Headline News – Global Edition 8 January 2018
2017 Donations Demonstrate ‘Gospel through Generosity’
Congregations and individuals generously donated over $17,600 USD in 2017 as part of the Anniversary Sunday campaign. Contributions supported MCC’s work toward diversity and inclusion, while other funds were earmarked to support disaster relief in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
Rev. José A. Rivera Martínez is the pastor at ICM Cristocentrica de Restauración Integral, located on Puerto Rico island. He said Hurricane Maria impacted the entire island.
Rev. Martínez said, “On 20 September 2017, we endured the fierce strength of Hurricane Maria, catalogued as a Category 5, with sustained winds up to 108 to 118 mph. It left great damage in the whole island north to south, east to west, mostly at high grounds, as the altitude reflects stronger winds.
“The whole island was left without basic utilities such as water, electricity, ground lines, Internet, etc., and remained fully isolated with the rest of the world. As a side effect, the damage impacted the health care system, food and medicine supply chain, drinking water, etc. Our island was in total chaos as it depended on external humanitarian help,” he said.
Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez, the Associate Director of Iberoamerica, said, “Going back to normality has been a slow and frustrating process for Puerto Rico, mostly due to the limited help from the government. MCC leaders are planning a pastoral visit to learn firsthand about the urgent needs of the people. May the God we have celebrated at these holidays bless each and every one in our communities.”
“Once again the people of MCC have demonstrated the power of community and generosity,” said MCC Interim Moderator Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown. “While the work to rebuild will take years, your gifts have offered hope. Thank you for demonstrating the gospel through your generosity.”
Rev. Gutiérrez said a report will be forthcoming regarding the distribution and use of disaster relief funds.
Emerging Church Ministry Program Update
by Rev. Wanda Floyd, Emerging Church Specialist
reprinted from the Office of Church and Ministry Development newsletter
The Emerging Church ministry continues to serve as a vital part of our mission at MCC. Since my time of coming on board as an MCC staff in September, I have had several inquiries about starting churches in the United States, Africa and India. Becoming a church requires support and relationship with other churches, especially in the beginning. As I write this, there are several emerging churches in need of a partner-affiliated church. This partnership builds solid connections in a critical time. A partner church serves as a mentor and companion on the ministry journey.
MCC Board of Pensions, USA, Seeks New Member
by Rev. Tom Emmett III, President, Board of Pensions, USA
MCC clergy are the lifeblood of our fellowship. The MCC Pension Plan is one way we show our clergy we care about their future. The Board of Pensions (BOP) is an active board which not only oversees the clergy pension plan, but strives to improve and expand it.
Following the recent resignation of Rev. Alycia Erickson, we have one opening on our National Board, which carries a four-year term. The current opening is a clergy position. Investment knowledge, marketing, policy, legal, communication and/or technological skills would perfectly complement our Board make up. For complete information about qualifications, responsibilities, terms, and meetings, please visit https://mccchurch.org/how-we-work/board-of-pensions/.
The deadline to receive resumes/references is February 28, 2018. Please send a cover letter, resume, and references to Keith Thompson, Vice President, MCC BOP: [email protected].
Please contact us for more information. The successful candidate will be appointed by the Governing Board.
Pastoral Elections and Appointments
Rev. Jon Bornmann
has been elected as the Senior Pastor at Heartland MCC, Illinois, USA. Rev. Bornmann has been approved to serve with Standing by Call.
Pastor Vance Haywood
has been appointed, and received a vote of affirmation, as the Interim Pastoral Leader at St. John’s MCC, North Carolina, USA.
Rev. Dr. James Burns
8 September 1958 – 12 December 2017
Rev. Dr. James Stephen Burns (Jim) passed away 12 December 2017 at the age 59. At the time of his death, he was the Pastor for Water of Life MCC, in Tucson AZ, where he had been for almost three years. It is the family’s wish that memorials be sent to Water of Life MCC, 3269 N Mountain Ave, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 85719.
