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MCC Impact – May 2011 (Vol. 2)

the MCC IMPACT

May 2011 – Volume II

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STANDING FOR EQUALITY

When Baylor University said no, Central Texas MCC (Waco) said yes. Baylor Social Work students were putting the final touches on their group project about LGBT adoption when they received word from Baylor University, just days before the final presentation, that they would not be allowed to show a film that featured a same-sex couple trying to move from being foster parents to adoptive parents. Central Texas MCC promptly offered its facilities for the event, which was very successful.

FUN(D)RAISERS

Church Lady Bingo is not your average bingo game, and the 3 June event will be even more unique at MCC New York (New York). The vegans are taking over the show to offer meat-eaters and herbivores alike an exciting evening of over-the-top entertainment, starring the hostess with the mostest, Sybil Bruncheon, fabulous cruelty-free prizes, and delicious all-vegan concessions!

MCC of the Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) is one of the non-profit organizations to which PrideFest attendees may donate $1 of their $5 (USD) admission charge.

On Tuesdays beginning 7 June, MCC Key West (Florida) will have the opportunity to host its own Aqua Idol contest at Aqua Nightclub. Every dollar donated to the contestants will be given to the church.

Postage stamp? Coverall? Kite? Bingo is coming back to MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) on 4 June.

A giving tree, decorated with flowers, stands in the vestibule outside the sanctuary of MCC Detroit (Michigan). Each flower contains the name of an item the church needs. Congregants select a flower and purchase that desired article. It doesn’t raise funds, but it does reduce expenditures for things like paper products, ink cartridges, plastic cutlery, etc.

Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) has monthly Bingo nights to raise money for the church. Packs begin at $12 (USD), with $50 winners and $250 jackpots. Plus, they sell refreshments.

OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

The Children’s Choir of MCC Austin (Texas) will be performing during worship one Sunday this month. They practice during Sunday School each Sunday.

The children at MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) held a car wash and then a Hoop-a-thon to raise money. People pledged based on how many baskets they thought the child could make with a basketball.

The first Youth Service was held at CRAVE MCC (Paddington, Australia). The young adults explored “The Guts of Freedom” in the service. Youth from MCC Sydney and Good Shepherd MCC supported the event as an outreach to their peers in that part of New South Wales.

The Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) Pre-Teen Sunday School youth delivered hand-made greeting cards to a local nursing home communicating well-wishes and reminding folks that God loves them.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) will offer evening Vacation Bible School 6-10 June for those ages 5 -15. Following dinner, the children and youth will study scripture, enjoy crafts, sing, and have fun.

Because the Children’s Church at MCC of Greater Dallas is growing so much, there’s been a shift in rooms. They took the Pastor’s office, she moved to the Board’s space, and the Board got the children’s area.

RESEARCH TO FOCUS ON MCC YOUNG PEOPLE

The School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology at Newcastle University (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England) is advertising for a full-time research position to undertake literature reviews, fieldwork, and interviews about Making Space for Queer-identifying Religious Young People.

This is a case-study exploration of Christianity and sexuality in young people’s lives, investigating the everyday practices, experiences and identities of LGBT young people involved in MCC in the UK.

The position will begin in September and last for approximately 18 months. Applications are due by 1 June. For more information, go to the Newcastle University website.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

The University of Trinity College in Toronto, the oldest centre for theological study in the Anglican Church of Canada, conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity upon Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes in recognition of his advocacy for marginalized groups and championing for equality. Can you believe that it was 10 years ago when he performed the first legal same-sex wedding in Canada?! Click here to read the news article.

The web’s first and only LGBTI Music Video channel is conducting a Trivia contest this month based on the lives, music and videos of fantastic OUT Artists, including Shawn Thomas. You can win CDs of your favorite artists, plus have fun with some crazy trivia about each of them. To get in on the fun and test your knowledge, visit RightOutTV on Facebook and click “Like,” and then it will all just magically happen!

Rev. Karl Hand participated in the Gay Marriage Rally in Sydney, Australia.

Rev. Bob Shore-Goss and MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) were honored for their ecological initiatives by California Interfaith Power & Light. The church has installed solar panels, established an organic garden, and are doing composting, advocacy, and more.

Doug Landreth and Rev. Patrick Rogers from Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida), and Rev. Lee Carlton from Cornerstone MCC (Mobile, Alabama), spoke at a demonstration during a meeting in Tallahassee where lawmakers are considering reducing the funding for services for people with HIV/AIDS.

Rev. Skip Jordan, one of four volunteer pastors at MCC Washington, DC, was recently hired as a Chaplain for Capital Caring, one of the largest hospices in the area.

A video of the Naming Service for Rev. Brendan Yanni Boone at St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) is available for viewing here.

Rev. Dr. Jim Burns had three essays published in Feasting on the Word, Volume 12.

