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MCC Mourns the Deaths of Two Allies & Friends
Archbishop Carl Bean
May 26, 1944 – Sept 7, 2021
Archbishop Carl Bean was the founder of the Unity Fellowship Church Movement in 1985. Previously he was a member of UFMCC and studied at MCC’s Samaritan Institute. He was a good friend to our founder, Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry and colleague of Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson as they worked on AIDS. Bean was also the founder of the MInority AIDS Project in Los Angeles (California, USA). In his earlier life, Carl Bean was a gospel recording artist who signed with Motown Records to record the LGBTQ pop classic “I Was Born This Way.”
MCC has sent a Resolution to our sister church, Unity Fellowship.
John Shelby Spong
June 16, 1931 – Sept 12, 2021
“Jack” Spong was an Episcopal Bishop (USA) from 1979 to 2000. As an author, teacher and much sought after speaker, Spong made significant contributions to progressive, liberal Christian theology. His support of LGBTQ full inclusion in the life and work of the church, along with his “12 Points of Reform” for Christianity cost him alienation from many in the Episcopal Church, with some calling him a heretic. In a 2013 interview with Religion News Service, Spong said, “The older I get, the more deeply I believe but the fewer beliefs I have …I have a sort of mystical awareness (of God) that’s indescribable, but I can’t avoid it. When I’m asked to define God I’m almost wordless.”
Both of these men spoke at a General Conference of MCC and were guest preachers in various MCC’s in the USA. They were friends, colleagues and ministry partners with UFMCC. May they both rest in peace and rise in power. Well done, good and faithful servants.
A Note from the Council of Elders
Last month the Council of Elders made a survey available to gather your ideas and preferences about how best to provide Elder support to MCC clergy and congregations. We are grateful to those who provided information. Thank you for trusting us with this process. We would also like to acknowledge and apologize for the first question, which was constructed in a way that assumed and privileged clergy. This is not in keeping with our values. Thanks to each of you who took time to point out this concern.
We look forward to continuing this work with you.
Peace, and blessing.
Council of Elders
Hispanic Heritage Month
This celebration of the history and culture of Latinx and Hispanic communities begins on September 15th, rather than the first of the month, because it is the anniversary of the independence of 5 Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. There are resources available in our Resource Bank and on the website. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1tjVMFQyzCv-sq9bQXeAh91KklDIQ0d-v?usp=sharing
Welcome Garner Institute Co-Secretaries
Announcing the appointment of Rev. Igor Simões and Ms. Mónica Treviño Álvarez as Co-Secretaries of the Garner Institute for Leadership Development. The appointment begins immediately. This team will be working together to reestablish the administration, student tracking, and strategic planning for the Institute. Please join MCC in welcoming these exceptionally qualified candidates.
Mónica Treviño Álvarez lives in Mexico City, Mexico. She is an educator and human rights activist, with skills in leadership, strategic planning, building teams, and active listening. She is passionate about the work of the people and eager to reach out.
Rev. Igor Simões lives in Fortaleza, Brazil. He is a professor, an activist, and theologian. He is passionate about education, outreach, and providing engagement opportunities to others.
Clergy and Treasurers
Annual Clergy License Renewal season is here
No matter where you are located, you are encouraged to renew during the October 1st through November 30th timeframe. Clergy, remember that 2 contact hours of your CEU’s must focus on anti-racism, anti-oppression, or anti-colonialism.
Treasurers, if your church pays for or reimburses your pastor(s) clergy license expense, please note the rates for this year and include in next year’s budget.
For clergy under the US/Canada protocol, the early bird renewals will be from Oct 1st through November 30th, 2021. The early bird rate will be $175 USD.
The regular rate license renewal is from December 1st through February 28th 2022 and the new rate will be $325. If licenses are not renewed by this final date, the person will have resigned their credentials.
Please be in touch with the Vocational Leadership Coordinator Rev. Cathy Alexander if you need assistance or have questions. She may be reached at [email protected].
Prayer Time with the Moderator
at 5:15pm EDT / 9:15pm GMT
Join the Moderator for a time of reflection and prayer on Facebook Live.
Thursday, 16th September
Diez y Seis de Septiembre – Mexico’s Independence Day
This National holiday, Diez y Seis de Septiembre – the 16th of September – marks the day in 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest known as Father Hidalgo, made the first cry for independence. Taking up the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe, he rang the church bell and called people to arms which began the Mexican War for Independence. Each year on 16-September, the same bell Hildalgo used rings out, now from the Presidential Palace in Mexico City. Happy Independence Day to our ICM siblings in Mexico!
Tuesday, 21st September
Tea Time with the Elders!
