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Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent 14 December 2014


Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent

14 December 2014

Rev. Elder Dr. Mona West

This is the testimony given by John, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.'”

John 1:19a, 23


I noticed on the social networking site ‘Tumblr’ that Advent was a trending topic. When I clicked on it there were various images and quotes from hundreds of blogs about Advent. They ranged from quirky Advent calendars and mystical poems to stick figures of reindeer and cookie recipes. None of them featured a wilderness. Yet, that is where John beckons us on this third Sunday of Advent. He is a voice of one crying out in the wilderness and what is amazing is that people follow him out there. Some of them wanted to question his identity — “Are you Elijah? The Messiah? The prophet?” Others were drawn to his message of repentance and preparation for ‘the coming.’ One could also say that Advent was a trending topic in John’s days.


Of all the sights and sounds of our current Advent season, wilderness is typically not one of them. When was the last time you saw a Christmas card with a stark image of the wilderness on its front cover? But scriptures tell us that the wilderness is important for salvation history: the Exodus of the Israelites lead through the wilderness and Jesus’ public ministry begins after a period of ‘testing’ in the wilderness. These stories teach that the desert is a place not only where God can be known more deeply but it is also a place where humans can know themselves more deeply.


I began this season of Advent quite literally in the wilderness. My spouse, Deb, and I went camping for a week in the wilderness of Big Bend, Texas (USA). I learned a few things about the desert and Advent during that week. Both cultivate an attitude of watchfulness. What might look the same day after day, year after year (how many Advent seasons have you lived through?) has beauty and depth if we do not become lulled by sameness. Every morning when I would come out of our camper and every evening before going inside for the night I was confronted with the same mountain. But if I took the time to be attentive throughout the day I noticed different things about the mountain and the landscape: the ways the shadows moved over the rocks; the varied colors of brown, gold and tan; little flowers that seemed to come out of nowhere.


For me, it’s easy to get lulled by the sameness of Advent traditions such as the hanging of the greens or the lighting of the Advent wreath, even the sameness of the story of the ‘babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manager.’ One writer has said, “Advent is not just about waiting for a baby. It’s about waiting for a whole new reality which takes hold of us by first taking our hearts and souls hostage to its justice and grace. And then, because we cannot help but live by its magnetic force, it lays its claim on the whole world through us.” (John van de Laar, Following John out into the wilderness of Advent keeps me watchful and open to the new reality he announces, which never takes root in me in quite the same way year after year.


Wilderness is also a place of exposure. In this stark landscape, not only can one be exposed to heat and lack of water, one can also be exposed to fears and anxieties. I remember several times during that week of camping feeling anxious about being in such a remote place. I would lie awake at night and think, “What if there is a fire in the camper? What if one of us has a medical emergency?” The wilderness stories of Exodus, Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness, and Advent teach that God meets us in our humanity, and the only way we can truly know God, as St. Teresa of Avila would say, is when we truly know ourselves.


John the Baptist invites us into the wilderness of Advent not to experience some kind of generic holiness or abstract Christian life. He invites us into the wilderness of Advent to truly know ourselves and to understand how God’s love and grace is made manifest in the particularities of our lives.


So as we move closer and closer to that ‘holy night,’ how is Advent trending for you?

  • Reflexión de Adviento para el día de Navidad 25 de diciembre de 2014
  • Advent Reflection for Christmas 25 December 2014
  • Reflexión de Adviento para la Víspera de Navidad 24 de diciembre de 2014
  • Advent Reflection for Christmas Eve 24 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Cuarto Domingo de Adviento 21 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent 21 December 2014
  • Reflexión del Tercer Domingo de Adviento 14 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent 14 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Segundo Domingo de Adviento 7 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent 7 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Primer Domingo de Adviento 30 Noviembre 2014
  • Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent 30 November 2014
  • Transform the World with your end-of-year donation


    Global Emerging Churches in 2014

    (Listed Alphabetically by Nation)

    ICM Cariri, Ceará, Brazil

    ICM Cabedelo, Cabedelo, Paraíba, Brazil

    ICM Casa de Emmaus Chile, Santiago de Chile

    Ministerio Apostolico Y Profético Emanuel ICM, Cajicá, Cundinarama, Colombia

    ICM Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

    Comunita Christiana <<Agape>> Firenze – Chiesa della Comunita Metropolitana, Florence, Italy

    Internationale Roze Kirk, The Hague, Netherlands

    Church in Progress, South Auckland, New Zealand

    Open Doors MCC, Seoul, South Korea

    The Village MCC, Brighton, United Kingdom

    Empowerment Liberation Cathedral, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

    Wasatch MCC, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    Dear MCC Friends

    I will be returning from sabbatical on 1 December, and while I’ve been away, I’ve spent time in prayer about the future of Metropolitan Community Churches. Like you, I have a yearning for connection, spiritual renewal, justice, hope, and peace.

