for all people.  On this day of progress, we renew our commitment to supporting Marriage Equality all over the United States of America and all over the world.”

For more information contact MCC’s Marriage Equality Coordinator, The Rev. Jim Merritt, telephone:  352-495-3378, Email:

This statement prepared in conjunction with the Global Justice Team of Metropolitan Community Churches, The Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Chair


Good Samaritan Society, the largest non-profit provider of care for seniors in the United States, operates under the umbrella of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. They withdrew a job offer as Administrator in Training when Rev. Ken Ehrke honestly answered the question, “Are you an openly Gay male?” He was told he could apply for any other position in their system, but not as administrator, the upfront face of a facility.

Please help by emailing the following Good Samaritan Society leadership and let them know it is unjust and unfair to refuse hiring Rev. Ken Ehrke. Click the following link to take action Rev. Ken can also be reached at 682-465-1156.

MCCers and The Fellowship

Representing People of Faith

at International AIDS Conference

The 18th International AIDS Conference will convene in Vienna, Austria July 18-23, 2010 under the theme of “Rights Here, Rights Now.”  Conference organizers are committing to address the issue of human rights abuses and the way oppression feeds the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Among those attending will be Bishop Yvette Flunder of The Fellowship.  She will be joined by John Hassell of Metropolitan Community Chuches’ Governing Board, and Lucky Michaels, Director of Homeless Youth Services at MCCNY, who will represent MCC’s Global Justice Team.

Please remember all those traveling to and participating in the Conference in prayer.  And pray for a world without AIDS.


MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) is now streaming their 11 am worship service live, as well as the Spanish service at 1:30 (PDT). Go to to connect.

MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) is planning a choir reunion and concert weekend for 31 July – 1 August. In the past 16 years almost 200 people have participated with their choir, which has performed in Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Houston, Texas; and Knoxville. The concert will be on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 at the church.

Taking it to the People! Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Pennsylvania) is hosting a Bible Study twice a month at the Berkshire Mall Food Court.

Ray Boltz performed at a fundraiser at New Light MCC (Hagerstown Maryland). With 80+ people in attendance, the church’s scholarship fund was greatly increased.

At the 5th anniversary celebration for Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California), Rev. Terri Echelbarger honored her pledge to wear a dress, heels, make-up and hair styling, since the congregation raised $10,000 (USD) to balance the budget for the fiscal year ending this month.

Great idea! Barry Hundley, Lay Delegate for First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia), reported to the congregation via Skype from Acapulco during their worship service on 27 June.

Heartland MCC (Springfield, Illinois) in conjunction with First Church of the Brethren held their first Vacation Bible School for Children this year.  The theme was “Peace” and the children painted wood signs which were placed on each church’s lawn for the local community to see.

Eight MCCs and two other churches joined together for Pride in Washington, DC. They marched as one unit in the parade and shared a booth at the festival. Area MCCs participating were Holy Redeemer MCC (College Park, Maryland), MCC-DC (Washington), MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia), MCC of the Chesapeake (Annapolis, Maryland), MCC of Northern Virginia (Fairfax, Virginia), New Covenant MCC (Laurel, Maryland), New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland), and Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland).

MCC at the Gay Games

MCC Cologne (Germany) will host a special worship service for the participants and guests at the 2010 Gay Games, which is happening in their hometown, 31 July – 7 August. The service will be on Sunday, 1 August, at noon at Aachener Weiher, Köln. Click here to learn more.


In “Missionaries of Hate” correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to Uganda, where many question whether the growing influence of conservative American religious groups has led to a movement to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death. You can watch the full six part video on

Would Jesus Discriminate?

The campaign is still moving forward in several locations, including the Metroplex area in Texas. The “Would Jesus Discriminate?” documentary by Jonathon Quam features the involvement of Harvest MCC (Denton), MCC of Greater Dallas, and Trinity MCC (Arlington) in the campaign. The other churches working with them are Agape MCC (Fort Worth) and Promise MCC (Dallas).

The documentary was shown at the Q Cinema in Fort Worth along with other short films, one of which was about “trannies”. MCCers held an informational rally following the viewing to support the transgender community. The documentary was also featured at OUT Takes in Dallas, where it was followed by “Children of God”.


Emily and Alan Worman, long time members of MCC South London (England) just graduated as Street Pastors. They will serve with an interdenominational group who take God’s love out into the streets in response to problems in urban neighborhoods. There are groups in over 100 boroughs across the UK, which, according to police and community leaders, are making a real difference.

The Wormans and others patrol the streets in Camberwell and Peckham from 10 pm until 4 am. They engage in friendly chats with folks, escort them home, bring a smile to their faces, or do whatever they can to be helpful. They don’t preach, but live their faith on the streets.

Many members of MCC South London have become their Prayer Pastors, people who pray for those on patrol during the night. They would welcome your prayers, too!



Rebecca Anderson and Victor H. Floyd were approved for ordination at the recent NorCal (Northern California) Network gathering.

On 30 July The Community Letter, an LGBT newspaper distributed in six states, will present the first annual Rev. Dee and Judy Dale Spiritual Service Award. The recipient will be the late Rev. Dr. George Edwards, a Presbyterian minister who advocated for human rights for over 50 years in Louisville, Kentucky.

Rev. Michael Kimundu spoke on Kenya Broadcasting Corporation‘s weekly morning family talk show, calling churches to talk with zeal and openness about fundamental human rights and not use the Bible to demonize members of the LGBTI community. “We are calling on church pastors, leaders and Imams in Mosques to help root out stigma directed at LGBTI members in their faith organizations. This is how the church can promote equality and human rights as is written in the Holy Scripture and the Koran, that all human beings are the same in the eyes of God.”

Rev. Chris Glaser will keynote the Disciples GLAD Summer Retreat “It’s Your Story to Tell” next weekend at Chapman University in Orange, California.

Dr. Tony Thieman-Somora just had a piece of music copyrighted.  “Come One, Come All!” is a processional piece based on MCC’s four Core Values and written for organ and four trumpets, as well as for guitar.

Rev. Jennifer Hall has become a certified ACPE Candidate Supervisor and is supervising her first unit of CPE Interns this summer at Iowa Health – Des Moines.

