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Headline News – 24 February 2018

Celebrate MCC’s 50th Anniversary!

by Lauren Bennett and Mike Haase, General Co-Directors

A Week-Long Celebration in Los Angeles, California, USA
A celebration is being planned in coordination with Founder’s MCC. There will be worship services, a picnic, a concert, and a big party on Saturday, 6 October 2018, which is MCC’s official anniversary date! Details to be announced.

A 5-week Anniversary Worship Series 
A resource kit for a 5-Week Anniversary Worship Series that will follow various themes inspired from each decade of MCC. Save space in your worship planning for this series, which is being curated by over 20 MCCers from around the world. The materials will be published on Pentecost, for use  7 October – 4 November 2018 (All Saints Day observed). This resource will also include ideas for adaptation in communities who worship once a month, etc.

A Story-Sharing Campaign in the Spirit of the First MCC Worship Service
In collaboration with the 50th Anniversary archival project and General Conference, we are creating a story-sharing campaign in the style of the first worship service held in Rev. Elder Troy Perry’s living room. We are adapting the original order of worship from that service so people can share MCC stories in small groups of 10-12.

We will create an opportunity to share these global stories online leading up to and during General Conference. The resource kit for this story-sharing campaign will launch with the Anniversary worship materials on Pentecost.


General Conference registration is now open
Come together for MCC’s global celebration at General Conference 1-5 July 2019 in Orlando, Florida, USA. In addition to conducting the business of MCC and featuring excellent worship, we are also creating deeper, more focused experiences in programming at this conference. To learn more about the changes to General Conference programming, https://celebrate.mccchurch.org/programming/

Registration is now open! Secure your registration today with the low Promo Rate! Register at this link: https://celebrate.mccchurch.org/register-2-2/


Librarians, Historians, Founders, Storytellers: Volunteers Needed for MCC’s Historic Archive Project

Although MCC has significant archival material at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, Pacific School of Religion, Berkley, California, USA, this collection is only the beginning. Many churches have valuable records and files stashed in boxes and filing cabinets, sometimes in churches or in the houses of longtime members.

Rev. Jakob Hero Shaw, Governing Board member, went to Pacific School of Religion in 2017 to assess work required to organize MCC’s archives. The following is from Rev. Hero-Shaw’s reflection about the material he discovered.

MCC’s archives include newsletters, banners, pictures, newspaper articles, liturgy, chalices, audio and video recordings, documents from early MCC churches including Rev. Elder Troy Perry’s handwritten notes, and much more exist. (photo by Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw)

“God has called us to do sacred work in this world. God called us in 1968 when Troy Perry bravely invited strangers into his home for the first MCC service. God called us throughout the 1970s, as the struggle for basic human rights for our people soared. God gave us this amazing family of faith…and we…cared for people with AIDS throughout the 80s and 90s in a way that no other church in the world was able to do.

“As our denomination approaches its 50th anniversary, more of our history will surface. We will journey deeper into these yellowed pages, mine the depths of photographs, and handwritten letters, and in doing so, we celebrate how far we have come and gain inspiration….”

MCC needs you to help identify and add to the collections around the world. A volunteer global team will be formed with a focus on preservation and presentation. This group will facilitate gatherings to organize other archival collections. The group’s efforts will culminate in a grand presentation at “Celebrate MCC” at General Conference 2019, Orlando, Florida, USA.

We are looking for people with experience in libraries or archives, museums, record management, physical and digital archives, oral and video histories, academic scholarship, history, and storytelling.

Join the team today!  Send an email to Jack Hutter, [email protected], and let him know your area of expertise. This is the perfect time to tell the story of MCC and show the world what the Spirit is saying to the churches!


Be a GEM Scholarship Program Needs Volunteers

by Linda Brenner, Be a Gem Scholarship Director

Among my passions at MCC is the Be a GEM Scholarship Program. I stumbled upon it in 2013 while working for Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson. I have been inspired by the individuals who worked so hard with few resources to attend MCC’s triennial General Conference. These individuals are laity, clergy, and some aspire to become clergy. They are global leaders who have a deep appreciation for MCC’s progressive theology and human rights work and want to make MCC available in their local community.

As preparations continue for General Conference 2019, I want to offer you an opportunity to join the Be a GEM Scholarship Program as a member of one of the teams below. Each he team will require about 10 hours of your time a month, and may increase to 15 hours a month from March-July 2019.

Fundraising Team – The goal is to raise approximately $35,000 USD. This amount is only an estimate and will be based on the final list of scholarship recipients. Amazing ideas to raise funds have already been suggested, but this is an area that needs enthusiastic, motivated, skilled volunteers.

