MCC IMPACT – April 2011

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Impact Newsletter

April 2011 – Volume II



SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) collected $429.61 USD for restoration in New Zealand following the earthquake and $397.96 USD for the people of Japan.

MCC Newcastle-upon-Tyne (England) is engaged in a letter-writing and petition campaign to urge their MPs (Members of Parliament) to help the homosexual people of Uganda by denouncing the odious legislation, which would bring death to any gay or lesbian person.

MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas) is assisting a client of the AIDS Interfaith Network with peel, heat, and eat meals. Because of physical disabilities, he cannot even mix or add water to food items.

MCC Sacred Journey (Hendersonville, North Carolina) will be participating in Western North Carolina’s AIDS Project’s Dining Out for Life next Thursday. Various restaurants in the area will donate 20% of their proceeds that day to support HIV/AIDS prevention, education, advocacy, and services.

MCC Fredricksburg (Virginia) collects at least 112 pounds of food each month for the Fredricksburg Area Food Bank, which delivers food to people living in remote areas.

MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) is collecting used jeans to benefit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The Jeans for Life program helps people living with HIV/AIDS around the world.


Grand Marshalls Galore! Rev. Elder Troy Perry will be the Grand Marshall of the largest Pride in Florida (in St. Petersburg) in June. Rev. Pat Bumgardner has been invited to be the Grand Marshall for the New York City Pride Parade. Rev. Roland Stringfellow and the Honorable Rev. Vickie Kowalski are both nominees for Grand Marshall for the San Francisco (California) Pride Parade.

Tennie McCarty of Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) was interviewed on the Joy Behar Show, featured on CNN Headline News, and appeared on Oprah’s network (OWN) as the “unconventional therapist” in the series “Addicted to Food.” She was also named the Outstanding Woman of the Year by the Abilene branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women).

The Installation Service for Rev. Harry Knox as Senior Pastor of Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas) will be Sunday, 1 May, at 3pm. Special guests include Rev. Elders Nancy Wilson and Troy D. Perry. Musical guests will be Jason & deMarco and the Resurrection MCC Worship Arts Department. A reception will follow the service with hors d’oeuvres and a presentation highlighting 39 years of ministry at RMCC. Rev. Elder Perry will preach at both services on Sunday morning.

Rev. Axel Schwaigert from MCC Stuttgart, Germany, was the guest preacher recently at MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California).

Jeff Smith is the new Music Director at Open Circle at The Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida), and Carol Bentley will serve as Assistant Director, working primarily with the band.

Rev. Dr. Cindi Love is one of 12 recipients of a fellowship to the Harvard Business School for Senior Executives for state and local government officials. She is the first person to be selected for this honor that is not a state or local government official and the first ordained minister to be honored. She currently serves as Executive Director of Soulforce.


In May, Pikes Peak MCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado) will begin Dave Ramsey’s 13-week study, Financial Peace University. The goal is to help people get out of debt so they can live more freely. Using the principles taught in the class, the average student pays off $8,000 USD of debt in the 13 weeks of the class. Most pay off more than $20,000 USD of debt within the first year. With 7 out of 10 American living paycheck to paycheck, average giving in churches that use this program has been shown to increase significantly. For more information on this program, contact .

On Tuesday night, the youth ages 14-18 at Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) gathered for Feast, Fellowship, and Food4Thought at the Mountville location.

More than 30 people from MCC London (Ontario, Canada) gathered for a retreat on spiritual growth. Using materials from the Size Summit, participants traveled through the following modules: 1) What are you driving? (What’s your spiritual type?), 2) Acquiring a satellite (worship), 3) Where are you now? (spiritual locations), and 4) Where do you want to go? (getting directions), during which they offered workshops on full body prayer, spiritual gifts inventory, inclusive language, world religions, meditation, healing the soul, and Bible study. A follow-up weekend retreat is planned for 30 September – 2 October.

MCC Austin (Texas) is offering a workshop on Boundaries so that participants can better learn how to say “no” and set limits on the time, resources, and energy spent on others, while still being Christian.

Wednesday evenings find the folks at Redeemer MCC (Flint, Michigan) studying Oneness – Great Principles Shared by All Religions by Jeffrey Moses, providing a wonderful way to help people realize how much Christians share with other faith communities.

aChurch4Me? MCC just began a Wednesday evening series at the pastor’s home on Sexuality and Spirituality.

