A Pastoral Letter from the Moderator and Governing Board to Metropolitan Community Churches
22 February 2016
Dear Clergy and Lay Delegates of MCC:
As Moderator of MCC, I am also the Moderator of MCC’s Governing Board. I am proud to have served for nearly six years with over a dozen people who are pioneering a new model for MCC governance, elected by the General Conference. We have done a lot of wonderful work over the last several years, weathered storms, proposed a strategic plan, balanced budgets, and have tried to serve you faithfully.
Recently, we have struggled very painfully with deep disagreements over substantive issues of direction, process, and values. We are in the process of working through this with the assistance of a governance and board consultant; in other words, we are getting some outside help. Those of you who have served on church boards know that getting some outside help can make a difference.
We are accountable to you, and we want you to know we have help, and we invite your prayers.
As we move towards General Conference and a transition to a new Moderator, as I said in my previous pastoral letter, we are engaged in our first selection of a Moderator from among a number of candidates. This is new territory for us. Concerns have arisen, and we are working diligently to work through them and to accurately answer questions that have been posed to us.
In the process, three Governing Board members have resigned.
Rev. Karen Thompson had been newly appointed to the Governing Board and felt that the recent conflicts that existed before she joined the board made it impossible for her to contribute in a positive way. I thank Rev. Karen for her honesty.
Gail Rissler also resigned due to these differences. Gail made many positive contributions during her time on the board over the last several years. We are greatly in her debt. Thank you, Gail.
Finally, Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin submitted his resignation, effective 26 February 2016. Rev. Robert has faithfully served the board since 2010.
We have thanked and expressed appreciation to the Moderator Nominating Committee (MNC). We have asked them to reschedule the March MNC webinar to a later date to allow us to sort through our issues and have resolution before we plunge into the next phase of this process.
In the spirit of full disclosure, we want you to know that a Governing Board motion to reject the slate of nominees that the MNC brought forward, failed. We approved, as a subsequent motion, to review the process and concerns that have surfaced.
With our consultant and outside team, we are reviewing the Governing Board’s role and responsibilities. While this happens, we have asked the MNC to delay the next step in the process which is the webinar to meet the candidates. The webinar is now scheduled for 16 March 2016.
Once we work through our concerns and issues, we will publicly summarize and share our findings.
We will publish the minutes of our Governing Board meetings of the last few weeks after we approve them at our monthly meeting on 25 February 2016.
We thank you for your patience, for your prayers, and encouragement. We respectfully decline as a Governing Board to respond or conduct our business on social media. We hope you will understand that, and bless us for it– just as you would expect of your local church board.
If you have questions for the Governing Board, please contact us directly at [email protected]
Please pray for those you have elected to serve you, and for us to be faithful to the Holy Spirit as we seek discernment and wisdom. Pray for those who will stand for election for Moderator and as members of the Governing Board.
Let’s get ready for our family reunion in Victoria, British Columbia, this coming July, and invite the joy of our God to reign in our hearts and minds. As we welcome first-timers to conference, new churches, new emerging groups, as well as those of us who have been in ministry for decades, let us face the future and BE MCC with love, hope, and courage!
God bless all of you, and God bless MCC!
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson
Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches