I live in Cologne/Germany/Europe/World/Creation/God.
I spend most of my time being Parent and Partner, pastoring in MCC Cologne and earning money as Webdeveloper.
My firstname tries to express that I no longer care what gender/s I’m supposed to form.
I came to MCC in 2004 after my queercore-punkrock-band had split. The General Conference 2010 in Acapulco/Mexico was my first experience with the global fellowship outside Europe. I was ordained in 2012.
I love discussions AND decisions. I love questions and questioning. I love to “collect data” before I make up my mind. I appreciate a diversity of lifestyles, abilities, views and traditions. I can share clearness regarding a common ground AND openness regarding it’s different ways of practical meaning.
As an elder I would like to serve WITH and FOR rather than OVER people. I’d like to proceed with healing by seeing the sainthood not only of those aspects (religions, traditions, opinions, people and self-experiences) that parts of Christianities outside and inside of ourselves already acknowledge as saint. I feel a bit uneasy with the unclear boundaries we have regarding the judicial, legislative and executive power for elders in MCC.
But I share enthusiasm for transforming ourselves as we transform our worlds. I’m committed to explore and be a voice for our understanding(s) of church, faith and spirituality – for and with LGBTIQ*- communities, but what we have to offer is so relevant for so many inside and outside of MCC and Christendom also!
Thank you for taking me into account for the search for additional Elders. God bless all applicants and your considerations and decisions!
Contact Rev. Elder Ines-Paul Baumann at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner is currently the Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of New York, where she has served in various capacities for the past 33 years. Rev. Pat is also the Executive Director of the Global Justice Institute, traveling, writing and speaking on behalf of MCC world-wide, addressing a range of social justice issues, forging on-the-ground partnerships, and supporting efforts to promote an inclusive human rights agenda. She chairs the Moderator’s Public Policy Team and holds a seat on the Council for Global Equality.
The Founder of The Sylvia Rivera Memorial Food Pantry at MCCNY and Sylvia’s Place, she has become a leading visionary in the quest of the Queer community to build coalitions and deal with hunger and homelessness, as well as homophobia and other social prejudices. Named for the late civil rights leader, Sylvia Rivera, Sylvia’s Place serves as New York City’s emergency shelter dedicated to providing safe space, food, medical and psychological care, and spiritual support for homeless LGBT youth.
Educated in the Roman Catholic tradition, Rev. Pat has become a sought-after speaker and preacher across denominational divides, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, serving as the 2011 New York City Pride Grand Marshal.
Her current focus involves work with activists in Costa Rica, East Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Eastern Europe, working with asylum seekers in New York City, and developing presentations that address human trafficking as a Queer rights issue.
The proud grandparent of 4 year old Joshua, she lives in the West Village of New York City with her spouse of 28 years, Mary Jane Gibney, and their puppy, Lily.
Contact Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner at email@example.com
Rev. Elder Tony Freeman
Since my initial licensure in 1995 as clergy in MCC, I have served in a variety of leadership roles in the local church (including all of the different church “sizes”) and at the denominational level in both volunteer and staff roles. My local church experience includes staff clergy, executive pastor, interim pastor and senior pastor. Denominationally, I served as Chair of the Strategic Growth Initiative, Chair of the Structure Review Team, and as Vice Chair of the Governing Board and I’m currently serving as the Director of Church Life and Health (and member of the senior leadership team). My MCC experience includes visiting and working with our churches around the world (United States, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada and Mexico). I have also presented over 20 seminars and workshops at MCC conferences
I live in Tucson, Arizona USA with my thirteen year old dog, Pollie. Although I’m frequently travelling on weekends, I do enjoy attending Water of Life MCC when I’m home.
I believe that being an Elder in MCC means you are called to be a servant- leader that embodies the core values of our denomination in ways that inspire and empower people and our churches to achieve their greatest potential. I’m grateful for this opportunity to share in this ministry and pray that God will bless us mightily as we together pursue our mission to transform lives and our world.
