Shifts Focus and Funds to Churches, Partnerships and Programs
Dear People of God:
The Moderator, Governing Board and MCC staff have entered the process to change our staffing structure. We want a financially sustainable staffing structure that meets the needs of our local churches and church leaders.
The Moderator and Governing Board would like to pay tribute to all the staff for their grace, professionalism and generosity of spirit during this time of uncertainty for them and their families. Their passion for MCC and their commitment to their work is a gift to the world and we are grateful for each individual and all they have contributed. Their work has saved and transformed lives, has helped other people answer their own call to ministry, and has helped MCC reach so many new places and communities.
The new staffing structure will roll out beginning 1 November 2019. We ask for your prayers and your patience during this transition. Some positions have been merged, and new positions have been created.
The following staff will leave on 31 October: Linda Brenner, Jack Hutter, Jared Vázquez and Kathy Cassoday. Rev. Elder Mona West will leave on 15 November.
- Linda Brenner joined MCC as Assistant to the Moderator in 2012 and has been serving as Associate Director of Communications and a member of the Senior/Strategic Leadership Team since 2015. She coordinated media interviews with noteworthy outlets including the New York Times, BBC, Al Jazeera, and the Daily Beast. She managed external communications for events impacting MCC including the US Supreme Court Decision legalizing same sex marriage, Pulse massacre, and the Stonewall Anniversary. She assisted churches responding to a crisis by organizing teams of staff consultants, clergy and church boards of directors to collaborate on solutions. She also served as the director of the “Be a Gem Scholarship Program.”
- Jack Hutter joined the staff in 2015 and has served as Executive Assistant to Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, and Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston. He also provided support to the Governing Board, Council of Elders, and Senior/Strategic Leadership Team during that time.
- Jared Vázquez joined MCC staff in 2018 as Associate Director for Inclusion and Diversity. He has worked with our diversity and inclusion affinity groups, as well as providing training for staff and at networking gatherings and General Conference.
- Kathy Cassoday began as a volunteer at the Moderator’s Office working with Bill Hooper and then joined the staff as the Finance Clerk in 2017. She worked with the finance staff to process assessment forms, pension contributions, and invoices in addition to preparing account information. Kathy was instrumental in downsizing the Sarasota Office in 2018 and coordinating the removal of archived material and property.
- Rev. Dr. Mona West joined the MCC staff as the Director of Formation and Leadership Development in 2008, to implement the changes to the ordination process made in 2007 including the development of the REVM program and the creation of the OFLD website and Synergy, the newsletter of the OFLD. Since then, she has been instrumental in securing grants and implementing the following programs for leadership development in MCC: Clergy Wellbeing, Sacred Space Online Learning, Spiritual Formation and Thriving in Ministry. In 2011 Mona recruited and led the team that designed and implemented the LEAD program for lay leadership in MCC. She has also convened teams to create global protocols for ordination in MCC and collaborated with MCC leadership in Iberoamerica to create an infrastructure for the Garner Institute, serving as its President along with Rev. Elder Margarita Sanchez DeLeon as the Academic Dean, resulting in the Institute’s first graduates. In her role as the Director of the OFLD, Dr. West has been an international voice for MCC as a Biblical Scholar, publishing in the area of Queer Biblical Hermeneutics. She has also served on advisory boards at Pacific School of Religion and Vanderbilt Divinity School, as well as represented MCC as a speaker at Mantazas Seminary in Cuba, Union Seminary in the Philippines, Jakarta Seminary in Indonesia, and the LGBT European Forum in Eastern Europe.
The Moderator and Governing Board are grateful to each of these individuals for their commitment, expertise, legacy of work, and for all that they have done to make MCC stronger.
If you would like to share your appreciation for any of these individuals, please send your messages to their MCC email address below. Private emails will continue to be forwarded to the recipients after their departure date.
- Linda Brenner, [email protected]
- Jack Hutter, [email protected]
- Jared Vázquez, [email protected]
- Kathy Cassoday, [email protected]
- Rev. Dr. Mona West, [email protected]
We are pleased that we have been able to offer positions to many staff and will be advertising new positions soon. Existing staff have accepted cuts to their salaries and benefits, which again speaks to their commitment to MCC. The responsibilities from the positions mentioned above will be incorporated into other staff positions.
We will share the new staffing structure with you in a forthcoming email and answer key questions that you may have. The new staffing structure will focus on building partnerships with and between local churches, provide opportunities to share examples of excellence in ministry, and strengthen our global presence by developing new ways of being MCC. A new position has been created to specifically work with local churches to help them improve their finances and to find additional sources of income for MCC.
We want the world to know how great MCC is and how the ministry of each church, every leader, and each person makes a difference. The financial sustainability of the new staffing structure will release more funds to support programs. The new staff positions will focus on expanding MCC’s global identity and progressive voice, celebrating our current work in addition to the achievements we have already witnessed.
We hope that you will partner with us and the staff to build on MCC’s strengths and invest in MCC’s future. And we ask you to join us as we pray for the staff who are ending their service, and that God will continue to bless them.
Respectfully submitted by,
Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, Clerk on behalf of the Governing Board
Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, Moderator
Mark Godette, Vice-Moderator
Chad Hobbs, Treasurer
Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey
Rev. Alberto Nájera
Rev. Paul Whiting
Thanks also to Rev. Cristiano Valerio for translation of this (and many) documents into Portuguese.