Headline News September 2017

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Headline News – Insider Edition 23 September 2017

Reflections of Earthquake in Mexico City

Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León
Note: Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León lives in Mexico City and was home during the earthquake on 19 September 2017. The earthquake began about two hours after an annual emergency preparedness drill on the anniversary of the devastating earthquake in 1985.  
De las mitologías Tainas (pueblos ubicados en el Caribe) y de los Mayas (Centroamérica y México) emerge la palabra Juracán o Hurakan, deidades de los vientos y las tormentas que luego en inglés se convierte en Hurricane.  Si bien Juracán o Hurakan eran fuerzas del mal, las espiritualidades originarias igualmente las respetaban y veneraban. Los huracanes al igual que otros fenómenos de la naturaleza, nos recuerdan que no tenemos control absoluto sobre el planeta ni sobre el universo.
From the mythologies of Tainos (native people of the Caribbean) and the Mayas (Central America and Mexico) emerges the word Juracán or Hurakan, deities of the winds and the storms that later in English became the word Hurricane. While Juracán or Hurakan were forces of evil, native spiritualities respected and venerated them. Hurricanes, like other phenomena of nature, remind us that we have no absolute control over the planet or the universe.

“The Spirit of God blows tenderly 

in the midst of the solidarity of people.”

En días recientes el hemisferio americano ha sido testigo de las fuerzas arrolladoras de los Huracanes y los terremotos. Primero Harvey produjo una gran devastación en toda la parte este del Estado de Texas. Seguido por el huracán Irma, produjo grandes desastres en casi todo Caribe en sus las islas de Barlovento, Sotavento y el en estado de la Florida. Ahora el huracán María ha golpeado nuevamente el archipiélago de Puerto Rico y a Republica Dominicana con impacto aún por determinar.  Las islas necesitarán ser levantadas de su total destrozo.
In recent days the American hemisphere has witnessed the overwhelming forces of hurricanes and earthquakes. First, Harvey caused great devastation throughout the eastern part of the State of Texas. Followed by Hurricane Irma, which produced major disasters in almost all of the Caribbean (particularly its windward and leeward islands) and in Florida. Now Hurricane Maria has hit again the archipelago of Puerto Rico and also the Dominican Republic with impact yet to be determined. The islands will need to be lifted from their total destruction.
Por si fuera poco, el jueves 7 de septiembre México, Honduras y Guatemala sufrieron un terremoto (conocido ahora como el terremoto de Pijijiapan) de una fuerza impresionante de 8.2 en la escala de Richter. Este terremoto dejó un total de 96 muertos y destrozos significativos en los estados de Oaxaca, Chiapas y Tabasco. En el aniversario del terremoto del 19 de septiembre 1985, Ciudad de México ha sido azotado por otro sismo que ha afectado no solo a la capital, pero también a los estados de Morelos, Puebla y Oaxaca. Con más de 274 muertos en este momento, 22 a las 3 de la tarde en que estoy escribiendo esto, y hay más de mil ochocientas personas heridas y un gran impacto para la infraestructura.  Todo esto, nos recuerda nuevamente nuestra vulnerabilidad. 

El Espíritu de Dios sopla con ternura en medio 

de la solidaridad de los pueblos.

To make matters worse, on Thursday, September 7, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala suffered an earthquake (now known as Pijijiapan) of an impressive force, 8.2 on the Richter scale. This earthquake left a total of 96 dead and significant damage in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco states. On the anniversary of the earthquake of September 19, 1985, Mexico City has witnessed another earthquake that has affected not only the capital, but also the states of Morelos, Puebla and Oaxaca. With more than 274 dead at the time of writing this, 22 of September at 3PM, there are more than one thousand eight hundred people injured and a great impact for the infrastructure. All this, reminds us again of our vulnerability.

Nuestras iglesias en Texas, Florida, Cuba, Puerto Rico, República Dominicana (en donde aún tenemos grupos vinculados a ICM), Honduras, Puebla MX, Veracruz MX, Ciudad de México han sobrevivido estos embates de la naturaleza sin muertes entre la membresía aunque con algún impacto a sus infraestructuras (casas y templos). Debido a las fuertes inundaciones provocadas por María, nuestro pastor en MCC Cristo Sanador, George González Medrano no tiene acceso a su casa. Muchos se han integrado a las fuerzas de apoyo en sus respectivos lugares de residencia. Una fuerza de solidaridad se desata en toda MCC en los lugares afectados.  Esa energía solidaria nos hace fuertes en medio de las tragedias que vivimos. El Espíritu de Dios sopla con ternura en medio de la solidaridad de los pueblos. Miremos con sabiduría la fuerza de la naturaleza y levantemos nuestra solidaridad hoy y siempre.
Our churches in Texas, Florida, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic (where we still have groups linked to MCC), Honduras, Puebla MX, Veracruz MX, Mexico City have survived these attacks of nature without deaths among their membership, although with some impact to their infrastructures (houses and temples). Due to the heavy floods caused by María, our pastor at MCC Cristo Sanador, George Gonzalez Medrano, has no access to his home. Many MCC members have joined the support forces in their respective places of residence. A solidarity force is unleashed in every MCC in the affected places. That solidarity energy makes us strong in the midst of the tragedies we live. The Spirit of God blows tenderly in the midst of the solidarity of people. Let us look with wisdom at the strength of nature and lift our solidarity today and always.