    This year, I am giving an extra gift to MCC — to the Movement — to which I have devoted more than 42 years — really, all my adult life — because of YOU!

    I have come to know you over these years. Many of you span the decades and are the backbone of MCC. Your giving made it all possible. Of course, newcomers to MCC are one of my great joys. I love to see you eagerly learning about our history and our accomplishments today. Your gifts — small and large — are the future of MCC. Then, my “not very churchy” friends, both in and out of MCC, you partner with MCC for social change because that is what we do. It’s who we are! Your giving is a sign of hope. Finally, I cherish all of you members of other denominations who count on MCC to be there when and if you need us. Your giving helps all of us press on toward our common goals.

    Regardless of where you see yourself, I see you. WE see you and invite you to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in this season of hope by making a special gift to the global work of Metropolitan Community Churches.

    • Your giving raises up new MCC churches and ministries in places in the United States and in countries that have longed for a community they can call their own, experiencing radical inclusion! Let’s “be MCC” in new places! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
    • Your giving reaches the Hispanic community in North America, the fastest-growing demographic where “la familia” is growing in acceptance of their LGBTQ loved ones. MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
    • Your giving helps our Global Justice Institute to provide “safe houses” in places like Nigeria and Kenya for those who are persecuted and threatened just for being who they are in a hostile place. MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
    • Your giving helps us challenge those who, tragically, export hate in the name of Jesus. MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
    • Your giving helps us achieve marriage equality for everyone. MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
    • Your giving shares the life-giving, history-changing message of God’s love through the Internet in places where only our digital message can reach people. MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

    Our unique, amazing voice of faith is so essential today. Help strengthen that voice, that message, our ability to reach out in love with justice.

    The stories below have been provided by the directors of the Senior Leadership Team and their staff. Through their travel to countries across the globe, this team works with people in their local countries and cities and offers educational opportunities and meaningful connections.

    Let your heart be moved by the work yet to be done, and prayerfully consider an additional year-end gift to the denomination and movement that is MCC.

    May you be blessed during this holiday season, and may MCC continue to be the radical witness of God’s love for everyone.

    Grace and Peace,

    Rev. Nancy Wilson Signature

    Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson

    Global Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

    Expanding MCC’s Global Reach

    The Office of Emerging Ministries continues to work with individuals and groups around the globe that want to explore a new church start or an emerging ministry.


    Letters from Cuba

    “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy…” Luke 24: 50-52

    MCC San Lucas has a strong commitment to spread the good news all around the province of Ciego de Avila. Overcoming many drawbacks, they reinitiated their outreach activities during September and traveled to the following municipalities: Venezuela y Júcaro, Cirio Redondo Pina y Majagua.

    The municipality of Venezuela is located about 14 kilometers from the city where MCC San Lucas is based. Nearly 200 brochures about MCC were distributed and three services were offered. Services were also provided in Ciro Redondo and Majagua, located about 14 kilometers east of the province.

    The congregation of MCC San Lucas later visited the town of Júcaro, where they met with a group of young people in the city park and shared the good news of MCC. However, despite the desire to do more, the distance of over 25 kilometers from the church prevented the opportunity for frequent visits. The dream is to increase the number of services beyond their congregation.

    At one of the events, MCC San Lucas held an outdoor movie night. They showed a Cuban documentary called Perras! (Bitches), which is a drama about the lives of transsexuals in Havana. Movie night ended with a discussion and coffee.

    On two Saturdays of the month, friends and members of MCC San Lucas meet at a nightclub in the LGBT community and carry MCC’s words of good news. Their ministry is particularly focused on young people who attend the club. During the month of September, they held five services with an attendance of 64 people, and in October, had five services with an attendance of 54 people.

    In Cuba the status of LGBT people has greatly improved. It’s important to note that this year the government sponsored a national campaign against homophobia. The big problem continues to be the attitude of many people, especially religious groups, that deny LGBT people access to their communities. Religious conservatism is even more severe in the countryside.

    MCC San Lucas and their pastor Abel Jimenez understand the local situation and travel throughout the province to heal and bring the good news of the inclusive love of God. The author of the gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts proclaim a message that stands beyond cultural boundaries in the same way MCC San Lucas proclaims a God that embraces; a God for everybody.

    Eastern Europe

    MCC staff member Rev. Jim Mulcahy shared the pictures and first person accounts below of the Russia and Ukraine regions. He said he regrets not being able to send photos of LGBT Christians and activists. Publishing such images could put them in danger.