Hospitality Team – This team will assist GEM recipients as they prepare to travel to General Conference, meet them upon arrival in Orlando, provide assistance at General Conference, and plan the GEM Donor Reception.

Visa Team – This team will do the research to write letters that will get GEM scholarship recipients to General Conference. The information this team obtains will be shared with MCC individuals who need a visa to attend General Conference.

Logistics Team – This team will be responsible for coordinating the logistical needs of selected GEM recipients, including hotel, flight, airport shuttle, and meal money.

You will quickly discover the Be a GEM Scholarship Program is a rewarding and inspirational opportunity. The work will culminate at General Conference, and we will finalize a report in August 2019.

If you are interested in becoming part of this amazing program, contact me at [email protected]. Let me know which team interests you and your qualifications for that team. I know you will be blessed!

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‘Bible App’ Features Diversity and Inclusion

“Spirituality is a spectrum and…faith is a journey.”
from www.ourbibleapp.com

A portion of the mission of the new “Bible App” says: “…Our goal is to untangle the binds that Christian colonizers have spread across the globe over hundreds of years. Through devotionals highlighting pro LGBT, pro-women, and encouraging interfaith inclusivity we hope to provide a tool that is needed to create healthy prayer and meditation habits.”

The app includes multiple Bible versions as well as devotionals and other resources from queer-friendly authors including MCC contributors. MCC has a “shelf” in the library; and featured writers include Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins, Sunshine Cathedral; Rev. Maxwell Reay (and others from Scotland). MCC’s resource about Mental Health, produced by the MCC Theologies Team, is also included.

The app is downloadable for iOS or Android phones:  https://www.ourbibleapp.com/app/. Read about becoming a contributor on the Bible App website.

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Announcements

Pastoral Elections and Appointments

Rev. Todd Goewey has been elected as the senior pastor at MCC Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.
Rev. Gail Atchison has been unanimously elected as the senior pastor at MCC of Our Redeemer, Georgia, USA.

Lent 2018 Resources Now Available
Ubuntu: Reflecting on Christian Community

Visit this page for Lenten resources.


 

Free Webinar Opportunities; CEUs Available

Consent in Queer Contexts

Free Webinar hosted by OFLD
27 February 2018, 6 pm EST 
(23:00 UTC/GMT)

Rev. Miller Jen Hoffman

Many LGB folks (and T and genderqueer folks) have heard about or struggled with the morality and ethics of our sexualities in a dominant culture that exclusively valued hetero expressions of sex and relationships. Even those of us out and proud LGB people are sometimes resistant to polyamory, kink, and other nontraditional intimate and erotic expressions. This online workshop is designed as a conversation about finding respectful celebration of sexualities grounded in consent.

Learn more about the webinar and presenter Rev. Miller Jen Hoffman:
https://ofld.mccchurch.org/online-learning/ssol/#online-webinars

Email MCC Staff Marina Laws to register:[email protected]

Being Present and Effective When Someone Dies

Free Webinar hosted by OFLD
16 March 2018, 4 pm EST 
(20:00 UTC/GMT)

Rev. Tim Hamilton

This webinar will provide information about the dying process, space for reflection and conversation, and practical tools for communicating with the bereaved. It is open to all but specifically relevant to chaplains, pastors, and any church leaders offering pastoral care.

Learn more about the webinar and presenter Rev. Tim Hamilton at
https://ofld.mccchurch.org/online-learning/ssol/#online-webinars

Email MCC Staff Marina Laws to register:[email protected]


Conference Explores Intersections of African-American Culture, Church, and LGBTQ Identity

Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow

Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow, MCC Detroit Senior Pastor, and Rev. Cedric Harmon are among the presenters at the sixth Souls A’ Fire Conference! The event will focus on Black Queer Theology and will encourage “retreat and inspiration through ritual, praise, and worship” (www.soulsafire.org).

The event will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, 23-24 March 2018. Early Bird Registration ends Feb. 22. www.soulsafire.org.


MCC Governing Board Hosts Financial Webinar

Topics Include MCC Finances and Fundraising Initiatives

The Governing Board invites you to a webinar to review MCC Finances. Topics include 2017 financial results, the 2018 budget, and 50th Anniversary fundraising initiatives. In addition to covering current financial issues, the Governing Board has received the report from the Assessments Commission, appointed after the last General Conference. A status update will be available to review next steps.

This is a free webinar and all are invited and encouraged to attend. Time for questions will be available at the end of the webinar.

How to join the webinar:
Adobe Connect: https://mccchurch.adobeconnect.com/gbwebinar/
Date/Time: 21 March 2018; 10:00 pm GMT/UTC (6:00 pm Eastern Time)

The webinar will be recorded and made available for viewing after the event.


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/

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