Metropolitan Community Churches http://mccchurch.org Official website of Metropolitan Community Churches Wed, 27 May 2015 17:48:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Uma reflexão sobre a mesa aberta http://mccchurch.org/uma-reflexao-sobre-a-mesa-aberta/ http://mccchurch.org/uma-reflexao-sobre-a-mesa-aberta/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 16:55:01 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8771 SoF-Logo-PortugueseCommission on SOF

Uma reflexão sobre a mesa aberta
por Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis & Bryce E. Rich

 

Tem um ano desde que a Comissão sobre Declaração do Estatuto de Fé da ICM começou o seu trabalho. Mais uma vez, nós gostariamos de convidar a grande comunidade da ICM a continuar nossa discussão. Para este fim, nós estaremos compartilhando alguns dos nossos pensamentos iniciais sobre vários tópicos que temos discutido entre nós, incluindo a Mesa Aberta, nossos pensamentos sobre Jesus, a missão especial da ICM dentro da Igreja e nosso papel como mordomos da criação de Deus.

 

Este mês, temos discutido as práticas da ICM oferecendo uma Mesa Aberta nos cultos de adoração. Esta tem sido nossa prática desde 6 de Outubro de 1968, quando o Rev. Elder Troy Perry realizou o primeiro culto da ICM na sua casa. Em resposta a este convite que foi publicado na revista The Advocate, 12 pessoas de várias tradições religiosas se reuniram naquele dia. Embora a celebração da Santa Ceia não seja parte integral da tradição Pentencostal do Troy, pelo mover do Espirito, ele ofereceu o pão e o cálice para todos os presentes. As reuniões da ICM por todo o mundo tem feito dessa forma como um convite aberto a todos desde então.

 

Declarações de fé tradicionais sempre começam com declarações simples sobre Deus e nossos deveres como adoradores. Porém quando pensamos em nossas primeiras experiencias na ICM, o que vem em nossa mente é uma Mesa Aberta.

 

Nós acreditamos que Deus convida a todos e a todas para provar e ver. E nós temos visto a cura que ocorre quando participamos da Ceia do Senhor.

Rev. Elder Ken Martin feiert das Abendmahl bei der Weltkonferenz im Juli 2013
Rev. Bispo Ken Martin consagrando a Comunhão na XXV Conferência Geral em julho de 2013. (Foto por L. Brenner-Beckstead)

Em razão de termos vindo de tantas tradições religiosas, incluindo Católica, Batista, Pentecostal, Igrejas Livre, e tantas, tantas outras, estamos conscientes que as pessoas tem uma variedade de crenças sobre a Eucaristia. Nelas se incluem o memorial, a transubstanciação, consubstanciação e presença real. Entretando, no meio da nossa diferença, a Mesa Aberta tem sido o centro da adoração na ICM desde o início.

 

Muitos de nós sabemos a dor que é ser separado da comunhão em outras denominações. Com isto em mente, nossos fundadores decidiram oferecer a comunhão em todos os cultos. Incontáveis pessoas tem se reconectado com o amor de Deus pelo convite extendido a todas as pessoas. Algumas pessoas vem sozinhas, outras com seus parceiros, parceiras, e até mesmo em grupo de amigos.

 

Na ICM King Of Peace, utilizamos a seguinte leitura uma vez ao mês como parte do nosso momento de comunhão. Nós convidamos você para que tome um tempo para ler e meditar:

 

Venha a esta mesa
Para encontrar com o Deus vivo
Amor indescritível e além da nossa imaginação
Mais perto que nossa própria respiração

Venha a esta mesa
Para encontrar o Cristo ressurreto
Carne da nossa carne, osso do nosso osso
Deus Conosco, encarnado na nossa vida

Venha a esta mesa
Para encontrar com o Espírito da vida
Interpretação da nossa busca por verdade e justiça
Inspirando dentro de nós um poder renovador

Venha para achar, reunir, sustentar
Um Deus vivo e amoroso
Se fez novo para nós no pão e no vinho

— Jan Berry in Bread for Tomorrow: Praying with the World’s Poor, ed. Janet Morley (London: SPCK/Christian Aid, 1992), pp. 93-94.

 

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Algumas questões a considerar

Queremos que nos contem as suas experiencias. Curta nossa página no facebook e participe da conversa ou nos mande sua resposta privada pelo site da ICM. Este mês estamos particularmente interessados nas seguintes questões:

  • A mesa aberta é uma pratica importante na sua experiência de adoração?
  • Você se lembra como se sentiu quando foi convidado a participar da Comunhão pela primeira vez na ICM?
  • Que palavras, frases, ou imagens vem a sua mente quando quando falamos da experiência da Mesa Aberta?

Você pode compartilhar também seus pensamento sobre a Declaração de Fé.

Queremos ouvir você!

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Obrigado por participar da nossa conversa. Esperamos continuar o diálogo.

Sua Comissão sobre Declaração de Fé da ICM

 

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis

 

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis, Presidente da Comissão sobre a Declaração de Fé da ICM e Pastora da King of Peace MCC em St. Petersburg, Flórida (EUA).

Bryce E. Rich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bryce E. Rich é membro da Comissão sobre a Declaração de Fé da ICM e Presidente do Grupo de Teologias da ICM.

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Una reflexión sobre la pregunta Quién y Qué somos http://mccchurch.org/una-reflexion-sobre-la-pregunta-quien-y-que-somos/ http://mccchurch.org/una-reflexion-sobre-la-pregunta-quien-y-que-somos/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 16:19:38 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8769 SoF-Logo-SpanishCommission on SOF

Una reflexión sobre la pregunta Quién y Qué somos 
Rev. Dr. Karl Hand y Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert

 

Nosotros, la Iglesia de la Comunidad Metropolitana, nos encontramos actualmente reflexionando y re-visionando nuestra declaración de Fe. Estamos tratando de redactar para nuestro tiempo lo que nosotros creemos. Así que, ¿quién se incluye en este “Nosotros” de quién hablamos, cuando decimos: “Nosotros creemos”? Y ¿Cuál es esta Iglesia que se reúne para decir estas palabras, de la forma en que podrían sonar? 

Revisando y re-pensando la declaración de fe es también un tiempo de re-visitar y repensar nuestra identidad como Iglesia. Es un tiempo en que deseamos ser cuidadosos con las palabras que utilicemos para describir nuestra identidad. La manera en que hablamos sobre algo o alguien – la Iglesia y las personas -da forma a la realidad en la cual vivimos. Aprendimos de primera mano cuando comenzamos a utilizar un lenguaje inclusivo al hablar sobre género y sexualidad hace varios años.

Encontrando nuevas formas de hablar sobre nuestra fe también significa preguntarnos como pensamos y hablamos sobre nuestra Iglesia. A través de nuestro boletín, la Comisión de la Declaración de Fe no buscamos dar respuestas, sino hacer preguntas:

¿Quiénes somos, y qué somos?

