The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is on 17 May every year. Many of our churches hold special events or engage in educational opportunities in their communities.
What is YOUR church doing to observe IDAHO this year? Please send your plans for inclusion in a future edition of the MCC IMPACT.
For free promotional materials and ideas, click here.
Central Texas MCC (Waco) is celebrating their 25th anniversary this month. The theme is “One Love, Many Faces.” They are using Skype to have Rev. Elders Lillie Brock, Diane Fisher, and Nancy Wilson join them for worship and bring the message on different Sundays.
Our Tribe, MCC’s presence in Edinburgh, Scotland, celebrated their 1st anniversary with a new banner which they carried in the city’s Pride Parade last Saturday.
“All Are Welcome” are the words engraved on the new Communion table at Celebration MCC (Naples, Florida). It was custom-made and dedicated on Easter Sunday. It was rolled down the aisle during a hymn and then those who had contributed to its creation processed with the altar linens, a crystal cross candle holder, the Christ candles, cruets, chalices, patens, and ciborium.
Gay Paris is the theme for Peninsula MCC’s (San Mateo, California) 6th anniversary. The menu will feature French dishes. There will be dancing, raffle drawings, and fun all evening at the Belmont Community Center on 4 June.
MCC London (Ontario, Canada) just celebrated their 31st anniversary. For some time they have been the oldest predominantly LGBT organization in the city, but now they have become the longest continuously meeting LGBT group in the history of London, a title formerly held by HALO (Homophile Association of London), a club which operated for 30 years.
Congratulations! Next Sunday morning Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) will celebrate paying off their mortgage with a Mortgage Burning Service!
MINISTERING TO OTHERS
Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida) filled trucks and trailers with bottled water, canned goods, toiletries, soap, detergent, and clothing, then drove them to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which was devastated by recent tornadoes.
The Women’s Ministry of New Spirit MCC (Cincinnati, Ohio) supplied 17 bags of food for CAIN’s (Churches Active In Northside) recent campaign. The slogan was “Everything but the Ham.” The churches provided the items on the grocery list, and CAIN supplied all the hams for Easter dinners for those in need.
A team from MCC New York (New York) will be participating in the AIDS Walk in Central Park next Sunday. Last year they raised over $3500 (USD) to benefit the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the world’s oldest HIV/AIDS organization. If you can’t join them physically, you can be a virtual walker on their team. Go to www.aisdwalk.net/newyork/index.html, select “Join a team,” and then look for MCC NY.
Wow! Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) held a food drive during Lent to benefit The Pantry of Broward and collected 2,450 pounds of food!
In two months, the ACT (Acceptance, Compassion, Tolerance) group at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) has made over 40 fleece blankets, embroidered with “MCCK”, praying hands, and a rainbow. They are sent to people to let them know that a faith community is praying for them.
Open Circle at the Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) is collecting children’s items for the Maforga Mission Orphanage in Mozambique, Africa, where the daughter of two members works with her husband.
Each Wednesday evening the Clothing Closet at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) provides clothing for those in need who participate in their weekly Dinner for the Hungry.
Cantebury Bells and Sweet William will be available at Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) this month. No, that has nothing to do with the recent Royal Wedding. Rev. Kieren Bourne has grown these bedding plants and will sell them, with the profits going to the church. Later, there will be tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, and other plants from his garden available for purchase.
In this time of ever-increasing gas/petrol prices, Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) is raffling $30 (USD) gas cards.
MCC Corpus Christi (Texas) will host Awards Night next Saturday evening, with proceeds designated toward paying off their balloon note. The suggested donation is $52 (USD), a dollar a week since MCC Awards Night 2010.
Church yard or garage sales abound this month, just ask the folks at Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas), MCC Detroit (Michigan), MCC Louisville (Kentucky), MCC Topeka (Kansas), MCC Wichita Falls (Texas), and St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina).
Help Raise the Roof! MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) just had a Dinner & Show fundraiser at Exhale Bar and Grill to raise money to repair their roof.
Sister Glory Alice’s Joyous Jubilee and Spiritual Revival Celebration on 22 May at the La Te Da’s Crystal Room will be an evening of entertainment and frolicking fun to support the programs and ministries of MCC Key West (Florida). There will also be a silent auction and 50/50 raffle.
The Flush Fund! The septic system at Page House, which is part of Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida), has failed, which forces them now to hook into the city’s sewer system. The cost? $20,000 (USD).
The Couples Group at MCC San Diego (California) is hosting an Empty Bowls event after church next Sunday. They are making, or having donated, unique bowls that will be filled with soup and served along with salad, a beverage, and cookie for $10 (USD). The proceeds will be used for sprucing up the altar with greenery and banners.
A new way to recycle! Agape MCC (Fort Worth, Texas) refurbished their sanctuary and now is selling the old lighting fixtures for $100 (USD) each.
Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan) just had a Service Auction with everything from tailgating at a football game to making labels to get you organized to car detailing to gardening up for bids.
