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Moderator’s Circle

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UFMCC is a 501(c)3 Religious Organization. Contributions or gifts to Metropolitan Community Churches are tax deductible as charitable contributions.

Moderator’s Circle Update – October 2014

Dear Friends:
It is my joy to be writing you while our Moderator, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, is on sabbatical. She’s probably somewhere deep in thought, considering her next book. Or maybe just enjoying some bird watching. Or maybe writing a book about theology from a birders perspective! Whatever and wherever, we pray that her sabbatical is indeed a time of deep rest and renewal.
The Senior Leadership Team and staff are immensely grateful for your generous support of MCC through the Moderator’s Circle! We are blessed by you, and in turn, do our best to be a blessing to our churches around the world.

 

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Simultaneous translations in progress at the Europe Network gathering (2014)

Last September, I started as the Director of the Office of Church Life and Health (OCLH) and serving as a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The OCLH exists to strengthen and support the local church. Much of our time and energy goes into assisting our churches going through pastoral transition. At any given time, approximately 20% of our churches are in some stage of a pastoral transition, which goes from the time a pastor leaves until a new settled pastor is in place. We know that being there for our churches during these times is critical, and our processes are designed to truly set the churches in transition up for success.

So what else are we doing? A few key words come to mind: “pilots” and “peer learning and support.” (All of the OCLH objectives are tied to the MCC Strategic Plan goals.)
Pilots: Trying new, creative ways to strengthen and support our churches. Within many of the pilot projects, we have focused on creating opportunities for more peer learning and support. We have so much knowledge and experience within our denomination, and we want to help you share it! Let me give you a few examples:

  • As an extension of the size summit work, I have been collaborating with Rev. Elder Ken Martin in the creation of intimate learning cohorts. We currently have two in process: Family to Pastoral Size Learning Cohort (5 churches participating) and Program to Mission (Corporate) Size Learning Cohort (2 churches). The idea is to bring churches that are at a similar place together to learn from and support each other with the goal of making a successful size transition. We are capturing what we learn as we go through the process, and our hope is that the successful churches will in turn assist us in “coaching” the next round of churches that are ready to make a transition. We’re very excited about the work being done and look forward to sharing more with you as we move forward with the cohorts. In 2015, we are considering launching a pastoral to program learning cohort and a revitalization cohort.
  • Peer led webinars: We piloted this model with MCC San Diego’s Stewardship Team presenting a 1.5 hour webinar on stewardship that included downloadable resources that could be adapted and individualized for churches. We plan on featuring a different stewardship program each year in the same format. These webinars are also recorded so churches can access them and the resources at their convenience. Look for more of these webinars on a variety of topics and programs.
  • In order to expand our capacity in assisting churches through the interim and pastoral search processes, we are going to be training 6 mentors (3 for pastoral search, 3 for interim process) the rest of this year. All of the mentors will already come with experience in the area they will be mentoring churches, and they will also receive several days of intensive training, and then ongoing coaching, from Rev. Elder Arlene Ackerman and Rev. Stedney Phillips.
  • I’m also encouraged by the work of our Network Teams as they seek to strengthen our churches by providing care, communication, connection, collaboration, and resources. Here is a snapshot of our Networks, which are almost entirely led by volunteers:
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(# in this context means Number)
  • OCLH provides coaching and support (thanks Kay Hale!) to our 4 outstanding Network Facilitators (Liz Bisordi, Jude Litzenberger, Rev. Brad Rice, and Rev. Elder Darlene Garner), who in turn support the Network Leaders and Teams.
  • Network Leader Jochen Gewecke led the first Europe Network gathering with participants from eight European countries, the U.S., and Puerto Rico. This included participants from emerging groups and churches in Portugal, Italy, Finland, and Sweden that benefited from leadership training, fellowship, and networking to grow their churches.  The Europe Network is also working with emerging groups and churches from the Netherlands, Spain, Romania, and Lithuania to expand and strengthen MCC’s presence throughout Europe.
Attendees taking a break in the sun during the Europe Network gathering (2014)
Attendees taking a break in the sun during the Europe Network gathering (2014)
  • We are regularly hearing stories about how Networks are connecting local congregations to one another in new ways that allow them to come together to celebrate in one another’s joys, care for one another in times of mourning, and providing opportunities for local congregations to reach beyond their doors to provide love and support of fellow MCCers during times of emergency.  For example, Carolina Network Leader Rev. Brendan Boone shared how that Network came together to help MCCers who were in the process of a long distance move after their truck broke down. The churches that were in their travel path created a team of volunteers that helped these stranded sojourners arrive to their final destination with all of their belongings.

