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For the last four years, I have asked MCC churches and pastors to support our global work for human rights, including the work of our Global Justice Team, through a special Easter Offering.You have given faithfully and generously, year in and year out, even through tough economic times.
I know you share with me the belief that Jesus does not discriminate, and calls us to be in solidarity with communities around the world fighting against religiously based homophobia and for the rights, dignity and hope of our people.We know, because of our experiences together, that Jesus and justice are connected in the powerful global witness of MCC today.
These are some of the things we have accomplished:
* A vibrant leadership training program, fighting religiously based homophobia, securing legal reform, and providing support for emerging MCC communities of faith in Eastern Europe has been established and has received its first outside grants;
* A thriving Sunshine Cathedral MCC in Jamaica is working to foster spiritual community, change laws, hearts and minds, and end homophobic violence in that nation.With the help of Sunshine Cathedral Ft. Lauderdale and the Arcus Foundation, they are creating a plan to promote human rights and moral equity in Jamaica and are sustaining connections with groups in seven countries in the Caribbean;
* A scholarship fund for lesbians in Pakistan who seek to live and work independently has been established, and we are partnering with several emerging communities of faith ministering to LGBT people in that land;
* A new church and community center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is up and running with the support of MCC New York;
* A U.S. based Public Policy Team has amplified MCC’s voice in Washington, speaking out about the crisis in Uganda, HIV/ AIDS funding, Marriage Equality, DADT, the global recession and poverty, and environmental justice;
* Significant partnerships with groups like Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights Campaign Fund, the International Gay and Lesbian Association, the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission, and the Council for Global Equality have been fostered;
In addition, in January of this year, MCCers across the globe responded generously to a Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti.To date, 168 individuals and churches have sent over $32,750 for relief efforts.Organized through our new church in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, MCCers carried water, food from Haitian markets, and medical supplies to 22 families in need.The next truck loads will contain tents, tarps and more food and water.In addition, we hope to assist an organization poised to help LGBT people and/or people with HIV/AIDS in Haiti with housing and basic needs.Thank you for your prayerful and generous support!
MCC’S IDENTITY AND FUTURE are so deeply connected to our mission of “Tearing Down Walls and Building Up Hope.”Answering the call to become “The Human Rights Church” is core to that mission.
For that reason, I am asking you and your church to continue MCC’s Easter Offering tradition this year.Your gifts will make the following urgent priorities possible:
BE A GEM.Over 50% of our offering this year will go to help our priority leaders from around the world get to General Conference, where they will experience leadership training, inspiration and participation in MCC’s global community.More people need to be at this Conference that we can afford to bring at this time.I need your help. I especially want to bring Latin American leaders, activists and church planters for the Latin American pre-conference training event.And I want to offer many young spiritual activists a chance to participate in Global Justice Day on Thursday of General Conference week.
MCC’S new GLOBAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE and its efforts to build and sustain activism and NGO’s dedicated to global human rights efforts.This year we hope to establish our first NGO (non-governmental organization) in Africa to help deal with the emerging human rights needs on that continent, where MCC has a long history and deep roots.In addition, our first spiritual retreat for MCC leaders in Pakistan will be held and more scholarships for lesbians seeking economic and social independence will be offered.Finally, the work of the US Public Policy Team will continue shaping domestic and international policy as it affects the LGBT global community.MCC’s Global Justice Institute will work to create safe space for those struggling for human rights and train MCCers in the work of global justice.
Click here to sign up to become a 2010 Pacesetter Church.Once you sign up, we will publish a listing of all of our 2010 Pacesetter Churches on the MCC Website.
Wait, there’s more!In the next few weeks, you will receive a resource communication containing links for materials-a PowerPoint presentation, bulletin insert and short video-that you can use on the Sunday of your choice.
In this very important year for Metropolitan Community Churches, I hope you will sign on and help make a difference for people in the world who have no one to turn to but you and me to care about the safety, the availability of spiritual community and the human rights of all God’s children.
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson
Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches
About Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC)
Metropolitan Community Church, founded in 1968, is a human-rights movement and ministry operating as a Christian denomination in 25 countries around the world. MCC has often been and continues to be one of few leading advocates for vulnerable people in places where religious orthodoxy, sexism, and homophobia can result in violence and death. MCC’s promise is stated in its tagline “Tearing Down Walls. Building Up Hope.”