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Headline News – 20 April 2018

Rev. Cristiano Valerio Represents MCC at World Social Forum in Brazil

Rev. Cristiano Valerio, MCC’s Development Coordinator for Brazil, represented Metropolitan Community Churches at the invitation of the World Social Forum and the University of International Integration of Afro-Brazilian Lusophone. The event took place in Salvador, Brazil, from 13-17 March with the theme: “Resisting is creating. Resisting is transforming!”

Rev. Valerio participated in the Coordination of the Table of Dialogues: Evangelicals in the Fight Against Racism, held on the afternoon of March 15 on the campus of the Federal University of Bahia.
Rev. Valerio also participated as a speaker on the dialogue table entitled: African Spirituality and Art, Afro-Diasporic and Afro-Christian Theologies in the construction of a Pan-African Agenda around the International Decade of Afrodescendants of the International Seminar on Africa, Migrations, Diasporas, Spirituality and the International Decade of Afro-descendants: Youth, Security, Justice, Recognition and Ubuntu – Bien Viver. He also represented the MCC in the Racial Equality March and reception to the Benin royal delegation at the Federal University of Recôncavo Baiano, events scheduled by the World Social Forum 2018.

Rev. Cristiano Valerio, MCC Development Coordinator for Brazil, represents ICM / MCC at the World Social Forum. (photos courtesy of Rev. Cristiano Valerio)

Global Call to Apply: Moderator Nominating Committee Now Forming

by MCC Governing Board Governance Committee; Rev. Victoria Burson, Chair

 

Rev. Victoria Burson

It is with great hope and excitement that we issue this invitation to participate in the selection of the next MCC Moderator.

As a chartered standing committee of the MCC Governing Board,  the Governance Committee has been given the responsibility of identifying and supporting five (5) individuals who will serve on this committee. The work of the Moderator Nominating Committee (MNC) is important to the successful nomination of qualified candidates and subsequent election of our next Moderator at General Conference XXVII in July 2019.

To apply to be part of this committee, click this link to access the Moderator Nominating Committee application: http://bit.ly/MNC2019. Applications are due 23 April 2018 by 5:00 p.m. USA Eastern Time (GMT -04:00).

The Governance Committee will review all applications received and conduct interviews.

The Governance Committee will select and appoint five (5) candidates to serve on the Moderator Nominating Committee.

The Governance Committee will send out an announcement to introduce the new Moderator Nominating Committee by 7 May 2018
The Moderator Nominating Committee will begin work on or about 29 May 2018.

Send questions to [email protected].


Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León Plans Pastoral Visit to Puerto Rico

by Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León, Council of Elders

 

Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León

The Office of the Interim Moderator and the Council of Elders are coordinating a pastoral visit to Puerto Rico to work with organizations and MCC congregations which are still recovering from Hurricane Maria which made landfall nearly seven months ago.

Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León will travel to Puerto Rico at the end of the month to help determine the most efficient way to use donated funds at this crucial moment. Several meetings have been scheduled to shape the next phase of support.

MCC churches on the island include Cristo Sanador, which is located in San Juan, the island’s capital. MCC Cristo Céntrica de Restauración Integral is located in the western part of the island and is one of the poorest areas of the country. Both congregations have distributed aid consisting mostly of food and water.

Pastor José Alberto (Albert) Rivera said that many elderly people welcomed them with open arms. Unfortunately, the aid that the United States Army gave was not sensitive to cultural needs. The congregation’s volunteers took food familiar to the people and gave it with hugs and affection.

Pastor José Alberto (Albert) Rivera (right) and MCC Cristo Centric congregants deliver aid to people in the community. (photo courtesy of MCC Cristo Centric)

“It was hard to go inland and be a witness to the country’s poverty. At the same time, it was a blessing to find so much love even in the midst of hardship,” Pastor Rivera said. “The aid provided by the congregation impacted communities with deep needs.”

José Joaquín Mulinelli is the Executive Director of Coai, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting health and preventing diseases from a social justice and human rights perspective, with an emphasis on lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, questioning, queer and intersexual people in Puerto Rico. Mulinelli said that the situation may turn ugly again. Many people will stop receiving government aid, and others who never received it are entering into crisis.

Mulinelli said, “The amount of aid requests that we receive from organizations with Ryan White funds is impressive. Now we need support to ensure safe housing for people affected by HIV. At the moment we have a list of more than twenty people.”

Nearly $15,000 USD was donated through MCC to support disaster relief in Puerto Rico. In order to provide assistance to the largest population in Puerto Rico, MCC also encouraged donors to contribute directly to Coai, Inc. and Proyecto Matria, an organization that serves women who are heads of households living below the poverty line, people from the LGBT communities, and to survivors of domestic violence.