Rev. Paul Graetz served on the very first FBI educational panel for the Matthew Shepard and James Bryd Jr. Hate Crime Act. Similar conference will be held around the US to acquaint the community and law enforcement with this new law.


Rev. Roy Beany first entered MCC London (England), where Rev. Elder Jean White was pastor, when he was 19 years old. That was 1979. In the years that ensued, he felt called to ministry and trained to become MCC clergy with Rev. Andy Braunston and Rev. Jane Clark. When he was ordained in 1988, the church asked him to stay on as assistant pastor.

Rev. Roy served well and, because of his culinary gifts and personality, was a great fundraiser for the church, AIDS causes, and the MCCs in Nigeria. Whenever he was worried about something, he would repeatedly sing the chorus, “Because You live, I can face tomorrow …” putting his faith and trust in God.

In 1996 he was elected the District Coordinator for the European District, which meant traveling to the churches there to support them, as well as to the US twice a year for meetings of the General Council. He resigned in 1999 to pursue his dream of catering full time. He continued sharing his faith with people at Telscombe Tavern, which he owned.

Last September he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He appeared to be making good progress, but passed the day after his 50th birthday. He will be missed by all who knew him and whose lives he touched. He leaves his parents, Roy and Rosemary, and his brother and sister-in-law, Alan and Sue.


During three burglaries in the course of two weeks over $4000 (USD) worth of electronics and six Bibles Rev. David Pelletier had since he was in seminary were taken from MCC of the Coachella Valley (Cathedral City, California). Then Rabbi Shimon Posner, leader of the Chabad of Rancho Mirage synagogue, a Hasidic Jewish group and extremely conservative, called to say that MCC was welcomed to anything the church needed from the Chabad’s Nu4U thrift store. The Rabbi said, “We don’t see this as reaching across any lines; we see people who are in need because of some dastardly act.” Rev. Pelletier was able to pick up two computer towers and other equipment from the electronics room at the thrift store before hurrying back to feed lunch to the hungry at his own church


Because of a $60,000 (USD) budget deficit and her love for All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis resigned her position as co-pastor.

MCC Santa Rosa/New Hope! MCC (California) held their final worship service on 23 May.  Sharon Henry, the Bay Area/Valley Network Leader, and Rev. Stedney Phillips, Region 1 Executive Assistant, joined in the celebration of almost 25 years of MCC ministry in Sonoma County.

Rev. Bob Galloway, pastor of MCC Knoxville (Tennessee), is retiring on 1 August, but will continue in a part-time role of teaching and preaching with the church and the new pastor, when one is called.

MCC United (Tulsa, Oklahoma) had a congregational meeting and voted to end services at MCCU after 37 years of worship and outreach.  It was the hardest decision they have ever made.  If you can, please join them for their last service on 18 July.  This will leave us without any congregations in Oklahoma.


Juley Andersen’s sister Wendy passed unexpectedly last month. She resided with Juley, Rev. Elder Lillie Brock, and their daughter Savannah. Remember them and their extended family in your prayers.

Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder and her wife Mother Shirley Miller are grieving the passing of her cousin Bishop Walter Hawkins of The Fellowship who passed last Sunday. His Homegoing Service will be at 11 am on Wednesday, 21 July at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California.


Dean Hiatt founded the Rainbow Players through MCC of the Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania) and serves as its artistic director. All of the proceeds from matinee performances go to a selected LBGT organization in their community, which is highlighted at the show. For evening performances, 60% of the proceeds are used by MCCLV for outreach programs and the other 40% provides the start up funds needed for the next production.

Organizations which have been featured and supported include F.A.C.T. (Fighting AIDS Continuously Together), Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley (a safe haven for domestic abuse victims), PRIDE of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s Rainbow Youth Scholarship Fund, Pennsylvania Diversity Network’s Youth Initiative Program, and Allentown Public Theatre’s Youth and Culture Program.

The theater has served as a great evangelistic tool because people, who are reluctant to come to church, will come to a production.

Recently they performed “Q – The Songs of Dan Martin & Michael Biello”, a musical revue and celebration of LGBT life as a choice, plus a Bonus Cabaret Showcase.

On Friday, 23 July, there will be a single performance by R. Dale Smith in his one-man show, Jesus Phreak: The Story of a Very Unlikely Disciple. For more information call Dean Hiatt at 718-664-3713.


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The MCC Impact! – June Volume I

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Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope. 


MCC Impact June Vol I

Volume I – June 2010



Rev. Michael Kimindu addressed a gathering of sexual minorities at the National Museum in Nairobi, Kenya, during the assembly for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.  He talked about what MCC is doing to curtail religiously-based condemnation of the LBGTI community.  This was the first time the media had been allowed to attend such a function.  Click here for the entire story in The Daily Nation.   

Because of his speech, new people have begun to come to church and he was able to perform a Holy Union for a lesbian couple.

He knows that telling someone the location of the worship service over the phone is dangerous, because he never knows who is listening on the line, but he takes the risk to spread God’s inclusive love.

Way To Go!


Linda Baumann, the clerk at MCC Christ the Liberator (North Brunswick, New Jersey) is the office manager of Fellowship in Prayer, a nonprofit organization created to promote the practice of prayer and meditation among all faiths.  They are hosting a conference on their 60th anniversary, to which MCCers are invited.  It will be 24-27 June on the campus of Princeton University.


Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis has been named the co-chair for the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota in February 2011.


Jim Ulissee was the preacher for the annual MCC worship service at the International Mr. Leather gathering in Chicago, Illinois, last weekend.


Rev. Dr. Cindi Love is writing Huffington Post articles and usually tries to weave MCC into those posts.



The Being Church ~ Being Community capital campaign at MCC Austin at Freedom Oaks (Texas) will conclude with a special event on 13 June. 

Instead of asking for donations and collecting money during their campaign, they are asking for a three year commitment of sacrificial giving in order to construct their new building.  The 60 people in leadership positions in the church have already pledged $601,200 (USD).  

They will begin collecting funds on First Fruits Sunday, 20 June, focused on each one giving one-tenth of his/her three year pledge, taken from the biblical teaching of returning the first fruits to God.