    The-Cathedral-of-Spilled-Blood The-Trinity-Sergeyeva-Monastery A-Wooden-Village-Church

    The Cathedral of Spilled Blood 

    St. Petersburg, Russia

    When I was in Russia, I was invited to speak to a group at a Coffee House.

    They asked me to talk about the state

    of religion in Russia and specifically if I saw any signs of hope for LGBT in the Russian Orthodox Church. There were about 30 in attendance and we talked

    for four hours.

    I spoke of a few signs of hope, especially among younger priests. I told the story

    of MCC and the amazing changes that happened because of MCC, in church, in theology, in acceptance of LGBT people.

    I assured them that changes will happen in their lifetime as they have in mine.

    After the break, a young man said,

    “I’m not religious and I don’t ever go to church, but if we had a church like MCC and a priest like you, I would go.”

    The Trinity Sergeyeva Monastery 

    near Moscow, Russia

    I was invited to speak to parents of an LGBT non-religious group. The meeting was moderated by a young man who described himself as an atheist. In his introductory remarks, he made it clear 

    that he wasn’t entirely pleased moderate 

    a group where the speaker was a priest. 

    It was a spirited meeting with many questions and a lot of discussion. 

    At the end of the meeting, the young man said, “I am astonished at how openly you talked with us. Can we go and have a coffee after the meeting?”

    We went to a coffee shop and spoke for another hour. His opinion of the possibility of people being LGBT and religious was changed.

    A Wooden Village Church


    I was invited to preach and celebrate communion with a small group. Before we began, two young men came into our meeting place, not for our service, but to seek information from the center.  They decided to stay for worship.

    One of the young men began crying when I began preaching and cried through the rest of the service.

    I had a chance to speak to him after the service. The day before, I had a friend request on Facebook. It was from this young man who had heard that there was an openly gay priest in their city for a visit. He didn’t think he would have the opportunity to meet me and talk. Was this a coincidence?

    Honduras Group

    Honduras Group Emerges Despite Violence

    In Honduras, a country in Central America, an increase in the violence against LGBTQI people is still dramatically high alongside a growing conservative evangelical movement. It is in this context where pastor Bertha Ramírez has been ministering among the community in Tegucigalpa, the country’s capital.

    Rev. Ramírez, a former Lutheran pastor, decided to continue serving LGBTQI people when the church did not recognize her ministry. Against all adversity, she began a church for those who were not welcome into other churches. She began to look for alliances and networks. She discovered the late Rev. John Doner, who put her in contact with MCC’s Iberoamerican Network.

    It has been more than a year since MCC has been supporting Rev. Ramirez’s prophetic ministry through pastoral support, trainings in the Darlene Garner Institute for Ibero-American Leadership Formation, and other resources as requested.

    It is the hope that this group in Honduras will soon be a new emerging church in the region.

    Expanding MCC’s Global Reach

    The Office of Emerging Ministries continues to work with individuals and groups around the globe that want to explore a new church start or an emerging ministry.

    Internationale-Roze-Kerk Church-in-Progress Open-Doors-MCC

    Internationale Roze Kerk

    The Hague, Netherlands

    Rev. Barbara Rogoski, Pastor

    Click here to visit the Internationale Roze Kerk website

    Those who are gathering at the Internationale Roze Kerk are building an intentional Christian community of Dutch and international LGBT people of faith around The Hague.

    Church in Progress

    South Auckland, New Zealand

    Click here to visit the Church in Progress website

    Church in Progress is an experiment of inclusive worship in South Auckland. They hope their worship will inspire action in their community and that their actions will inspire their worship.

    Open Doors MCC

    Seoul, South Korea

    Click here to visit the Open Doors MCC website

    A group of Christians and spiritual seekers in the Seoul metropolitan area are dedicated to the radical inclusivity of Jesus Christ. They are an intentionally open and affirming congregation, welcoming ALL people into the life of spiritual community.

     Website Banner



    Reflexión para el Segundo Domingo de Adviento 7 de diciembre de 2014


    Reflexión para el Segundo Domingo de Adviento

    7 de diciembre de 2014

    Rev. Obispa Darlene Garner

    Consuelen, consuelen a mi pueblo. Dice el Señor.

    Isaías 40:1


    El tiempo de Adviento siempre ha sido para mí un momento para una reflexión y expectación profunda. Los temas de Adviento de esperanza, amor, gozo y paz proporcionan oportunidades semanales para que los cristianos preparemos nuestro ser completo (cuerpo, mente y espíritu) para el cumplimiento de la promesa que Cristo vendrá en Navidad.