A big thank you goes out to all of the churches and individuals that have contributed so generously to support the Fellowship Sunday offerings, which go to support the equipping and resourcing of our Network Team Leaders.

 

(Canada Network Team Leaders meeting - May 2014)
(Canada Network Team Leaders meeting – May 2014)

Looking ahead to 2015, the OCLH will be pursuing more creative ways to achieve this goal from the strategic plan: Pilot new strategies and resources to encourage reversal of decline and healthy growth in congregations beginning Q1 2015. We are in a similar position as most of the mainline denominations. The most recent statistics I’ve been able to access show that of those reporting in MCC, about 40% of our churches are growing and 60% are either static or in decline. Our plan is to support and strengthen the 40% that are growing, while at the same time, developing and implementing strategies to reverse the declining 60%. Part of this strategy includes working closely with the Office of Leadership and Formation Development (OFLD) to provide additional training and support for our clergy. And the OCLH has also collaborated with the OFLD on a mini-summit, “3 Relational Keys to a Healthy, Vibrant Church,” which has been presented to over 130 MCCers already!
As we move into the holiday season and the end of the church year, our hope is that you and all your loved ones will continue to be blessed and be a blessing to others! You sure are a blessing to MCC! Thanks again for your amazing generosity and the good works that it empowers us to do together.
Many blessings,

TonyFSignature
Rev. Tony Freeman

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Why we give to MCC…

Here are some stories of people like you who contribute regularly to MCC.

“We each love our local church, yet the denomination offers us a shared history and a common future. Being part of something bigger makes us stronger and gives us a wider focus, beyond our own congregation. How many organisations can you be part of where you know that you are making a difference to the lives of individual people all over the world? Each day MCC worldwide saves a life and gives a person hope. Isn’t that what we are called by Christ to do?”

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“While there is an increasing visibility and recognition of the spiritual needs of the LGBTQ community in “mainstream” denominations , MCC remains as the foundational organization that not only “affirms” but “celebrates” our lives, including our sexuality. The ability to express our entire, authentic selves in the context of a community that reflects our inherent worth and value makes it incumbent upon all of us who benefit from this movement

read more…

“I tithe to my local church, but I also felt called to tithe to the MCC denomination that I work for. Tithing is biblical and I cannot keep taking from the barn if I am not prepared to replenish it with the fruit of my labor. I believe in the mission of MCC, I believe in our global outreach and I believe in our Moderator’s vision.

read more…

” I invite you to join me in becoming a member of The Moderator’s Circle, as the best way MCCers in this generation and in this moment can partner with Nancy to realize our Moderator’s vision for launching new church starts, reaching a new generation of young people, doing justice around the globe, and continuing the vital work of changing the heart and face of Chr

read more…

“MCC helped me to reconcile my spirituality with my God-given sexuality. The message and the people of MCC helped me become whole. I am a monthly donor to The Moderator’s Circle because I want others to heal just as I have, and so that others who are still oppressed can become free.

read more…

“On the last night of the Leadership Mentoring Retreat in January, we visited with MCC’s Governing Board. As I listened to their calling to serve, I was humbled and inspired. I was humbled by their faithfulness, against so many odds, to be leaders in a movement that continues to invite all into God’s welcoming embrace. And I was inspired by their energy to give: of their wisdom, their gifts, and their tithes to the ministry of MCC.

read more…

Click Here to read more testimonials from more people for whom MCC’s ministry has been life-changing.

 


 

Are you in the Moderator’s Circle?

You can sign up today to join the Moderator’s Circle. Click on the button below to make your monthly pledge.

Thank you to all who are generously contributing to MCC’s Moderator’s Circle. Your contributions are making a difference in people’s lives every single day.

 UFMCC is a 501(c)3 Religious Organization. Contributions or gifts to Metropolitan Community Churches are tax deductible as charitable contributions.


 