Rev. Wanda Floyd Joins MCC Staff
as Emerging Church Specialist


Rev. Wanda Floyd MCC Emerging Ministry Specialist

Rev. Wanda Floyd joined MCC’s staff as the Emerging Church Specialist working from the Office of Church and Ministry Development as of 1 September 2017. Rev. Floyd brings deep experience in emerging and transitional ministry and a passion for the work.

Notes of congratulations can be sent to: [email protected].

Rev. Wanda Floyd is an ordained clergy person with MCC. She began her journey with MCC at St. John’s MCC in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1987, and served as a member of the former Gulf Lower Atlantic District Committee as lay and then clergy representative. After ten years at St. John’s MCC, she founded Imani MCC in Durham, North Carolina. Most recently, Rev. Floyd was a transitional pastor for MCC Charlotte, North Carolina, after having served as transitional pastor for MCC Las Vegas, Nevada. Rev. Floyd is also a gay activist. She served as co-chair for the North Carolina Coalition for Marriage Equality, was a board member of PFLG and other LGBTQA organizations. Rev. Floyd has also represented the LGBT community in media. She has been able to share her story in multiple books and newspapers, to help educate others on LGBTQA issues and spirituality.

Network Facilitator Team Expands Roster


Liz Bisordi

After serving as a Network Facilitator for four years, Liz Bisordi is stepping down to pursue other opportunities.

As one of our early Network Facilitators, she has supported the Eastern, Northeast, Central US, North Central US, and Canada Networks, as well as having provided education and training for our Network Leaders. Although Liz is leaving this position, she will continue to assist the Office of Church and Ministry Development on special projects.

Upon announcing her decision, Liz said, “Our Networks, the Network Leaders, and their teams are essential to the care, connection, and communication between our local churches and the denomination. I want to thank all the individuals who serve in these volunteer roles, and most especially, the very talented and dedicated Network Leaders I have worked with for their creativity, perseverance, and always putting the needs of the local churches first.”

We are grateful for Liz’s service and all of the ways that she has supported the networks. Notes of thanks may be sent to: [email protected].

Rev. David Zier

We are pleased to welcome Rev. David Zier as the new Network Facilitator for the Eastern, Northeast, Central US, North Central and Canada Networks.

Rev. Zier was a medical engineer and consultant for more than 20 years prior to entering ministry. He graduated with a Master’s of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion in 2010, completed Clinical Pastoral Training in 2011, and graduated from a two year Spiritual Direction Internship from the Benedict Inn at an Indianapolis Monastery in 2012.

Since his MCC Ordination in 2011, Rev. Zier has served as a pastor on staff at LifeJourney MCC in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he led outreach ministries and spiritual formation programs. In 2013, Rev. Zier was appointed Network Leader within the MCC denomination of the Central East US Churches. Rev. Zier has been involved with MCC since 1980, starting with Joy MCC in Orlando, Florida.

Notes of congratulations may be sent to: [email protected]

PAD Conference Award Recipients

Rosa Parks Award
Rev. Vickey Gibbs
Trailblazer Award
Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow
Faithful Steward Award
Rev. Cathy Alexander

Join us at the 2017 MCC Women’s Conference
Honoring the Spirit Within Us

1-5 November 2017 
Church of the Trinity Sarasota, Florida, USA

Come Discover YOUR Spiritual Type and meet women from around the world!

The Women’s Conference will feature the following presentations:

Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner: Honoring our Spirits doing Social Justice
Rev. Dr. Joretta Marshall: The Heart of the Spirit
Rev. Elder Margarita Sanchez DeLeon: What’s My Head Got to do With my Spirit?
Ubaka Hill, drummer and percussionist: The Mystical Spirit.

The Wednesday evening, Nov. 1st, presentation will allow you to Discover Your Spiritual Type with Elder Nancy Maxwell & Rev. Donna Twardowski, then follow up with our speakers in the days following.

There will be worship, a drum circle, workshops, Labyrinth walk, creative reflection time and a Tent Revival with Rev. Candy Holmes!