La palabra Iglesia es una traducción de la palabra hebrea, qahal o “asamblea,” la cual se utilizaba para referirse a las reuniones de hijos e hijas libres de Israel después de que se liberaron de la esclavitud en Egipto. En el Evangelio de Mateo, Jesús se refiere a la comunidad e personas que le siguen utilizando la palabra griega ekklesia, la cual traduce qahal. Cuando los apóstoles compartieron el mensaje de Jesus al mundo, las comunidades que formaron fueron designadas con la palabra ekklesia, o su equivalente en latín ecclesia. Nuestras iglesias iberoamericana continúan llamándose iglesia (en español) oigreja (en portugués).

church

Hay muchas maneras de hablar sobre nuestra realidad, la naturaleza y estructura de la Iglesia. Existen algunas categorías de las academias teológicas que hablan sobre la Iglesia militante, la Iglesia que batalla y lucha aquí en la tierra, la cual está compuesta por todo tipo de personas, todas pecadoras, pero al mismo tiempo todas santas. Las mismas teologías también hablan sobre la Iglesia triunfante que está ya disfrutando de la alegría y el júbilo en la presencia del amor de Dios y de la redención. Existe un lenguaje en la Biblia que presenta a la Iglesia como Cuerpo de Cristo, o como algunas veces decimos en el culto: “Somos las manos y pies de Cristo”. Somos hermanas y hermanos, con una tarea común.

ICM no es la Iglesia universal, o la “única, verdadera” Iglesia – somos solo una parte del todo. Pero cuando nos reunimos cada semana en las congregaciones locales alrededor del mundo y cuando estamos juntas en nuestras redes y conferencias, somos una manifestación de esa realidad.

Algunas maneras de las que hablamos sobre la Iglesia, son los nombres que nos han dado o que nosotros mismos nos damos a través de nuestra historia: La Iglesia para gays, la Iglesia con SIDA, la Iglesia de los derechos humanos, la iglesia para todas las personas. Actualmente, estamos tratando de “Ser ICM”.
También hay otras formas de hablar de la Iglesia como una organización en la que vivimos: algunos piensan en nosotros como una Iglesia local, o congregaciones donde adoramos, celebramos y lloramos. También somos una organización mundial, Iglesia ecuménica que crea puentes de lenguaje, cultura, países y colores. Algunos nos ven como un movimiento con raíces que han mudado y han ido más allá de imágenes y conceptos. ¿Somos todo esto, o nada de esto, o más que esto?
 
También tenemos una tradición firme y unos valores esenciales, de que esta Iglesia está edificada sobre el Sacerdocio de Todos los Creyentes, de que todas las personas somos iguales en nuestra jornada de fe. “No hay más judío o gentil, ni esclavo ni libre, ni hombre ni mujer, ustedes son uno en Cristo Jesús” (Gálatas 3:28).
 
La Comisión sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM quiere escuchar sobre lo que tú y las otras personas viven y hacen en ICM, pensando en lo que respecta a quién y qué somos. De esta manera, comenzaremos a comprender lo que significa, cuando decimos: “Nosotros creemos….”
 
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Algunas preguntas para tu consideración

Nos gustaría conocer sus experiencias. Participen de nuestra conversación en la página de Facebook, o escriban un mensaje a través del sitio web de ICM. Consultar los enlaces.

Este mes, estamos particularmente interesados en las siguientes preguntas:

  • ¿Qué es ICM para ti? ¿Cómo experimentas a ICM? ¿Localmente?¿Más ampliamente?
  • ¿Cuáles palabras, frases o imágenes vienen a tu mente para describir a la Iglesia de la Comunidad Metropolitana?

También puedes compartir tus pensamientos sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM.
¡Queremos escucharte!

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Muchas gracias por ser parte de la conversación. Esperamos continuar este diálogo.

Su Comisión sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM.

 

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand es miembro de la Comisión de la Declaración de Fe de ICM y Pastor de Crave MCC en New South Wales (Australia).

Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert

Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert es miembro de la Comisión de la Declaración de Fe y del Equipo de Teologías de ICM.

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Siguenos en facebook

 

Inscribirse en el boletín de la Comisión

 

Enviar un mensaje privado a la Comisión

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A Reflection on MCC Mission and Liturgy http://mccchurch.org/a-reflection-on-mcc-mission-and-liturgy/ http://mccchurch.org/a-reflection-on-mcc-mission-and-liturgy/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 16:10:39 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8766 SoF-Logo-EnglishCommission on SOF

A Reflection on MCC Mission and Liturgy
by Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez & Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis

In MCC, we are living a unique time of reflection, analysis, approach, transition and deep action, guided by the Spirit of God who continues calling us to “Be MCC” in the world. We came to be part of this family that is MCC from different and varied traditions, stories and histories, but no doubt with the strong conviction that the same mission holds us together: proclaiming the radically inclusive message of the Gospel.

Jesus, as he was leaving His disciples, gave them and us what we call the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19a) When we were founded, Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry declared that we preach a three-pronged gospel: Christian Salvation, Christian Community, and Christian Social Action.

Our current MCC Statement of Faith states, in part:

“Founded in the interest of offering a church home to all who confess and believe…The Church serves to bring all people to God through Christ. To this end, it shall arrange for regular services of worship, prayer, interpretation of Scriptures, and edification through the teaching and preaching of the Word.”

Mission and worship are at the heart of who we are. Those who have had the blessing to visit some of our local churches in various corners of the world can with certainty say that there is something deep that makes us MCC. But at the same time, each of our local congregations is unique. Even in one local church, there can be three types of worship services, each completely different from one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Altar

In our personal history, we all keep something within ourselves about how the Spirit inspired us in our first contact with MCC. Personally, I, H??ctor, can say that it was the richness of liturgy yet at the same time a sense of worship that is free, innovative, inclusive, and alive that captured my spirit and my excitement of wanting to be a part of MCC. Because my background is a Latin American tradition well rooted in Liberation Theology, I could experience, in the worship services of MCC, that same richness of the traditions of my communities as well as feel free to live into the manifestation of my faith. Faith and life, for me, are two faces of the same reality.

We also have a willingness and openness to transform our worship spaces for different activities. These might include sacred music, dance, drag and a whole host of endeavors only limited by our imaginations. Maybe we are so comfortable with this and it looks so normal to us, that we miss the opportunity to think about it.

Our worship is one part of our community life, and a manifestation of our mission for transformation and radical inclusion.

One of MCC’s greatest strengths is above all the living experience of the priesthood of all believers. In MCC, all persons can preside over worship and each can share from their own experience of faith.

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Some Questions to Consider

We’d like to hear about your experiences. Join the conversation on our Facebook page, or send your private reply to us through the MCC website. See links below.

This month, we’re particularly interested in the following questions:

  • How does your experience with worship within MCC relate to your understanding of MCC’s mission?
  • Do you experience a connection with mission when you worship? If so, how? If not, why not?
  • Do you have a specific rite or liturgy used in worship in your experience of MCC that you would like to share?

You may also share your thoughts about the MCC Statement of Faith.
We want to hear from you!

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Thank you for being a part of the conversation. We look forward to continuing the dialogue.

Your Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith

RevElderHector

Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez is a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith. He is also an Elder in MCC and leads the Iberoamerica ministry as a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis

 

 

 

 

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis is the Chair of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith and Senior Pastor at King of Peace MCC in Saint Petersburg, Florida (USA).

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Like us on facebook

 

Subscribe to the Commission’s newsletter by sending us a request: Statement of Faith Newsletter

 

Send a private message to the Commission.

 

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A Reflection on the Question of Who and What We Are http://mccchurch.org/a-reflection-on-the-question-of-who-and-what-we-are/ http://mccchurch.org/a-reflection-on-the-question-of-who-and-what-we-are/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 16:00:06 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8762 SoF-Logo-EnglishCommission on SOF

A Reflection on the Question of Who and What We Are
by Rev. Dr. Karl Hand & Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert
 

We, the Metropolitan Community Church, are currently rethinking and revisiting ourstatement of Faith. We are trying to formulate for our time what we believe. Yet, who is this “We” we are talking about, when we say the words: “We believe”? And what is this Churchthat comes together to say those words, however they will sound? 

Revisiting and rethinking a statement of faith is also a time to revisit and rethink our identity as a church. It is a time when we wish to be careful about the words we use to describe our identity. The way we talk about something and someone — the church and the people –shapes the reality in which we live. We learned this first-hand when we began to use inclusive language to talk about gender and sexuality many years ago.

Finding new ways of talking about our faith also means asking how we think and talk about our church. Through our newsletter, the Commission on the Statement of Faith is not trying to give answers, but to ask the question: 

Who are we, and what are we?

The word church is a translation of a Hebrew word, qahal or “assembly,” which was used to refer to the gathering of the liberated children of Israel after they had left slavery in Egypt. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus refers to the community of people who followed him using the Greek word ekklesia, which translates qahal. When the apostles spread the message of Jesus throughout the world, the communities that formed kept using the word ekklesia, or the Latin equivalent ecclesia. Our Ibero-American churches still say iglesia and igreja.

church

There are many ways to talk about the reality, the nature, and the structure of the church. There are categories of academic theologies that talk about the church militant, the struggling, fighting church here on earth, that is composed of all kinds of people, all of us sinners, but also all saints. The same theologies also talk about the church triumphant that is already in joy and jubilation in the presence of the love of God, beloved and redeemed. There is the language of the Bible that sees the church as the Body of Christ, or as we sometimes say in worship: “We are the Hands and Feet of Christ.” We are sisters and brothers, with a common task.

MCC isn’t the universal church, or the “one, true” church — we are only one part of it. But when we meet every week in local congregations around the world, and when we come together in our networks and conferences, we are a manifestation of that reality.

Some ways we talk about the church are the names we were given or have given ourselves through our history: The church for gays, the church with AIDS, a human rights church, a church for all. Today, we are trying to “Be MCC.”

There are also ways to talk about the church as the organisation we live in: Some think of us as the local church, or congregations where we worship, celebrate, and grieve. We are also a worldwide, ecumenical church that bridges the boundaries of language, culture, countries, and colours. Some see us as a grassroots movement that has moved away and beyond all those images and concepts. Are we all of these, or none, or more? 

We also have a firm tradition and core value, that this church is built on the Priesthood of all Believers, that we all are equals in our journey of faith. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

The Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith would like to hear what you, the people that live and make up this MCC, think concerning who and what we are. In this way, we will begin to understand what we mean, when we say: “We believe….”

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Some Questions to Consider

We’d like to hear about your experiences. Join the conversation on our Facebook page, or send your private reply to us through the MCC website. See links below.

This month, we’re particularly interested in the following questions:

  • What is MCC for you? How do you experience it? Locally? More broadly?
  • What words, phrases, or images come to mind to describe Metropolitan Community Church?

You may also share your thoughts about the MCC Statement of Faith.
We want to hear from you!

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Thank you for being a part of the conversation. We look forward to continuing the dialogue.

Your Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand

Rev. Dr. Karl Hand is a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith and the Senior Pastor at Crave MCC in New South Wales (Australia).

 

 

Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert

Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert is a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith and a member of the MCC Theologies Team.

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Like us on facebook

 

Subscribe to the Commission’s newsletter by sending us a request: Statement of Faith Newsletter

 

Send a private message to the Commission.

 

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Una Reflexión sobre la Mesa Abierta http://mccchurch.org/una-reflexion-sobre-la-mesa-abierta/ http://mccchurch.org/una-reflexion-sobre-la-mesa-abierta/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 15:43:07 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8758 SoF-Logo-SpanishCommission on SOF

Una Reflexión sobre la Mesa Abierta 
Rev. Dr. Candace R. y Bryce E. Rich Shultis

 

Hace ya un año que la Comisión sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM inició su labor. Una vez más queremos invitar a la gran comunidad de ICM a continuar con nuestra conversación. Con tal fin, compartiremos algunos de nuestros pensamientos preliminares sobre algunos temas que hemos estado dialogando entren nosotros, entre los que se incluyen, la Mesa Abierta; nuestras reflexiones sobre Jesús, la misión especial de ICM dentro de la Iglesia y nuestro papel de mayordomía en la creación de Dios.

Este mes estamos dialogando sobre la práctica de ICM ofreciendo la mesa abierta en los servicios de adoración. Esta ha sido nuestra práctica desde el 6 de octubre de 1968 cuando el Rev. Obispo D. Troy Perry ofreció el primer servicio de adoración en su hogar. En respuesta a la invitación que se publicó en la revista The Advocate,12 personas de varias tradiciones religiosas se reunieron aquel día. Aun cuando la celebración de la Santa Comunión no era una parte integral de la tradición Pentecostal de Troy, con la inspiración del Espíritu, ofreció el pan y la copa a todos los que estaban presentes. Las reuniones de ICM alrededor del mundo han continuado esta práctica de una invitación abierta desde entonces.

Las declaraciones de fe tradicionales, a menudo comienzan con nobles declaraciones sobre Dios o nuestra tarea como adoradores. Pero cuando pensamos en nuestras primeras experiencias en ICM, lo primero que viene a nuestra mente es la Mesa Abierta.

Creemos que Dios invita a todos a probar y ver. Y hemos visto la curación que ocurre cuando las personas participan en la Cena del Señor.

Rev. Elder Ken Martin feiert das Abendmahl bei der Weltkonferenz im Juli 2013
Rev. Obispo Ken Martin consagrando la comunión en la Conferencia General XXV en Julio de 2013. (foto de L. Brenner-Beckstead)

 

Debido a que procedemos de varias tradiciones religiosas, incluyendo católicos, bautistas, pentecostales, Iglesia Libre, y muchas, muchas otras; estamos conscientes de que las personas tienen una creencia muy variada entorno a la Eucaristía. Estas incluyen memorial, transustanciación, consubstanciación y presencia real. Independientemente, en medio de nuestras diferencias, la Mesa Abierta ha sido el centro de las celebraciones de ICM desde el principio mismo.

Muchas personas sabemos del dolor que causa el ser separado de la comunión en otras denominaciones. Con esto presente en nuestra mente, nuestros fundadores decidieron ofrecer la comunión en cada servicio de adoración. Innumerables individuos han entrado nuevamente en relación con el amor de Dios a través de la invitación ofrecida a todas las personas. Algunas personas vienen solas, otras con sus padres e incluso algunas en grupos de amigos.

En King of Peace MCC, utilizamos la siguiente lectura un domingo al mes como parte de nuestro servicio de comunión. Les invitamos a que tomen un tiempo para leerla y meditar en ella:

 

Ven a esta mesa
para encontrarte con el Dios vivo,
amor indescriptible más allá de nuestra imaginación
y aún más cerca que nuestra respiración.

