As COVID continues, Metropolitan Community Church is thrilled to give you some much-needed LGBTQ+ entertainment with a FREE 1 month Revry Premium subscription with the most unapolegtically queer movies, shows, news, originals and the largest libraries of queer music and podcasts. We are proud to partner with Revry who is supporting MCC by splitting all subscription fees (after your free month) throughout the rest of the year. Revry will also give MCC some free promotion of our new visitor website which will release later this year! Click here https://revry.tv/ and be sure to use MCC’s Code C111.
Watch Queer TV 24/7 with the first LGBTQ+ virtual cable network. Revry offers free live TV channels and On-Demand viewing of its global library featuring LGBTQ+ movies, shows, music, podcasts, news, and exclusive originals all in one place! Revry is currently available in over 225+ million households and devices, and available globally on over nine OTT, Mobile, Connected TV and Desktop platforms.
MONDAY, May 18
TODAY at 9pm UTC / 5pm EDT (UTC-04)
To ALL CHAPLAINS, Far and Wide… Whether you are serving in a hospital setting, in hospice, a prison, a school or anywhere around the world where chaplains are needed, this message is for you. We want you to know that we are grateful for you, and we are proud of you and the uniquely-MCC pastoral care you are bringing to those in need of God’s unconditional love.
We are having bi-weekly connection opportunities to talk to others who have a unique perspective as professional chaplains. After today, the next meetings are:
Friday, May 29 th at 11:00 am ET
Monday, June 1st at 5:00 pm, ET
If you would like to attend, please click on the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/97515395940 Meeting ID: 975 1539 5940
TUESDAY, May 19
9pm GMT / 5pm EDT
Weekly, this will be a time of building hope, cultivating joy, connecting with one another, and with God. Led by Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez and Revs. Cathy Alexander, Lauren Bennett & Wanda Floyd, and, our newest team member, Rebecca Wilson!
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 248 584 328
“What DO you do when COVID knocks on YOUR front door?” – May 19, 2020
12am UTC / 8pm EDT (UTC-04)
5pm Pacific / 6pm Mountain / 7pm Central / 8pm Eastern / midnight UTC
Sanctuary’s Zoom Room : www.SanctuaryOnline.live
Sometimes life just throws you for a loop!!
Hello dear friends of “Sanctuary in the Woods”,
Sanctuary Online Zoom Events was incredibly excited to be featuring our very own Rev. Elder Ken Martin this Tuesday night, May 19th. Ken was going to share with us about relationships, and how to keep them healthy as we go through this time of quarantining and physical distancing.
By now, many of you have seen Ken’s post on Facebook letting us know that he has contracted the virus and needs to focus on resting and taking care of his health. We invite all of you to pray for Ken and Tom, and for all of us who are living together at Sanctuary. We will reschedule Ken as soon as he’s feeling better.
“What DO you do when COVID knocks on YOUR front door?”
Because our goal with Sanctuary Online is to offer relevant programming every Tuesday night, this is exactly what we’ll be talking about this week! Helping us discuss what happened at Sanctuary, our “Lessons Learned,” and things we believe will help others who “think” they’re ready, is a very special guest and friend of Sanctuary, Rachel (Meyer) Kanzler. Rachel (daughter of Jobie and Cheryl) is a Paramedic with the Indianapolis Fire Department. Working as first responders, she and her husband (also a firefighter) both contracted COVID-19 and recovered from the virus. Rachel will offer us some of her insights, and be able to answer questions from our audience.
Sanctuary’s Zoom Room : www.SanctuaryOnline.live
We’ll open the room about 15 minutes before the hour. There’s no meeting ID or password required.
Send prayers and well wishes to Rev. Elder Ken Martin [email protected]
WEDNESDAY, May 20
No Events today! Take an hour to read an article or listen to a webinar. Check out the list below. Do something to take care of you, body and soul!
THURSDAY, May 21
Join Moderator, Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston for prayer every Thursday at 9pm GMT, 5pm EDT
Bring your joys, concerns, laments, and celebrations to Rev. Cecilia and one another. Meet us on Cecilia’s Facebook every Thursday at 9PM GMT (5PM EDT/ BST 10PM) @Cecilia.Eggleston.50
FRIDAY, May 22
NOON Your Time – PRAY for Pastors, Pastoral Leaders, Boards, Lay Leaders and all MCC Chaplains.
It is a challenging time to be in spiritual leadership. Pastors and Board Members are wrestling with decisions about safety and well-being of congregants as they oversee policies and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing spaces for any in-person gatherings. Do we gather in-person or do we not? Do only some of us gather? Is that just or inclusive? How do we develop community virtually?
All of us carry our own grief and loss too. Chaplains are in the front lines. It is exhausting. As the song says, “I need you to survive!” So, “you pray for me. I’ll pray for you. I love you, I need you to survive.” And let us remember the next phrase too, “I won’t harm you with words from my mouth. I love you. I need you to survive.”
Join us online on Friday, May 22 from 7:00pm to 8:15pm EDT (11pm UTC) for the SoHo Network Virtual Gathering Preview! We will spend time in praise and worship, as well as hearing previews from the Network Gathering speakers including our Moderator, Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston.
The livestream will begin at 6:55 PM on the Network Facebook page, as well as on the YouTube channel of St. John’s MCC. Have some communion elements at hand as we celebrate God’s love in Jesus Christ, and (re)claim our community…together!
Here are the link options:
Network Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/501539783346596/members/
St. John’s MCC YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/StJohnsMCC76
SATURDAY, May 23
Please join the Council of Elders for the third Facebook live broadcast of “Spiritual Nourishment”. Elder Nancy Maxwell will explore the spiritual practice of fasting (abstinence or self-emptying), as well as take prayer requests to the Council. Jesus speaks about the three spiritual practices of Judaism: prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
Fasting may strike us as an antiquated practice. However, not only does it have a rich Christian history, but it is a practice embraced by the early leaders of MCC. Viewing fasting as abstaining from those things filling up our lives and crowding out God, the practice of “self-emptying” is an invitation to fill ourselves with God’s presence and learning God’s desires for our lives.
On the MCC Council of Elders Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/groups/110506976310805/
Monday, May 25th is a holiday in the UK and USA. Clergy and Lay Leaders, please take some time for yourselves! You have been working hard in this time of change.
Theologically Thinking, Wed. May 27th 8pm UTC /4pm EDT (UTC-04)
This will be the third conversation! We had one in English and one in Spanish/Portuguese. Now we will all come together and talk cross-culturally and with translation. We will slow down to listen, translate, and contemplate each other’s theological thoughts. More details will be in next week’s CONNECT.
In Case You Missed It . . .
PLANNING FOR IN-PERSON GATHERINGS
This was shared on Facebook. It does not include cleaning and sanitizing protocols yet asks good questions for Worship Team planners.
Notes from the Creative Worship Team at Founders MCC. This may be amended as we go, but it’s a great place to start as we begin to think about reopening. Thanks to Elder Larry Rodriguez for putting this together – YES! He’s well enough to meet us from home!
Section 1 – The Worship Service Itself – How will we do these things?
Entering the Sanctuary
Opening of Worship [Editors Note: Remember Congregational Singing is as high a risk as coughing or sneezing.] Welcome and Passing Peace
Closing of Worship
Exiting the Sanctuary
A challenge – how to create new “touch” points where worshippers can be touched emotionally and spiritually without physically touching or singing or coming together in close proximity
Section 2 – Crowd Control Before Entering And After Exiting The Sanctuary
Before Worship (where / how do people gather at campus safely before service – who manages crowd)
After Worship (where / how do people disperse from campus safely after service -who manages crowd)
Section 3 – Training staff (who will train, when, how)
Section 4 – The Guidelines
Are there separate guidelines for worshippers and worship participants?
Who will establish guidelines?
How will they be disseminated, announced, etc.?
How much time between guidelines announced and first on-site worship service?
What are consequences for not adhering to guidelines?
How will they be enforced?
Guidelines for Churches – Center for Disease Control (USA)
The Associated Press reported (May 7) that the Center for Disease Control (CDC-USA) published a 17 page document “Guidelines for Implementing the Opening Up of America Framework.” It is widely reported that the Guidelines were shelved by the Administration. Here is a link to the document: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6883734-CDC-Business-Plans.html The Guidelines for Faith Communities appear on pages 7-9.
Counting Virtual Attendance
MCC has received a number of inquiries about how to count and report worship attendance during this time. Attached is a document to guide “Counting Worship Attendance in a Virtual World.” The very questions of how and what to report raises other questions about what metrics we think are important and why. No doubt we will be talking about this more as we continue to BE MCC in the virtual environment. In the meantime, please read the following document about Virtual Attendance.
(Updated: 12 May 2020)
HAVE RESOURCES TO SHARE OR RECOMMEND? Send information and links to [email protected]
Links to Articles, Webinars and Resources
New Items Added Weekly!
- An hour with Marsha Stevens-Pino! https://www.facebook.com/marsha.stevens/videos/10157213988874013/
- A song by Justin Ryan https://www.facebook.com/JustinRyanOnline/videos/10156886699715836/
- Austin Gay Men’s Chorus with Director Daniel Arredondo from UpRising MCC – This is a good possibility for Pride Month! https://www.facebook.com/danielarredondo/videos/10158391424594936/
- Check out the VLOG of Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes. Brent is the Founder and Executive Director of Rainbow Faith and Freedom. He is also the Pastor Emeritus of MCC Toronto https://www.facebook.com/revbrenthawkes
- Online Elevation Retreat Moment with Dr. Marcia McFee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdwy_YhJ0xA&feature=push-sd&attr_tag=NoFRRVaVrp88QtDJ%3A6
- CONVERGENCE offers many relevant courses: Professional development and online learning at the crossroads of leadership and faith. Check out the free course “What Will Happen to Our Churches?” A conversation with National Faith Leaders https://www.faithlead.org/
- Eden Theological Seminary E-Forum https://www.eden.edu/theological-e-forum/?fbclid=IwAR2CDcCUXqnSWaLmP-CIZ8Il6ApgO7ipLjWBLAA5ySDOU3bNiF0qYTp0tYg May 21st at 8pm EDT “Isolation and Spiritual Growth: A Journey to the Desert”
These links connect you to resources or webinars by ministry related companies. The listing here does not imply an endorsement nor does it imply that they are LGBTQ+ friendly. Nonetheless, these are resources some MCC’s have found helpful.
- A Conversation: What Do Science and Data Say About the Near Term Future of Singing Click Here The National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Chorus America, Barbershop Harmony Society, and Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA) present an important webinar about the near term future of singing as we seek fact based solutions in protecting our singers, teachers, and conductors during this time.
- Are Churches Behaving Like Malls in the Age of Amazon, Just Hoping for People to Shop Again?
- Here are 2 documents from the World Health Organization related to “Return to Church?”
Practical Considerations and Recommendations for Religious Leaders
Decision Tree for Religious Leaders
- Returning to Church Wisconsin Council of Churches
- Essential and Virtual: Updated Guidance for Gathering The Unitarian Universalist Association www.uua.org
- How to Talk About COVID-19: Narratives to Support Good Decision-Making and Collective Action from TheWorkshop.org.nz
- COVID-19 Response Toolkit – connected to Church Mutual Insurance
REPLAYS OF WEBINARS
- THEOLOGICALLY THINKING (Session 1 in English) This was a conversation about the theological issues connected with returning to in-person gatherings and virtual gatherings in light of MCC’s Core Values.
- CARING FOR ONE ANOTHER Here’s the link to this insightful webinar about our caring for one another during a time of such compound grief and loss. https://youtu.be/TuSgRH4i0uA
- RETURN TO CHURCH? In case you missed our webinar with 3 doctors discussing the concerns about gathering for in-person worship, here is the replay: https://youtu.be/1Jr0FmKBv2M
- COVID-19 and Singing, An Interview with Dr. Tim Seelig https://youtu.be/pHhgOEIsJlo
- FINANCIAL SUPPORT WEBINAR Did you miss this awesome webinar with guest Tom Melzoni from Horizon Stewardship? Here’s the link to the replay. Share it with your Treasurer and the rest of the Board.
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/gX3QolcY_xo
Watch on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/404785099
- THE CHURCH’S RESPONSE TO CRISIS, Parts 1, 2, 3, & 4
- VIRTUAL CHURCH – TOOLS AND TIPS WEBINAR
Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-25Be5QcCA&t=160s
HAVE YOU UPDATED OUR ADDRESS YET?
Please share with your Treasurer and Clerk of the Board
2775 NW 49th Ave. Ste: 205-327
Ocala, FL 34482