From the MCC Senior Leadership Team
Dear People of God,
Metropolitan Community Churches rejoice with the world that so many people are being vaccinated against COVID-19. Like many, we welcome the glimmer of hope that illuminates our way forward beyond this time of grief, isolation, and anxiety. We look forward to a time when fewer people will become ill and die as a result of this pandemic.
At the same time, we are keenly aware that vaccination distribution is not always being handled equitably. There are well-resourced regions of the world that are receiving many doses of vaccines, and there are those that are not. This is generally based upon relative wealth and privilege and not upon the number of inhabitants, nor the percentage of population affected and/or at high risk of infection. It is also true that everywhere, those who are the most marginalized are often the most affected, and the least able to easily or equitably access vaccines. We applaud our MCC leaders and churches that are praying, advocating, and acting for a change in this reality that will prioritise the under-served.
There are certain areas that are easing or eliminating mandated safety restrictions, such as mask-wearing and/or limitations on restaurant capacities or large gatherings. While we understand the desire many people have (including many of us) to regain a sense of normalcy, we want to urge you to pay attention to science above politically-motivated decisions. It is still necessary for us to be cautious out of concern for others. We still do not know if and how much those who are vaccinated could pass the virus along to those who are not. We know there are those who remain skeptical or afraid of the vaccine; let’s be with them in that. We also know that these openings/gatherings may necessarily exclude or put at risk those who have not yet been vaccinated, increasing their existing sense of alienation from supportive community.
Many of you have personally felt the pain of isolation, and separation from others in your MCC communities. We know that you are eager to return to in-person gatherings. We join you in that. We miss being together. We miss the intimacy of spiritual community. We want to share the hugs, singing, and communion that are hallmarks of MCC. However, we want to encourage you to move thoughtfully and deliberately towards doing so. There are many things to consider, including some positive things we have learned about being/doing church during this time. To this end, we are hosting a webinar as a starting point for conversation and resourcing about how we move forward together.
Online, In-Person, Hybrid: Church is Changing Again
(So what do we do now?)
Thursday March 18th – 7-8:30 EST / midnight GMT
(This will be recorded and shared.)
ZOOM WEBINAR LINK:
Even as we do not know how things will unfold, we are called to move forward. Consequently, we must make decisions that are grounded in our core values and that embody the love of God for those entrusted to our care.
Please know that you are in our prayers, as well as those of all MCC leadership (i.e. the Council of Elders, the Governing Board, the MCC Staff, our Network Leaders, and so many of our people) around the world. We are in this together, and we are stronger together.
Stay safe. Listen to Spirit AND science. Stay connected in the most just and equitable ways. And know that you are loved and valued.
Please reach out to us if you have specific questions or needs. We are here to support you.
Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, United Kingdom
Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez, Mexico
Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos, United States of America
MAUNDY THURSDAY RESOURCES
MCC will soon release a resource kit specifically for Maundy Thursday in a primarily online context. The kit will contain video and text options that you can “download and insert” or “cut and paste” to easily create your own service. The resources address footwashing/cleaning and the Last Supper /Communion. We hope this aids your Holy Week preparations. Watch for the announcement of the link to access this resource.
Former Council of Elders End of Term Review
The former Council of Elders, whose term ended January 31, 2021, has issued an End of Term Review. It includes a letter of apology previously sent to Rev. Candy Holmes (October 2020). The End of Term Review which posted on the MCC website March 1st, may be found here:
THURSDAY, MARCH 18th
7-8:30pm EST / midnight GMT
Is your church already meeting in-person? Are you considering when and how to meet in-person? This Webinar will offer conversation and approaches to the theological and practical questions of meeting in-person in a changing COVID world.