Rev. Renwick Bell was one of seven non-Muslims honored by Al-Hikmat Services because of the stand he took against Qur’an burning. Plus, Church of Our Savior MCC (Boynton Beach, Florida) hosted an informative interfaith panel discussion which unpacked, diffused and dispelled notions of prejudice and profiling. Rev. Bell, Rabbi Silver, Imam Shafayat Mohamed, and Pundit Baldath Maharaj frequently dine together to discuss issues affecting their Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu communities and how they can all work together. Click here to read the news article.

Rev. Paul Graetz received a Progressive Kingdom Award from the African American Community of Atlanta (Georgia, USA) for advancing the progressive message of Christianity in the Metro Atlanta area.

Rev. Dr. Tony Thieman-Somora gave the invocation for the annual awards lucheon of the Illinios Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers at the Governor’s mansion.

CARING FOR OTHERS

UFMCC donated $500 (USD) from the Disaster Relief Fund to Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida) to cover the transportation costs of making a second trip with filled trucks to tornado devastated Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They delivered such items as clothing, toiletries, bug spray, sun screen, ready to eat food items, diapers and baby needs, hand sanitizer, flashlights and batteries, blankets, tennis shoes, and so much more. Holy Cross MCC galvanized the entire Pensacola area into providing the necessities, which were delivered to volunteers who took the items directly to the people who need them most.

Wearing their MCC t-shirts, folks from MCC Lubbock (Texas) served as volunteers at the Special Olympics Spring Games.

Gathering things like household goods and clothing makes one think that a yard sale is being planned. Not so at MCC Charleston (South Carolina). They are going to give the items away to folks in need.

Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) just celebrated Recovery Sunday. There were special prayers, music, Communion, and the sermon, Open to a New Future, proclaiming their commitment to those in recovery from various addictions, as well as their families and friends who support them.

Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas) is collecting snacks to be given to the abused children who are sheltered at Rainbow Room.

On 26 May, folks from Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) will gather to cook sloppy-joes and then go to a parking lot to feed people who are homeless. They will also be giving out homemade cookies.

The Wichita Falls MCC (Texas) Praise Band, Blended Journey, will be the first group performing at the Relay for Life on 3 June.

ACTIVE CHURCHES

A service in a bar? Yes! New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) will be hosting a Pride service at The Lodge for the first Hub City Pride event. Over 40 non-MCCers have registered to participate on 5 June. They will provide a potluck following worship.

Next Sunday, Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) will have a combined Family & Friends Service at 10:30, followed by a community BBQ, with the Ft. Lauderdale Men’s Chorus and the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble in concert that afternoon.

MCC denominational leaders Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, Barb Crabtree and Irma Bauer-Levesque will lead a retreat for MCC of the Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania) next weekend, focusing on how stewardship changes lives!

MCC Richmond (Virginia) is working on updating their strategic plan. Currently, they are interviewing members about what they believe is good about the church and what they want to see in the future.

MCC Newcastle (England) hosted an event for very serious, professional Eurovision fans only! They shared a Euro-themed supper and gave a prize for the best Eurovision-style costume.

The Who-So-Ever Band from MCC Paducah (Kentucky) performed at the Carson Center as the opening act for the annual Human Rights Campaign event in western Kentucky.

MCC Manchester (England) has started a Computer Club to help members learn new skills on their computers, from using the web to searching for resources to understanding how to file things when using multiple computers.

Being ecumenical, MCC San Francisco (California) hosts a Eucharist Mass each month led by lesbian Catholic priest Rev. Dr. Victoria Rue. They also provide space weekly for Q-Sangha, a queer meditation community in the Buddhist tradition facilitated by Rev. Jana Drakka.

A Memorial Day Picnic is planned by Sunshine Cathedral for 30 May. Besides eating, there will be time for games, volleyball, and fellowship.

Heartland Community MCC (Springfield Illinois) finished the series “Following Jesus: Discipleship 101″ this month and will begin “Thriving in Christian Community: Discipleship 102″ in June.

Guess Who’s Coming to Brunch will be just that on 4 June at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas). Ticket holders and hosts won’t know until the last minute who will be dining with whom that day! All proceeds benefit the “Get Rev. Harry’s Mind Off of the Gutters” campaign to replace their rain gutters.

A group at MCC North London (England) gathers for a period of prayer prior to their weekly service.

MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri) is offering “Intro into Complementary Healing Principles and Practice,” which will culminate with a healing circle on 1 June.

Monday Night Sermon Discussions are being held at MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia), during which they discuss the Scripture and sermon points from the day before and then how to apply that to their daily lives.

Singing those old hymns! On Wednesday night at MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado), they will have an old-fashioned hymn sing and enjoy singing those hymns people remember from their childhoods.

The men of MCC Toronto (Canada) will be going on retreat next weekend, and the women will begin an eight-week Coming Out Group next Monday.

Christ Chapel MCC (Santa Ana, California) and Resurrection Beach MCC (Costa Mesa, California) have begun to explore how they can partner to have greater impact in their communities.

