About the MNC
Purpose: Actively solicit, recruit, screen, evaluate, and present qualified candidates for Moderator to the General Conference XXVI (GC26) delegates for election in 4-8 July 2016
Term: From the time of their appointment through the successful election of a Moderator by the General Conference
Team Size: Three (3) members and two (2) alternates appointed by the Governing Board
Meet the MNC
|Elisa Vega-Burns, Chair
Board of Directors, Resurrection MCC
Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES
Elisa has been affiliated with MCC since 2008. Since 2009, Elisa has served on the Resurrection MCC Board of Directors. At the denominational level, Elisa helped to develop the MCC Church Treasurer’s Manual and contributed to the development of pastoral search resources for local church use. Elisa says, “The opportunity to serve on the MCC Moderator Nominating Committee is not only an individual honor, but an opportunity to share my strengths and areas of expertise on a larger platform to assist MCC in moving closer to its bold mission to transform hearts, lives, and history.”Elisa is an accomplished business process expert. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and a Master of Business Administration from Simmons School of Management. Legally married in Massachusetts in 2004, Elisa, a native New Englander, now resides in Houston with her wife, Gemma, and their eight-year-old Goldendoodle, Condy.
|Rev. Kevin Downer, Vice Chair
Executive Pastor, MCC Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
Kevin has been a member of MCC since the mid 1990’s and has experienced MCC in a variety of sizes, geographies and worshipping contexts. He has served as an intentional interim pastor at All God’s Children MCC and MCC San Antonio, the founding pastor of aChurch4Me? MCC in Chicago and is currently the Executive Pastor at MCC Toronto. Prior to becoming a pastor, Kevin was an executive at several global consultancies.Currently, Kevin is pursuing a D.Min. through Chicago Theological Seminary. He says, “MCC has the potential to model community and church in the 21st century – a global, diverse, fierce and fabulous Spirit-centered movement. Selecting the next moderator though a process that listens deeply to our diverse voices is the most strategic thing we may do as a denomination in the next few years. And I am honored to serve on the Moderator Nominating Committee.” Kevin, his spouse of 14 years, Toby, and cats, Kate and Pippa, now call Toronto home.
|Rev. Dr. Lea Brown, Recorder
Senior Pastor, MCC of the Palm Beaches
West Palm Beach, Florida, UNITED STATES
Rev. Dr. Lea Brown has served as Senior Pastor of MCC of the Palm Beaches since March of 2011. She has also served as the Senior Pastor at both MCC San Francisco and Wichita Falls MCC in Texas, and as the acting executive director of the Metropolitan Community Foundation in San Francisco. During her years in seminary, Brown served as a Chaplain Candidate (2nd Lt.) in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1989.Rev. Brown received her education from Oklahoma Baptist University (B.M.E.); Pacific School of Religion (M.Div.); and Episcopal Divinity School (D.Min.), where she received the J. Norman Hall Award for Outstanding Work in Peace and Justice. Lea says, “I believe our most important task is to listen to and respect the voices of the people of MCC; there is nothing else in the world like the wisdom, spirituality and passion that lives within us. I am truly honored to be serving on the MNC, and excited about the journey into the future we all have together.” Lea and her partner, Sarah-Helen Land, love living in the MCCPB parsonage with their dog, Simche, and enjoying all the natural beauty and wildlife of South Florida.
|Beulah Durrheim, Alternate
Pastor, Good Hope MCC
Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA
Beulah Durrheim has served as Pastor at Good Hope MCC since September 2012. Prior to this, she worked as a Pastor in two Methodist churches for a period of 10 years. Beulah holds a Bachelor of Theology degree from the University of South Africa. She also serves as the Spiritual Director for Africa Upper Room Ministries. Beulah has been in various leadership roles within the Emmaus/Chrysalis movement for Christian Leadership Training, including heading up and facilitating team selection committees.Beulah and her spouse, Charmaine, were married in 2008 and have two beautiful cats named Andor and Taishar. Beulah says, “Serving on the MNC is a privilege and I believe God has called me to participate in the process as someone who has not been entrenched in MCC and, therefore, can offer a new perspective.”
|Stuart Sutherland, Alternate
Board of Directors, MCC Good Shepherd
Stuart holds the position of Vice Moderator of MCC Good Shepherd. He leads and assists the church in fundraising. Stuart is a practicing attorney and lawyer, and is the owner of Logical Legal Solicitors and Barristers. The firm is located in the heart of Newtown, one of the main LGBTI areas of Sydney, and Stuart and his partner, Michael, both work together in the firm.Stuart has two children, ages 22 and 15. He and Michael have a small Maltese/Shiatsu dog named Fido, who regularly attends MCC Good Shepherd. Stuart says, “It is not very often that we elect a new Moderator for MCC. In 2016, MCC clergy and delegates will elect a new Moderator from up to five candidates. It is an honour to be involved in the process of the MNC, as well as to be a voice involved in providing the candidates for the election at General Conference of the future leader of MCC.”