Ven a esta mesa
para encontrarte con el Cristo resucitado
carne de nuestra carne, hueso de nuestros huesos,
Dios-con-nosotros, encarnado en nuestra vida.

Ven a esta mesa
para encontrarte con el espíritu que da vida,
interpretación de nuestra búsqueda de la verdad y la justicia,
inspirando dentro de nosotros un poder renovador.

Ven para encontrarte, reunirte, sostener
al Dios vivo y amoroso
hecho nuevo para nosotros en pan y vino.

 

Tomado de Jan Berry in Bread for Tomorrow: Praying with the World’s Poor, ed. Janet Morley (London: SPCK/Christian Aid, 1992), pp. 93-94.

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Algunas preguntas para tu consideración 

Queremos que nos cuenten sus experiencias. Únete a la conversación en nuestra página de Facebook o enviar su respuesta privada a través de la Página Web de ICM. Este mes estamos particularmente interesados en las siguientes preguntas:

  • ¿La Mesa Abierta es una parte importante en tu experiencia de adoración?
  • ¿Recuerdas cómo te sentiste la primera vez que te invitaron a la comunión en ICM?
  • ¿Qué palabras, frases o imágenes te vienen a la mente cuando piensas acerca de tus experiencias de la mesa abierta?

También nos pueden compartir sus pensamientos sobre la declaración de fe de ICM.

¡Queremos escucharte!

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Muchas gracias por ser parte de esta conversación. Esperamos continuar con este diálogo.

Su Comisión sobre la Declaración de Fe de ICM.

 

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis, Presidenta de la Comisión de la Declaración de Fe de ICM y Pastora en King of Peace MCC en St. Petersburg, Florida (USA).

 

Bryce E. Rich

Bryce E. Rich es miembro de la Comisión de la Declaración de Fe de ICM y Presidente del Equipo de Teologías de ICM.

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Siguenos en facebook

 

Inscribirse en el boletín de la Comisión

 

Enviar un mensaje privado a la Comisión

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Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith News May 2015 http://mccchurch.org/commission-on-the-mcc-statement-of-faith-news-may-2015/ http://mccchurch.org/commission-on-the-mcc-statement-of-faith-news-may-2015/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 15:31:24 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8754 SoF-Logo-EnglishCommission on SOF

A Reflection on the Open Table
by Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis & Bryce E. Rich

It’s been a year since the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith began its work. Once again we’d like to invite the wider MCC community to continue our conversation. To that end, we will be sharing some of our preliminary thoughts on various topics we’ve been discussing amongst ourselves, including, the Open Table, our thoughts about Jesus, MCC’s unique mission within the Church, and our role as stewards of God’s creation.

This month we are discussing MCC’s practice of an open invitation to the table in worship. This has been our practice since 6 October 1968, when Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry held MCC’s first worship service in his home. In response to his invitation in The Advocate, 12 people from a variety of religious backgrounds gathered that day. Though the celebration of Holy Communion was not an integral part of Troy’s Pentecostal background, by the movement of the Spirit, he offered the bread and cup to all who were present. MCC gatherings around the world have continued this practice of an open invitation ever since.

Traditional statements of belief often begin with lofty statements about God or our task as worshipers. But when we think about our very first experiences in MCC, what comes to mind is the Open Table.

We believe that God invites everyone to taste and see. And we have seen the healing that takes place as people take part in the Lord’s Supper.

 

Rev. Elder Ken Martin feiert das Abendmahl bei der Weltkonferenz im Juli 2013
Rev. Elder Ken Martin consecrates communion at General Conference XXV in July 2013. (photo by L. Brenner-Beckstead)

 

Because we come from so many religious backgrounds, including Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Free Church, and many, many others, we are aware that people have varying beliefs about the Eucharist. These include memorialism, transubstantiation, consubstantiation, and real presence. However, in the midst of our differences, the Open Table has been the center of MCC worship from our very beginning.

 

Many of us know the pain of being turned away from the communion in other denominations. With this in mind, our founders decided to offer communion at every worship service.  Countless individuals have reconnected with God’s love through the invitation we extend to all people. People come alone, with their partners, and even in groups of friends.

 

At King of Peace MCC, we use the following reading once a month as a part of our communion service. We invite you to take a moment to read and reflect:

 

Come to this table
to meet the living God,
love indescribable and beyond our imagining
yet closer than our own breathing.

Come to this table
to meet the risen Christ
flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone,
God-with-us, embodied in our living.

Come to this table
to meet the life-giving Spirit,
interpreting our search for truth and justice,
breathing into us renewing power.

Come to find, to meet, to hold
the living, loving God
made new for us in bread and wine.

— Jan Berry in Bread for Tomorrow: Praying with the World’s Poor, ed. Janet Morley (London: SPCK/Christian Aid, 1992), pp. 93-94.

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Some Questions to Consider

We’d like to hear about your experiences. Join the conversation on our Facebook page or send your private reply to us through the MCC website. See links below.

This month, we’re particularly interested in the following questions:

  • Is open table practice an important part of your worship experience?
  • Do you remember how you felt when you first were invited to communion at an MCC?
  • What words, phrases, or images come to mind as you think about your experiences of the Open Table?

You may also share your thoughts about the MCC Statement of Faith.
We want to hear from you!

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Thank you for being a part of the conversation. We look forward to continuing the dialogue.

Your Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith

 

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis

Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis is the Chair of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith and Senior Pastor at King of Peace MCC in St. Petersburg, Florida (USA).

 

 

Bryce E. Rich

Bryce E. Rich is a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith and the Chair of the MCC Theologies Team.

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Subscribe to the Commission’s newsletter by sending us a request: Statement of Faith Newsletter

 

Send a private message to the Commission.

 

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MCC Glaubensbekenntnis – Aktualisierung für Mai 2015 http://mccchurch.org/mcc-glaubensbekenntnis-aktualisierung-fur-mai-2015/ http://mccchurch.org/mcc-glaubensbekenntnis-aktualisierung-fur-mai-2015/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 14:55:34 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8742 SoF-Logo-German Commission on SOF

Eine Betrachtung des Offenen Abendmahls

von Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis und Bryce E. Rich

 

Es ist nun ein Jahr her, dass die Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC ihre Arbeit aufgenommen hat. Wieder wollen wir die weitere MCC Gemeinschaft einladen, sich mit uns auszutauschen. Dafür wollen wir einige unserer vorläufigen Gedanken zu verschiedenen Themen darstellen. Diese Themen besprechen wir in unserer Gruppe: sie enthalten das Offene Abendmahl, unserer Gedanken über Jesus, die besondere Aufgabe der MCC innerhalb der Kirche und unsere Rolle als Bewahrerinnen und Bewahrer der Schöpfung Gottes.

Diesen Monat besprechen wir die Tradition der offenen Einladung an den Tisch Gottes im Gottesdienst. Das tun wir seit dem 6. Oktober 1968 als Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry den ersten MCC Gottesdienst in seiner Wohnung abgehalten hat. Als Reaktion auf seine Einladung in “The Advocate” (eine überregionale Zeitschrift für Schwule in den USA, Anm. d. Übersetzers) kamen 12 Menschen von einer Reihe von religiösen Hintergründen an diesem Tag zusammen. Und obwohl die Feier des Heiligen Abendmahls nicht ein grundlegender Teil von Troys pfingst-kirchlichem Hintergrund war, bot er doch, bewegt vom heiligen Geist, allen Anwesenden Brot und den Kelch an. MCC Zusammenkünfte überall auf der Welt führen diese Tradition der offenen Einladung seither fort.