Contact Rev. Elder Tony Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Elder Darlene C. Garner
Darlene Garner has served as an Elder for MCC since 1993. Ordained in 1988, she has served as pastor of MCC congregations in Baltimore and Northern Virginia in the United States, interim pastor in Cape Town, South Africa, and as Clerk of MCC. A founder of the U.S. National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, she served on the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and is the convener of the MCC Conference for People of African Descent. The mother of four, grandmother of seven, and great-grandmother of five, Rev. Garner lives with her wife the Rev. Candy Holmes and their canine child Joey in Maryland and Florida.
Contact Rev. Elder Darlene Garner at email@example.com
Contact Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson
Rev. Dwayne Johnson came to MCC for the first time in 1978. At that time he was a member of the Church of Nazarene, a conservative evangelical denomination. MCC opened new windows personally and theologically and he became a member of MCC of Greater Kansas City in 1983. He became a Transfer Clergy at MCC of Washington, DC in 1990. His experiences include serving as Senior Pastor of MCC Richmond, Virginia (1992-96); Senior Pastor of Resurrection, MCC, Houston, Texas (1996-2009); and currently Senior Pastor of MCC of Washington, D.C., USA.
His denominational work includes service on various committees and working groups, including service as Chair of Clergy Credentialing and Concerns for the South Central District. He has preached at Leadership, District, and Regional Conferences and at General Conference.
Dwayne has a passion for outreach, justice and equality that is grounded in spiritual development. His ecumenical work includes serving with the Coalition for Mutual Respect from 1996-2009, including a 2006 peace mission to Israel with Muslim, Jewish and Christian educators and clergy. Currently he serves by mayoral appointment on the Mayor’s Interfaith Council in Washington, D.C., USA.
In January 2009 he became a member of the Academy for Spiritual Formation, studying with Grace Imathiu, Margaret Guenther, Glenn Hinson and other leaders in the Spiritual Formation movement.
Born in Lubbock, Texas, USA he has also lived in California, Kansas, Missouri, and Washington State. He is a graduate of Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, majoring in Communications, Psychology and English and earned his M.Div. from Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
Dwayne envisions MCC as a denomination called to embody the strength of global diversity, power in global partnerships, and an unwavering voice for global equality.
Contact Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson at email@example.com
Elder Nancy G. Maxwell holds dual membership at MCC of Topeka and the Church of the Trinity, Sarasota, Florida. She began attending MCC of Topeka in 1990 and recently joined the Church of the Trinity, Sarasota, Florida.
Nancy is a co-coordinator of the MCC lay leader certificate program, Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship (LEAD). She has attended the Moderator’s Leadership Mentoring Retreat, stood for election to the Governing Board in 2010, is a certified facilitator for Creating a Life that Matters, completed her LEAD certificate in 2013, attended the Size, Worship, Programming, and Stewardship Summits, and has presented on The Partnership between a Church’s Board of Directors and the Ministry Staff; The Large Church; and The Legal Aspects of LGBT Families. She completed a pastoral care course at the Pacific School of Religion and is currently enrolled in a two-year program “Spiritual Direction in Context” at Columbia Theological Seminary.
Nancy retired from Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, KS, in 2015 where she has taught Family Law, Sexuality and the Law, Criminal Law, Feminist Legal Theory and Alternative Dispute Resolution. She has served as the law school’s Co-Director of the International and Comparative Law Center, teaching comparative law in London, UK, Utrecht, NL, and Barbados. Nancy has presented academic papers in numerous countries; her legal research includes same-sex marriage, co-parent adoption, parentage issues, mediation, and legal education. Nancy holds a B.A. in psychology and a law degree (J.D.) from the University of North Dakota, and a master’s of law (LL.M.) degree in law teaching from Harvard. She is licensed to practice law in North Dakota and the federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; she is a trained child custody and visitation mediator, and implemented a student-run dispute resolution program in Topeka, Kansas, public school system.
Some of the skills and gifts Nancy brings to the role of elder include pastoral care, spiritual discernment, teaching/facilitating, and administration.
