The Governing Board is pleased to announce that the Assessments Review Commission approved at General Conference 2016 has been formed and will begin working shortly.
The Commission will be jointly chaired by Sarah-Jane (S-J) Ramage and Marsha Warren.
The following individuals have been selected to serve on the Commission from an open call for applications. The Commission members include both laity and clergy and represent the experiences of churches of all sizes.
Mike Easterling – MCC New York, USA
Rev. Elder Diane Fisher – MCC of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA
Chad Hobbs – MCC Tampa, Florida, USA
Sherrill Parmley – King of Peace MCC, Florida, USA
Rev. Karen Thompson – MCC Austin, Texas, USA
Joseph San Jose – MCC, Philippines
Dr. David Williams – Christ the Liberator MCC, New Jersey, USA
Sarah-Jane Ramage Co-chair – MCC Brighton, UK
Marsha Warren Co-chaire – MCC San Antonio
Summary of Commission Responsibilities and Outcome
Michael Easterling currently serves as Fiscal and Operations Manager at MCC New York and as a board member for MCCNY, The Global Justice Institute, and MCCNY Charities. Prior to his time at MCCNY, Michael owned and operated a multi-site business in New York City and held positions in operations at companies throughout New York and New Jersey.
Rev. Elder Diane Fisher
If you were to ask Rev. Elder Diane Fisher to describe herself, she would likely say, “I am a lesbian Christian pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Rehoboth in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and I am a mother of a fabulous daughter, Karli and married to Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos who delights my heart.” Diane is a queer activist, proudly Canadian, who had her daughter with two gay men (Bill and Walter). She is best known within MCC as someone who is passionate about local churches, cares deeply about God, and advocates tirelessly on behalf of young people and the LGBTQI community. She is known internationally as the “lesbian bishop” and for her justice ministry with LGBTQI people, especially in Eastern Europe and Africa. Thanks to her tireless work in Eastern Europe, MCC became identified as the Human Rights Church. Rev. Elder Fisher was presented with MCC’s Human Rights Award in 2010 and has been the recipient of many other National and International Awards for her tireless Human Rights work. She joined the board of Other Sheep in 2013, a Christian international LGBTQI advocacy group. Her passion is working to change systems that encourage or reinforce marginalization of those who have been caught “outside the system.” Diane is in her 25th year as a pastor in MCC and has served as a local church pastor, a District Coordinator and an Elder.
Chad is a Sr. Project Manager at WellCare Health Plans in the IT Infrastructure and IT Security division. In this role he is responsible for managing multiple projects through all cycles of the Project Lifecyle and ensuring they are completed on time and within budget. He also serves as the Team Lead of the IT Project Management Department. These roles regularly challenge him to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to manage and eliminate obstacles.
He lives in sunny Tampa, Florida with his partner of over 10 years, Samuel and their 3 fur babies (cats) Pastina, Bailey and Kailey. He has been a member of MCC Tampa since 2009 and attending since 2006. He has served in a variety of roles, including 5 years as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors, a member of the Pastoral Search Committee; and has been serving as the part time Bookkeeper since mid 2015. Chad was also elected to be a Lay Delegate in September of 2016. He has had an interest in the wider denomination since getting to work with many wonderful people through his various roles at MCC Tampa and that interest only grew after attending his first General Conference in beautiful Victoria, BC in 2016. Chad loves the mission and work of MCC and is dedicated to being a part of it.
I have been involved with MCC since 2000. I began at MCCDC, but retired to Florida and joined MCC King of Peace in Saint Petersburg. I served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer. I am currently involved with our Emerging Churches ministry. My career was in public education in Virginia, where I served both as teacher and administrator for 32 years. I have owned a real estate business in the DC area for over 20 years and have just retired from that and turned everything over to my daughter and granddaughter. I am blessed to have four adult grandchildren and three great grandchildren. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the other members of the Assessment Committee.
Rev. Karen Thompson
Rev. Karen Thompson serves as the Sr. Pastor of MCC Austin in Austin, TX, USA, a position she has held since 2008.
Rev. Thompson received her Master of Divinity degree from Austin Presbyterian Seminary and became the first openly gay Candidate for Ministry in Mission Presbytery. Ultimately the Presbyterian Church USA overturned her approval for ordination, and assured that she had completed her part of the work to effect change in the PC(USA), she joined MCC and was ordained in 2007. She is grateful every day that MCC exists and that she is a clergy partner in MCC’s ministry.
Rev. Thompson brings her experience leading one of our larger MCC congregations along with leading a very successful capital campaign and building project to her work on the Assessments Review Commission. Additionally, she is completing a Certificate in Church Management through Villanova University, and that program includes sessions on budgeting, strategic planning, and problem solving/decision making. Rev. Thompson has offered her skills to MCC Churches on several occasions including as a former member of the MCC Joint Working Group, a team of MCC clergy and MCC senior staff that worked to increase collaboration and address issues of concern among all levels of MCC leadership, and a brief appointment to an open seat on the MCC Governing Board.
Joseph San Jose
Lay Pastoral Leader
MCC Quezon City, Philippines
Joseph has been with MCC Quezon City (MCCQC) since he came to its doors back in December of 2009. He was received into membership March of 2010. He has served in various capacities of Finance Officer, Diaconal Minister, Worship Coordinator, Ministry Leader for Liturgy and now as Lay Pastoral Leader.
He is 32 years old, raised in and by a Roman Catholic family and went to Catholic Schools for most of his life. He finished college in the Pontifical University of Santo Thomas with a Degree in Communication Arts. But turn of events has directed him to work for mostly the financial sector of the business outsourcing companies (BPO). He has worked for Prudential Financial, Transunion, and has had a US series 7 and series 63 FINRA License when he worked for Etrade Financial. Before leaving his comfortable life by entering seminary in 2014, he was employed with Thomson Reuters as data and application support for global financial markets. Joseph continues to struggle and finish his Masters of Divinity (MDiv) in Union Theological Seminary, Dasmarinas, Philippines and has one academic year left.
He is passionate for HIV/AIDS Ministry in his country and hopes to eventually establish a chaplaincy office specifically focused for HIV/AIDS clients since such a chaplaincy ministry for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) are almost lacking in his area, if not in the entire Philippines. Joseph also hopes to eventually take up further Doctoral Studies in Biblical Scholarship, specifically focused on the Hebrew (OT) Scriptures as a strategic move with his colleague and friend, Kakay Pamaran who is currently taking up M.Theol for the Greek (NT) Scriptures.
He is currently in a committed relationship of 2 years with his partner Lawrence Baterina. Joseph only recently came out to his father Ronnie San Jose who affirmed and accepted him with much love. He loves and cares for his mother Maricel and continues to be a guiding and supportive eldest brother to his 3 siblings, Francis, Michael and Robert.
Dr. David Williams
Dr. David Williams, M.D., M.P.H., was born in Kingston, Jamaica where he completed his primary and secondary school education. Upon immigrating to the United States he completed his undergraduate studies in biology/biochemical engineering. Since graduating from medical school he has worked as an emergency/trauma medicine physician and surgeon in the US and several overseas locales as well as a project/program director in employee health and safety for a number of major telecom equipment manufacturers and providers. Dr. Williams has more than 25 years of medical and engineering experience. He currently serves on the boards of the MCC Christ the Liberator (Moderator and Treasurer) and the New Jersey AIDS Partnership. For the past three years Dr. Williams has served as a member of MCC’s HIV/AIDS Advisory Council and currently serves as its Program Officer, as well as the Program Officer/coordinator for MCC’s Health & Wellness Working group. In January 2017 he was appointed as the Interim Pastor of MCC Christ the Liberator.
S-J is currently serving as the vice chair of the Governing Board, having joined the governing board in 2013.
Her day job is as an Assistant Director in the internal risk function within the restructuring department of Deloitte LLP. An accountant by training, her career has taken her through audit, accounting, diligence, insolvency and restructuring into risk management.
Brought up in a multi denominational family she joined MCC on moving to Brighton and seeking a church which would be fun to worship in, allow diversity of thought and welcome her fully as a bisexual Christian. She has been a member or MCC Brighton since 2003, serving variously as Treasurer, bookkeeper, board member and deacon. Her husband Andrew was recently elected Lay Pastor of the church where she continues to preach and lead worship.
She co-chairs the Assessments Commission as a project utilising her professional and local church experiences in conjunction with her role as a Governing Board member.
Marsha Warren is an Intern Clergy person and a member of Metropolitan Community Church of San Antonio. She is a community activist and is the Mayor Ivy Taylor’s LGBT liaison. She is a founding member of several nonprofit organizations in San Antonio such as the Pride Center. She has served as Treasurer and board member for MCC Churches, Equality Texas, Pride Center and Unity Foundation. She is a former member of the San Antonio Police Training Cadre. She has received numerous awards to include HRC’s Chuck Jordon Award for community service and People of African Descent Leading with Distinction award. She has been employed by the Internal Revenue Service for over 30 years.