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Archive for the ‘Ministries’ Category

MCCTM: Rev. Mel’s Report from Soulforce Symposium

Report from Rev. Melanie “Mel” Martinez, Representing HRC Religion and Faith Program, MCC, MCC Transgender Ministries at Soulforce’s Symposium in Philadelphia, PA – November 2010
Mel recently attended Soulforce’s Symposium on “The Truth about Faith, Science, Love and Reparative Therapy” as a representative of Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Program. Mel has served for two years as a trainer for the “Gender Identity and Faith Communities” curriculum released by HRC Religion and Faith Program in 2008.

From the Desk of Rev. Mel Martinez, Co-Lead, MCC Transgender Ministries

My work with HRC’s Religion and Faith Program culminated in an invitation to represent the program during Soulforce’s Symposium in Philadelphia, November 5-6, 2010. I was exceedingly impressed by the diversity of the gathering, both among attendees and presenters.

We gathered on the Friday prior to our day-long symposium in Love Park (downtown Philadelphia) for a LIFE Rally. Featuring a performance by Ray Boltz, this rally called for solidarity against bullying in our schools. We shivered together, cried together, and spoke together “We Are Accepted!”

Our symposium began early Saturday morning and continued throughout the day. The opening plenary by Jay Bakker (pastor of Revolution NYC church and speaker at MCC’s General Conference 2007) shed light on an ally’s journey among religious leaders. Jay’s perspective: “Silence is Violence!” Amen!

Break out sessions, workshops, discussion panels, and community meals offered all gathered at the symposium the opportunity to consider our next steps and best tools for combating the destructive spiritual violence found in reparative therapeutic measures. We considered the lasting injuries inflicted on ourselves and our siblings through religious abuse and medical abuse. We joined the ongoing dialogue happening among our many organizations represented.

From Jallen Rix, Author of “Ex-Gay, No Way!” and a workshop presenter at the Symposium: “Agree to disagree is not enough. We need to see our differences as what makes our community strong. We need to affirm our differences. The more we can get used to celebrating our differences…[they] make us stronger.”

Ultimately, our Symposium concluded with hope and expectation of one another and our organizations. As a representative of both HRC and MCC, I am optimistic about the efforts our organizations are making worldwide. As a leader in MCC Transgender Ministries, I am hopeful that the true celebration of diversity will continue to make visible the needs of our transgender siblings and to enliven the ministries of all of our siblings as part of the Body of Christ.

Special thanks to Soulforce for the opportunity to gather and dialogue. Special thanks to HRC for honoring me with the opportunity to be a representative of their Religion and Faith Program. Finally, thanks to MCC and MCC Transgender Ministries for allowing me to represent our important work, ministry, and message in the world.

(USA) National Gay Men’s HIV Awareness Day

from Joshua Love, Director MCC Global HIV/AIDS Ministry
Monday, September 27, 2010

“Millions of lives and millions of deaths around the world bear direct witness to the fact that AIDS IS NOT OVER. The suffering and marginalization of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS has continued for three decades without ceasing. We no longer need to ask when the moment for action will come: it was yesterday, it is today, and it will be tomorrow until HIV and AIDS are no more,” Joshua L. Love, Director Metropolitan Community Churches Global HIV/AIDS Ministry.

At Metropolitan Community Churches we believe God is calling people of faith to end the silence and inaction which have hurt millions of people around the world. We believe that silence and inaction, particularly in the face of the human suffering and death wrought by HIV and AIDS, is contrary to the expressed core teachings of faith traditions.

As our Moderator Reverend Nancy Wilson regularly reminds us, Metropolitan Community Churches have stood at the forefront of the battle against HIV and AIDS since the first announcements linking AIDS with the lives of gay men, and we believe that God has uniquely called people of faith to restore the heart of the church through ministry with those individuals most excluded by the church.

If you hunger to minister at the true intersection of justice, mercy, compassion and hope, then join Metropolitan Community Churches Global HIV/AIDS Ministry and our allies around the world in taking action today. The God of your understanding may be inspiring and empowering you with the message once delivered by St. Teresa of Avila:

God has no body now on earth but yours.
Yours are the only hands with which God can do work;
Yours are the only feet with which God can go about the world;
Yours are the only eyes through which God’s compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world.

“Death is defeated by love and sickness is healed by love. We must display that love those living with HIV or AIDS. Pray for those infected by the virus, talk to them and sit side-by-side with those carrying HIV at church. People need to know that someone loves them in order to have a purpose. Having a purpose in life gives a person a reason to want to live. That’s what love does,” Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship.

In Love, Peace, and Hope,
Metropolitan Community Churches Global HIV/AIDS Ministry

MCC Announces the Release of the MCC TRANSFormative Church Ministry Program

MCC Logo

 

 Tearing Down Walls. 
 Building Up Hope.

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope. 

 

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


Mel
Melanie Martinez 


Angel
Angel Collie 

Organizations Endorsing MCC’s TRANSFormative Church Ministry Program

 

FTM Phoenix Group (Russia)

 



The Institute for Welcoming Resources (NGLTF) 


Gender Dynamix (South Africa)


Southerners on New Ground 


MCC Transgender Ministries is pleased to announce the release of our local church focused-ministry program entitled “MCC TRANSFormative Church Ministry Program”.  This resource is designed for local churches and organizations to enhance ministry to and with transgender and gender-variant people, or to begin a successful ministry from scratch.  Featuring our “Local Church Focused Ministry Plan Workbook”, this program walks churches through the identification of leaders, the intentional planning of a new or existing ministry, and quarter-by-quarter ministry planning.  Also, a variety of tools engaging the topics specific to Transgender and Gender-Variant people, such as educational workshops, year-round liturgies, fundraising tools, and partner organization trainings, enhance ministry efforts and support volunteer and professional leadership.

Get your copy of the MCC TRANSFormative Church Ministry Program for FREE until October 1st! 

If you place your order before October 1, we will provide a printed copy of this full resource (approx. 200 pages), as well as a disc of all resources for printing in-house.  Your order includes rights to print and edit resources as needed for use in your local community for original MCC Transgender Ministry materials.  After October 1, this resource will incur a fee of $25 to cover the cost of printing and shipping only.Learn more about this ministry program, the variety of tools available, how to order your copy, and the benefits for your church by clicking here!  
What is MCC Transgender Ministries?

MCC Transgender Ministries (MCCTM), co-lead by Angel Collie and Mel Martinez, supports the ministries and relationships to/with local churches and organizations intent on making a difference for transgender and gender-variant people.  Since the ministry’s inception in 2005 (originally the MCC Transgender Resource Team), Angel and Mel have coordinated the creation of and distribution of resources, created new organizational partnerships, and offered consult with MCC members and leaders.  This year (September 2010) Mel and Angel release their first Ministry Program – MCC’s TRANSFormative Church Ministry Program – with endorsements from Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Welcoming Resources Program, Southerners on New Ground and (in Africa) Gender Dynamix.  This program is an ongoing, regularly enhanced program designed to build on current transgender ministry and walk local congregations/organizations through beginning such ministry.

Past efforts of MCC Transgender Ministries include: yearly observance and resources for Transgender Day of Remembrance, facilitation of “Gender Identities and Our Faith “Communities” HRC program, attendees at Gender Odyssey conference, and workshops/affinity groups at General Conferences 2007 & 2010. 

We are devoted to ensuring that there is No Silent “T” in MCC!