“The Sounds of Music” is the theme for the 5th annual Trivia Night at MCC of Greater St. Louis (Missouri) next Saturday. There will be prizes for the best decorated table, as well as the best (and worst) at the trivia questions. Folks will enjoy live and silent auctions, refreshments, door prizes, raffles, and other games and activities.
MCC Quezon City (Philippines) held a Forum on LGBT Killings in the Philippines. Pictures from the event can be seen here.
Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) is currently offering two courses on Wednesdays: “Eat, Pray, Love … Your Body” and “When ‘Me’ Becomes ‘We': Stepping Out on the Road to Creating a Family.”
Next Saturday, Reconciliation MCC (Grand Rapids, Michigan) will gather to study “One-Anothers” in scripture, break into teams to create a list of basic characteristics seen in Jesus, and then build a Holy Connections Covenant describing how they will live accordingly.
“Joy Comes in the Mourning” will be presented next Saturday at MCC Topeka (Kansas), acknowledging that it is the journey through grief that leads to celebration.
Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker is preaching a series based on Marcus Borg’s The Heart of Christianity at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota). After worship each week, a discussion group is convened to engage in dialogue about that week’s topic and how it applies to life today.
MCC Austin (Texas) is offering a series of seminars on the Twelve Steps. The focus is not on the drug of choice but rather the disease of addiction. Each session begins with focused meditations and prayers, followed by specific sessions on each Step, with insightful readings and the sharing of personal experiences, concluding with an open discussion time. Handouts are included containing questions intended to help focus personal reflective writing on each Step.
“Dinner and a Bible” has just begun at MCC of the Spirit (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). Folks will bring their own supper, and they will study the Bible together on Wednesday evenings.
Rev. Elders Lillie Brock and Ken Martin will be at MCC Toronto (Ontario, Canada) next Saturday to present a Church Size Summit, helping the congregation learn how to grow in every way…spiritually, numerically and relationally.
“Following Jesus: Discipleship 101″ is being taught at Spirit of Hope MCC (Kansas City, Missouri).
MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) is engaged in the discernment program “To Infinity … and Beyond!” Small groups met over the past month seeking holy visions for their church. In gatherings this month, the entire congregation will listen to what was discovered and create a collective vision of their future.
“God’s Grace Is…” a Weekend of Praise, Worship, Fellowship & Fun, 13-15 May, at Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) led by Rev. Jeffrey H. Jordan-Pickett from MCC Philadelphia and Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator of MCC. For more information, contact .
Going Viral! SunCoast Cathedral MCC is using Facebook to invite others to church events. The church sends the invitation to congregants, who in turn, send it on to their friends.
Good Hope MCC (Cape Town, South Africa) joined with other churches from their city to not only walk the city streets reflecting on Jesus’ journey to Golgotha, but also to observe the suffering in their own city.
The youth and their families at MCC Omaha (Nebraska) will enjoy a day at the zoo together on Saturday.
MCC Tampa (Florida) will host a Rocky Horror Movie Night Friday. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character for viewing the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“Stop Dreading and Start Living” on Wednesday nights at MCC Richmond (Virginia) includes a time of singing, prayer, and a brief message at 6:00pm. Then at 6:25 it’s a light dinner, followed by break-out sessions at 7:00, with everyone gathering for a closing prayer and song at 7:50. The current session offerings are Queering the Bible, Eating Consciously, Movie Discussions, Let’s Talk Justice, and a meditation space.
Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) observed Holocaust Remembrance Day on 1 May.
Wanna dance? Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) is offering beginning line dancing classes on Thursday afternoons this month.
The Charleston Pride March and Festival is next Saturday. Folks from MCC Charleston (South Carolina) will be in the parade and at a booth promoting the church.
Kids can “Take the Plunge” at MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) during Vacation Bible School, 21-25 June.
Going Deeper: Gay Men Connecting with One Another and Ourselves is a group being offered at MCC San Francisco (California) on Thursday evening the rest of this month.
Join folks from King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) aboard the Carnival Miracle, 17-25 October. The eight-day cruise visits ports in the southern Caribbean: St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and St. Kitts. Each island offers spectacular scenery, beaches, and attractions, as well as duty-free shopping and casinos. Prices start at $754 USD. Call SeaFreed Travel at 727-367-3737.
MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) is beginning a support group for those involved with elder care, be it parents, spouses, or another loved one. They will share resources and information, in addition to providing a safe place to share feelings and concerns.
Registration is now open for MCC’s new Lay Leadership Certificate Program!
L.E.A.D. (Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship) is a program developed specifically for laity in MCC to provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and the development of leadership skills so that they may be effective leaders in the church and the world. Persons who complete the L.E.A.D. Certificate will be placed on a Leader List available to Elders, Senior Staff and MCC Clergy for the purpose of creating a leadership pool from which to choose trained laity to serve in leadership positions in MCC at the denominational, local and international levels. For a list of the core competencies for the L.E.A.D. program, click here. For a listing of courses for the L.E.A.D. program, click here.
