Dear MCC Clergy and Lay Delegates:
I am excited to announce that nine new Elders were appointed to serve until 31st December 2023.
As Moderator, I have vetted and appointed these individuals and the Governing Board has approved the appointments.
Elders are volunteers who, as a Council with the Moderator, offer spiritual and pastoral support and leadership to the churches, pastors, and people of MCC.
I received 22 applications from individuals in 5 different countries. In the application process, individuals were invited to share their theological background, some of their spiritual practices, their international experience, their current efforts to make MCC more racially equitable, diverse and inclusive, and their thoughts on the role of Elder.
One person is not able to accept the appointment at this time, so eight appointees will be presented for affirmation to the Special General Conference. Their photos and biographical information are at the bottom of this page.
In reviewing the applications, I looked for several things and chose those who:
- Already have a deep and demonstrable spirituality, call, and commitment
- Represent well the faith, values, and vision of MCC, and are loyal to our denomination
- Will be able to offer wise counsel to the Moderator
- Embody a variety of gifts, creativity, competence, and the kind of diversity we seek
- Are trustworthy and will be able to serve all of the people and churches of MCC with integrity
- Will be able to blend well as a team
I am confident that all appointees meet this criteria without exception.
MCC rightly expects its leadership to reflect our rich diversity and this was an important consideration in the selection process, as well as character, competence and experience. Among those appointed, there are pastors of different size churches, a lay person and a chaplain. There is representation from 4 different countries and five time zones. Within the group of appointees, there are those who identify as genderqueer, bisexual, non-binary, Latinx, Native American, African-American, who are differently abled, are HIV+, have children, are trans and cis gendered. There is a range of both age and years of service within MCC.
The Role of the General Conference:
Elders occupy a special and historic place in the hearts of MCCers world-wide and provide spiritual and pastoral leadership to a global MCC. Because the Elder Appointees will serve on the Council of Elders, which is a discernment body for the Moderator, MCC By-laws require that the General Conference affirm the decision of the Moderator. This is not an election; rather, it is an opportunity for clergy and lay delegates to voice their support on behalf of MCCers around the world.
There will be business forum webinars to meet all the appointees.
Monday 11th January 2021 6:00 – 7:30 pm EST / 11:00 pm GMT – in English
Saturday 16th January 2021 1:00 – 2:30 pm EST / 6:00 pm GMT – in Spanish and English.
Here is the link to attend the webinars: http://mccchurch.adobeconnect.com/gcwebinar/
The Special Virtual General Conference to affirm the Elders is Tuesday 26 January 2021.
Voting opens 26th January at 8:00 am EST and closes 27th January at 8:00 am EST.
Register to Vote
All Clergy and Lay Delegates must register to vote. Registration will be open from 11 – 17 January 2021. Late registrations will not be accepted.
Each voting individual must have a unique email address to which the ballot will be sent.
The Current Council of Elders will complete their term on 31st January 2021 and the Elder appointees will commence their term on 1st February 2021.
The eight new Elders being presented to the General Conference for affirmation are:
Rev. Alejandro Escoto – Associate Pastor, responsible for Hispanic/Latinx Outreach, Spanish Speaking Ministry at Founders MCC, Los Angeles, USA, former HIV/AIDS chaplain
Ms Velma Garcia – Network Facilitator, Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship (L.E.A.D.) faculty member UpRising MCC, Austin, USA
Rev. Goudy – Pastor, MCC of Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem USA and community activist
Rev. Karl Hand – Pastor, Crave MCC, Sydney Australia. Served as a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith
Rev. Miller Hoffman – Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, USA. Formerly served as MCC pastor and staff clergy.
Rev. Carolyn Mobley-Bowie – Breath of Life Spiritual Center MCC, Saginaw USA, Network co-leader, North Central US Network
Rev. Maxwell Reay – Pastor, Our Tribe at Augustine United Church, Edinburgh, Scotland, Healthcare chaplain
Rev. Troy Treash – Senior Pastor, Resurrection MCC, Houston USA and former Director of Reconciling Ministries Network
Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow – MCC Detroit, USA, Co-Chair, Commission on Pathways of Healing and Reconciliation. Rev. Dr. Stringfellow was appointed and approved to serve as an Elder. However, since entering into the Elder selection process, his circumstances have shifted. He has, with integrity, decided that he cannot take on the additional responsibilities of serving as an Elder at this time.
Please hold the Elder appointees, their families and ministries as we continue this journey of service together.
Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston
Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches
Rev. Alejandro Escoto is Associate Pastor at Founders Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles (FMCC) and serves as the Pastor of La Iglesia Fundadora de la Comunidad Metropolitana Los Angeles (ICMF). He is a charismatic and passionate individual who brings a cultural vibrancy to the spiritual experience for all-people. He believes that no one should feel shame or guilt for worshipping God in their own language. Consequently, he has consulted with Hispanic/Latinx leaders who are called to lead a Spanish speaking service at their MCC church or open an ICM church within their community.