    La segunda semana de Adviento nos invita a reflexionar sobre el amor. Amor dado y recibido. Muchos de nosotros experimentan el amor más profundamente en y a través de nuestros cuerpos, y así reflexionar ahora sobre el cuerpo no tanto en su aspecto físico sino en su forma emocional.


    Soy muy consciente de mi cuerpo físico. Sé cómo se siente mi cuerpo–cada nervio, músculo y órgano. No sé cómo funcionan realmente los diversos trozos y pedazos del cuerpo, pero estoy agradecida por el hecho de que mi cuerpo funciona de una manera que apoya mi intención de vivir una vida de calidad tanto como pueda. Aunque no siempre fue verdad para mí, puedo decir hoy que amo mi cuerpo y que mi cuerpo me ama.



    Al mismo tiempo, mi mente me hace consciente de que este cuerpo vive tiempos interesantes. Experimentando el amor en un cuerpo no es todo acerca del dar o recibir amor y luz todo el tiempo. El mundo es demasiado complejo para este tipo de pensamiento simplista.


    Por ejemplo, soy una estadounidense de 66 años de edad amante de una mujer de mi mismo género cristiana de ascendencia africana, Cherokee, Choctaw e irlandés moviéndome en el mundo como una líder espiritual en una comunidad global y diversa. La piel que cubre este cuerpo lesbiano, potente, intercultural, es negra. Como tal, tiene la memoria celular de lo que es ser negro en América. Al mismo tiempo, sé que el color de mi piel no define todo de mí. De hecho, reconozco que este cuerpo negro ocupa algunas posiciones de poder y privilegio.


    En mi espíritu, sé que no estoy sola al tener una conciencia de tal complejidad individual. Muchas personas tienen de primera mano la experiencia de lo que es vivir como la víctima de alguien y también lo que es estar predispuesto en contra de otros y victimizar a otros. Mucha gente sabe lo que es ser contada de forma sutil y descarada manifestando que nuestras vidas no importan; también sabemos que hacemos las cosas para mostrar que nosotros devaluamos la vida de otras personas. Cada día, muchos de nosotros rezamos por la porción extra de gracia que se requiere para sobrevivir, cuando eres la encarnación de los miedos de otros pueblos, cuando oramos para la protección de aquellos que tememos.


    Todos estamos en esta vida compleja juntos — queers, heterosexuales, mujeres, y niños; nativos e inmigrantes; personas de color y personas blancas; personas con discapacidades, personas de todas las naciones, personas de diferentes credos y personas sin fe; ricos y pobres; ancianos y aquellos que están enfermos; aquellos de todos los colores, creencias y persuasiones. No importa quien seamos, lo que aparentan nuestros cuerpos o el nivel o causa de nuestros miedos. Cada uno de nosotros está llamado encontrar como amarnos a nosotros mismos y a los demás.


    Nosotros debemos resolver esto. De hecho, la propia supervivencia de la humanidad requiere que ganemos consuelo a través de nuestra convivencia como el pueblo amado de Dios. ¿Qué aspecto podría tener el consuelo? Para mí, el consuelo parece un montón de justicia y misericordia, justicia que se da libremente y misericordia que no se niega. El tipo de consuelo del que hablo proviene de la reconciliación, no de la venganza. Se trata de deseo, no de demanda. En cuanto a mí, espero con expectación el día cuando todo el pueblo de Dios vivirá en tanto consuelo en cuerpo, mente y espíritu.


    Aunque algunas personas no lo pueden conseguir en la actualidad, la buena noticia para todos nosotros está en saber que nuestro mundo y la calidad de nuestras relaciones con el otro realmente pueden mejorarse. En realidad, Cristo viene sólo un poco más cada vez que elegimos rechazar el miedo y en cambio aceptamos la promesa de advenimientos de esperanza, amor, alegría y paz imperante entre el pueblo de Dios. Eso es todo lo que necesitamos para la Navidad. ¡Que así sea!


  • Reflexión de Adviento para el día de Navidad 25 de diciembre de 2014
  • Advent Reflection for Christmas 25 December 2014
  • Reflexión de Adviento para la Víspera de Navidad 24 de diciembre de 2014
  • Advent Reflection for Christmas Eve 24 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Cuarto Domingo de Adviento 21 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent 21 December 2014
  • Reflexión del Tercer Domingo de Adviento 14 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent 14 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Segundo Domingo de Adviento 7 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent 7 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Primer Domingo de Adviento 30 Noviembre 2014
  • Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent 30 November 2014

    Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent 7 December 2014


    Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent

    7 December 2014

    Rev. Elder Darlene Garner

    Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

    Isaiah 40:1


    The Season of Advent has always been for me a time for both deep reflection and eager anticipation. The Advent themes of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace provide weekly opportunities for Christians to prepare our whole selves (body, mind, and spirit) for fulfillment of the promise that Christ will come at Christmas.


    The second week of Advent invites us to reflect upon Love. Love given and love received. Many of us experience love most profoundly in and through our bodies, and so we reflect now on the body in its physical rather than its emotional form.


    I am very aware of my physical body. I know how my body feels to me — every nerve, muscle, and organ. I do not know how the various bits and pieces of the body actually work, yet I am grateful for the fact that my body still functions in a way that supports my intention to live a quality life for as long as I can. Though it was not always true for me, I can say today that I love my body and that my body loves me.



    At the same time, my mind keeps me aware that this body is living in interesting times. Experiencing love in a body is not all about the body giving or receiving “love and light” all of the time. The world is far too complex for such simplistic thinking.


    For instance, I am an American-born 66-year-old same-gender-loving Christian woman of African, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Irish descent moving in the world as a spiritual leader among a diverse global community. The skin covering this older intercultural powerful lesbian body is Black. As such, it holds the cellular memory of what it has long meant to be Black in America. At the same time, I know that the color of my skin alone does not define all of me. Indeed, I recognize that this Black body occupies some positions of power and privilege.


    In my spirit, I know that I am not alone in having an awareness of such individual complexity. Many people have a first-hand experience of what it is to live as the victim of someone else’s bias and also what it is to be biased against and to victimize others. A lot of people know what it is to be told in subtle and blatant ways that our lives do not matter; we also know that we do things to show that we devalue another’s life. Every day, many of us pray for the extra portion of grace that is required to survive when you are the embodiment of other people’s fears even as we pray for protection from those that we fear.

    (Photo: Twitter @rebeccarivas)

    We are all in this complex life together — queers, straight folks, women, and children; native peoples and immigrants; peoples of color and white people; people with disabilities, people of all nations, people of different faiths and of no faith at all; the rich and poor, the elderly and those who are ill; those of all colors, beliefs, and persuasions. It does not matter who we are, how our bodies appear, or the level or cause of our fears. Each of us is called to figure out how to love ourselves and one another.


    We must figure this thing out. Indeed, the very survival of humanity requires that we gain comfort through our co-existence as God’s beloved people. What might such comfort look like? To me, comfort looks a whole lot like justice and mercy, justice that is freely given and mercy that is not denied. The kind of comfort of which I speak comes from reconciliation, not retribution. It comes out of desire, not demand. As for me, I look forward with eager anticipation to the day when all God’s people will live in such comfort in body, mind, and spirit.



    Though some people cannot get along today, the good news for all of us is in knowing that our world and the quality of our relationships with one another really can get better. Actually, Christ comes just a little closer each time we choose to reject fear and instead embrace Advent’s promise of hope, love, joy, and peace prevailing among God’s people. That is all we need for Christmas. May it be so!



  • Reflexión de Adviento para el día de Navidad 25 de diciembre de 2014
  • Advent Reflection for Christmas 25 December 2014
  • Reflexión de Adviento para la Víspera de Navidad 24 de diciembre de 2014
  • Advent Reflection for Christmas Eve 24 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Cuarto Domingo de Adviento 21 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent 21 December 2014
  • Reflexión del Tercer Domingo de Adviento 14 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent 14 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Segundo Domingo de Adviento 7 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent 7 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Primer Domingo de Adviento 30 Noviembre 2014
  • Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent 30 November 2014
  • Reflexión para el Primer Domingo de Adviento 30 Noviembre 2014


    Reflexión para el Primer Domingo de Adviento

    30 Noviembre 2014

    Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez

    “¡Ojalá rasgases el cielo y bajases!”

    Isaías 63:16


    “Velen, pues no saben cuándo vendrá el dueño de la casa.”

    Mark 13:33


    Si revisamos la situación que los Judíos enfrentaron en tiempos de Isaías después de la cruel experiencia del exilio, y los grandes retos que tenían frente a ellos, podemos fácilmente comprender sus sentimientos sobrecogidos. Nosotros, justo ahora en el siglo XXI, no tenemos una vida muy diferente a la relatada por el texto. Así como ellos, tenemos dos opciones: simplemente aceptar con resignación las cosas como son y sobrevivir recordando los buenos tiempos de antaño, o podemos aprovechar este momento como una gran oportunidad para cambiar nuestra realidad y nuestro futuro, en este presente incierto y volátil.


    Como comunidad Cristiana, estamos entrando en el tiempo de Adviento, o Pequeña Cuaresma, como solían llamarle nuestro antepasados en la fe. En nuestras manos, tenemos la oportunidad una vez más, de transformarnos al transformar el mundo.