5pm EDT / 9pm GMT
Meeting ID: 248 584 328 Password: 469464
The Council of Elders extends deep gratitude to MCC staff Revs. Hector, Lauren, Rebecca, Cathy, and Wanda for their presence and guidance of the Tea Time gathering. This emerged as a weekly event during the early challenges of COVID precautions, when our gatherings were interrupted and our communities felt so splintered and isolated. This moved on to a monthly opportunity to come together for conversation and prayer and has kept many connected and strengthened through the pandemic.
At the August gathering, the baton was passed to the Council of Elders, led by Revs. Carolyn, Maxwell, and Miller, to continue the good work of Tea Time started by our colleagues and friends. Please join us on September 21 at 5pm EDT / 9pm GMT and on the third Tuesday of each month for connection, conversation, community, and prayer.
Thursday, 23rd September
US National LGBT Elder Housing 2021 Virtual Institute
September 23rd and 24th
Presented by SAGE, don’t miss keynote speaker Dr. Imani Woody (Mary’s House for Older Adults, Inc.), and panelists from Jane Plane Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, AARP, My Sistah’s House, The Montrose Center, and more. Learn more and register at https://www.sageusa.org/national-lgbt-elder-housing-symposium-2021/
Friday, 24th September
A Virtual Support Timefor MCC Chaplains
10am EDT / 2pm GMT
Meeting ID: 975 1539 5940
Queer History 2021
24 September – 5 November
The story of our history as a global LGBTQ+ community is often told centering the United States (e.g. Stonewall), western values, and within a Christian context. This history continues to marginalize those in our communities who should be centralized in the narrative of their contribution to queer activism and creating change for queer communities. By employing a flipped classroom model, we will tell the story to each other differently. This class is open to anyone and is a requirement for clergy candidates completing their MAP (Ministry Action Plans).
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Kelby Accardi-Harrison (she/her) is clergy with MCC. She is currently a full-time community college professor in religion and philosophy. Her Ph.D is in the fields of ethics, gender and sexuality. She is the author of Sexual Deceit: The Ethics of Passing.
Register and learn more at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/queer-history-2021-tickets-167976693813?fbclid=IwAR1LPOAjZG-19HgtiNOqrmOJwCFhHFSGyAiUAX4DRp0FN7nwE60Bb57TX-Q
Saturday, 25th September
Sin Fronteras Comunidad Espiritual ICM
(Without Borders Spiritual Community)
7pm EST/ 4pm PST/ midnight GMT
La comunidad Espiritual Sin Fonteras es un grupo de personas como tu que se reúnen virtualmente para establecer conexiones y relaciones en un espacio sagrado, para hablar y compartir en nuestro propio idioma. Si está interesado, envíe un correo electrónico a: [email protected] para obtener el enlace ZOOM.
Monday, 27th September
A Virtual Support Time for MCC Chaplains
Wednesday, 29th September
FREE MONEY – Employee Retention Tax Credit Webinar
More Opportunities and Resources
Responding to the Call: Supporting White Anti-Racist Faith/Spiritual Leadership.
4 Tuesday Zoom calls: October 12th, October 26th and November 9th and November 16th, 1:00-3:30PM EST
Co-lead by Evangeline Weiss and Chris Crass: “Our aim is to support and resource other white faith and spiritual leaders in your communities, and develop new leaders for anti-racism action and movement building.”
Black Feminist movement strategist Linda Burnham put out the call to white anti-racists: “If we don’t organize white people around their suffering, we know someone else will.” This workshop is one of many responses to that call. Our aims for this workshop series are to :
- Support anti-racist leadership and ministry, developing anti-racist resilience and courage;
- Recognize how internalized white supremacy and patriarchy currently impact our leadership style and evolve an identity grounded in racial justice/feminist understanding and practice;
- Learn specific practices for centering and remaining present to the chaotic and unfamiliar ways in which white supremacy and patriarchy manifests in ourselves and others; and
- Re-Commit to specific opportunities for racial justice work inside and outside your faith community.
For more information and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/responding-to-the-call-white-antiracist-faithspiritual-leadership-tickets-165152885727
Here’s what some participants have said:
“I came to find my voice as an anti-racist leader. I found that in this course.”
“I believe that whiteness – and the ways that whiteness has shaped white people’s anti-racism work – had made me doubt myself. Could I trust myself? The course gave me the confidence to dig deeper. Yes, I’m going to make mistakes. Yes, I will have an impact on marginalized communities. But I can learn and grow. I’m not expected to be perfect; I don’t have to live in shame. The tools that I am growing are: building from vision, utilizing compassion… and asking for help.”