EVERY Q is a website for everyone in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community: singles, couples, youths, the mature, and families. EveryQ puts information into the hands of the user community. It is a place where everyone can come together to interact and share views. 


As an MCC General Conference sponsor, is donating to MCC $1(USD) for every person that signs up!


It is free and easy to sign up so join today and start interacting with other LGBT people in your city and around the world! Visit more information and to register today.


MCC London (Ontario, Canada) is celebrating its 30th year by rebuilding social justice bridges in the community.

Last October, MCCL allied itself with the city’s Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia Working Group alongside the Canadian Auto Workers Union, the City Police Department, the Cross Cultural Learning Centre, the AIDS Committee of London, and other community partners.  It is the only faith organization to be represented. The HBT working group organized events for IDAHO at the central library, police headquarters and school board headquarters.

Rev. Paul Whiting co-founded a local clergy group for those who pastor LGBT welcoming congregations. Currently seven congregations are involved with several others expressing interesting. They hope to revive the annual Interfaith Pride Service and have already specifically addressed inclusion of trans people, linking their information to the TG London website at

On 13 June MCC London will conduct a pilgrimage around the places that have been “home” (seven in total) during its thirty year history.  Then 4-5 September, Rev. Elder Troy Perry will be the honored guest at the final 30th Anniversary celebrations.


Church News


MCC North London (England) participated in and hosted a stall at London Deaf Day, which was held at the City Lit College in Central London, in order to invite more people who are deaf to come visit their church.


St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) is already planning for their Faith in Action Sunday in August.  They will hold their morning worship service in a public place and then participate in service projects, which will benefit their community, before returning for a time of praise and worship in the evening.


MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) will have a Blessing of the Graduates during worship on 6 June to recognize their seniors graduating from high school, as well as those who are receiving bachelor’s, master’s, or other advanced degrees.


MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) will be sharing about their church with an information table and booth at the People’s Fair, a city-wide event, the first weekend in June.


LifeJourney MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana) wants to be as diverse in age as they are in ethnicities and gender, so they are going to begin a focus group on 13 June for all those who are 35 and younger.


Get that exercise!  MCC Manchester (England) is organising a Church Walk for 19 June. It will be a moderate one … eight miles, taking around four and a half hours.  “It’s a good way to get to know each other better and to help us get fitter!”


Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) had 34 people join them for worship last Sunday via the Internet.


Folks from Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York) will participate in the AIDS walk this month and the Pride Parade next month.


At Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) they partner with Booker Elementary School to provide school supplies and other things that the students need.  Knowing that many of them rely on the free lunch program at school to be their only meal of the day, MCCers are creating baskets filled with peanut butter, jelly, crackers, canned meat, and other easy to open non-perishable food for the students to take home on the last day of school.




Since September 2008 faith communities in Omaha, Nebraska, have served 17,000 free meals to residents of the Park Avenue neighborhood, and provided clothing, basic needs and social security services to their neighbors.  The 15 groups now incorporated as Neighbors United include MCC Omaha and those from Baptist, Catholic, and Christian, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Unitarian, and nondenominational churches.

Neighbors United has become a dynamic local leader in collaborative, neighbor-driven action and holistic development. Neighbors United has worked hard to be inclusive, authentic and community-based and it has paid off — we have a lot to celebrate!”  



Salz der Erde MCC (Stuttgart, Germany) will have a combined celebration for their 10th anniversary and the graduation and ordination of their pastor, Rev. Dr. Alex Schwaigert, on 12 June with a service of thanksgiving and a reception.


MCC Richmond (Virginia) will celebrate 32 years of ministry 11-13 June.  On Friday there will be aspecial night for children, teens, and young adults.  Saturday features a reception and silent auction, while Sunday will see them enjoying a potluck picnic after worship.


MCC Lubbock (Texas) will celebrate their 30th anniversary 19 – 20 June.  There will be a catered dinner on Saturday with entertainment by Marvin Matthews, a multimedia presentation of 30 years of memories, and a dance. Rev. Elder Troy Perry will preach for the service on Sunday morning.


FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) just celebrated with an Anniversary Fiesta, an evening of dancing, feasting, and frolicking.


On the eve of the first annual Harvey Milk Day of Service, Los Angeles, California, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa honored the late activist for his public service, unwavering championship of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, and dedication to social change across a wide-range of issues including education, low-income housing, and public transportation.  The Mayor met with a coalition of LGBT community leaders and activists, including Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk), Equality California Marriage Director Marc Solomon, and Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas, senior pastor of MCC/ICM Los Angeles and president of California Faith for Equality.

“All of the Abrahamic faiths teach us that it is our responsibility to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God,” Rev. Dr. Thomas said.  “Let us commit ourselves to follow Milk’s example and do all in our power to make hope a reality for all our oppressed brothers and sisters in this world.” 

To commemorate the first annual Harvey Milk Day in California, community and LGBT organizations from across Los Angeles joined together for a day of service and action, such as a community garden clean-up, neighborhood canvasses, and a “Coming Out” rally.



River of Life MCC (Dorchester, England) has moved into a former Salvation Army building and will open it for community events.


MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) will have the dedication of their new building on 6 June.  The building has over 2500 square feet, seats almost 100, and sits on 2.5 acres of land.


MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) has packed up all their belongings and put them in storage.  They will be doing “church out of a box” at the Holiday Inn this month and move into their new home in Carthage next month.


Emerald City MCC Seattle is the new name for MCC Seattle (Washington).  Not only have they rebranded themselves to recognize that they are now a very different church than in the past, but they have also changed their worship time to 11 am and will move their worship location to the chapel of Univer
sity Temple United Methodist on 4 July. 



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The MCC Impact! – May Volume II

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Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope. 


MCC Impact May 2010

Volume 2 – May 2010

Photographer Nadia Bettega’s exhibition Changing the Face of Human Rights, which was on display in London last month, involved portraying the issues which different groups face.  Included were human rights activists, lawyers, public figures, artists, actors, women’s groups, disabled people, traveler and gypsy groups, black and minority ethnic people, and homeless people.
Rev. Carmen Margarita Sánchez De León, pastor of MCC East London (England) and her partner, Frida Kruijt, who works for Amnesty International, were among those featured.  They were pictured with their newborn children, Oshadi Marinke Carmina Sánchez-Kruijt and Siboney Dimas Bert Sánchez-Kruijt, and the birth certificate which was issued in the mothers’ names, portraying the human right of being able to establish a family.  They are among the first children in the UK issued birth certificates that fully recognize both their female parents.