    Es muy claro, pienso, que nuestro mundo se encuentra en una desesperada necesidad de transformación mientras somos testigos de la locura que nuestro mundo está experimentando. Guerra en algunos países (Ucrania, etc.); devastaciones en otros lugares (el calentamiento global nos está retando a hacer algo); confrontaciones en muchas ciudades (Ferguson, etc.), la terrible realidad en mi país (México) con miles de desaparecidos entre ellos los 43 estudiantes; crímenes de odio y el Ébola y otras enfermedades que afectan a multitudes.


    La realidad de nuestro mundo complejo, puede sobrecoger a cualquiera, pero quiero recordar las palabras de Gerhard Ebeling quien escribió, “lo más real de lo real, no es la realidad misma, sino sus posibilidades“. Y como soñador que soy, y con nuestro bagaje humano y cristiano, debemos enfocar nuestros esfuerzos en las posibilidades que están reclamando nuestro compromiso a la trasformación. Creo firmemente que no todo está perdido.


    Dios necesita nuestras manos, nuestros pies, nuestros corazones, nuestras mentes para hacer posible la transformación en este mundo. No es suficiente orar por esto. Hoy más que nunca el Rev. Troy Perry, nuestro fundador, tiene razón cuando dice: “algunas oraciones necesitan de nuestros pies.”

    Hoy más que nunca, necesitamos “¡estar alertas!” con nuestros ojos y corazones, atentos al futuro que queremos dejar a las personas que vienen después de nosotros. Debemos ser conscientes del futuro que estamos dejándoles, que está directamente relacionado con nuestras decisiones y nuestras acciones justas. Necesitamos evitar la tentación de vivir en la rutina de nuestras vidas seguras. El Adviento nos llama a arriesgarlo todo.


    La principal importancia de este tiempo, pienso que no es la observancia del adviento en sí; la importancia es el significado y la transformación que podemos recibir para nuestros ministerios, para nuestras vidas, para nuestras Iglesias y para nuestras comunidades.



    ¿Qué tipo de adviento están esperando nuestros hermanos y hermanas? ¿Cómo debemos vivir el tiempo de adviento entre muchos en nuestras sociedades, que no esperan ya nada?


    Como cristianos, no solamente nos estamos preparando para celebrar la Temporada Navideña, esa sería una meta muy devastadora en este Primer Domingo de Adviento; nuestro compromiso debería ser esperar y ayudar a establecer el Reino de Dios en este mundo, creando algo completamente diferente a la realidad actual.


    Podemos, posiblemente, rechazar el celebrar el Adviento, pero no tenemos permiso de rechazar el extender las manos para ayudar a todas las personas en esta tierra nuestra, de cualquier religión, para trabajar arduamente en traer el advenimiento de un nuevo mundo.


    Permítanme concluir mi reflexión sumando mi voz a la de mis hermanos y hermanas de México en su demanda: VIVOS SE LOS LLEVARON, VIVOS LOS QUEREMOS.



  • Reflexión de Adviento para el día de Navidad 25 de diciembre de 2014
  • Advent Reflection for Christmas 25 December 2014
  • Reflexión de Adviento para la Víspera de Navidad 24 de diciembre de 2014
  • Advent Reflection for Christmas Eve 24 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Cuarto Domingo de Adviento 21 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent 21 December 2014
  • Reflexión del Tercer Domingo de Adviento 14 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent 14 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Segundo Domingo de Adviento 7 de diciembre de 2014
  • Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent 7 December 2014
  • Reflexión para el Primer Domingo de Adviento 30 Noviembre 2014
  • Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent 30 November 2014
  • Ferguson and Racism: An Epistle to America

    Dear America, we greet you as Christians who believe that freedom in Christ means that all persons deserve respect and equality before God and the law.


    Today, we pray for Ferguson, the family of Michael Brown, and for people everywhere who are impacted by racism. We write to you as spiritual leaders of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) and join with the millions around the world who grieve the death of Michael Brown, who shot down with eight bullets while unarmed and holding his hands in the air. We grieve that the grand jury felt there was not even enough evidence to have this case go to trial. We grieve that so many people are in denial about the realities of racism today.

    MCC was founded almost 50 years ago to provide a spiritual home to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. We have been a target of hate, and we come from all races. We know all oppression must be challenged because every person is created in the image of God. It is time for all faithful people around the world to pray and act to end racism.

    Michael Brown (Ferguson, Missouri, USA)




    As Christians, we remember how Jesus was challenged to go beyond his own cultural prejudice by a woman who was of the scorned Canaanite race. (Matthew 15:21-28) We remember the lives of so many African Americans who heard the Gospel and knew they were meant to be free. We remember all those of every race who have been willing to stand up — and even lay down their lives for freedom and justice — regardless of race, language, or identity.