Rev. Burns was always very dedicated to his ministry and was passionate about helping people return to and reclaim faith, and finding new ways to experience God through music, art and film technology. Rev. Burns specialized in preaching to those who felt disenfranchised, and was remembered by many of his parishioners for his thought-provoking and inspiring sermons.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Rev. Burns at Water of Life MCC in Tucson, Arizona, USA, on 27 January at 1:00 pm Mountain Time (20:00 UTC). A celebration of his life will be planned for later this spring at the Metropolitan Community Church of DC. His ashes will be buried at the Burtonsville Cemetery, in Burtonsville, Maryland.
Visit MCC’s Memorial Wall to leave a prayer or story about Rev. Dr. James Burns:
Council of Elders Selects New Convener, Steering Committee
The Council of Elders announced Rev. Elder Dr. Candace Shultis as the next Convener.
The 2018 Steering Committee will include Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León, and Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown.
The Council of Elders facilitates the Weekly Call to Prayer in addition to seasonal reflections, such as the recent Advent series, all which are published in four languages. Learn more about the Council of Elders at https://mccchurch.org/how-we-work/council-of-elders/.
Governing Board Announces 2018 Officers; Newest Members Begin Orientation
At the December Governing Board meeting, governors elected Kimberly S. Brown as the next Vice Chair, and Rev. Joe Cobb will continue as clerk. A treasurer will be elected soon.
Rev. Victoria L. Burson, Rev. Miak Siew, and Dr. David Williams were appointed by the Governing Board to fill the vacancies left by resignations in 2017.
Orientation begins this month and the first meeting of the full Governing Board will be 25 January. The appointed Governors will serve through the 2019 General Conference when elections will be held to fill expired terms.
A forthcoming announcement will be made regarding the formation of the Governing Board Nominating Committee and the Moderator Nominating Committee to begin preparation for the 2019 General Conference.
Planning Underway for General Conference 2019 in Orlando, Florida
We are excited to announce the theme for General Conference 2019: Celebrate! in honor of MCC’s 50 years of life-giving and life-saving ministry. Scripture for the conference is from Nehemiah, a prophet who helped to free his people from the burden of oppression and degradation. We join with the prophet’s words as we plan to come together in 2019: “The joy of God is our strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10b).
To prepare for this grand celebration, we need your help! We are making some changes to programming and want to know what you hope to receive at the 2019 General Conference for your church, our shared ministry, or your personal spiritual development.
Let us know what you are best at and what you want support in by completing this short survey by 15 January:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GCProgramming This survey is designed to be completed in 5-10 minutes. We appreciate your feedback!.
Registration will open 5 February, so watch your email to secure your spot!
Lent 2018 Resources Now Available
Ubuntu: Reflecting on Christian Community
Visit this page for Lenten resources.
MCC Resources Coming Soon
Resources for Black History Month and a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are coming soon. If you would like to assist and/or lead the creation of resources for significant dates, contact Communications Assistant Janine McCarthy at [email protected].
If you are clergy seeking to be employed in a local MCC church, visit the links below to read about ministry opportunities. The link below lists churches seeking a transitional pastor or settled pastor, in addition to national secular jobs.
From the Editor
MCC Joins Faith Leaders to Call for Change
MCC and the Global Justice Institute (GJI) are regular signatories on letters generated by denominations, faith leaders, activist groups, and others. Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, GJI executive director, provides guidance regarding matters that need attention.
This week, GJI and MCC joined faith leaders across the United States to call upon President Donald Trump to find peaceful alternatives with North Korea. The National Council of Churches published the letter in September 2017, but recent tweets by President Trump have ignited new concerns about peaceful resolutions.
An archive of letters and issues that MCC supports can be found on the homepage of the website: https://mccchurch.org/. Consider joining MCC and GJI and add your name to those issues that matter most to you and your community.