What. A. Year.
Once again, this has been a year of constant upheaval and uncertainty. Every aspect of our lives — health, school, work, church, travel — has been upended. We’ve all had to compromise, sacrifice, and learn to live with the unknown.
That’s why we’re so grateful that one thing has remained the same amidst the chaos: Metropolitan Community Churches around the world have been sharing the unconditional love of God, building inclusive communities, engaging in urgent social justice actions, and helping individuals continue their personal work of spiritual growth and transformation. It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve all had to quickly adapt and do this work in new ways. But, we’ve learned anew what a vital resource our congregations and communities are, especially for people who have few other places of genuine acceptance and support.
Here’s a GOOD NEWS story we’d like to share:
MCC recently approved a new Emerging Ministry in Fresno, California (USA), for example. A man named James Lutz began reaching out to the local homeless population over a year ago, and connected with them again early this year as he recognized their needs were increasing dramatically. Following the example of Jesus, James ministered to the people first, with no other goal than to serve. In response to this experience of genuine community and support, however, they asked for more. Since then, they have been working together as The Lord’s Tree Spiritual Community to feed the hungry and provide compassionate connection for those in need. By no means a strictly LGBTQ+ group, the Lord’s Tree absolutely considers themselves to be MCC, rooted in our long history of being and serving the most marginalized.
Here’s an example of creative collaboration across the globe:
Around the world, MCCers actively work for justice. Rev. Elder Maxwell Reay recently appeared in front of a committee of the Scottish Parliament to give evidence in support of a ban on conversion therapy. Rev. Elder Cecilia had met with politicians in Melbourne, Australia, on her visit there in 2020 who were also campaigning against conversion therapy, in the state of Victoria, thanks to Rev. Alex Pittaway and the congregation of MCC Melbourne. MCC’s global presence connected the justice organisations together that MCC partnered with in both countries, to share their experiences and resources.
Here’s some information about the resilience of our congregations during a pandemic:
According to recent surveys — and as you probably know first-hand — MCC congregations have had ups and downs in the last year. Many congregations have adapted to new virtual and hybrid formats for worship, while others have struggled to do so. Some have seen increased demands for food pantries and other compassionate services, and many have generously stepped up to meet those needs. Some communities have watched the accessibility and reach of their ministries expand as more people have discovered and connected with them. And, many communities report the surprise discovery of a deepening sense of community engagement than ever before. Quite a few say they are most proud that they have survived by working together, holding the care and safety of their community as their highest priorities, and maintaining their commitment to do more than talk about what it means to be people of faith in a hurting world. Some even report successfully starting new ministries during this challenging time. What is clear is that MCC’s call and our relevance to the world remains as vital as ever!
And, this is the steady work that happens every day, all year, every year:
MCC’s staff and denominational leaders have worked hard to support our churches and ministry leaders through it all. Staff members have listened carefully to what churches say they need, providing a wide range of new resources, as well as offering both pastoral and practical support. The Council of Elders also continues to provide spiritual and pastoral support, offering opportunities for connection online, through prayer and, where possible, in person. The Governing Board has focussed on stabilising MCC’s financial base and infrastructure, releasing funds to allow for greater resourcing of local congregations, thanks, in part to the generosity of individual donors, who give to MCC over and above what they give to their local congregations.
None of this would be possible without the generosity of people like you.
Your financial gifts to MCC will help us offer our leaders and churches the encouragement and innovative resources they need to keep going.
As we wrap up this 53rd year of MCC’s life-changing ministry, would you consider giving a special year-end-gift of £53, £530, or some other amount? And, if you want to make that additional hope last all year, think about becoming a member of our Partners in Hope program by making a regular monthly donation. Every single contribution makes a difference.
This is a season when we celebrate our life blessings by giving thanks. Please know that we count you among our blessings. We pray this is a very meaningful holiday season for you and your loved ones.
With so much gratitude,
Cecilia, Kharma & Marina
Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, Moderator
Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos, Fundraising and Development
Ms. Marina Laws, Donor Relations and Assessment Management/Support