Rev. Sánchez De León will travel to Puerto Rico 28 April – 7 May to work directly with the people impacted.

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This screenshot is from the virtual REVM group that met last week.
(photo courtesy of Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León)

Virtual REVM Removes Barriers to Ordination Journey

by Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León, 
Academic Dean of the Darlene Garner Institute for Ibero-American Leadership Formation

Nine prospects for ordained ministry were part of a new virtual REVM (Readiness for Entering Vocational Ministry) in Iberoamerica, a region that at the moment has 21 students “in care” as future MCC clergy. With participants from Argentina, Mexico, the United States, and Colombia, this type of REVM aims to overcome the geographical distances and economic barriers of the participants.

During an intense week, the candidates met with a diverse faculty from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, USA, and Puerto Rico through the Adobe platform. During their time, they reflected on topics such as the meaning of the ordained ministry in MCC, spirituality, founding narratives, queer theologies, ethics for the leadership of MCC, diversity, the importance of education and the function of humor. As their time together closed, transcending all barriers, the group participated in a communion table in which the members brought bread of different types, vegetables, and drinks from milk to beer to affirm that we are a body in Christ.


MCC Highlights Newest Emerging Ministries

Bios Coordinated by Rev. Wanda Floyd, Emerging Ministry Specialist
Office of Church and Ministry Development

Pastor Elaine Rivera, Come As You Are-MCC

Pastor Elaine Rivera

Growing up in the urban streets of Philadelphia, Pastor Elaine Rivera is no stranger to what could have been had it not been for the grace of God. Having accepted her calling to ministry much later in life, Pastor Rivera first served in the United States Air Force for eight years and as a Law Enforcement Officer for five years. It was after this she understood that there were a series of ordained events that had to occur before she could be used for the glory of God. Read more! Download Pastor Rivera’s bio at this link: Pastor Elaine Rivera Bio

Pastor Tim Rosenberger, Sola Caritas MCC
Pastor Tim Rosenberger serves as the leader of Sola Caritas MCC, an emerging congregation doing ministry in the core of Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Pastor Rosebnberger is concluding his M.Div studies at United Lutheran Seminary of Pennsylvania and works as an international management consultant. Sola Caritas is a faith-based community focused on addressing the needs of the spiritually searching in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Originally conceived as a ministry to LGBT+ persons suffering from dislocation from the faith communities of their upbringing, it has now become a magnet for former “nones and does” who had left organized religion and persons recovering from various other traumas. Read more! Download Pastor Rosenberger’s bio at this link: Pastor Tim Rosenberger Bio

Pastor Tim Rosenberger, Sola Caritas MCC

Pastor Tim Rosenberger serves as the leader of Sola Caritas MCC, an emerging congregation doing ministry in the core of Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Pastor Rosebnberger is concluding his M.Div studies at United Lutheran Seminary of Pennsylvania and works as an international management consultant. Sola Caritas is a faith-based community focused on addressing the needs of the spiritually searching in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Originally conceived as a ministry to LGBT+ persons suffering from dislocation from the faith communities of their upbringing, it has now become a magnet for former “nones and does” who had left organized religion and persons recovering from various other traumas. Read more! Download Pastor Rosenberger’s bio at this link: Pastor Tim Rosenberger Bio


MCC Governing Board Financial Webinar Questions and Answers

by Dr. David Williams, Treasurer, MCC Governing Board

 

Dr. David L. Williams

The March Financial Webinar provided an update from the MCC Governing Board.

Topics included 2017 financial results, the 2018 budget, and 50th Anniversary fundraising initiatives. In addition to covering current financial issues, the Governing Board received the report from the Assessments Commission, which was appointed after the last General Conference.

While many of the questions were answered during the webinar, some were not due to time constraints. Those answers are available now and appear below by topic. At times, multiple participants posed similar questions. Every effort has been made to provide a clear answer based on the topic or concern.

Click this link to view the full report. Contact Jack Hutter, Assistant to the Interim Moderator, to request the report by email.

Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, Interim Moderator; and Barb Crabtree, Director of Operations;
contributed to this report.


50th Anniversary and General Conference Update

by Lauren Bennett and Mike Haase, General Conference Co-Directors

Indeed, “The Joy of God is our Strength!” The 2019 conference scripture reminds us of a time of holy reunion, when the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after exile. Ezra declares God’s love for the people even when they feel disconnected from God.