One of the classes being offered currently at King of Peace MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) is Gender and the Divine, a three-part workshop, led by Rev. Jake Kopmeier. It explores the cultural concept of gender and its challenges, theological foundations, guidance around gender, and how to help educate the community to appreciate gender variance.


The Transgender Ministry of Central Texas MCC (Waco, Texas) will host a screening of The Teena Brandon Story on Saturday evening. Afterward, Baylor University professor Dr. Jon Singletary will facilitate a discussion of the movie and trans issues.

A number of our churches are busy planting flowers and making their yards colorful. At MCC Toronto (Ontario, Canada), those people are known as the Garden Faeries!

Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) will hold their annual Walk-a-thon on 7 May. They have two routes of three and five miles. Dogs and children are also welcome to walk and to get their own sponsors!

Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) will join with other area religious communities for the Gulf Coast Affirming Interfaith Network’s Interfaith Service on 10 May, during which they will honor young victims of bullying and celebrate the diversity of humanity with a palette of faith traditions.

Eternal Joy MCC (Dayton, Ohio) increased their membership 13% by taking in eight new members this month.

The annual Gong Show at Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan) has now become A Night at the Movies. Congregants and their friends will perform kid-friendly music, skits, comedy acts, dance numbers, etc. Join in the fun at 7pm on 14 May!

Karen Reynolds and Oona Love will perform in concert at MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) on 30 April at 7pm. Admission is $10 USD.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) will present Voices of Pride, a combination of The Gay Men’s Chorus of the Palm Beaches and the Sanctuary Choir of MCC PB, in a concert to benefit the MCC Food Pantry. Patriotic, inspirational, and campy music will be included on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $25 USD.

Beginning next Sunday, Appalachian MCC will move to a morning worship time with children’s Sunday School at 10am and Morning Worship at 11am.

Every month, MCC Pueblo (Colorado) is offering a free movie night to the LGBT community.

The Miracle Easter Sunday offering at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) went to purchase five computers, a floor-care machine, bass and guitar amplifiers, a drum shell, and organic and local food for their Community Meal. They also paid their insurance deductible to repair water damage.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) is providing an outreach every other Sunday afternoon in Macon, Georgia, a prayer and study group led by Bill Murphy.

MCC Washington, DC, will be celebrating its fortieth anniversary 13-15 May. On Friday evening there will be a celebration of dancing, food, fun, and song at the HRC Equality Center. On Sunday, MCC Founder Rev. Elder Troy Perry will bring the message. For more information, visit MCCDC’s Facebook page.

MCC Manchester (England) will spend all day on 7 May creating a vision for their church for the next five years with specific plans for the next year.

Restore! Revive!! Rejoice!!!, the capital campaign of Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) has surpassed the $500,000 USD mark. To date, they have replaced one roof, installed new air conditioning units in the Senior Day Care Center and in the chapel, added safety railings on the second floor, built an entry stoop for the worship center, and reduced their mortgage by $125,000 USD.

Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) will be having a special event each Saturday for the next several months to do fundraising for the church, as well as provide a time of fellowship. There will be dinners, concerts, brunches, and many more activities.

On 1 May, the youth ministry of MCC Richmond (Virginia) will present the church’s first effort in adding praise dancing to their worship services.

Couples Bunco will take place next Saturday at LifeJourney Church MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana), while the Singles meet for dinner at O’Charley’s.

Goin’ Cruisin’! Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) and MCC San Diego (California) have paired together again to offer a cruise on Carnival’s Spirit next year. They will depart San Diego on 4 February 2012 for eight days along the Mexican Riviera with ports of call in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. The prices, amazingly, begin at $569 USD. Rev. Elder Troy Perry will be a special guest. For more information, contact .

Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas) will have a monthly Fun and Games Night beginning next Friday.

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game!” The Whosoevers, the softball team from MCC Charleston (South Carolina), is playing in the Weeknight Women’s Church League.

The ReCharge midweek service at MCC Omaha (Nebraska) has changed from a quiet meditative style to a traditional mid-week worship with familiar hymns, a responsive reading, a brief reflection on familiar scriptures, prayer and communion. It will be lay-led beginning next month.