A Saturday evening concert by Lucie Blue Tremblay ($25.00) is also scheduled. And plan to join us for Sunday worship with Lucie and Elder Margarita at 10 am.

The Conference will be held at Church of the Trinity MCC in beautiful Sarasota, Florida, USA, and all participants will earn 9 CEUs!

Register before 1 October 2017 to secure the price of $125https://bit.ly/MCC-Womens-Conference.  Find out more at www.TrinityMCC.com.

Leading Transition Training Starts in October

A time of leadership transition can be especially anxious for congregations. In this course, clergy and lay leaders will explore the dynamics of transition, learn strategies for making positive use of transition periods, and gain a deeper understanding of several key lenses through which leaders may offer their most effective planning and programming when facilitating transition. This course is required for all clergy and lay pastors who may be appointed as transitional pastors. It is open to everyone and would be beneficial to anyone who is leading groups through times of change and reformation.

Faculty: Rev. Pressley Sutherland, Associate Director, Office of Church and Ministry Development, and others

The cost of the course will be $50.  Deadline for registration is 13 October 2017. Register at this link: https://bit.ly/Transition-Training-Registration.

Leading Transition Training Dates:
Tuesdays (10/17, 10/24, 11/7, 11/14) 7pm-9pm Eastern Time (23:00 UTC in October and 00:00 UTC in November)

MCC Memorial Wall Open for Memories and Prayers


The Communications Team created a Memorial Wall, located on MCC’s website,
as a place to honor those who have died and post their obituaries.
You can view others’ sentiments or add your own
for Rev. Carlton Dale Mutts Rutherford, LCSW, M.Div,
and Rev. Delores Berry at https://mccchurch.org/memorial-wall/



Pastoral Elections and Appointments

Rev. Dr. William Knight has been elected as the Senior Pastor at MCC San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Rev. Dr. Mia Briggs
has been called as the next Pastor at Living Springs MCC,
Bath, England, UK. Rev. Briggs will divide time between pastoring Living Springs and Safe Harbour MCC, Torquay, England, UK.
Rev. Carolyn Mobley-Bowie
has been appointed
as the Interim Pastor at Divine Peace MCC, Michigan, USA

Looking for Employment?

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, settled pastor,
and anticipating a pastoral search.
Gap, Interim, and Anticipated Openings

The second link below advertises
MCC settled pastor positions
and national secular jobs.
Settled Pastor and Secular Employment




Purchase tickets to attend the Celebration and Tribute
for Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, Senior Pastor,
Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes C.M. has been the Senior Pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, in Canada, for 38 years. In this role, Rev. Dr. Hawkes has been at the forefront of LGBT ministry in Toronto. He serves as spiritual leader to a faith community of more than 900 congregants at regular Sunday worship. As well, he has served the community at large with distinction, championing several Human Rights initiatives, especially benefiting the LGBT communities.

Purchase tickets at this link: https://www.mcctoronto.com/senior-pastor/brent-tribute

Register for Historic Conference
of Modern Day Elders, Saints, and Prophets

Rolling The Stone Away:  Generations of Love & Justice is a conference of Elders, Saints and Prophets from all generations. This conference honors the ground-breaking achievements, relentless commitments, and often painful sacrifices these leaders have made in religious organizations over the past five decades.

MCC has many Elders, Saints, and Prophets who will be featured
at this conference including:  Rev. Dr. Neil Cazares-Thomas, Dr. Imani Woody, Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Rev. Candy Holmes, Elder Larry Rodriguez , Rev. Elder Troy, and Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson. The Planning Team includes Rev. Dr. Jim Mitulski, Barb Crabtree, Linda Brenner, and Lauren Bennett. 

Click here for the entire list of invited guests and planning team members.

Do not miss this chance to be part of history, and say, “I was there!”

REGISTER TODAY before the October 6

View the Program Schedule
https://rollingthestoneaway. org/program-schedule/

Please consider supporting this once in a lifetime conference that celebrates queer history, the merging of sex and spirituality, and the many people who contributed to the LGBTQ+ ecumenical movement.

Make a donation directly to Rolling the Stone Away: Generations of Love & Justice to support this historic conference: https://rollingthestoneaway.org/donate/.


From the Editor

Linda Brenner Associate Director, Headline News Editor

Headline News Will Feature Your Stories

I want to extend an open invitation to share stories and photos about your church. Tell us about your church, ministries, and local leaders of all types. What is unique? What struggle have you overcome? What amazing project have you accomplished? What is your vision for the future? I want to include new writers and photographers in future editions of
Headline News. If you have a story and want to get started, contact me at the email below.

As always, I appreciate your questions and/or suggestions at [email protected].