Traditionelle Glaubensbekenntnisse beginnen oft mit hochfliegenden Aussagen über Gott oder unsere Aufgabe als Anbetende. Aber wir gehen davon aus, dass das Erste, an das wir im Zusammenhang mit MCC denken, die Erfahrung der offenen Einladung ist.

Wir glauben, dass Gott alle einlädt, zu schmecken und zu sehen. Und wir haben die Heilung gesehen, die geschieht, wenn Menschen am Abendmahl teilnehmen.

 

Rev. Elder Ken Martin feiert das Abendmahl bei der Weltkonferenz im Juli 2013
Rev. Elder Ken Martin feiert das Abendmahl bei der Weltkonferenz im Juli 2013 ( Bild von L. Brenner-Beckstead)

 

Da wir von so vielen religiösen Hintergründen kommen, einschließlich katholisch, baptistsch, pfingstlich, freikirchlich und viele, viele mehr, ist uns bewusst, dass Menschen Verschiedenes über die Eucharistie glauben. Das schließt ein: das Erinnerungsmahl, Transsubstantiation, Konsubstantiation und Realpräsenz. Aber, in all unseren Unterschieden, ist doch die offene Einladung das Zentrum von MCC Gottesdienst seit unserem Anfang.

Viele von uns kennen den Schmerz, von der Abendmahlsgemeinschaft in anderen Konfessionen ausgeschlossen geworden zu sein. Mit dieser Erfahrung im Hintergrund beschlossen unsere Gründerinnen und Gründer dass wir in jedem Gottesdienst das Abendmahl anbieten. Unzählige Menschen haben wieder einen Zugang zu Gottes Liebe durch die Einladung bekommen, die wir an alle Menschen aussprechen. Menschen kommen alleine, mit ihren Partnern und Partnerinnen, oder sogar als Gruppe von Freundinnen und Freunden.

In King of Peace MCC benutzen wir einmal im Monat diese Lesung als Teil unserer Abendmahlsfeier. Wir laden ein, einen Moment lang diesen Text zu lesen und darüber nachzudenken.

Kommt an diesen Tisch
     Um den lebendigen Gott zu treffen
     Unbeschreibliche Liebe, jenseits unseres Träumens
     Und dennoch näher als der eigene Atem.

 

Kommt an diesen Tisch
     Um den auferstandenen Christus zu treffen
     Fleisch von unserem Fleisch, Knochen von unseren Knochen
     Gott-mit-uns, verkörpert in unserem Leben.

 

Kommt an diesen Tisch
     Um dem lebensgebenden Geist zu begegnen
     Die unsere Suche nach Wahrheit und Gerechtigkeit erklärt
     Die erneuernde Kraft in uns hineinatmet.

 

Kommt und findet, zu begegnen, zu halten
     Den lebenden, liebenden Gott
     Neu gemacht für uns in Brot und Wein.

 

-Jan Berry in Bread for Tomorrow: Praying with the World’s Poor, ed. Janet Morley (London: SPCK/Christian Aid, 1992), pp. 93-94.

 

-Übersetzung von Pfarrer Dr. Axel Schwaigert. (Ich habe mich entschlossen, die Einladung im Plural für eine Gruppe zu übersetzen. Man kann sie aber auch als Einladung an eine/einen Einzelne/n übersetzen und verstehen. Anm. d. Übersetzers)

—————–

 

Einige Gedanken zum Nachdenken. 

 

Wir würden gerne von Euren Erfahrungen hören.   Schließt Euch der Diskussion auf unserer Facebook Seite an oder schickt uns eure privaten Antworten durch die MCC Webseite. …. Diesen Monat interessieren wir uns besonders für die folgenden Fragen.

  •  Ist das offene Abendmahl ein wichtiger Teil Eurer Gottesdiensterfahrung?
  • Erinnert Ihr Euch wie es sich angefühlt hat, zum ersten Mal zur Abendmahlsgemeinschaft in einer MCC eingeladen geworden zu sein?
  • Welche Worte, Formulierungen oder Bilder entstehen in Euren Gedanken, wenn ihr über Eure Erfahrung mit der offenen Einladung nachdenkt?
Ihr könnt uns auch gerne Eure Gedanken über das Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC mitteilen.

Wir wollen von Euch hören!

 

————–

 

Danke, dass Ihr Teil dieses Gedankenaustausches seid. Wir freuen uns darauf, diesen Dialog fortzuführen.

Eure Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC

 

Rev. Dr. Candace R. ShultisRev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis ist die Vorsitzende Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC und Senior Pastor an King of Peace MCC in St. Petersburg, Florida (USA).

 

Bryce E. Rich

Bryce E. Rich ist ein Mitglied der Arbeitsgruppe zum Glaubensbekenntnis der MCC und der Vorsitzende des Theologie Team der MCC.

 

————–

 

werden sie fan ouf facebook

 

Bestellt den Newsletter der Arbeitsgruppe

 

Schicke eine private Nachricht an die Arbeitsgruppe.

 

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MCC Announces Global Prayer Services and Actions Against Discrimination http://mccchurch.org/mcc-announces-global-prayer-services-and-actions-against-discrimination/ http://mccchurch.org/mcc-announces-global-prayer-services-and-actions-against-discrimination/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 18:08:03 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8737 Metropolitan Community Church launches Gilead Sabbaths after International Day Against Homophobia,Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) to help projects around the globe!

 

Leaders of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) announced the launch of a communion-wide effort to hold prayer services in local churches between today and the end of June to support global outreach to LGBTQ people living in hostile countries.

 

With this launch, MCC marked IDAHOTB, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, and began observing the Religious Institute‘s call for congregations nationwide to observe a Gilead Sabbath.

 

The Gilead Sabbath initiative works to end the violence and persecution faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people around the world by identifying worthy projects and asking congregations to take up an offering for one of these projects. This includes MCC’s Global Justice Institute.

 

MCC Hartford

MCC Hartford (Connecticut, USA) observed the first MCC Gilead Sabbath with Marie Alford-Harkey, deputy director of the Religious Institute (5th from left), and their pastor Rev. Aaron Miller (rainbow stole).

“MCC Hartford joined faith congregations across the country in hosting a Gilead Sabbath,” said Rev. Aaron Miller. “LGBTQI folk are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ and deeply and unconditionally loved by God. At MCC Hartford, we bow in prayer and then stand together for justice. Not just this day of observance, but every day.”

 

“Easter offerings at many MCC churches went to support the Global Justice Institute. We are so honored that Gilead Sabbath is featuring the Global Justice Institute among so many international groups. This service will give more MCC churches, and churches from all denominations, a chance to support MCC’s work with LGBTQ people around the world,” said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, global moderator of MCC. “These are challenging times, and the Global Justice Institute is committed to work for the dignity of all our brothers and sisters.”

 

“In many places around the world, MCC is known as ‘The Human Rights Church,'” said the Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, executive director of the Global Justice Institute. “IDAHOTB and local church participation in the Gilead Sabbath will move our support of global outreach to a new level.  Right now, we have partners in Eastern Europe where LGBTQ people are being assaulted at Pride marches and in Uganda and Kenya where Christians too often spew hatred in the name of Jesus. These are just a few of the many countries where MCC is working with partners on the ground to bring a word of hope.”