Many of our churches are having yard or garage sales next month, but MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) has a different twist. BAM! It’s a Book, Art, and Music sale featuring used books, DVDs, CDs and albums. Church ministries will benefit, including their food pantry, which feeds 300+ people each week.

MCC Tampa (Florida) will have a booth at Pride on 7th Street next Saturday.

MCC of the Spirit (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) will join others for the Commonwealth Interfaith Service: Prayers for Justice and Peace at Pine Street Presbyterian Church on Monday evening.

MCC Topeka (Kansas) has opened a new store with new or nearly new items, and even some delicious baked goods!

Mark Ridolfi, editor of the Quad City Times, will perform a song he wrote in support of diversity and marriage equality during the worship service next Sunday at MCC Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa).

Making the Impact!


The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is on 17 May every year. Many of our churches hold special events or engage in educational opportunities in their communities.

What is YOUR church doing to observe IDAHO this year? Please send your plans for inclusion in a future edition of the MCC IMPACT.

For free promotional materials and ideas, click here.


Christopher Bauchman, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Pacific University School of Professional Psychology, is conducting a study for his dissertation that examines the relationship between spiritual beliefs and practices to psychological well-being in the treatment of Latino individuals who may also identify as a sexual minority.

If you are Latino/a, 18 or older, and a member of the queer community in the US, please take this less than 15-minute confidential survey. You may receive an iTunes gift card for your participation.

For additional information, contact Christopher or Dr. Robin Shallcross, Faculty/Research Advisor, .


The North Central US Network (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin) will meet 14 May at MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana). Rev. Elder Diane Fisher will share about the latest developments within MCC. There will be a brainstorming session on how the Network can assist in the development of lay leadership. There will also be a workshop on estate planning for the LGBT community.


After seeing the trailer to internationally-renowned theologian John McNeill’s documentary, Taking a Chance on God, the board of directors of EuroPride 2011 decided to hold the world premiere of the documentary at EuroPrideFest on 9 June. Both Rev. McNeill and his producer, Brendan Fay, will be present in Rome, Italy, for the occasion.

Over 20,000 visitors from around the world are expected 1-12 June. The showing of the documentary will be one of the major events at the festival. It will be shown in a park so that as many people as possible can view it. The next day, they will follow up with a panel discussion on human sexuality.

Please email  if you plan to attend, so that we can let John McNeill know to look for you there. More details about EuroPride 2011 can be found here.


Florin Buhuceanu has been asked to sit on a panel during Euro Pride. It is the Conference on Faith and Homosexuality held on 10 June. He will be representing “the situation of GLBT Christian people in Eastern Europe and the case history of MCC.”


Rev. Margarita Sanchez de Leon has accepted the position of Provisional Pastor for MCC South London (England) effective 1 May. She has been serving as Pastor of MCC East London.

Under the guidance of their Elder, Emmanuel MCC (Spokane, Washington) decided to close at the end of last year after 28 years of ministering to the LBGT community in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. They want to express their gratitude to all who supported them through the years.

Rev. Cecilia Eggleston and her partner Monica have moved back to Newcastle, England, for her to resume the pastorate of MCC Newcastle effective 1 May. Rev. Pressley Sutherland, who has been the interim support pastor, will be there 14-15 May to lead the “Sex and the Scriptures” workshop and will facilitate their MCCN Community Retreat in the near future.

Rev. Michael Hydes has just returned to New Light MCC (Hagerstown, Maryland) following a three-month sabbatical.


Michael Warwick of Cuba Casting is looking for same-sex couples engaged to be married sometime from August until the end of the year who are willing to share their story and participate in a really fantastic documentary about the first year of marriage for a major cable channel.

They want to feature many different kinds of weddings/ceremonies. They will film the couples periodically through their newlywed year, probably three times, including some family events (holidays, births, etc.).

The couples must be willing to honestly and openly communicate about each other and the experiences of this important first year. They want to get the best view of what marriage looks like today in the US through a diverse mix of stories and couples.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Michael at .


MCC Bournemouth (England) will be celebrating the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton with a day of events at the church.

They will begin at 10am on the 29 April with coffee and pastries and then watch the wedding together on the big screen in the Sanctuary. The afternoon will feature BBQ, Bingo and live music.