    As citizens of the world, we decry the use of war equipment to attack peaceful demonstrators. We stand up and speak out against the systematic criminalization of people of color. Just as Jesus overturned the tables of power and exploitation, surely Jesus would condemn a system that targets people by their skin color and economic status.


    We must drop all pretense of so-called color blindness and pick up the mantle of prophecy to urge everyone to learn the facts about racial discrimination. In particular, to understandFerguson, we must understand the larger realities of African Americans:

    Humanity has the power to do great good. Systemic racism can be dismantled. The Berlin wall was toppled. Apartheid was overthrown. Nazi Germany was defeated. Slavery was stopped. Systems of oppression are constructed by human beings and can be deconstructed by human beings. Will it be easy? No, but like every good thing we work for, it will be worth the effort. Our only regret will be that we did not act more quickly.


    We urge all people of good will to ACT TODAY.


    The Council of Elders of Metropolitan Community Churches:

    Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Rev. Dr. Mona West, Rev. Hector Gutierrez, Rev. Darlene Garner

    Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent 30 November 2014


    Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent

    30 November 2014

    Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez

    “Look out down from heaven, look at us!”

    Isaiah 63:16


    “Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.”

    Mark 13:33


    If we review the situation that the Jews were facing in Isaiah after the cruel exile experience, and the huge challenges that they had in front of them, we can easily understand their feeling overwhelmed. We, right now in the 21st century, are not living a life that is so different from the life they were living. Just like them, we have two options: just accept with resignation what is and live our lives accordingly by remembering the good old days; or we can seize this moment as a great opportunity to change our reality and our future from this uncertain and volatile present.


    As a Christian community, we are entering in the season of Advent, or Small Lenten Season, as it used to be call by our ancestors in the faith. In our hands, we have the opportunity once again to be transforming ourselves as we transform the world!



    It is apparent, I believe, that our world is in desperate need of transformation as we bear witness to the madness that our world is experiencing. War in some countries (Ukraine, etc.); devastation in other places (the global climate change that is compelling us); confrontations in many cities (Ferguson, etc.); the hellish reality in my home country (Mexico) with thousands of people missing and presumed dead, like the 43 students recently found; hate crimes; Ebola and a multitude of other kinds of diseases.


    The reality of our complex world, of course, can overwhelm anyone, but I want us to consider the words of Gerhard Ebeling who wrote, “the most real of the real thing, is not the reality itself, but its possibilities.” And as the dreamer that I am, and with our Christian and human grounding, we must focus our efforts on the possibilities that are calling for our commitment to transformation. I stand fast in believing that not everything is lost.


    God needs our hands, our feet, our hearts, and our minds to bring about a transformation in this world. It is not enough just to pray about it. Rev. Troy Perry, our Founder, is right when he says: “Some prayers need our feet.”



    Now more than ever, we need to “be on guard!” with our eyes and hearts, paying attention to the future that we want to leave for the people who are coming after us. Thus, we must be mindful of the future we are leaving them, as it directly correlates to our decisions and our actions right now. We need to refuse the temptation to live in the routine of our safe lives. Advent calls us to risk it all.


    The importance of this season, I believe, is not the observance of the season itself; the importance is the meaning and transformation that we can receive for our ministries, for our lives, for our churches, and for our communities.



    What kind of Advent are you expecting, my siblings? How must we live the Advent Season among the many in our world who do not expect anything?


    As Christians, we are not just preparing ourselves to celebrate the Christmas Season, as that can be a devastating goal for us this First Sunday of Advent; our commitment should be to expect and to help to establish the real Realm of God in the world, creating something completely different than the current reality.


    Maybe we can refuse to celebrate the Advent, but we are not allowed to refuse to lend a helping hand to all people of this earth, to work hard to bring about the advent of a new world.


    Let me conclude my reflection by adding my voice to my siblings in Mexico in their demand: VIVOS SE LOS LLEVARON, VIVOS LOS QUEREMOS (You took them alive from us, alive we want them back with us).


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  • Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent 30 November 2014
  • Statement in response to immigration reform actions by U.S. President Barack Obama

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


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


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


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


    Statement: World AIDS Day


    One year ago, we marked the 25th Anniversary of World AIDS Day. Who among us is better off? PReP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) protocols are becoming more widely available each month. Activists and advocates the world over have endorsed this approach as a major milestone toward ending the HIV epidemic. Earlier this year, MCC issued a statement applauding the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its approval of PReP. We knew that it was not the cure all for which we have prayed for decades. Combined with access to the basic necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter, and systems of love and support), PRep can and has helped many. But looking back over the past year, we remain challenged by the fact that, throughout the world, the faces of AIDS remain stubbornly brown, stubbornly poor, and alarmingly female and MSM (men who have sex with men). Scripture tells us that Jesus saw himself in those around him, particularly those in need {Matthew 25}. We must, too. They are us, and we are them. Medical advances continue, but they remain out of reach for far too many.


