Rev. Jackie Carter (Program Officer) is the senior pastor of First Metropolitan Community Church of Kansas. Her passion for social justice and equality provide the motivation for her life and ministry. Jackie was recently recognized as an American Red Cross Hero for her work with the food pantry at the church which has become the second largest in the city, feeding over 800 people per week. Jackie graduated from Wichita State university with a Masters in Sociology and from Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a Masters of Divinity degree. Jackie embraces a progressive theology which is reflected in creative and innovative worship experiences. Her personal goal is to live her life in such a way that she demonstrates to the world the truth that God loves you……Period.
Council Members: Marian Cavagnaro, Lisa Kelson, Carmen Llanos, Rev. Dr. Joan Saniuk
Rev. Marian Cavagnaro, M.Div., M.S., MASCP, MT(ASCP)DLM , is a Deacon and Pastoral Care Minister at Sunshine Cathedral MCC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is currently serving as a Clergy Intern at MCC of the Palm Beaches(2012). Born in Massachusetts, Marian has lived in Florida since 1972. Since 1994, she has been the Director of Laboratory Services, Memorial Hospital West, Pembroke Pines, Florida. Marian received a Master Certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology in October 2011, is certified as a Diplomate in Laboratory Management and holds a Florida Clinical Laboratory Supervisor License. She received her Bachelor’s in Medical Technology from Barry University and a Master of Science in Management from Florida International University. Marian received a Master of Religious Studies from Light University (now Samaritan Institute, Sunshine Cathedral MCC) and graduated in May 2012 with her Master of Divinity degree from Florida Center for Theological Studies. She has served as an Adjunct faculty member for Barry University and St. Thomas University, both in Miami, Florida. Marian has been involved with training laboratory professionals in hematology and laboratory management for 30 years, presenting workshops at local, state, and national meetings. Marian was a laboratory consultant for ASCP in their Global Outreach work from 2005-2009 in the countries of Ethiopia, Tanzania, Guyana, and Haiti. She went this summer to Kenya on a mission trip to the Rafiki Children’s Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Marian has served on the Boards of the Sunshine Cathedral, the Sunshine Community Foundation, the United Way of Broward County and on the LifeNet4Families/Cooperative Feeding Program of Broward County.
Lisa Kelson accepted her call to ordained ministry in 2011 and is currently studying at the Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts while also serving as Education Minister at Holy Cross MCC in Pensacola Florida. She is the oldest of four siblings, all sisters, including a twin. Lisa, like many, has come full circle, geographically speaking. She was born in Pensacola but left home to attend Edison Community College through a softball scholarship where she obtained an Associate Degree in Sports Science. She later received her Bachelor’s in Sports Science from the University of West Florida. Subsequent to her college years Lisa joined the Army training as an aircraft electronics technician and served in Desert Storm during 1990 and 1991. In the fall of 1994, Lisa and her partner moved from Savannah Georgia to Atlanta Georgia where she obtained an M.Ed in Technology Education at the University of Georgia while teaching high school. In 2002, Lisa returned home to Pensacola and began her affiliation with Holy Cross MCC. Lisa worked as a purchasing agent on the Navy base and until surrendering to her call in 2011.
Born in Madrid, Spain, Carmen Llanos moved to Canada with her partner Raquel in the year 2,000. There she discovered MCC six years later, after a friend mentioned there was a church where she and her partner could get married: MCC Toronto. She found a church home after so many years of detachment to any church or anything that represented a male-dominated hierarchy that was discriminating towards women and LGBT people. Then she started getting involved in several groups and ministries before being: installed as a deacon, joined the anointing and serving ministry, created a Spanish-speaking welcoming group called HOLA, became a member of the Dragonboat team of the church, the Drag’N Angels, of which she was elected the following year to be on the Executive Board where she has been serving for four years. She is the co-founder of ICM España (MCC Spain), and she offers leadership and support to the congregation and serves as the liaison with the denomination. She is a member of the MCC Hispanic/Latino/Spanish-speaking ministry development leadership team in North America, representing the Spanish-speaking community in Canada. Carmen recently graduated as a Creating a Life that Matters Certified Trainer, and is currently studying at the ICM Rev. Obispa Darlene Garner Instituto de Formación del Liderazgo de Iberoamérica for lay leaders and clergy. Carmen has a passion for global ministry through the local church.
The Rev. Dr. Joan Saniuk has been an ordained clergywoman in MCC since 1997. She served for six years as Pastor of MCC Boston and was a founding member of the Massachusetts Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry, which successfully organized over 1,000 religious leaders in support of Massachusetts’ marriage equality campaign. A second-career clergywoman, Joan earned an M.A. in Feminist Spirituality at the Immaculate Heart College Center in Los Angeles, and completed a D.Min. degree in 2008 at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her doctoral thesis explored the traumatic psychological effects of anti-queer hostility (a/k/a homophobia, transphobia, etc.) on queer people, and considered the implications of these individual traumas for the dynamics of predominantly queer congregations. Prior to ordination, Joan served as HIV/AIDS ministry director for MCC Ventura, CA. Her passions in ministry are teaching and worship, including the creation of feminist and progressive Christian rituals. Currently, Joan is co-director with her wife, Sharilyn Steketee, of MCC New England Ministries, an outreach and resource for GLBTQ college students in Greater Boston/Cambridge. She has also taught MCC’s online course in Queer History several times since Fall 2010, expanding the curriculum to include perspectives from Canada and the United Kingdom as well as the United States. A former aerospace engineer in Santa Barbara, California, Joan works as a college mathematics professor and is starting a consulting business in editing and checking mathematics curricula for the college market. She lives in Greater Boston, MA with her wife of seventeen years, Sharilyn Steketee, and their cat Bridget.