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Headline News – Insider Edition 23 May 2017

MCC Founder Receives Cuba’s CENESEX Award

Rev. Troy Perry Honored for Global LGBTQ and Human Rights Work
Mariela Castro Espín (left), Phillip De Blieck, and Rev. Elder Troy Perry participate in the March Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Havana, Cuba. (photo by CENESEX)

Rev. Elder Troy Perry, MCC founder, is the first American citizen to receive Cuba’s CENESEX award. Nearly 5000 people gathered at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana 12 May 2017 including the US, French, and Swiss ambassadors as well as the Minister of Culture of Cuba. Mariela Castro Espín, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and a member of the country’s National Assembly, attended the presentation. Perry was presented the award for his long history of working for human rights and the rights of the LGBTQ community worldwide.

Excerpts from Rev. Perry’s acceptance speech:

“In 2005, I read an article in the Los Angeles Times that told me of a young woman who was fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer people, who is an AIDS activist, and who is the transgender activist who suggested to her government that they legalize the right of the trans community to have reassignment surgery and have the government pay for it. That became law in 2008 in Cuba because of [Mariela Castro Espín’s] hard work.

“Thank you, Cuba, for your health system that will pay for reassignment surgery for transgender people; while under the new government in my country, states are debating whether to let the transgender community use public toilets.

“Thank you CENESEX for your 10 year fight against Transphobia and Homophobia.
To all of you here, remember, it will get better! Thank you, again, you wonderful Cubans!”

Rev. Elder Troy Perry: “To say that I am honored to receive this award from CENESEX would be an understatement. I am thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to visit Cuba and meet members of the Cuban government as well as these wonderful citizens.”

(All photos by CENESEX
and Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez)


Above: Mariela Castro Espín, Rev. Elder Troy Perry, and Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez.

Middle right: MCC award ceremony attendees (from left): Pastor Curtis Smith, Phillip De Blieck, Rev. Perry, Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins, Mariela Castro Espín, Rev Dr. Robert Griffin, Pastor Elaine Saralegui, Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas Cazares-Thomas, Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez.

Top right: Rev. Perry and Mariela Castro Espín display the award.

Top left: Rev. Elder Troy Perry gives his acceptance speech upon receiving the CENESEX Award.



All Clergy and Lay Delegates:

Register to Vote on MCC Pension Plan (USA) Rate Increase

Virtual Voting Date: 7 June 2017

Learn more about the rate increase online:

MCC is Hiring

Global Emerging Church Specialist Job Application Available

Application information for the MCC Global Emerging Church Specialist can be found at the following link: https://mccchurch.org/global-emerging-church-specialist/

The scope of the role includes the following:

  • Oversight of implementation of the Global Emerging Church Strategy
  • Supervision of the Emerging Church Coordinators for Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States
  • Direct support to Emerging Church Developers in Canada and Australasia/New Zealand
  • Implementation of the Emerging Church Strategy for the United States & Canada.

Send application material to Rev. Elder Darlene Garner ([email protected]) by 1 June 2017.

Remembering and Recommitting

Churches, Ministries, Oasis Groups, Friends:
We invite you to join this global event

MCC will host a live global worship service from Orlando, Florida, to remember those affected by the Pulse tragedy. We will also recommit to acts of compassion and justice. You are invited to participate as an individual or in community.

MCC’s PULSE Memorial Facebook page.
You are invited to post and share in writing, prose or poetry, in your language of choice, or through music or video or other art forms.

  • How this tragedy affected you, individually and communally
  • How your faith helped you cope with tragedy
  • How this tragedy is spurring us to make sure when hate tries that love wins




Pastoral Elections and Appointments

Rev. Jeremy Alexander
has been elected
as the next Senior Pastor
at Spirit of Hope MCC, Missouri, USA.


Rev. Dr. Joan Saniuk
has been elected
as the next Senior Pastor
at Sacred Journey MCC,
North Carolina, USA.


Rev. Angela Jones-Ramirez
has been elected
as the next Senior Pastor
at Vision of Hope MCC,
Pennsylvania, USA.
Rev. Gail Minnick
has been appointed
as the next Provisional Pastor at Holy Redeemer MCC, Maryland, USA.


Rev. Emma Chattin
has been elected
as the next Senior Pastor
at MCC of Northern Virginia,
Virginia, 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



MCC Theologies Team Releases Newest Holy Conversation:
Mental Health

Positive mental health allows people to reach their full potential, cope with the ups and downs in life, and make meaningful contributions to their communities.

Mental Health Awareness Month provides us opportunities to :

  • Learn more about the facts of mental ill health and related issues.
  • Challenge our own and other’s negative attitudes and stigma.
  • Talk and reduce isolation.
  • Become more aware of local sources of help and support.

MCC’s Theologies Team recently released a Holy Conversation focusing on Mental Health (https://mccchurch.org/files/2017/05/Holy-Conversation-Mental-Health.pdf). It is a useful tool to help your church community learn from each other and gain a deeper understanding of the issues raised.

Additional Holy Conversations can be found at this Theologies Team link: https://mccchurch.org/resources/mcc-theologies/

The Holy Conversation on Mental Health is a collaborative effort between the Office of Formation and Leadership Development’s Theologies Team and the Office of Emerging Ministries Mental Health Working Group.


You are especially invited to the MCC Conference for People of African Descent, Friends, and Advocates!

Whether you are a person of African descent, someone who is friends with and/or
who loves a person of African descent, or someone who wants to know more
about the experiences of people of African descent, this event is designed with YOU in mind. Excellent speakers will lead the plenary sessions and workshops. The preachers will be outstanding. Clergy who attend will receive 9 CEUs and LEAD participants
who attend will gain credit toward their program, too. See you in St. Louis!

Click this link to access the Conference schedule, speakers, and preachers:

MCC’s Online Resource Library Seeks Grassroots Funds

Sacred Space Online Learning (or SSOL) a successful online library of faith-based resources. It now contains information about hundreds of online courses, webinars, and on-demand webinars; it has 25 different categories of learning; it collects materials from over 60 organizations; and it holds resources for 36 different types of ministry.
To date, SSOL has been visited by tens of thousands of people from across the globe with over 45,000 pages viewed!

Sacred Space Online Learning is our place to highlight and promote online courses and webinars from MCC denominational offices; and it contains materials that are being used by various types of MCC ministers, lay leaders, lay persons, seminarians, teachers (programmers), and chaplains. SSOL is also an essential collection of online courses and webinars from a mainline, progressive, and/or justice-centered perspective. It has become a sacred resource and lifeline for many people of faith who have limited options (and sometimes no options) in their geographic location.

The creation of Sacred Space Online Learning was made possible through a grant from the Carpenter Foundation. We are grateful for these funds. They have helped us to launch our dream of serving others as we worked hard to provide spiritual, religious, and faith formation resources on SSOL.

These funds will be soon exhausted and now we need YOUR help to continue the work and ministry of SSOL. We’re asking you to please consider making a generous donation today via our SSOL GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/support-ssol. Any – and all – donations would be greatly appreciated!

You can learn more about SSOL – and how you can help to support this important ministry – at https://bit.ly/2qSKUzk.


From the Editor

Linda Brenner Associate Director, Headline News Editor

Headline News Will Feature Your Stories

I’m looking forward to expanding the coverage of local churches in a new edition of Headline News. My goal is to increase our sense of global connectedness through stories and photos.

I need your help to make this successful. Consider what would you like to 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 hope 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.

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