 

Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, executive director of the Global Justice Institute, celebrating at MCC New York where she is the senior pastor.

Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, executive director of the Global Justice Institute, celebrating at MCC New York where she is the senior pastor.

Marie Alford-Harkey, deputy director of the Religious Institute, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with MCC. As a leading denomination in the LGBTQ faith world, MCC can mobilize people of faith across the globe. As MCC pastors plan a Gilead Sabbath for global LGBTQ justice, the Religious Institute will be available by phone or email to offer worship resources or information.”

 

The Gilead Sabbath Initiative works with congregations as they host worship services to pray for LGBTQ people facing hostility. Offerings are taken and sent to specific programs, such as MCC’s Global Justice Institute.

 

The Religious Institute can be reached at (203) 222-0055 or by email at alford-harkey@religiousinstitute.org.

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Report of MCC Journey in Cuba http://mccchurch.org/report-of-mcc-journey-in-cuba/ http://mccchurch.org/report-of-mcc-journey-in-cuba/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 17:08:19 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8709
  • INTRODUCTION

  •  

    We believe that it is necessary to thank everyone who, in one way or another, made possible this historic day for MCC/ICM and for those who had the good fortune to experience this incredible moment in time: those who supported financially, those who were constantly praying for us and those who worked overtime to make this a successful visit to Matanzas and Havana, Cuba.

    We arrived full of excitement and expectations on 28 April 2015 at the Jose Marti International Airport, in the city of Havana. After arriving we went to immigration where we had to wait a long time to receive our religious visas, which were made possible thanks to the work of the theologian Elaine Saralegui and the Rev. Santiago, who is the Executive Secretary of the Fraternity of Baptists Churches of Cuba (FIBAC). Of course, that was only made possible, after the Office of Religious Affairs made their inquiries about MCC and verified who would be traveling to Cuba.

    Bus “Guagua” with the delegates of la Havana

    Bus “Guagua” with the delegates of la Havana

    One of the major concerns of the Cuban Government, during this time of monumental change, is the number of requests for religious visas that they are receiving, especially on the part of the fundamentalist churches of the United States. They of course want to avoid, to the extent it is possible, these “fundamentalist missionary journeys” which could hurt the processes that lead the churches and the Government in Cuba.

    Before I report on our activities, it is necessary to construct the context that currently exists in Cuba. Cuba is a practically a divided country, as it is in many countries. There is a region that is conservative and fundamentalist, which is the East side of the island. A more liberal and open region, is on the West side of the island, which includes Havana and Matanzas among many other cities.

    For us as a delegation, it was a great educational opportunity to live and experience the grandeur of the Cuban people, in the midst of the limitations by the American blockade. Our Cuban host and the people we met just opened up their hearts, their churches, their traditions, and received us as if we were members of their  community.

    From left to right: Rev. Hector, Mary E Hunt, Rev. Mona West, Yileivys Cruz, Elaine Saralegui, Adiel Maimó, Phillip and Rev. Troy

    From left to right: Rev. Hector, Mary E Hunt, Rev. Mona West, Yileivys Cruz, Elaine Saralegui, Adiel Maimó, Phillip and Rev. Troy

    The people of Cuba are anxious to engage us in dialogue. They want to learn and work in union with MCC on some religious social justice projects. We have a potential outreach opening with many opportunities that we must embrace in a planned and intelligent manner, so that it is a blessing for both MCC and for the people in Cuba. Our Global Justice Institute, also has the potential for many opportunities to partner with the ministries in Cuba, in order to support and establish some fruitful relations in Cuba. I look forward to that conversation with the Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner

    We are well aware that this visit was a historic event in many ways. We have felt already, blessed and thankful for this wonderful experience as it has touched and will influence our being and our Ministry. We could not have been received by better people than by the group called, “Opening Gaps of Colors.” Their excellent teamwork, which we dare to say that they live in their daily practice the meaning to BE MCC, even without being members of MCC. We experienced firsthand our motto “Transforming ourselves as we transform the world,” during this visit.

    (From left to right: Rev. Hector, Mary E Hunt, Rev. Mona West, Yileivys Cruz, Elaine Saralegui, Adiel Maimó, Phillip and Rev. Troy)

     

    1. MATANZAS, CUBA (APRIL 29 – 30)

    EVENT IN THE MATANZAS THEOLOGICAL EVANGELICAL SEMINARIO (SET): GENDER AND NON-HETERONORMATIVE SEXUALITIES: CHURCH ADDRESING CHALLENGES.

    THE MATANZAS THEOLOGICAL EVANGELICAL SEMINARIO We were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the event and the incredible participation of panelists and specialists in various branches of Sciences and different religious backgrounds. Some of the subjects treated with an incredible, open and respectful depth were the following:

    1) Sexual citizenship, participation and emancipation in Cuba: history and future (Dr. Alberto Roque)

    (2) Polyphony of sex: intersex bodies and the discomforts of culture (Adriana Agramonte Machado)

    (3) Heterosexual citizenship vs. Equal opportunities (Rita M. Pereira Ramírez)

    (4) Resilience in Havana for some gay couples, potentials and challenges (Manuel Nevales)

    (5) The Church and historic challenges (Rev. Raquel Suárez Rodes)

    (6) Family Code a perspective from activism. Family code a view from the right (Ms. C. Manuel Vázquez Seijido)

    (7) Homo-parental families (Patricia Ares)

    8) Queer studies and Queer politics: proposals for the Cuban context (Rev. Mona West, Mary E. Hunt, Elaine Saralegui and Clara Luz Ajo Lazaro)

    We want to highlight several points:

    1. Rev Elder Troy in CubaThere was a total openness to dialogue and questioning regarding what and how to address the policy of the Cuban Government in aspects relating to the family code. This is a document the Communist Party has been working on the since 2007 which would establish a set standard of what a family is among the people of Cuba. There is an intense discussion of course, led by Ms. C. Mariela Castro and CENESEX, to at least figure out how to remove the “Unions of fact” in this code which would ensure that the concept of family does not take a more open perspective.
    2. It was interesting to hear that in the first years of the Cuban revolution, people who identified as Christian, experienced harsh discrimination. And how some who have openly accepted their LGB sexual orientation were doubly discriminated against, particularly in the case of the Rev. Raquel Suárez, who will no doubt be a presenter for the Hispanic pre-Conference at the General Conference.
    3. We found that some churches are willing to openly address the issue of inclusion. Yet there are many more that refuse to even consider the question. .
    4. The Evangelical Seminary of Matanzas, after the visit of the President of the Baptist churches, has been very assertive to engage in much dialogue and discussion on inclusion. They openly made a statement by hosting this event.

    The team in Cuba29 April, was the night the Rev. Elder Troy Perry presented a lecture on the history and foundation of MCC, which was well received. Without a doubt, it was a much awaited moment by participants of the conference, as the crowd enthusiastically welcomed him.  At the end of the presentation at the Conference,  the Rev. Elder Troy, the Rev. Elder Dr. Mona and the Rev. Elder Hector had the opportunity to answer questions from the attendees.

     

    We can say, with all truth, that MCC needs to be at this Conference next year, as a fundamental partner with Group SOMOS.

    There we at least 90 participants at this event.

     

     

    1. LABOR DAY – MAY FIRST

     

    May Day ParadeAround the world, except in the United States, the first of May is a day of great celebration, particularly in Cuba, where practically everyone participates in the parade, to celebrate the Cuban working people. We had the opportunity to attend this celebration as spectators. On all sides, we could only be witness smiles, cheerful, friendly, respectful, and very proud of being Cuban faces. The offered us the gift of hospitality with their supportive reception without noting our differences. The entire delegation enjoyed this day. Including the rain, which the Cuban people said, was a sign of blessing.

    In the evening, the Group SOMOS, prepared for us a welcome dinner with Cuban music, food and joyfulness. We enjoyed a lot on the First of May in Matanzas, Cuba.

    SOMOS

     

     

    1. VARADERO – LOVING CARE HOUSE / REST ON VARADERO BEACH (MAY 2)

    VaraderoOn Saturday we went along with some members of the group, SOMOS who were heading to Varadero, where we could learn about the ministry being offered in the “Love House”. The Loving Care House is a center for social services and education (CESERSE) founded by the Rev. Dr. Sergio Arce Martínez. This ministry was founded to offer social services to groups of children with various acute or chronic ailments, in many cases they are terminal. Loving Care House also provides housing for the elderly.

    The Center’s goal: To promote and arrange educational and cultural spaces of healthy recreation with physical, psychological and spiritual benefits for a highly vulnerable sector of the population. For this sector, House of Love offers the possibility of enjoying the natural surroundings of Varadero beach. The Director of the Centre is Nacyra Gómez; with whom we will be in communication to establish some kind of formal partnering relationship between MCC and the “House of Love”.

    Of course, we also took advantage of the Varadero Beach to enjoy some time to rest.

    Varadero Beach

    Meeting with SOMOSMEETING WITH THE GROUP “SOMOS”

    On Saturday  afternoon, we had the opportunity to meet with the group SOMOS to share with all the people who are a part of this group, about MCC, our vision, mission, core values and Strategic Plan. They are very interested in being a part of MCC. They are already enthusiastically saying,” WE ARE MCC”. We are entering a time of discernment with them through intentional prayer and dialogue.

    Meeting with SOMOS 2

    1. SUNDAY WORSHIP IN THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF MATANZAS (MAY 3)

     

    SUNDAY WORSHIP IN THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF MATANZASOn Sunday, we were invited to participate in the Sunday worship service at the First Baptist Church of Matanzas, which involved a number of the members of our group. The Rev. Hector Gutierrez was invited to preach, the Rev. Troy Perry was asked to consecrate together with Pastor Orestes Roca Santana and the Rev. Mona West to jointly serve communion to the participants. (We have a video with the bilingual consecration.)

    An interesting sign of solidarity and inclusion was experienced as Pastor Orestes, invited us to receive communion first, as a sign of the communion between the First Baptist Church and MCC.

    SUNDAY WORSHIP IN THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF MATANZAS 2

     

    1. LA HAVANA – CONSUL OF CHURCHES OF CUBA / INFORMAL VISIT TO CENESEX (MAY 4)

    The Council of churches of Cuba, received the US Secretary and some members of various ministries, including those who are responsible for preparing promoters for the prevention and care of the LANDLESS. The Council brings together around 30 denominations and of course, they were aware of the presence of MCC in Cuba.

    Council of Churches in CubaThe Chairman and other members of the Board of directors were not present because they had to leave to attend to the emergency flooding which in previous days had claimed at least three lives and created hundreds of victims in the city of Havana who lost their houses and belongings.

    They shared with us about the walking churches in Cuba, the difficulties they once had to survive in the Communist regime and the reunion with the same Communist regime which requested the support of the churches to sustain the population after the Cuban crisis in 1994, when they stopped receiving support from Russia.

    Among the things that we shared was that there was never a ban in the country of the profession of faith. Yet some discrimination was experienced by some members of the community. They also told us that it was difficult to have Bibles for everyone, during that period. Their solution was to, in some communities, separate books of the Bible and distribute them among the families so that everyone would have access to reading a book. As one family completed a book, they put it back in the rotation for others.

    Council of Churches in Cuba 2A great difficulty and concern that, faced with the new panorama of relations with the United States, is the onslaught that they will experience from fundamentalist Churches seeking to offer Bibles in exchange for the support of the Government to be able to meet with the tobacco business on the island. They plan to offer Bibles for all the Cuban people, in exchange for tobacco.

    They shared with us about the prevention and care of people with HIV/AIDS. Those infected were placed in isolation with virtually no contact with their families. Even when the medicine is free, it is difficult having all the medications required, as the vast majority come from abroad.

    A recommendation and request, that we heard a great deal is that MCC must lend its support to the end the embargo to Cuba. They expressed that it may seem to Americans that everything has changed in Cuba yet  that is not the reality as long as the US  continues its embargo to Cuba.

    At noon, we had lunch with the Attorney of CENESEX MsC. Manuel Vázquez, with whom the Rev. Elder Troy Perry availed himself of the opportunity to plant the idea of the possibility that Ms. C. Mariela Castro consider participating in the MCC General Conference in Victoria, Canada. The Rev. Elder Troy will talk with the Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson on the process to be followed.

     

    1. MATANZAS – VISIT TO KAIRÓS / MEETING WITH THE OFFICER OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY IN MATANZAS (MAY 5)

    MATANZAS – VISIT TO KAIRÓS - MEETING WITH THE OFFICER OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY IN MATANZASWe had a meeting with the Kairos Center, which is a Christian Center that cultivates and promotes  liturgy which integrates art and social work, with an ecumenical approach, renewed and contextualized in the Cuban culture.

    Its mission is to offer liturgical formation to the churches in Cuba and establish relationships that encourage discipleship, service and human solidarity, integrating art and social work in a renewal form that keeps the spirit and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

    The leaders and members, run the local and national programs. Groups of people, of other faiths,  in the city are invited to participate as well as residents of the city of Matanzas, and members of the most vulnerable groups. MATANZAS – VISIT TO KAIRÓS - MEETING WITH THE OFFICER OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY IN MATANZAS 2Creative people and artists from across the country also participate as do children, youth and young adults. People, both Cuban and foreign, and institutions that are interested in working in the Kairos Center are invited to participate.

    In the afternoon, we had a meeting with the Officer of the Region of Matanzas, for religious affairs in the Auditorium of the Communist Party. It was an interesting exchange between the Rev. Elder Troy Perry and the delegate about the change of direction in the relations between Cuba and the United States. They discussed the speeches by the Presidents of both countries and the expectations of the near future. The delegate made some very positive comments about the event at the Evangelical Seminary and the work that we are doing. The delegate told us about the deference that we were to receive at the Headquarters of the Communist Party in the city of Matanzas.

    1. LA HABANA – SCIENTIFIC EVENT OF CENESEX / OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE HEADQUARTERS OFFICES OF THE NATIONAL COMMUNIST PARTY IN THE REVOLUTION SQUARE IN HAVANA, CUBA; INTERVIEW WITH OFFICIAL OF THE RELIGOUS AFFAIRES (MAY 6)

    On their day of observance of stopping the violence against homophobia and transphobia, they offered a more inclusive space. Some of the objectives of this Conference were:

    Give visibility to, combat and overcome all forms of discrimination and violence on grounds of gender, in particular, and for men and women discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Promote the actions and outcomes of institutional, political and governmental work in their country, as part of the national sex education program, in favor of respect for the full dignity of homosexual, bisexual people and transgender people.