    As a movement that is concerned with the holy integration of our sexuality and our spirituality, MCC holds to a positive spirituality concerning all bodies.  Positive Spirituality is a spirituality that sees our sexuality as a part of our wholeness. Living into MCC’s core values of Inclusion, Community, Spiritual Transformation, and Social Action means that no one can be left beyond the reach of our prayers, our loving embrace, and our activism.


    We are called to do hard work. Loving those whom they say are unlovable. Touching the untouchable. Defending those who are defenseless. Medicine alone is not the answer. Global systems of domination and exploitation rob people with HIV from meaningful access to cutting edge anti-retroviral medications. They withhold housing, shelter, employment, family, love, and spiritual companionship. There is only one fight: OUR fight. The late United States Senator Paul Wellstone famously said, “We all do better when we ALL do better.” MCC, we can continue to provide global leadership so that we ALL do better, everyone, everywhere.


    Perhaps more than any other global religious movement, Metropolitan Community Churches knows that Faith Is Greater Than AIDS (Faith > AIDS). The first International AIDS Vigil of Prayer was held at MCC San Diego (USA) in 1986. This later evolved into World AIDS Day.


    We invite you to join MCC worshipping bodies around the globe and take the following actions:

    • Take pictures of your Advent-themed worship space, with members and congregational leaders wearing AIDS ribbons and/or red attire, and post them on Facebook under the Ending HIV/AIDS One Prayer at a Time group between now and 1 December.
    • Visit MCC’s World AIDS Day page for resources to help with worship this Sunday, including litanies, prayers.
    • Include a specially-dedicated prayer around the theme of “Ending HIV/AIDS One Prayer At A Time.”
    • Contact a local HIV/AIDS service organization to start or expand use of your worship site as a testing location (global locator site).
    • Know Your Status, and help others become more comfortable in knowing their status.
    • Contact your local, state/provincial, and national government leaders and urge them to take action to end the criminalization of HIV.


    We are blessed to have so many other faith traditions join this work to ensure that all HIV+ persons have resources, medical care, housing, food, clothing, and family support. More will never be enough until HIV is eradicated. This work is not done.


    This statement is a collaboration between the Public Policy Team of MCC, the Global Justice Institute, and the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council of MCC.




    MCC is joining with human rights activists, LGBT Jamaicans, and people of faith from around the world for a day of global protest on Wednesday, 6 August 2014, in opposition to Jamaica’s Anti-Buggery Law.  The law has provided legal cover for extreme anti-LGBT violence throughout the country.  The anti-LGBT movement in Jamaica has been highly effective in spreading hateful propaganda about the community.  MCC joins activists from around the world in calling for a coordinated, global response in solidarity with LGBT people on the ground.

    6 August is Jamaica’s Independence Day, and we invite you to join us in calling for an end to violence and the legal system that enables it. 


    10562982_473357036137287_4259168785229981968_nJamaican Consulate Protests:


    • Jamaican Consulate/High Commission in 303 Eglinton Avenue East, London, Toronto, Canada 12 noon Eastern Standard Time (4pm GMT)
    • Jamaican Consulate, 767 Third Avenue New York, NY USA.  12 noon Eastern Standard Time (4pm GMT)
    • Jamaican High Commission, 1 Prince Consort Road, London, England UK, 5pm BST (4pm GMT)


    Our Day of Action will send a powerful message that the British-era colonial law has no place in any modern society.  Dwayne Brown, the founder of Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand, said, “For too long, the government of Jamaica has failed to take decisive action to address the ongoing crisis of anti-LGBT violence.  One important step is immediately repealing the buggery law, which has been used in various ways to terrorize the LGBT community.”   It will further support the legal challenges taking place in the Jamaican judicial system to eliminate the anti-buggery law, an effort led by MCC’s Maurice Tomlinson.



    Here’s what you can do to join the movement:

    • Work with your church and local partners to stage a demonstration or activity, ideally at the same time as the consulate protests in Canada, USA, and UK.  Virtual and in-person are equally encouraged. 
    • Help gather signatures for the Petition Calling for the Repeal of the Anti-Buggery Laws. Download the petition HERE and email the completed ones (with signatures) to Jason Latty care of MCCNY.
    • Follow the Protest’s Facebook page and stay update about local actions around the world.
    • Tweet #JamaicaRepealBuggeryLaw in support.