   Etched in History

Frank Zerilli has been hard at work ensuring that MCC pioneers and Elders have been listed in the Profiles Gallery of the Religious Archives Network at  Besides the three featured in the last issue of the MCC IMPACT, recent additions submitted by Frank include the profiles of Rev. Elder Arlene Ackerman, Rev. Larry Bernier, Rev. Elder Lillie Brock, Rev. Elder Carol Cureton, Rev. Elder Don Eastman, Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, Elder Clark Friesen, Rev. Elder John Gill, Rev. Stan Harris, Rev. Elder Wilhelmina Hein, Rev. Elder John Hose, Elder Mel Johnson, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Rev. Elder Debbie Martin, Rev. June Norris, Rev. Elder Nori Rost, Rev. Elder James Sandmire, Rev. Elder Jorge Sosa, Rev. Elder Hong Tan, and Rev. Elder Richard Vincent. 


Bios which had previously been posted include those of Rev. Elder Dr. Charlie Arehart, Rev. Elder Roy Birchard, Rev. Delores Berry, Rev. Paul Breton, Rev. Kittredge Cherry, Rev. John Doner, Rev. Alejandro Escoto, Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Rev. Joseph Gilbert, Rev. Chris Glaser, Rev. Tom Hanks, Rev. Rodger Harrison, Rev. Elder Jeri Ann Harvey, Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, Rev. Elder Ken Martin, Rev. Richad Mickley, Rev. David North, Rev. Stephen Parelli, Rev. Elder Troy Perry, Rev. Stephen Pieters, Rev. Dusty Pruitt, Rev. Elder Freda Smith, Marsha Stevens-Pino, Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas, Rev. Dr. Mona West, Rev. Dr. Mel White, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, and Frank Zerilli. 


Do you know who all of these important leaders in MCC are?  If not, visit the site and read about MCC’s history through their contributions.

MCC Las Vegas (Nevada) had a Pantie Raid for Mother’s Day.  No, it’s not what you think!  They collected underwear and socks for women and children for those escaping domestic violence at SafeNest and Shade Tree. They donated an amazing 747 briefs, 266 pairs of socks, 88 bras, and 37 miscellaneous items, along with $589 (USD) in cash. 

Congregants of MCC of the Spirit (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) are being encouraged to plant an extra row or two in their gardens and then bring the extra vegetable to church to be given to local food banks. 

MCC El Paso (Texas) is participating in Boycott Hate, a campaign created by photographer David Quintanilla.  It was inspired by Arizona’s controversial immigration law. Click here to learn more. 
Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) marked IDAHO last Sunday with a special service.  Their guest speaker was a police officer who talked about the nature of hate crimes and the ways in which such crimes can be reported and are dealt with by the police.  Also present was a representative of EACH (Educational Action against Homophobia).   

Folks from MCC Corpus Christi (Texas) worked on a house for an older nurse, who uses a walker.  She had no functional indoor plumbing or gas and there were exposed electrical wires.    

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) collected toothbrushes for the CHAPS Food/Hygiene Pantry for those with HIV/AIDS.   

MCC of Paducah (Kentucky) feeds four children every weekend.  They fill backpacks with enough food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to last them from Friday after school until they return to school Monday morning.



Kersten Pegden and Nina Laure were accused of “overtly sexual” conduct because the two held hands during worship at St. Nicholas Anglican church in Dorset village of Corfe Mullen in England.  No similar complaints were lodged against heterosexual couples for the same public displays during church services, however, reported the Bournemouth edition of the Daily Echo on 14 May.

The couple felt forced to withdraw from the parish even though their children sang in the choir and ushered there.  They are planning a civil union, which, in Britain, carries the same rights and protections as marriage.


Where does the family attend church now?  Why, MCC, of course!



Click here to review the latest contribution by MCC’s Rev. Dr. Patrick Cheng who is now a Huffington Post contributor.  His latest writing is “Evangelicals and Gays: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?”  In the spirit of Martin Luther, he has also “nailed” to the web a piece called “9.5 Theses for a New Reformation” that challenges both Christian evangelicals and LGBTQ folk to reimagine how we relate to each other. 

If you wish to be notified about future postings, you can contact him at the following:  Twitter, Facebook click here. Or, you can sign up to get automatic notifications from his Huffington Post contributor’s page.



Rev. Kieren Bourne, pastor of Living Springs MCC (Bath, England), has been named the Mayor’s Chaplain in the City of Bath for 2010-2011.  His duties in this role begin with a civic event on 5 June.


The Harvey Milk Award, presented by Christopher Street West, recognizes an individual who gives well beyond the call of duty in countless ways.  The 2010 recipient is Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas, senior pastor of MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California).


Stan Kimer is the new President-Elect of the North Carolina Council of Churches.


Rev. Elder Darlene Garner has been named a 2010 Capital Pride Hero by the Board of Directors of the Capital Pride Alliance for her outstanding contributions to the Washington, DC, LGBT community.  She will be honored during the pride festivities in June.


Jochen Gewecke has another photo exhibit on display in Germany.  It is a new Mosque/Church/Synagogue presentation.  His first one drew acclimations from around the world.  Jochen is a member of Salz der Erde MCC (Stuttgart) and one of the European Network Leaders.


Rev. Joe Cobb and his partner James welcomed their second child, James Joseph, born on 18 April.  Ginny is the proud big sister.


Rev. Martha Daniels spoke to a pastoral care class at Iona College (United Church of Canada) on faith and critical illness from a patient’s perspective.


Minister Adrain Bowie, spouse of Rev. Carolyn Mobley, received her M.Div. (Master of Divinity degree) from Candler School of Theology at Emory University earlier this month.  She is a clergy candidate at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia), where Rev. Mobley is one of two Church Evangelists.  They also travel, sharing their Ministry of Inspiration with MCC and other affirming groups.


Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes received an honorary degree from Mount Allison University for his outstanding leadership and accomplishments, especially in the area of equal rights for the LBGT community.




MCC Toronto (Canada) held a ribbon-cutting reception on 5 May to celebrate the renovation and expansion of a new community meeting facility.  The Rainbow Room is a result of combined efforts and donations from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (which is an agency of the Government of Ontario), the Bluma Appel Community Trust, and Patrick Fahn Architect Inc.


The new room will allow the church to continue to support various programs in which it is involved, such as MCC Toronto’s Adult Spiritual Education Programs, 12 Step recovery and other community group gatherings, and the Triangle Program of the Toronto District School Board, Canada’s only LGBT high school program where at-risk youth gain knowledge, confidence and life skills in a safe environment.



MCC San Diego will be celebrating its 40th anniversary 4-6 June and wants to invite everyone to the celebration.  On Friday evening there will be an old fashioned sing along, selecting cherished hymns to sing together. Saturday brings a morning workshop, “Life after 40”, facilitated by Rev. Elder Darlene Garner.  That evening the Celebration Choir joins with PRYSM in presenting an exciting concert.  On Sunday at the special times of 5:00 and 7:00 pm, so that others might be able to join them, Rev. Elder Troy Perry will be in the pulpit for the celebratory worship services and Rev. David Ferrell, Pastor Emeritus, will be a special guest.  Leading up to the weekend’s festivities, they have enjoyed a dessert competition, “40 Years of Sweet Success with MCCSD”, and, this weekend, a scavenger hunt, “Mission 40”, and dinner.


Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California) will celebrate their 5th anniversary Mardi Gras style on 5 June.


MCC San Francisco celebrated its 40th Anniversary in April with Rev. Elder Troy Perry in a weekend full of joyful worship and activities. They are hosting 40 events throughout the year to observe this milestone, including: film screenings (Cure for Love, Jihad for Love, Call Me Troy), concerts, and home parties.  “These events are bringing many new people to MCCSF, and building community among congregants,” according to senior pastor Rev. Dr. Lea Brown.

Church News


The southern California MCCs enjoyed a day of fun together on Saturday at Disneyland wearing their shorts, while Healing Spirit MCC (Rochester, Minnesota) had a day long picnic with a bonfire! 


That was also the day for the Block Party at Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri), where there was live entertainment, activities for children of all ages, and concessions.


You can now download free audio or video recordings of the 11 am Sunday services of MCC New York (New York).  Just go to and enter “mccny” in the search box.  You can even subscribe for automatic downloads each week.


Dr. J
allen Rix was the guest at Evensong on Sunday night at MCC of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, California), where he spoke about his new book Ex-Gay No Way.


The weekly Bible study at MCC Charleston (South Carolina) is “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get out of the Boat.”


MCC of the Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) is establishing both a Fundraising Committee and a Social Activities Committee.


MCC Windsor (Canada) recently welcomed five new members!


Sunday was Volunteer Appreciation Day at MCC Omaha (Nebraska). Volunteers were honored with a reception following the 9 am service and a picnic after the 11 am service. 

MCC North London (England) had a fantastic service and concert with singer/songwriter, Rev’d. Rizi Timane, observing IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia).


The children from MCC of Topeka (Kansas) went on a fishing trip to Lake Shawnee last Saturday.


Kayaking was the order of the day on Sunday following worship for the folks at MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina).


Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker celebrated Communion in Spanish at both services at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) on Pentecost Sunday.  Following worship a meeting was held to organize a Spanish ministry.


MCC Key West (Florida) hosted a Spring Fling to which everyone came dressed as their favorite characters from Alice in Wonderland.


New Life MCC of Hampton Roads (Virginia) will host Rev. Elder Darlene Garner next weekend for board training on Saturday and as their guest preacher on Sunday.


Folks at MCC Newcastle (England) are focusing on the question, “What are our bedrock beliefs?”  As they share those together they are listening to each one’s spiritual journey.  They are celebrating the similarities and sometimes respectfully disagreeing when theologies differ.


achurch4me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois) has just begun a group for those who are grieving.  One of their resources will be Harold Kushner’s When Bad Things Happen to Good People.


Last Sunday was the first Sunday Coffee House at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia).  It featured the singing of Satin Britches, gourmet coffee, and homemade baked goods.  


The Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama) Rainbow Council of Ministries met to begin plans for a youth ministry.


30 May will be Harmony and Understanding Sunday at Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida).  They will have only one worship service with Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson preaching.  It will be followed by a barbeque on the grounds.


MCC United (Tulsa, Oklahoma) participated in an Interfaith Service on Sunday, during which the Pride flag was blessed.


Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) will host a Memorial Day Picnic on 31 May.

Pikes Peak MCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado) enjoyed a Night of Classic Disney complete with a spaghetti dinner, aerial acrobatics, magicians, and Disney songs.




MCC Asheville (Hendersonville, North Carolina) has changed their name to MCC Sacred Journey.


Rev. Mark Kevin Deane became the provisional pastor of New Life MCC (Charlotte, North Carolina) on 1 May.

Rev. Sharon Ferguson will be installed as the senior pastor of MCC North London (England) on 13 June. She is also the Chief Executive of LGCM (Lesbian, Gay Christian Movement).


After many years of serving the far west suburbs of Chicago, Fox Valley MCC (Elgin, Illinois) voted to close.


Rev. Joe Cobb was installed last weekend as the pastor of MCC of the Blue Ridge (Roanoke, Virginia) with Rev. Elder Darlene Garner officiating.


Although MCC Edinburg (Scotland) merged earlier with St. Augustine United Church, they have now launched a new ministry “Our Tribe”, named after Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson’s book, and will be working with MCC at the denominational level under the direction of Rev. Maxwell Reay.



Rhon Rich, the husband of Rev. Rich Hendricks, pastor of Quad Cities MCC (Davenport, Iowa), transitioned on 10 April after a very brief illness.  They had been one of the first couples legally married in Iowa.  Prior to his involvement at Quad Cities MCC, Rhon was a very active member of Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois).