Grace, Play, Delight:
The 2021 Ministry of Writing Colloquium
featuring Carrie Newcomer and Pádraig Ó Tuama
October 22-23 entirely online
Co-sponsored by the Earlham School of Theology and Bethany Theological Seminary
Entirely online for the first time ever, the colloquium will ask participants to pay what they are able. Recommended fees are $20 for a single session or $50 for the entire event. Although no payment is required to attend (larger payments are also accepted!), registration is required.
Rise to Life: doing theology in public places
Registration is now open for the Council of World Mission’s (CWM) virtual event, eDARE, happening this October 25, 27 & 29, 2021. Visit https://edare.cwmission.org/register/ to reserve your spot and join the 34 Panelists (poets, artists and authors) who share their thoughts against isolation(ism), lockdown cultures and other forces that deny the emergence of life flourishing communities.
Three energies meet at this eDare event:
first, the commitment of CWM to “chant down Babylon” and its shitstems in order to allow all life (not just humans, but creation and the planet) to flourish;
second, the call upon church and community agents, biblical critics and theologians, to practice and perform our trades in public places;
third, the agonies that current endemics (esp. racism, sexism, covid) bring which require collaborative theological, biblical, and missional responses.
MCC’s Rev. Dr. Ana Ester Padua Freire is speaking on the topic “Queer Activism: Talking Back to the cis/tems.”
Welcoming the Stranger: Immigration and Faith Communities
6th November 2021
9:30am-12:30pm EDT /1:30-4:30pm GMT
Join Yale Divinity School, Center for Continuing Education online to look at the role of faith in caring for the strangers in our midst, from the Bible’s instructions to current day laws. Find more information and registration for this free event at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/welcoming-the-stranger-immigration-and-faith-communities-tickets-168115270299?aff=odeimcmailchimp&mc_eid=86af0acb8c&mc_cid=176998ec5d
Resource Bank – for Clergy, Lay Delegates, Board Members, and Worship Planners. New resources are added all the time so check back often! https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Dv3gtp1MVF1KFXFzqXeHn5pCrZKqLRyo?usp=sharing
Share Your Resources – If you have a sermon series, original song, liturgical piece (communion celebration, call to worship, etc.), or a programming / fundraising idea that you are willing to share, please send them to [email protected]
OCTOBER – Fellowship Sunday / Fellowship Month
Resources Available – Small group leaders, social media ministers, and pastors, check out the Fellowship Sunday /Fellowship Month materials in the Resource Bank.
Advent Resources Coming Soon – Embrace Active Waiting
Watch for news of the release of our Advent sub-themes and resources.
Thriving in Ministry
USA Clergy, learn more about this program and its support for new and seasoned clergy. There are programs for mentoring, respite care, and more. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Connecting with our Past
With Fellowship Sunday approaching and two classes on MCC and Queer history being offered (see above), here is a blast from our past and a chance to connect in a different way with some of our history.
Jennie Boyd Bull was an active MCC clergyperson in the 70’s and 80’s who served MCCDC (MCC Washington, District of Colombia, USA), MCC NOVA (Northern Virginia, USA) and MCC Baltimore (Maryland, USA). She served with our Faith, Fellowship and Order Commission and as a writer for The Gay Christian. She has a new book out: Learning to Weave: A Woman-Loving Life.
This memoir weaves a life from her Southern roots into liberating movements of the past century: the lesbian feminist activism of the 1970’s in Baltimore, the growth of MCC at the height of AIDS deaths in the 1980’s, life in the ashram of an Indian yogic spiritual tradition, and flowing in Tai Chi, which she teaches today. The book is available through Ingram and IndieBound distributors.
Learn Greek or Hebrew
If you’ve ever been interested in learning to read the Bible in Greek or Hebrew, or want to learn Classical Greek or Latin, Dr. Jordan Dyck is an experienced biblical language teacher, looking to fund his time pursuing ordination in MCC through his teaching. He has been teaching New Testament Greek since 2007, and would love to teach more people, one-to-one or in groups for a lower rate, in any of the above languages. Check out his website below to find out more and contact him, or join the Facebook group to keep in touch.
Check out all the great classes and resources still available at Sacred Space Online Learning (SSOL) including MCC specific classes. Yes, we no longer have the OFLD (Office of Formation and Leadership Development) but SSOL classes are still available.
USA Board of Pensions now accepts payments via PayPal! You no longer have to mail a check if you prefer to pay online. All you need to do now is email your quarterly form to [email protected], and then simply visit the UFMCC website, click the link “Pay Board of Pensions” in the top right corner, and follow the on-screen instructions! We hope this helps all our churches function more smoothly! Web link: https://www.mccchurch.org/make-bop-payments/
Become a Partner in Hope here: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E252133&id=6
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