His passion and commitment on issues related to the Hispanic/Latinx Community have earned him various honors including the Rev. Dr. Jeanne Audrey Award from the Claremont School of Theology for his outstanding service and leadership in the LGBTQ+ communities as well as the AIDS Health Care Foundation Pedro Zamora Award, for being a positive role model and living life “out, proud, and loud” as an openly gay, HIV+ Christian Latinx person.
Velma Garcia is a long time member of UpRising A Church Without Walls – (formerly known as MCC Austin), Austin TX USA. Velma currently lives in Manor, TX USA with her partner of 5 years, Darlene S. Hernandez and their little dog, Miss E. Together they raised two children, and have the great pleasure of being “Mamies” to our 6 grandchildren.
Velma currently serves as the MCC Network Facilitator for the Texas-New Mexico Network. the South Gulf Coast Network, the Southern Hospitality (SoHo) Network, and the All Florida Network. Velma is a Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship (L.E.A.D.) 2 graduate and serves as a faculty member for L.E.A.D.
Velma loves bike riding, canoeing, snorkeling, American college football, and has a passion for prayer and spreading the “Good News” of God’s all-inclusive love to and for all of God’s creation!
Rev. Goudy has pastored Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley (Bethlehem, PA, USA) since 1999. Goudy’s greatest honors include journeying with God’s people in worship, justice advocacy, Bible Study, centering prayer, fellowship and outreach. Goudy is a religion columnist for the Morning Call newspaper and is president of the Bethlehem Interfaith Group. Raised in a progressive Roman Catholic household, Goudy graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a B.A. in History & Theology. After receiving an M.Div. degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School, Goudy became captivated by the vision of Metropolitan Community Churches. Goudy prefers to be called by their last name and is currently transitioning to more fully embrace God’s non-binary calling on their life. Goudy is married to Carol Stevens, RN, FCN and they enjoy cooking, movies and being spiritual nerds.
His family arrived in these lands called Australia from native England when he was a small child in 1982. Hand was raised in the Pentecostal tradition, where he still feel most at home. As a teenager, he discovered a passion for Revival Theology.
He was further enriched by the diversity of traditions that MCC shares, especially Liberation theology, and ancient and medieval spiritual traditions of contemplative prayer. Karl has a Master’s degree in philosophy, and a PhD in New Testament studies, and has published some theological research about the historical Jesus and the Gospel of Luke.
Hoffman’s thesis, “Every Woman Who Will Make Herself Male: Genderqueer Expression in the Early Church” was deposited in the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary in 2004 and earned the Roswell Dwight Hitchcock Prize in Church History.
He has worked for LGBT civil rights with Lambda Legal Defense; for anti-violence justice and meditative practice at the Brooklyn-based Center for Anti-Violence Education; as a counselor and advocate for domestic violence and rape survivors with organizations in New York and Pennsylvania; as a mentor to local queer and trans youth in NY and PA; and as the pastor of MCC congregations in Binghamton, NY, and Boyds, MD.
Hoffman is currently supporting sexual assault centers state-wide at the Pennsylvania Coalition against Rape. Mind-body-spirit connections to social justice and the connectedness of physical, emotional, and spiritual violence deeply influence his thinking and ministry, and his writing explores the places where personal action meets and impacts social change.
After fifteen years of service as the Associate Pastor at Resurrection MCC in Houston, Texas, she returned briefly to her native Florida, where God first anointed her as a singer, whose voice and love for God has often inspired others to respond to the love of God.
She has served our denomination and movement as staff, supporting the Clergy Connection Program, as an Interim Pastor in Tulsa, OK, in Richmond, VA, and in Waterford, MI.
While living in Richmond, Rev. Carolyn and her life-partner, Rev. Adrain were legally married, twenty plus years after their original Service of Holy Union. Presently she serves as Co-Leader of the North Central US Network of MCC.
Rev. Maxwell Reay has been a member of MCC since 1989. He was the founding co-pastor of Living Springs MCC, Bath and was licensed as Clergy in 1993. He also served as a volunteer with MCC North London and MCC Edinburgh.
Since 2007 Maxwell has worked as Healthcare Chaplain for the Scottish National Health Service in Edinburgh. For 12 years his work focused on adult mental health care but a year ago Maxwell became the Chaplain for the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh.
Maxwell co-ordinates “Our Tribe” which is the LGBTQI+ ministry at Augustine United Church, Edinburgh. This joint ministry with The United Reformed Church and MCC was established in 2010.
He has served on the MCC Trans and Gender Non-conforming Advisory Council and on the Moderator’s Theologies Team of MCC. He is currently the MCC Vocational Coordinator for Europe.
Maxwell is a gender queer trans man who shares his life with his husband Lewis, an extended family of choice and their dog Ruby.
Troy flew nationally from home base in Chicago, IL to advocate for equality for LGBTQ persons church by church, network by network, and conference by conference within the United Methodist Church.
His ordained ministry began in 1991 in the trenches of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Houston, TX as the Director of the Bering Support Network. He shares life with Walter, his husband of 22 years; Michael, their adopted son; one beagle, Tip; and one cat, Spot.
He enjoys cooking, reading, weeding, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, oceans, and aspen trees. He struggles at times with teenager parenting, marathon zoom meetings, defeating white supremacy, and balancing life. He relies upon God’s grace.