Theresa Swanigan, the partner of Rev. Gale Smith, pastor of Sunrise MCC (Lancaster, California), passed following a series of heart attacks on 27 April.  She had formerly been a member of the Southwest District Committee and involved at MCC Long Beach.



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The MCC Impact! – May Edition

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Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope. 

MCC Impact May 2010


Volume 1 – May 2010



Network News?  What’s that?  Well, we’ve changed the title “Clusters” to “Networks” for those groups of churches near you which join together for support, education, and fellowship.

Network News! 

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) hosted MCC congregations from Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee at their Spring Network Gathering last weekend. Rev. Elder Ken Martin was the featured guest. He presented workshops, led an informative session on therestructuring proposal, and preached at one of the worship services.  The weekend began with worship on Friday evening and closed with another service mid-afternoon on Saturday.


The nine northern California churches comprising the Valley/Bay Area Network will gather on 22 May at New Spirit Community Church MCC/UCC/DOC (Berkley, California). 


The Pacific Northwest Network gathered last month at MCC Portland (Oregon).  Folks from 13 churches in Alaska, Idaho, Hawai’i, Montana, Oregon, and Washington spent the day learning, worshipping, and sharing together.


Last month at Promise MCC (Dallas, Texas), the ten churches in the Texas and Oklahoma Network gathered for worship and to discuss the new proposed structure for MCC.


The Northern Florida Network met from 10 – 3 one Saturday to discuss the structure proposal and share together at Gentle Shepherd MCC (Tallahassee, Florida)


The Asia/Pacific Network recently held a successful Gathering in Sydney, Australia.  There was great collaboration and positive energy from the MCCs in Australia and New Zealand.


In order to ensure that all churches in the Central Florida Network could participate, they held gatherings in both March and April, one at Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Ritchey) and the other at Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota). The agenda was to discuss the restructuring document. 



MCC Key West (Florida) has opened the Partners in Care Clinic in their facility to offer advanced first aid and basic primary care every Thursday afternoon.


Rev. Dr. Joe McMurray, pastor, is also a member of the Florida Keys Community College Nursing School Advisory Board, so he saw learning opportunities for nursing students to provide much needed health care services to local residents in desperate need. Other board members representing WomanKind and Keys AHEC joined in this exciting endeavor.


The clinic is staffed by a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, four nursing students, an interpreter, and intake personnel.  Third- and fourth-year medical students from the University of Miami are placed as one of their rotations to assist in diagnosis and treatment. This free clinic is unique because it lets students stay with a patient from intake and exam to discharge and medical record documentation, allowing them to see and assist in the full scope of care.


This project brings medical care to those who need it most, and with early detection and intervention, reduces treatment costs and increases the likelihood of a full recovery. If additional care is needed, it is provided at no cost by the DePoo Hospital’s physician specialists.



The Religious Archives Network has added the profiles of three MCC pioneers at


Rev. Dr. Patrick Cheng has served on the staffs of MCC New York and MCC Boston, and currently works with Rev. Elder Diane Fisher.  He is the founder and coordinator of Queer Asian Spirit,, an organization dedicated to supporting the lives of LGBT Asians everywhere who are interested in spiritual, theological, and religious issues. In July he will become the Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School. He was born in Hong Kong, raised in San Francisco, and moved to the east coast of the US to attend Yale University.


Rev. Richard Ploen was the first ordained minister to offer help to Rev. Troy Perry when he Etched in Historystarted MCC. He served as the minister of education in that first church. Because the church did not have a facility, he found a 17-room house in east Hollywood. Rev. Perry, his mother, his partner and Rev. Ploen took up residence there. The building provided rooms for church offices, choir practice, meetings, social events, publications and church administration. Two rooms were used for Samaritan to train future MCC clergy under his leadership. He was elected as an Elder at the first General Conference in 1970 and was on the committee to write the MCC bylaws.


Rev. Elder Jean White of London, England, was the first MCC Elder from outside the United States when she was elected in 1979.  She retired from the Board of Elders in 1993.  She founded and served as pastor of MCC London for 20 years and currently is pastoring MCC South London. She also was the executive secretary of World Church Extension and as chair of the WCE Board overseeing churches in Europe, Africa, New Zealand, South Pacific and Hispanic Americas.



We have two groups in Durban, South Africa, desiring to affiliate with MCC.

News from Africa 

There are now three MCC groups meeting in Kenya.  Rev. Joseph Nyasia is leading two of them and Rev. Michael Kimindu is facilitating the other one.


There are five young adults in Cape Town, South Africa, beginning the process to become MCC clergy.  One will eventually return to Botswana to begin a church there.



Dr. Jonelle Neighbor was recognized as the Special Education Specialist of the Year in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she has served as a school psychologist for 22 years. She is also one of only two brain injury specialists in the state, working to assure that students with traumatic brain injuries are properly served throughout the district’s schools.


Rev. George McDermott was able to get a new service dog. He’s a black lab named Kernel.


Rev. Karen Foster was pictured and featured in an article in USA Today along with Rabbi Jamie Korngold and religion scholar Marcia McFee. They discussed ways of opening yourself up to receive God’s gifts of freedom and salvation.


Rev. Raeanna Biddle is the manager for the Huber Heights (Ohio) FISH Food Pantry, which serves over 100 families in the school system there.  She also created a ministry team at her church to serve lunch monthly both at a soup kitchen and at a hotel for the homeless. “God gave me the ministry of feeding the hungry. As a professional clergy person, the hungry were those needing spiritual food. Now, as a retired minister, the hungry are those needing physical food.”


Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson attended the President’s Prayer Breakfast at the White House last month.


Rev. Marge Ragonna was presented a special faithful service Founder’s Day Award by Cornerstone MCC, marking 25 years since she came to Mobile, Alabama, to found MCC there. She is currently the pastor of Bethel MCC (Birmingham, Alabama).


Rev. Dr. Cindi Love has been named the Executive Director of Soulforce.  Chuck Phelan is the president of the board and, of course, Rev. Dr. Mel White is the founder.


This weekend is the annual Equality Forum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Among those presenting is Rev. Karla Fleshman, who will lead a program on the Would Jesus Discriminate? campaign.


Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry was the special guest at MCC San Francisco’s (California) 40th anniversary celebration last weekend.