Nancy is married to Pandora Kiss and they have 3 adult children.
Contact Elder Nancy G. Maxwell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León, originally from Puerto Rico and living in Lisbon, Portugal, has been part of MCC since 1996. She was co-pastor of MCC Cristo Sanador in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the founding stage and Senior Pastor from 2006 to 2008. She was Executive Director of Amnesty International, Section of Puerto Rico and as has wide experience working with and taking action for human rights and LGBT rights through grassroots organizations and social movements. When moving to London, UK, she was pastor in the East London and South London MCC congregations from 2009 to 2012. At denominational level, she is part of Theologies Team since 2010 and works as Program Coordinator for Iberoamerica –Office of Emerging Ministries (in close collaboration with Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez) and is the Academic Dean of the “Darlene Garner Institute for Ibero-American Leadership Formation – OFLD.
One of her skills and passions is to help to build alliances and create networks between organizations, groups and people. She is a person of dialogue that embraces diversity and multiculturalism as a way of life. She enjoys encouraging people to understand their own strengths as a gift. She has curiosity for life and a passion for people.
She has a BA in Art and Literature from the University of Puerto Rico, an MA in Religion from the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico and Courses for Doctor of Philosophy program from the Graduate Theological Foundation. She speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese.
She is married with Frida Kruijt and they are mothers of Oshadi and Siboney, girl and boy twins of five years old.
Contact Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León at email@example.com
Convener of the Council Of Elders
Rev. Elder Dr. Candace R. Shultis grew up in Kingston, NY and Pittsfield, MA. She earned her baccalaureate degree from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), B.B.A., in 1973, her master’s and her doctorate at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, M.Div., 1980 and D. Min., 2004. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled: The Creation of a More Diverse Congregation: A History of the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC. From November, 1973 through August, 1976, she served as a disbursing officer in the United States Marine Corps. She first attended the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC in 1979. Candace served as the Associate Pastor of MCC Washington from 1983 until 1995 when she was elected Pastor. She was called and elected to be the Pastor at King of Peace MCC, St. Petersburg, FL in December, 2007.
Candace has served in a number of denominational capacities including as Assistant District Coordinator (Mid-Atlantic District), as a member and then chair of the Clergy Credentials and Concerns Committee and as a member of the Governing Board. She presently serves as the Chair of the Commission on the Statement of Faith. She has preached in churches and at events from New Haven CT to Sydney Australia.
Candace brings the spiritual gifts of pastor, administrator, stewardship, leadership and discernment. She is a gifted preacher and teacher. She loves people in all the ways they show up and has a passion for the growth of churches and people.
She and her partner of 22 years, Barbara, also enjoy the company of their two dachshunds: Wendy, and Mister Redd (Really Extraordinary Dachshund Dog).
Contact Rev. Elder Dr. Candace R. Shultis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Elder Dr. Mona West
Rev. Mona West earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY and has taught biblical studies at several colleges, universities and seminaries throughout the United States. She also holds a Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Columbia Seminary in Decatur, GA. Originally ordained in the Southern Baptist denomination in 1987, Rev. West transferred her ordination credentials to Metropolitan Community Church in 1992 and served as the Academic Dean for Samaritan Institute, the school that trained clergy for MCC. She has also held several pastoral positions in MCC, including the 3000 member Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, TX. Currently she is the Director of Formation and Leadership Development for Metropolitan Community Churches and was affirmed as an Elder in MCC in 2012. She writes and speaks about spirituality and queer biblical studies and is a contributing editor of three books: Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible, Pilgrim Press, The Queer Bible Commentary, SCM Press and Queering Christianity: Finding a Place at the Table for LGBTQI Christians, Praeger Press.
She and her partner of 19 years, Deb Elder, make their home in Austin, TX along with their “furr-leggeds”, Georgia, Rocky, Lulu, Chili, and Migo.
Contact Rev. Elder Dr. Mona West at RevMonaWest@mccchurch.net