We will have a holy reunion 1-5 July 2019 to celebrate the birth of Metropolitan Community Churches which began in a humble living room made full with an unquenchable Spirit. This same Spirit has guided MCC through moments of surprise, grief, victory, and devastation. Like the Israelites, our tribe has seen and experienced many things, but the same Spirit that connected the 12 in Rev. Troy Perry’s living room, the same Spirit who guided the 12 disciples, is the same Spirit who calls us together today in our churches all around the world.

MCC’s 50th Anniversary will culminate in a worldwide celebration at the 2019 General Conference in Orlando, Florida, USA 1-5 July.

Registration is now open! We are currently offering a special promo rate. Rates will increase 1 May 2018. Register today and encourage your congregation to do so as well. (http://celebrate.mccchurch.org/register-2-2/) We know you are anxious to book your room at the Hilton Orlando! Room reservations can be made beginning in June.

Conference Marketing: This packet contains marketing materials to help you encourage  your congregation to register for this worldwide celebration. All materials are available in Spanish and English! You can also access it at this link: http://bit.ly/Conference-Marketing

And, don’t forget to save room in your worship planning for the 5-week Anniversary Worship Series that will focus on the history and legacy of MCC kicking off on October 7, 2019 (Anniversary Weekend)! This series will focus on the history and legacy of MCC, kicking off 7 October 2019, Anniversary Weekend! This series is being curated by over 20 worship leaders, writers, and musicians and will be released on Pentecost. Leave room in your congregation’s worship planning to make use of these materials!

Keep in touch with us! [email protected]

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Announcements

Pastoral Elections and Appointments

Rev. Dale Yardy
has been elected as the senior pastor at MCC Sydney, Australia. Rev. Yardy will serve with Standing by Call.

Alex Pittaway
has been unanimously elected as the pastor at MCC Brisbane, Australia.
Pastor Pittaway will complete the in-care MAP with the OFLD and begin ministry with MCC Brisbane in early July.

Rev. Keith Mozingo
has been elected as the senior pastor at Founders MCC, California, USA. This is the first time in Founder’s history that a pastor has been elected unanimously.

Rev. Wendy Hamilton
has been appointed as the new Provisional Pastor at Open Door MCC, Maryland, USA.


Newest Members Join Board of Pensions

by Rev. Tom Emmett III, President, Board of Pensions, USA

Rev. Gina Durbin
Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow

The MCC Board of Pensions USA is delighted to introduce two new Board members: Rev. Gina Durbin and Rev. Roland Stringfellow. They are already involved in our work and we’re excited about the suite of skills they bring.

US clergy are automatically enrolled into the pension plan after their fourth year of service and become vested after ten years. There is no clergy payment required although churches contribute to the plan.

Questions about the MCC Board of Pensions USA and how the plan works can be sent to [email protected].

Click the links to read Rev. Gina Durbin’s BIO and Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow’s BIO.


Office of Church and Ministry Development Releases Vital Local Church Resources

by Rev. Lisa Heilig, Resource Specialist

Download Icon Board Training Manual (Adobe PDF)
(Updated: 6 April 2018)

Download Icon Board Training Manual (Word)
(Updated: 23 April 2018)

Attend a free webinar to learn more about the Board Training Manual.
Date: 23 May 2018
Time: 7:00 pm EDT / 11:00 pm UTC
Link: http://mccchurch.adobeconnect.com/ocmd1/

MCC’s website contains many resources including these topics: Fundraising, Stewardship, Marketing, Building Relationships, and Security. Visit this link to learn more: http://bit.ly/mccwebresources

Read the entire Office of Church and Ministry Development newsletter at this link: http://bit.ly/2J1Jtq3


 

Employment Opportunities

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.

Settled Pastor and Secular Employment 
https://mccchurch.org/connectnow/jobs/

 

From the Editor

 

Linda Brenner
Associate Director,
Headline News Editor

Scholarship Program Needs Volunteers

by Linda Brenner, Be a Gem Scholarship Director

The Be a GEM Scholarship Program needs volunteers for the teams below. Each team will require about 10 hours of your time a month, and may increase to 15 hours a month in 2019. Contact me if you are interested: [email protected]. I know you will be blessed!

Fundraising – The goal is to raise approximately $35,000 USD.

Hospitality – This team will meet GEM recipients upon arrival in Orlando, provide assistance at General Conference, and plan the GEM Donor Reception.

Visa – This team will the research visa requirements to write letters that will get GEM scholarship recipients to General Conference.

Logistics – This team will be responsible for coordinating the logistical needs of selected GEM recipients.

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