Making the Impact!
Standing for Equality
Fun(d)raisers
Our Children and Youth
Research to Focus on MCC Young People
People in the News
Caring for Others
Active Churches
International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia
New Appointments
One World Festival
Celebrations
Network News
Transitions
Global Connection

IDAHO

A Forum on the Anti-Discrimination Bill (HB1483), led by the author of the bill, Congressman Teddy Casino, was hosted by MCC Quezon City (Philippines). There have been numerous LGBT murders across the Philippines.

Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) marked IDAHO with the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Shaun McGall, as their special guest. He spoke of his own experiences of homophobia when he was at the forefront of bringing in Civil Partnerships in Bath. Their worship also focused on the plight of LGBT people in Uganda.

Some of our churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area participated in the IDAHO event at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza in Dallas (Texas). There were speakers and a candlelight march.

MCC Metro Baguio (Philippines) co-sponsored a forum/assembly on LGBT rights and remembrance of victims of hate crimes at the La Trinidad Municipal grounds in Benguet. Later, they released commemorative balloons, followed by lighting candles for the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.

NEW APPOINTMENTS

The MCC Ecumenical and Inter-religious Team has two new people working with them.

Rev. Andy Braunston will be serving as the Ecumenical Representative for MCC in the UK. He will focus on Churches Together in England and other ecumenical and inter-religious groups in the UK, as well as with Christian denominations. He will build a team of MCC volunteers to assist him.

John Ransom has been named the Ecumenical and Inter-religious Liaison for Florida, USA. He will begin a dialogue with the Florida Council of Churches to develop a relationship with them, as well as building a team of MCCers interested in working in the ecumenical and inter-religious setting. Mr. Ransom is in his final semester at seminary and is active at King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida).

ONE WORLD FESTIVAL

Crossing the Divide, an interfaith project of River of Life MCC (Dorchester, England), has received an incredible honour by being asked to support Speak Easy in Dorchester by coordinating the One World Festival this year. Speak Easy is an organisation that was created specifically to celebrate cultural diversity. One of its primary aims is to assist people whose first language is not English.

The One World Festival is a multicultural event in its fourth year and is aimed at bringing together all cultures in a safe arena in order to learn more about each other. River of Life MCC has participated in the festival with a stall and has made some great friends while watching Ghurkha presentations, sampling food from across the world, taking part in or watching Kibaddi, Tug of War, listening to world music, etc.

This year the festival is on 10 July in Kings Road Fields, Dorchester. All are welcome!

CELEBRATIONS

Rev. Elders Lillie Brock and Don Eastman will officiate at the installation service for Rev. Lea Brown as senior pastor of MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) on 5 June.

MCC East London is celebrating their 20th anniversary this month and has entered into an intentional time of prayer as they discern the next steps for their ministry.

To celebrate their 14th anniversary, FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) held a Sock Hop, their first dance in their own building!

Several Northern California MCC churches are planning a Russian River Baptismal Service for 4 June.

MCC Omaha (Nebraska) is celebrating the global expansion of MCC by flying the flags of every country in which there is an MCC presence.

To celebrate Rev. Dwayne Morgan’s 50th birthday, MCC Bournemouth (England) held a BBQ in his honor.

MCC San Diego (California) will celebrate their 41st anniversary 4-5 June. On Saturday, there will be an open mic evening, “The Met’s Got Talent”. On Sunday, they will have two Anniversary Services.

NETWORK NEWS

Rev. Elder Ken Martin and Rev. Dr. Mel White will be the special guests for the Southern Gulf Coastal Network Gathering, 17-18 June, hosted by MCC Baton Rouge (Louisiana). There will be a fellowship time Friday evening. Saturday will feature presentations on stewardship, church planting, and social justice, as well as the closing worship at 3:15. There will be no charge, even though breakfast and lunch are included; however, you must register by emailing .

Earlier this month MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) hosted the Network Gathering for the MCCs in Southern California and Nevada. MCC/ICM Los Angeles provided simultaneous Spanish translation for their six hours together.

TRANSITIONS

On 1 June, Rev. Dexter Brecht will become the new intentional interim pastor at Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Richey, Florida). He will serve there for 18 months.

Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker has tendered his resignation as pastor of All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota), effective 5 June.

Rev. Clinton Crawshaw is the provisional pastor for MCC of the Coachella Valley (Cathedral City, California).

GLOBAL CONNECTION

MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) sold artwork, African beads, crafts, and jewelry on behalf of MCC People of Substance Kenya, which divides the proceeds with the artists and uses the rest for the church’s ministry.

MCC People of Substance Kenya is a young church in the heart of Nairobi with over 25 active members. The majority of attendees are from the LGBT community or are sex workers. However, they have over 10 committed straight congregants, plus 10 children in Sunday School. They meet every Sunday for a two to three hour service.

Twice a month, a team of six church members reach out to commercial sex workers in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Mombasa. They meet with them on the street, individually sharing God’s love and word. A few have begun coming to church. They occasionally visit HIV+ people as well.

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