There is an application process for the program, and attendance at a L.E.A.D. retreat is required. The first L.E.A.D. retreat, which is a pilot for the U.S. and Canada, will be offered 18-21 August 2011 at Dayspring Retreat Center in Ellenton, Florida. The cost of the retreat is $400 USD, which includes tuition, three nights’ lodging and all meals. The deadline for applications to the program is July 5. To download an application packet, click here. Space for this first L.E.A.D. retreat is limited to 30 persons.
In 2012, L.E.A.D. retreats will be planned for venues outside the U. S. and will be designed to be culturally relevant wherever they are offered. The OFLD plans to offer retreats on a regular basis to accommodate all those who wish to participate in the program.
Sexuality and Spirituality course at Lancaster Seminary this summer
Rev. Dr. Mona West will be teaching Sexuality and Spirituality in Lancaster Theological Seminary’s Summer Academy, June 20-24, 7-8:45 pm. This course will satisfy the ordination requirement in MCC and will also count for credit toward the new L.E.A.D. Lay Certificate Program. Cost for the course is $160 USD. For more information, click here.
MCC YOUTH IS A FINALIST
Trevor Meader is one of the 10 finalists among those nominated in the US to receive the Youth Courage Award. He was nominated by Rev. Barbara S. Sagat-Stover.
While living in the state with the highest teen suicide rate in the nation, Trevor is openly challenging homophobia and bigotry. The bullying he has endured as a 14 year old Junior High school student has been traumatic. He lives in a small rural Maine community, with no social activities outside school, yet he’s stood proudly and powerfully against the bullies who tried to chase him away.
In August 2010, Trevor attended Project AWARE’s Summer Film Institute where he and other youth collaborators created and produced a powerful anti-bullying PSA, in which he is the main character. He shared his experience with his 600 member student body, the school board, and various local churches.
It is anticipated that Trevor’s PSA will soon be on local television stations throughout Maine. Should he receive this award, he will use the money to fund additional PSAs, as well as benefit from meeting other teen activists at the Creating Change Conference.
Rev. Greg Smith has returned to the pastorate of MCC Sydney (Australia).
Rev. Darrel McDonald was ordained last Friday night at MCC/ICM Los Angeles. The choir from MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California), where he did his internship, sang during the service.
Rev. Mark Byrd is the new interim pastor for New Life MCC Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia).
Rev. Dr. Tony Thieman-Somora will celebrate the reaffirmation of his ordination as he transfers his credentials to MCC. Rev. Elder Diane Fisher will officiate at the service next Sunday at Heartland Community MCC (Springfield, Illinois), where he is the pastor.
Rev. Todd Goeway is the new interim pastor of MCC Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania).
achurch4me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois) has moved to a larger worship space at the National Pastime Theater, 4139 North Broadway.
ACTIVE MCC FOLK
Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will be the graduation speaker at Lancaster Theological Seminary on Saturday.
Tammy Kister, a board member at Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas), was honored as the Texas Apartment Manager of the Year.
Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes was named a hero by a student at East Alternative School in the social justice play they performed last week. Other heroes included people like Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and Tommy Douglas. The event was covered by the Toronto Star.
Rev. Colleen Darraugh and Clergy Intern Norma Gann of MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) both received scholarships from the Human Rights Campaign to participate in the Clergy Call on Capitol Hill (Washington, DC) this month.
Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas participated in a special service earlier this month. Yom Hashoah: Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day was cosponsored by Congregation Kol Ami, Jewish World Watch, and the City of West Hollywood, California.
Sam Jones and Saralyn Salisbury, who have been the driving force at pushing the envelope at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, were featured in the New York Times. You can read the article here.
Marsha Stevens-Pino will be performing at the Pride festivities in Long Beach, California.
Rev. Sharon Ferguson and her partner Franka led a large contingent from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and MCC North London (England) to Buckingham Palace a few days prior to the Royal Wedding to present Prince William and Kate a giant wedding card wishing them the best, but pointing out that gays and lesbians in the UK cannot marry.
On Sunday, Rev. Delores Berry will be singing and preaching at MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia).
Rev. Susan Deitrick led a Renewal Weekend at Appalachian MCC (St. Albans, West Virginia).
GAY CHRISTIAN FLAGS STOLEN
MCC Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) has had not one or two, but six Gay Christian flags stolen from the flagpole outside their church this year. They have gone to the police requesting that the thefts be investigated as hate crimes.
Additionally, the flagpole has been vandalized to the point that they can no longer hoist a flag all the way to the top. It will now need to be replaced by the church.
Rabbi Henry Jay Karp of Temple Emanuel there said, “An attack on one place of worship is an attack on all places of worship. If you endorse prejudice against one faith group, you’re endorsing prejudice against all faith groups.”
You can read the local news article here.