Rev. Colleen Foley (Program Officer) began attending New Light MCC in Hagerstown, MD in August 2006. After receiving a warm welcome from the pastor and members of the congregation, Colleen returned the next week with her husband John. It was during her time at New Light MCC that she felt the call to become a pastor. Leaving her position with the State of Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans Program, encouraged by the Pastor and supported by the congregation and special friends within MCC, she was led to becoming a student at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA. She expects to complete her seminary education mid-January 2013 and is looking forward to ordination with MCC. Colleen applied for the Heterosexual Inclusivity Council in order to share her positive experiences of being part of MCC with the rest of the MCC community. It is her hope that any heterosexual person, wherever they may be on their spiritual journey will find a warm and welcoming reception at any MCC in which they choose to visit.
Rev. Mary Cantrell is the mother of three children, ages 26, 23 and 12. She received an M.Div. from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, in December of 2001. She entered ministry as a student pastor for another denomination in 1998. In October 2008, she served as a part-time pulpit-supply pastor at Wichita Falls MCC and in March 2009 became a part-time chaplain at United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Texas. After much discernment, she participated in REVM in 2010 and received an In-Care Status with the UFMCC. As she was working on her MAP during her time In-Care with the UFMCC, she began working as a full-time chaplain. Mary now serves as the Supportive Care Chaplain working in the critical care unit of the hospital as well as with several units. She also serves on the Patient-Centered Care Team and on a subcommittee for employee wellness. Mary also writes quarterly articles for the hospital and creates services of worship for the hospital. Mary was approved for ordination on September 15, 2012, and was ordained on October 7, 2012, at Wichita Falls MCC, as an UFMCC pastor. She currently serves on the Transformative Committee for the Wichita Falls MCC, her church home, and has organized an active Pride Committee for Wichita Falls, Texas. Mary also has extensive training in new-church starts, church-size theory and family systems theory through various organizations.
Emily Worman is a heterosexual married woman who calls MCC home. In 2004 she helped a same-sex attracted friend who was struggling to find a GLBT affirming church. It wasn’t easy! That search led Emily to discover MCC South London. On arrival she told the pastor, Rev. Jean White, that she was straight and Rev. Jean looked at her like Emily was crazy. Not crazy for coming to MCC but crazy for asking if she was welcome! The message was loud and clear, we are Christians first and our sexuality comes second. Although Emily had been a church goer all her life this was the first time that every single week she heard that God loved her and had plans for her life. It was a game changer. It was here that Emily finally found the confidence to live as one of God’s children. Emily feels proud to attend a church with such a strong human rights focus. MCC is a church she can tell my friends about! Emily’s boyfriend started attending and over the months became a committed follower of Christ. In 2008, Alan and Emily were married by Rev. Jean White. By the end of 2009 they had a bit of an epiphany. They sold pretty much everything they had, resigned from their jobs, gave up their flat, went on a pilgrimage across Spain, volunteered in India and moved to New Zealand. During this time they both felt the calling to go into ministry. They are now back in New Zealand at MCC Auckland and Emily is on the journey of becoming MCC clergy. They are not part of MCC as it is a place where gay people are welcomed. They are part of MCC as they believe that the Church should be a place where EVERYONE is welcomed.
Amanda Alvarado is a member of MCC Austin where she also holds the position of Program Coordinator. Her responsibilities include overseeing the church’s small groups ministry, Sunday school and youth group, and maintaining contact with visitors. Amanda grew up in Kansas City, Missouri where she was raised in the Presbyterian Church USA. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Avila University in Kansas City. After living in New York City for a number of years, Amanda and her husband, Sergio moved to Austin where they discovered MCC. They immediately felt at home, and Amanda has been getting more involved ever since, including her participation in the denomination’s LEAD (Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship) program. She and Sergio have a beautiful daughter, Naomi. Amanda is passionate about spreading the word of God’s radically inclusive love to all of God’s children and welcomes any opportunity to do so.