Bryce E. Rich (Chair) is a PhD Candidate in Theology at The University of Chicago Divinity School, where his research focuses on the intersection of Eastern Orthodoxy and queer theory. He received his Master of Arts in Religion from Lancaster Theological Seminary, in Lancaster, PA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian & Eastern Studies at the University of Kentucky. His other academic 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 Sánchez De León was born in Puerto Rico and currently is living with her family in Lisbon, Portugal. She is married to Frida Kruijt and they have four year old twins (a daughter and a son), Oshadi and Siboney. Ordained in the Metropolitan Community Churches in 1998, she has been a pastor in different cultural contexts, in Puerto Rico and the UK, and also served beyond MCC in ecumenical and human rights organizations. As Executive Director of Amnesty International Puerto Rico she took the lead in the successful campaigns for 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. Currently she is working with the MCC Office of Emerging Ministries, supporting Elder Héctor Gutiérrez. She is the Faculty Dean of Garner Institute for Ibero-America Leadership Formation (GIIALF) and Coordinator for OFLD in Ibero-America. She has published a range of articles linking human rights and theology.
The Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert received his Diplom in Evangelisch Theologie (Diploma in Protestant Theology) from the School of Theological Studies at Tubingen (Germany) and studied inter-religious dialogue at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He began his pastoral training in 1998 at MCC Bournemouth. In 2000 he launched the new Salz der Erde MCC Stuttgart during Gay Pride. After 10 years of building this new congregation in surroundings not familiar with independent churches, Axel went on to earn his Doctor of Ministry degree at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA.
In his secular life, Axel works as a funeral director. He loves singing, dancing, and acting on stage in musicals, which he sometimes dares at a community theater of the US Forces in Stuttgart.
In the summer, Eileen is dragonboat racing together with the MCCT Drag’N Angels team.
Patrice Ford began singing in church at the age of 3 and has been singing ever since. At the age of 11, she auditioned for and was accepted into the Millikan Performing Arts Middle School. From there she attended the Hamilton Music Academy and Pete Knight High School where she graduated in 2008. She first attended Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pacoima, CA until she moved to Palmdale, CA at the age of 16. She began attending Living Stone Cathedral of Worship in Little Rock, CA in 2006. While at Living Stone, she sang backup for Angela Hearns, an established Gospel music artist. She also sang with the Young Adult Praise team as well as the Adult Choir. Additionally, Patrice was a Young Adult leader for elementary and middle school children within the church. Patrice found her love of serving the community by helping feed the homeless in the Antelope Valley and helping on skid row in Los Angeles. She has also volunteered at several Senior Centers in the Antelope Valley. She currently attends Founders Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles, CA and is active in the Choir, the Young Professionals Ministry, and the Azania (People of African Descent and their Friends/Allies) Ministry. She is also an active part of the LEAD program and has participated in the Young Adult Leadership Retreat. Patrice is currently working on a BA in Religious Studies with plans to pursue a MDiv degree in the near future. Her goal/dream is to become a Pastor and Music Minister.
The Rev. Dr. Kelby Harrison is a recently ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Church (December 15, 2013). After having completed her Ph.D. in ethics, gender and sexuality from Northwestern University (2010); she was the post-doctoral fellow in Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, where she taught Christian ethics, philosophy of religion, and LGBT social ethics. Rev. Kelby trained as a hospital chaplain at UCLA – Santa Monica Medical Center. Furthermore, she is the author of the book Sexual Deceit: The Ethics of Passing with Lexington Press and co-editor of the anthology Passing/Out: Identity Veiled and Revealed with Ashgate Press. Rev. Kelby is excited to participate in the theological future of MCC. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California and is the proud parent of two toy poodle pups: Anzu and Sakura.
Rev. Maxwell Reay has been a member of MCC since 1989. He was the founding co-pastor of Living Springs MCC, Bath and was licensed as Clergy in 1993. He has also served in a volunteer capacity with MCC North London and MCC Edinburgh. Maxwell initially qualified as a secondary school teacher but moved to working in the HIV voluntary sector in Bath and London. He moved to Edinburgh in 2002 where he gained his Masters in Social Work from Edinburgh University. He worked in the City of Edinburgh Council’s Children and Families Social Work Department until 2007. Maxwell currently works as a mental healthcare chaplain for the Scottish National Health Service in Edinburgh. He also coordinates “Our Tribe” which is the LGBT ministry at Augustine United Church, Edinburgh. This is a joint ministry with The United Reformed Church and MCC. Maxwell is an out gay trans man and has been involved in trans ministry, peer support, advocacy and activism since 1996.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Bohache has been clergy in MCC for over 25 years and has served congregations in California, Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey, where he currently pastors MCC Christ the Liberator. He has graduate degrees in religion from the University of Virginia, Georgetown University, and the Episcopal Divinity School, where his doctorate was in feminist liberation theologies. He is co-editor of and contributor to The Queer Bible Commentary (SCM Press, 2006) and Queering Christianity: Finding a Place at the Table for LGBTQI Christians (Praeger, 2013), and is the author of Christology from the Margins (SCM Press, 2008). For many years he was involved in the educational preparation of MCC clergy and currently teaches the Queer History online course for the Office of Formation and Leadership Development.
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. Dr. Nancy L. Wilson was elected to the position of Moderator of MCC in 2005, following the retirement of the Founder of MCC, Rev. Elder Troy Perry and in July 2010, she was re-elected for a term of six years. Her office is in Sarasota, Florida. Rev. Wilson obtained her B.A. from Allegheny College, her M.Div. from St. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and is a D.Min. from Episcopal Divinity School.
Nancy’s published works include: Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures (LifeJourney Press); Outing the Church: 40 Years in the Queer Christian Movement (LifeJourney Press); Nossa Tribo: Gays, Deus, Jesus e a Bíblia(Metanoia); Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus and the Bible (Alamo Press); with Fr. Malcolm Boyd, Amazing Grace. Rev. Wilson’s prayers and poems are included in Race and Prayer, edited by Malcolm Boyd and Chester Talton (Morehouse Press). For a full bio see (link).
The Theologies Team is also served with staff support by Marina Laws.
Previous Team Members
|Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos|
|Rev. Brendan Y. Boone|
Team Member 2007-2010
|Rev. Jim Burns|
Team Member 2007-2012
Team Member 2007-2012
|Rev. Dr. Patrick Cheng|
Team Member 2010-2012
|Rev. Dr. Edgard|
Team Member 2007-2010
|Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin|
Team Member 2007-2010