Church News



The Right Reverend Barbara Clementine Harris, the first woman to be named a bishop in the world-wide Anglican Communion, filled the pulpit on 25 April at Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Fort Lauderdale, Florida).


Texas Hold `Em may be the big card game in a lot of places; however, the choir at MCC Toronto (Canada) is hosting a monthly Euchre Tournament as a fundraiser with a $25 (CD) buy in.


Cruise the Caribbean with Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona). They will leave Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 1 November, and visit Key West, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica, returning on the 6th. Prices begin at $464 (USD). For more information call Dennis Hein at 1-888-829-5888.


Bring your pets! MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) hosts a pet vaccination clinic on the third Saturday of each month.


MCC Newcastle (England) is forming a new ministry, an Amnesty Group. They will join in supporting the campaigns of Amnesty International, knowing that small groups of people can change the world. They will meet for the first time next month.


Folks from Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California) honored Earth Day with a walk along the southbay viewing wildflowers, birds, and other beauties of nature.


MCC Illiana (Indiana) has just purchased their own building in Portage.  It was previously a church, so it is ready for them to move in and begin worshipping there.


St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) is very involved in the upcoming NC AIDS Walk + Ride. Not only will there be a St. John’s Team of riders and another team of walkers, they will also staff a rest station for several hours for those who need to take a break or need water or other refreshment.


Healing Spirit MCC (Rochester, Minnesota) has joined with 21 other faith communities to construct a home through Habitat for Humanity.  They will meet the family at a social on 1 May and have the ground breaking.


The Lay Delegates at MCC Omaha (Nebraska) are hosting a Cinco de Mayo dinner, complete with Mexican food, music, and decorations, as a fund raiser for their expenses to General Conference.


Cornerstone MCC’s (Mobile, Alabama) new Christian education team leader, Laura Leon, led a successful eight week spiritual development program “Making a Difference with Compassion – How to turn Me into We”. Their next study is “The ME I want to BE”.


MCC Bournemouth (England) raised £403 in their special Easter offering for the Mother of Peace AIDS Orphanage in Zimbabwe.


Church of Our Savior MCC (Boynton Beach, Florida) is participating this weekend in the seminar Immigration through the Lens of Faith: Where Immigrant and Workers Rights Intersect. It is sponsored by the South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice organization for which Rev. Renwick Bell is a board member.


This Saturday Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) is a platinum sponsor for the Houston Transgender Unity Banquet, the largest single-night transgender event in the United States.


Volunteers at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) made over 3000 sandwiches to help feed the homeless as part of their DUO (Do Unto Others) fund gift to the 363 Project which serves the homeless year round.




On 5 June Rev. Elder Dr. Charlie Arehart will be installed by Rev. Elder Diane Fisher as the pastor of Water of Life MCC (Tucson, Arizona).


Rev. Pressley Sutherland will be honored on 16 May by Good Hope MCC (Cape Town, South Africa) as he leaves his position there as pastor to return to London, England.


Dr. Tony Thieman-Somora is the interim pastoral leader at Heartland MCC (Springfield, Illinois).


Rev. George Gonzalez Medrano was installed as pastor of ICM Cristo Sanador (San Juan, Puerto Rico).


Rev. Jennifer Paty is now the pastor of Safe Harbour MCC (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).


Rev. Brad Rice was ordained at MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California). He has been elected pastor of The Rock MCC (Chattanooga, Tennessee).


Rev. Bob Bond is the Interim Pastor of Eternal Joy MCC (Dayton, Ohio).



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News from MCC – The NEW MCC Impact!

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Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope. 



The MCC IMPACT is back, just with a new format and focus.  We hope that you enjoy it!

One area on which we want to focus is news from our Clusters.  Let me know what you have planned so we can share it with others, and be sure I’m on the email list for your Cluster.

We want to continue letting everyone know about honors that our members or churches have received, any transitions in leadership, and the work we are doing in the ecumenical, interfaith, and justice realms.

We are going to rely on you to send information about your upcoming activities, at least a month in advance. In the past I read hundreds of church e-newsletters, searched websites, and called people to gather the interesting tidbits about happenings in our global church. Because I am now doing this as a volunteer, I am asking you to assist me by sending word of your exciting events directly to with MCC IMPACT as the subject line. Thanks!!!

IMPACT will also give us the opportunity to hear about the ministry of the Moderator’s Teams.
Please send your suggestions for other important areas and any feedback directly to me.  Thanks!!!
Judy Dale, Editor


The Board of Elders will be meeting in Austin, Texas, 11-16 April.  Please surround them with your prayers as they further the work of MCC around the world and prepare for General Conference.


Cluster News!

As our clusters are meeting, they are addressing the all important structure proposal and submitting their feedback which is vital to the process.  If you haven’t shared your thoughts, please do at
Upcoming Cluster Gatherings include…
The Michigan Cluster will host Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson at their meeting at Redeemer MCC (Flint, Michigan) 16-18 April, during which they will celebrate the church’s 30th anniversary.
Folks from Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia MCCs will assemble at MCC Elizabethtown (Kentucky) on 22 May for their sec
ond gathering.  Besides worship, workshops, and networking, there will be a time to share FUNraising ideas.


The son of Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church will be launching his new book addressing what it was like to be raised in his childhood environment filled with the hate-mongering of his parents. The event will be at MCC of Topeka (Kansas) on 24 April. Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will be present, participating on a panel and celebrating at the worship service the next day.


A Round of Applause!

The Lay Ministry Council presents awards at each General Conference and they want your nominations.  There are four awards.


JoNee Shelton Lay Leadership Award

Presented to the lay person or lay ministry team that has been in the forefront of laity leadership. This person or team has spent countless hours furthering the cause of Christ in various areas in their local community. They have given interviews with newspapers, stood at courthouse steps, petitioned or spoken out against those who would undermine God’s love for all people. This person or team does not necessarily hold an official ministry or title within the local church, Region, or Fellowship, but they have led by example and have lived out the Great Commission.
Mutuality in Ministry Award
Presented to an ordained clergy person who has partnered with a lay person(s) to establish or expand a ministry that changes the lives of people in ways that would not have happened without the support of clergy in a local church, Region, or at the Fellowship level. Through mentoring, spiritual guidance, and the encouragement of lay ministries such as lay education, feeding programs, translation of materials, music, transporting the disabled, or outreach to the homeless, the clergy person has embraced a shared vision of ministry together. The clergy person honored has held high the principle and shown in their actions, their belief that we are all indeed a priesthood of all believers.

Faithfulness Award

Presented to the lay person or lay ministry team that has shown a dedication to God and MCC in a noticeable or concrete way. Through their commitment and passion and the giving of their time, energy, talents and/or resources to a project or projects, they have made Christ visible and tangible in their community. In addition to being an ambassador for Christ, they have been an outstanding representative of MCC outside of the worship facility walls by either furthering the cause of MCC or by working with other denominational groups as partners in ministry thereby bridging the gap that has been placed between the two.


Service Award
Presented to the lay person or lay ministry team that has enabled people to access the Good News of God’s inclusive love in ways that were previously unavailable to them. Through their innovative efforts they have provided a way for people, who otherwise would not have had an opportunity to do so, to connect to God, grow spiritually, connect to the local church community (or Fellowship as a whole) or the community at large. They saw a need, reached out with compassion and selflessly loved others as themselves.

All nominations must be submitted by 15 May.  It’s easy to do, just go to  The LMC appreciates your assistance in letting them know about worthy programs and individuals in your church.



Did you use any of the resources MCC developed for Easter?  If so, we’d like to hear your comments.  Or, if you didn’t utilize them, tell us why not.  Send your thoughts to We’ll share some of them in a future issue.


Rev. Grant Lynn Ford will lead a tour of the Holy Land, including Galilee, the Dead Sea, and Jerusalem, 19-30 April. Learn more at

The Hon
. Rev. Vicky Kolakowski is the newest member of the board of the California Council of Churches. Others in leadership include Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong, who is also on the board, and Mr. Jim Scurlock, Rev. Dorothea Williams-Flourney and Rev. Mark Wilson, who serve on the board of the organization’s political advocacy arm.

MCC is establishing an NGO in South Africa in order to reach out to all African countries, as we do in Eastern Eurpoe.

In the Unashamed Faith Cafe‘s Voters’ Choice Awards, Shawn Thomas received the2009 Album of the Year award for “Revisited Vol. 2” and the Video of the Year award for “The Christ in You”. 

Rev. Karon VanGelder just spent two months at Fort Drum in New York doing the initial assessment/reintegration meeting with soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) dedicated their new building on Palm Sunday.

MCC Lubbock (Texas) surprised Rev. Renae Phillips with a celebration for her 20th anniversary as their pastor.

Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Pennsylvania) now has groups meeting at least biweekly in Reading at the Quaker Meeting House and in York at Grace UCC.

Rev. Jide Macaulay appeared on VoxAfrica’s a live debate about the bill in Uganda making homosexuality punishable by death and giving three year prison terms to those not reporting homosexuals to the police.

Milwaukee MCC (Wisconsin)’s building dates from the Civil War, but the sanctuary is now 21st century. They donated their old pews to the Alliance School, an inclusive middle/high school. 

Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins, Rev. Robert Griffin, and Rev. Michael Diaz participated in the 94th Congress of the International New Thought Alliance in Chicago, Illinois.  Dr. Watkins was appointed the Southeast Florida District President and will chair the 2010 Congress.

St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) has added a second Bible study class on Sunday mornings. This one features the Prayer of Jabez.

MCC Edinburgh (Scotland) voted to merge with Augustine United Church after 14 years of ministering in the LGBT community. They held a special celebration and transition service.

MCC Ocala (Florida) dedicated their first building. In the midst of readying the facility for the move, there were two break-ins during a rash of church robberies in the area, necessitating a security upgrade and replacing stolen items.

MCC Quezon City (Philippines) is doing outreach to the students at Paytas Elementary who are disabled, mentally challenged, autistic, and deaf. 


Transition...These are some of the transitions which have happened over the last several months. If one that transpired in your church is not listed, please send that information to

Rev. Brenda Lee was ordained at achurch4me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois).

Rev. Mia Andersen, pastor of MCC Copenhagen (Denmark) retired after 18 years of ordained ministry in MCC. She will continue to be our presence on the Danish Council of Churches.

Rev. Melody Wolder is involved in ministry with The Fellowship church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rev. Bob Bond completed his interim at Safe Harbour MCC (Halifax, Nova Scotia).

Rev. Brian Hutchison is now the pastor at New Covenant MCC (Laurel, Maryland).

Rev. Mark Pridmore resigned as pastor of Eternal Joy MCC (Dayton, Ohio).

Rev. Elder Dr. Charlie Arehart completed his interim at MCC Washington DC the end of December and Rev. Dr. Dwayne Johnson began his tenure as senior pastor in January.

Rev. Jo Bell resigned her paid staff position at MCC Toronto (Canada) and began her doctoral studies at Episcopal Divinity School this month.

Rev. Elder Glenna Shepherd is now the pastor of Christ Covenant MCC (Decatur, Georgia).

Rev. Joy Etwell was ordained at MCC Melbourne (Australia).

Rev. Jim Lynch is the interim pastor at Gospel of Jesus Christ MCC (Midland, Michigan).

Rev. Marty Luna-Wolf is the pastor of Victory Garden MCC (Clovis, New Mexico).

Rev. Gavin Ward resigned as pastor of MCC Sydney (Australia). The congregation has moved from Heffron Hall, their location for the past 21 years, to a new facility in Petersham.

Cassandra White has accepted a part-time position as Director of Worship at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas).

Rev. Patrick Rogers is the interim pastor at MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens) Florida.

Rev. Mike Ellard has resigned as pastor of MCC San Jose (California) but is working with them through the transition.

Rev. Katie Houts, who had been the interim, was installed as pastor of MCC El Paso (Texas) by Rev. Elder Darlene Garner.

Rev. Edwin Yates was elected with a 100% vote as pastor of Redeemer MCC (Flint, Michigan).

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MCC | PO Box 1374 | Abilene | TX | 79604

MCC Impact – 2009 Pride Issue