Moderator’s Circle Members

Adam DeBaugh
Adrain Bowie
Adrian Buganey
Aileen Koke and Deborah Wilson
Allan Hauth
Ann S. Brown (in Memory of Mildred ‘Millie’ Warren)
Ann Craig
Ann Perry and Pat Turner
Ann Vassilaros and Fran Solitro
Ann Willbrand and Patricia Woody
Anne Atwell
Annette Beall and Carolyn Gay
Anthony Viglione
Anthony Harris
Barb Crabtree
Bethene O’Neal
Bob Skaggs and Parker Fortier
Bob Whitman and Will Knicely
Bonnie Alberti and Wendy LaChaunce
Brett Doig
Brianna Johnston
Bruce Brooks and Charles Kline
Bryan Parker
Camille Jones and Shirley Mould
Carl Krysa and Lary Bank
Carlos Chavez and Roman Perez
Carol Scherfenberg and Bonnie Dostie
Carol Youngblood
Carole Weissman and Bonnie Moore
Cate Bransfield
Catherine Munion and Floss Marino
Catherine and Robert Stanlick
Charlene and Elizabeth Bisordi
Charles Beall
Chris and Dawn Soucy
Christopher Lacharite
Christopher Van Ast
Chuck Phelan and Steve McIntyre
Clyde W. Proch and Scott K. Farmer
Colleen Stuppy and Lisa Thome
Connie Meadows and Haviland Houston
Curtis L. Smith
Cynthia A. Marquard and Darlene R. Stille
D. Anne Bruetsch
Dale Schafer
Darlene E. Purugganan and Michelle Gaffron
Dallas McGee
Dave Dishman
David Hettinger
David Phillips
David Russell
David Sorey and Donald Johnson
Deb Kassien
Deb Krusemark
Deborah Blanton and Bernadette Comstock
Derrick Williams and Robert Gessell
Donn Ferrell
Donna Olsen
Doug Napier
Douglas C Berger & Shawn Cochran
Dr. Gail Evans (In memory of Rev. Jean Hart)
Elaine Davis and Lois Clark
Elijah Nealy
Elizabeth Dunn
Fenicia Ballard and Sandra Meaders
Frank Vitale
Fred Wenzel
Frieda E. Smith
Gail Rissler
Gail Simonds
Gary Hampshire
G.C. Brafford
George Murphy
Glenn Stover
Holly Blonde
H R Nicholson
Huey Lee
Jack Dollevoet
Jackie Carter and Claudia Griffith
James Carpenter and Dean Turner
Jaymes Grace
Jason O’Neill & Thomas Renner
Jeanne Scanlon
Jerry Small
Jimmy McClure
Jo-Anne and Melinda Ludy
Joan Higgs and Sandra Carlile
Joe Baker Jr
John Adkins
John and Colleen Foley
John Garcia and Elroy Hahn
John Magisano
John Moehnke
John Weyersmiller
Judith Longman and Rev. Lisa Dawn McCabe
Judy Jarosz
Julie Ramza and Patricia Fester
Justin Ritchie and Jason Beverley
Kala Payne
Kam Cummins
Karen Dillaman
Kathy Hanas
Kathy Probst and Linda Renaud
Kay H. Neill
Keith Thompson and Dan Dowd
Keith Waataja
Kenneth Theriault and Douglas Furness
Kevin Highfield
Kevin Markham and Terry French
Kevin Tuck
Kim Habermann
Lauren Elizabeth Bennett
Lillian Lewis
Linda Brenner-Beckstead and Susie Brenner
Linda Hardy and Phyllis Nelson
Linda Mudd
Liz Bupp
Lynne McCarthy
Lynda Simmons
M.J. Blackburn
Marcia Morgan
Mari Gilman and Jackie Gascho
Maria Lau
Marian Schoenwether
Mark and Mittie Dick
Mark Hahn
Mark Kornmann
Mark Roderick
Marsha and Cindy Stevens-Pino
Marsha Warren and Michelle Burnett
Martha Marinara
Marvin Bagwell
Mary Ann Bangiorno and Gwendolyn Templeton
Melanie Frahm and Rev. Katie Houts
Melvina Davis
Michael Cavett
Michele Stacer
Michelle Kirby Randall
Monica Smith and Kathleen O’Neal
Pam Osborne and Nancy Baca
Pat Boyd and Sharon Sylvester
Paul Moyer and Mark Mell
Paul P. Steindel
Phil Griffin and Carl Johnson
Phyllis Moore and Janice Danielson
Preston Pulliam
R J Hadley
Randy Bromley
Raquel Benitez and Carmen Llanos
Ray Nutter and Vince Larkin
Ray Selvey
Redimido en Cristo
Rev. Aaron Miller
Rev. Anthony Freeman
Rev. Barbara Freeman and Rebecca Milam
Rev. Booth Iburg and Denise Williams
Rev. Brad Rice
Rev. Caedmon Grace
Rev. Carol Hale
Rev. Carol Chambers
Rev. Carolyn Mobley
Rev. Cathy Alexander
Rev. Cathy Porter and Robyn Proctor
Rev. Charley Garrison and Mark Barnett
Rev. Clarence Witt
Rev. Clinton Crawshaw
Rev. Dan Koeshall
Rev. David and David Eichelberger
Rev. David Farrell and Gilbert Caldwell
Rev. Deana Dudley
Rev. DeWayne Davis and Kareem Murphy
Rev. Donna Twardowski and Marilyn Kane
Rev. Dr. Candace Shultis and Barbara Tyner
Rev. Dr. Carol Trissell
Rev. Dr. Danny Spears and Richard Lofstrand
Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt and Al Leach
Rev. Dr. Joan Saniuk and Sharilyn Steketee
Rev. Dr. Keith J. Phillips
Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos
Rev. Dr. Lea Brown and Sarah-Helen Land
Rev. Dr. Mark Lee and Ivan Loy
Rev. Dr. Michael Diaz
Rev. Dr. Mona West
Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas and Isai Cazares
Rev. Dr. Renee McCoy
Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin and Rev. Dr Durrell Watkins
Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Burns and Tracey Kennedy
Rev. Dr. Thomas Bohache and Tom Laughingwolf Simmons
Rev. Dr. Tony Thieman-Somora and Tony Somora
Rev. Dr. Troy Perry and Phillip De Blieck
Rev. Dr. William Knight
Rev. Dusty Pruitt and JoAnne Rhodes
Rev. Dwayne Johnson
Rev. Edwin Yates
Rev. Elder Arlene Ackerman
Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston
Rev. Elder Charlie Arehart and David Black
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and Rev.Candy Holmes
Rev. Elder Diane Fisher
Rev. Elder Don Eastman
Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson and Dr. Paula Schoenwether
Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez
Rev. Elder Kenneth Martin
Rev. Fern Gaffey and Laura DaltonRev. Fran Mayes
Rev. Gail Hicks
Rev. Gale Rawson and Dr. Gail Atchison
Rev. George McDermott
Rev. Gordon R. McCoy and Dr. Eugene M. Thomas
Rev. Harry Knox and C. Michael Bozeman
Rev. Jake Kopmeier and Sandra T. Stewart
Rev. Jane Nelson and Gay Fritzemeier
Rev. Janice Bowker and Marina Laws
Rev. Jeanne George
Rev. Jo Bell and Cheryl Meyer
Rev. Joe Cobb
Rev. John Mark Hild
Rev. John McLaughlin
Rev. John Torres
Rev. Joy Etwell
Rev. Kay Seitz
Rev. Kurt Krieger and Larry Bailey
Rev. Lisa Heilig and Tammy Johnson
Rev. Lori Dick
Rev. Lori Rivera and Darlene Hatch
Rev. Lorraine Brock
Rev. Margarita Sanchez de Leon and Frida Kruijt
Rev. Marian Cavagnaro
Rev. Mark Beckett
Rev. Maxwell Reay and Lewis Reay
Rev. Melanie Martinez and Tammy Erwin
Rev. Mike Hydes and Chris Baker
Rev. Onetta Brooks
Rev. Peter Trabaris
Rev. R. David Smith
Rev. Renae Phillips and Terrie Bennett
Rev. Renwick Bell
Rev. Rick Sosbe and Michael Rhen
Rev. Robert Life
Rev. Robin White and Barry Christensen
Rev. Ron LaRocque
Rev. Ruth and Elizabeth Jensen-Forbell
Rev. Sandy Williams
Rev. Sky Anderson and Ofelia Fay Anderson
Rev. Steve Torrence and John Hernandez
Rev. Suzie Chamness
Rev. Terri Echelbarger and Eileen McCree
Rev. Terri Steed
Rev. Thomas Emmett III
Rev. Tim Hamilton
Rev. Vickie Miller and Carol Lidey
Rev. Victor H. Floyd and Lou Grosso
Richard Henry
Robert Bayer
Robert Cooley
Robert Firster
Robert Fleming
Robert Landry and Donald Kinghorn
Robert Ochoa
Robert W. Pope and Lawrence Konrad
Robin Lee
Ron Reeser and Vince Olivier
Russell Murphy
Sally Deike
Samuel Ramirez
Sara Sills and Kay Hedgepeth
Sarah-Jane Ramage and Andrew Smithers
Scott Strickler
Sharon Cox Ludwig
Sherrill Parmley
Skip Chasey
Stan Kimer
Stephanie Breaker
Stephen Filizzi
Sue Schwerin
Susan Lukwago
Teresa White
Tim Mitchell and Randy McGuire
Tina Rayfield
Toby Bishop and Kevin Downer
Todd Goewey
Tory V. Topjian
Toni Smith
Vickey Gibbs and Cassandra White
Walter Weiss
Walter Wilson
William Tucker
Wayne Davis
Yew-Hoe Tan

 

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