    Promote respect and acceptance for people with HIV, with emphasis on vulnerable groups.

    Meet with Ms. C. Mariela Castro EspinWe had the opportunity to dialogue for a few minutes with Ms. C. Mariela Castro Espin, who had many agreements with the Rev. Troy and the entire delegation of MCC. The event took place in the Auditorium of the Central Cuban workers in Havana, there were representatives of trade unions from several Latin American countries.

    In the afternoon, we had a meeting in the headquarters of the Communist Party, which is located in the Plaza of the Revolution, with the officer of the Office of Care on the issues of religious affairs’, Lic. Maria of the Angels Perez Menéndez.

    Meet with Ms. C. Mariela Castro Espin 2Lic. Maria presented to us, an abbreviated history of the churches in Cuba, how the relationship is working between the Cuban Government and the churches. She also said that the Muslim community is coming to Cuba and have decided to build the first mosque. The Rev. Troy shared with her our history and an account of the journey of MCC and our struggle with fundamentalist groups. He clarified that MCC is not a denomination that sends missionaries to countries where we would like to have churches,  but only at the request of the indigenous people. He did say that he was hopeful that MCC would have a Cuban church or two in the near future.

    We give her a copy of the documentary “Call me Troy”

     

     

    1. LA HAVANA –VISIT TO MARTÍN LUTHER KING JR CENTER / VISIT TO THE FRATERNITY OF BAPTIST CHURCHES IN CUBA (FIBAC) (MAY 7)

    A must-see in Havana, had to include the Martin Luther King Jr. Center which is a macro-ecumenical organization of Christian inspiration. The Center, according to the Cuban people and their churches, prophetically contributes to the solidarity and participation, conscious and organized, popular and critical, with a profound commitment in a socialist option. This contribution makes it a concept of Popular education and theology, critical, contextualized and liberating theology.

    In the Refectory of CMLK

    In the Refectory of CMLK

    Fraternity of Baptist Churches of Cuba (FIBAC)In the afternoon, we went to get to know the farm of the Fraternity of Baptist Churches of Cuba (FIBAC) that brings together about 30 churches. They shared with us their journey before forming the fraternity, when they were part of the United States Southern Baptist Church and their separation or expulsion from the Federation. They have wide expanse of property, on which they are in the process of building more facilities. Executive Secretary Santiago C. Delgado Castillo shared with us some details of its Bylaws and their avatars.

    It was important for us is to visit this site, to thank them for their intervention in the obtainment of our religious Visas and their willingness to engage in dialogue with us.

     

     

     

    1. MATANZAS – OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE THEOLOGICAL EVANGELICAL SEMINARY OF MATANZAS (MAY 8)

    Friday was the official visit to the Evangelical Seminary of Matanzas, where we had a very fruitful meeting with the outgoing Rector, the Rev. Dr. Reinerio M. Arce-Valentin; the new Rector, Rev. Dr. Carlos E. Ham; the Secretary Elizabeth González and the Professor Dr. Clara Luz Ajo Lazaro.

    The Rev. Troy took the opportunity to thank everyone for their hospitality for having received us previously, sharing their experience and above all to say that MCC is committed to training and quality education in our clergy and laity.

    The Rev. Mona and the Rev. Hector discussed the possibilities of establishing both academic, relationships of exchange of MCC teachers who can teach some courses in the seminary. It was very interesting to see their interest and openness as we began to take the steps to formalize the relationship of MCC with the SET.

    OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE THEOLOGICAL EVANGELICAL SEMINARY OF MATANZASCurrently they have 611 students (55 women), half of which are lay participants in training programs. The Faculty is made of 13 professors and guest professors from different universities and seminars, with which they have relations of exchange.

    MCC and SET have many possibilities of establishing an interesting exchange relationship. We left them a copy of a lot of e-books about queer theology.

    The SET has a very important role within the new Cuban process, they are looking to offer training and education to all sectors in Cuba and to be able to confront fundamentalism which is hovering around like a roaring and destructive lion.

     

     

     

    SHOWING OF THE DOCUMENTARY

    “CALL ME TROY” IN THE “EL MIRÓN”

    In the evening, regardless of our tiredness, we couldn´t miss the showing of the documentary; an experience that no doubt will forever mark the lives of those who were able to participate. For them and for us, it was an incredible experience to be able to enjoy the documentary, in the presence of the Rev. Troy Perry and his husband Phillip.

    “CALL ME TROY” IN THE “EL MIRÓN”

     

    1. LA HABANA – JOURNEY AGAINTS HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA / ECUMENICAL BLESSING OF LOVE IN PAVILION CUBA (MAY 9)

    LA HABANA – JOURNEY AGAINTS HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA - ECUMENICAL BLESSING OF LOVE IN PAVILION CUBA 2We were in  many publications that you could have already consulted during the past weekend. We made history together, all the organizers and participants to this wonderful day. And we can say with great pride MCC was a key player.

    The Ecumenical ceremony of blessing of love, which was advertised by Mariela Castro, was based on a liturgy that the Rev. Hector Gutierrez shared with Elaine Saralegui and the Rev. Raquel Suárez. After contextualizing some phrases to the Cuban Spanish, Elaine and Raquel gave their approval. This will not be in the press, but we want to point out, that we are Transforming ourselves as we transform the world, in this last week, to put our best effort in the transformation of CUBA.

    LA HABANA – JOURNEY AGAINTS HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA - ECUMENICAL BLESSING OF LOVE IN PAVILION CUBA

    1. LAST MORNING IN MATANZAS, CUBA (MAY 10)

    They were two incredible weeks, which touched our hearts and which raised us our spirits about the potential fertile ground that we together, with our Cuban siblings on this wonderful day.

    We could not be treated and recognized in a better way. Joy, strength, enthusiasm and the faith of the Cuban people, have no comparison.

    Now, breathe, reflect, and get your hands on the future we can walk together, Cuba and the Metropolitan Community Churches.

    LAST MORNING IN MATANZAS, CUBA

     

    Rev. Elder Troy Perry

    Rev. Elder Dr. Mona West

    Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez

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    Baltic Europe MCC Emerging Church Gathering http://mccchurch.org/baltic-europe-mcc-emerging-church-gathering/ http://mccchurch.org/baltic-europe-mcc-emerging-church-gathering/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 13:10:24 +0000 http://mccchurch.org/?p=8707 Baltic Europe

    MCC Emerging Church Gathering
    26-28 June 2015

    Learn with others developing new MCC churches
    throughout Baltic Europe and beyond.

    AGENDA
    26 June—6 – 8 pm Meet and Gather
    27 June—9 am— 5 pm Workshops and Small Group Discussion
    (Lunch Provided)
    28 June—10 am Worship

    LOCATION
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Gathering at Sickla Industriväg 6
    Specific lodging and transportation information available by contacting
    MCC Office of Emerging Ministries assistant, Shannon Young,
    shannonyoung@mccchurch.net

    becomeMCC

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