New Team Members (2010)
The Rev. Dr. Patrick S. Cheng is the Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. He received his Ph.D., M.Phil., and M.A. in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his B.A. from Yale College. Patrick writes about LGBT theological issues for the religion section of the Huffington Post and recently was featured in an HBO documentary on Asian Americans. Patrick has served as an ordained MCC minister since 2001, and he received the MCC Theologian Award at the 2010 General Conference. Patrick’s current book project is called Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology and will be published in spring 2011 by Seabury Press. For more information, see his website at http://www.patrickcheng.net/.
Bryce E. Rich is a PhD student in theology at The University of Chicago Divinity School, where his research focuses on the intersection of queer theology and Eastern Orthodoxy. He received his Master of Arts in Religion from Lancaster Theological Seminary, in Lancaster, PA, where he founded the LTS Allies. His other interests include liturgical theology, theological anthropology, mimetic theory, and the uses of technology in education and worship. Before concentrating on his religious training, Bryce worked for a US nonprofit in Russia, living in Moscow and Siberia. His spiritual journey began in the Southern Baptist church, but has included time in the Charismatic, Episcopal and Mennonite traditions, as well as membership with MCC congregations and finally reception into the Eastern Orthodox Church. Bryce’s academic website can be found at http://www.brycerich.com.
Rev. Carmen Margarita Sanchez De Leon was born in Puerto Rico and lives in London since March 2008. She is the pastor of MCC East London since May 2009. Margarita worked for over twenty years in grassroots organizations addressing problems like human rights violations, political prisoners, women’s rights and lgbt rights. She has a Master of Arts in Religion from the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from the University of Puerto Rico. She was ordained in the Metropolitan Community Churches in 1998.
Prior to her move to London, Margarita served as both Executive Director of Amnesty International Puerto Rico (2002 – 2008) and as Senior Pastor of MCC Cristo Sanador (2006 – 2008). In her capacity as ED of Amnesty in Puerto Rico, she led the process of two significant changes in the legislation of Puerto Rico: inclusion of human rights violations in the Penal Code, and the elimination of the Sodomy Law. From 1996 to 2003, Margarita was the General Coordinator of the National Ecumenical Movement of Puerto Rico. She is married to Frida and they have a daughter and a son, Oshadi and Siboney.
Existing Team Members (2007)
The Rev. Dr. Kharma R. Amos serves as the Associate Director of Formation and Leadership Development for MCC. Prior to beginning this work in November of 2011, she served as the Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia for nine years. Kharma received her Master of Divinity degree in 2002 from Lancaster Theological Seminary, where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree in 2008 from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a thesis entitled Queering Church: Integrating Queer Theology in Congregational Life in Metropolitan Community Churches. Kharma has been a contributor to the Human Rights Campaign’s Out In Scripture online commentary series and authored a chapter in the book Split Ticket: Independent Faith in a Time of Partisan Politics, published by Chalice Press in 2010.
The Rev. Dr. Jim Burns is the Pastor of MCC of the Rockies in Denver, CO, USA. A first-career MCC pastor, he holds degrees from Oberlin College, Yale Divinity School, and Iliff School of Theology. He was honored to receive a Laity Mutuality in Ministry Award at the 2005 General Conference.
Skip Chasey is a long-time active member of MCC Los Angeles where he has served on the board of directors and worship team, facilitated a bereavement support group, and co-founded the Los Angeles chapter of PLAY (People of Leather Among You), MCCLA’s outreach program to the pansexual leather community. In addition to being a much sought after speaker on issues of integrating sexuality and spirituality, Skip is a practicing spiritual director and certified Grief Recovery(TM) counselor.
The Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert is the Pastor of Salz der Erde MCC in Stuttgart, Germany. He received his Diplom in Ev. Theologie from the school of theological studies at Tubingen. He also spent a year in the Religious Studies Department at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA studying inter-religious dialogue, among other things. Axel received his D.Min. from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2010.
The Rev. Dr. Mona West is the Director of MCC’s Office of Formation and Leadership Development. Originally ordained in the Southern Baptist denomination in 1987, she transferred her ordination credentials to MCC in 1992. Mona holds M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. She published Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible with Pilgrim Press and is one of four editors of The Queer Bible Commentary published by SCM Press in 2006. Mona’s website can be found at http://www.monawest.com/.
The Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson has served as the Moderator of MCC since 2005. She has been on the Board of Elders since 1976 and has served as Pastor of MCC Detroit, MCC Los Angeles, and Church of the Trinity in Sarasota, FL. Nancy earned her B.A. in Religion from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and a M.Div. from SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Detroit and is currently a D.Min. candidate at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. She published Our Tribe: Queer Folk, God, Jesus, and the Bible and has been a contributor to many other works. Nancy’s blog can be found at http://moderatorscorner.mccchurch.org/.
The Theologies Team is also served with staff support by Marina Laws.
Previous Team Members
Rev. B. Y. Boone
Rev. Dr. Edgard Danielsen-Morales
Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin