MCC Impact – April, Volume I

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Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

HOLY WEEK IN MCCs AROUND THE WORLD

PALM SUNDAY WEEKEND

The Music Department at The Met, MCC San Diego (California), is staging “The Living Last Supper,” a musical drama, 16-17 April.

On Saturday, ICM LA (California) will present their annual “Passion Play.” The Passion of Jesus’ last days in dramatic readings and song will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

Wayne Besen will be the special guest at Emerald City MCC (Seattle, Washington) for the weekend. He will conduct a seminar on Saturday morning and there will be a fundraiser for Truth Wins Out (TWO) that evening. He will also preach for the Palm Sunday service. Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism and the “ex-gay” myth. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.

Alive, Forever, Amen!” will be presented by the Worship Choir of Holy Cross MCC (Pensacola, Florida) at both 11 am and 7 pm on Palm Sunday. Dee Thomas and Scott Allen Johnson will narrate this production, which was compiled especially for their choir.

Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York) will have a membership class on Palm Sunday in order to bring in the new members on Easter.

Shawn Thomas will be performing for the Palm Sunday service at Resurrection Beach MCC (Costa Mesa,California).

TUESDAY

MCC’s Moderator Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will be attending U. S. President Barack Obama’s Easter Prayer Breakfast.

MCC Manchester (England) will have a special service, The Way of the Cross, which will reflect on Jesus’ journey to Calvary using music from Handel’s Messiah and clips from Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.

WEDNESDAY

MCC Austin (Texas) will host a Seder Dinner, the traditional Jewish meal on the first two nights of Pesach (Passover). “Seder” comes from a Hebrew root word meaning “order,” because there is a specific set of information that must be discussed in a precise order during the meal.

LifeJourney Church MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana) will have a church-wide skating party.

The Big Easy MCC (New Orleans, Louisiana) will join Temple Sinai for their Seder meal.

MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) will walk a labyrinth for a time of inner journey and reflection.

MCC Toronto (Ontario) will have a Seder potluck dinner.

MAUNDY THURSDAY

MCC San Jose (California) will join with other downtown churches for their Holy Week services. The Maundy Thursday observance is at First Christian, and Good Friday is at First Presbyterian.

MCC of the Spirit (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) will be open from noon until 8 pm for folks to come walk “The Way of the Cross,” an independent devotional experience.

The service at Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California) will include a special “circle dance” liturgy.

GOOD FRIDAY

The Passion through Broadway’s Eyes” will be presented for the third year at MCC Detroit (Michigan). This powerful service offers the story of Jesus’ journey through Broadway musical songs.

Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) will be taking part in the city’s annual Cross Walk. They will follow the cross around town with several stops until they reach Abbey Churchyard where a pageant will complete the event. Rev. Kieren Bourne will lead the station in Queen’s Square by the obelisk.

Open Circle at the Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) will have an outdoor service at Lake Miona Park with a short meditation, followed by walking the Stations of the Cross.

The robe maker who made Jesus’ seamless tunic, the crown maker who made the crown of thorns, the whip maker who fashioned the whip used on Jesus, the nail maker who made the nails that pierced Jesus’ hands and feet, the cross maker who built the cross, and the stone maker who shaped the stone to seal the grave will all testify during the service at Divine Peace MCC (Pontiac, Michigan).

Folks from MCC Los Angeles (California) will create a “Way of the Cross” procession from MCC LA to Mount Hollywood UCC, where there will be a joint Good Friday Service.

The Young Adults Ministry at MCC Newcastle (England) is organizing the church’s service to remember Christ’s death.

St Jude’s MCC (Wilmington, North Carolina) is presenting The Last Seven Words of Christ, recounting the final hours of Jesus through word, song, dance and lighting. Guest speakers from the local faith community will participate in the production.

HOLY SATURDAY

For Good Friday and Holy Saturday, Pikes Peak MCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado) will put on three services/shows of “In Remembrance: A Worship Revue of Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and Contemporary Christian Music“. Each free performance will seat 150 people. This is part of the church’s theatre outreach program led by lay music ministry leaders Kyle Jensen and Elizabeth Ford. The production is underwritten by a $2000 (USD) grant from the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado.

Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) will host their annual Easter Egg Hunt and Park Party complete with a jumping castle, an obstacle course, fellowship, and food.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) will begin their Prayer Vigil following their Good Friday service and it will continue until their worship celebration on Easter Sunday. Volunteers have signed up for two-hour segments through the hours Jesus’ body lay in the tomb.

EASTER SUNRISE

Vision of Hope MCC (Mountville, Reading, and York, Pennsylvania) will have a Sunrise Service at their Mountville location at 6 am.

Breakfast will follow the 6 am service for St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina).

MCC Louisville (Kentucky) will gather on the same park hilltop where they have greeted Easter morning for the past 36 years. The birds will be singing and ready to enjoy the remnants of Communion with them.

EASTER

On Easter Sunday, Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) will begin having their morning worship services at 10:45.

The children at MCC Charleston (South Carolina) will present an Easter drama for the morning worship service.

All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) will be filled with lilies, tulips, and mums to celebrate the resurrection. The flowers will be donated to honor or memorialize loved ones.

Rev. Elders Nancy Wilson and Lillie Brock will celebrate Easter and the church’s 40th anniversary at Agape MCC (Ft. Worth, Texas). The week before, the church rededicated their newly renovated sanctuary.

A Church for All MCC (Sacramento, California) will celebrate their 5th anniversary on Easter Sunday withan Easter egg hunt for the children and a service filled with inspiration and music.

Bouquets, plants, and flower arrangements will fill the sanctuary at MCC San Francisco (California) to honor loved ones on Easter.

MCC Illiana (Portage, Indiana) will have a potluck after worship and an Easter egg hunt for the kids, including face painting and other activities.

PEOPLE IN MINISTRY

Karli Fisher presented a workshop at Brock University (St. Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada) on growing up with a lesbian mom and two gay dads, as well as her involvement in MCC.

MCC of the Lehigh Valley’s (Allentown, Pennsylvania) Ed Robinson, Worship Ministry Leader, and Carol Stevens, Health Ministry Leader, have been invited to serve on the United Way’s Strong Families/Vital Neighborhood decision-making team to select those grant applications which will receive funding.

Rev. Jeff Miner was among those escorted from the gallery of the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, after protesting the House’s passage of a bill which would begin the process of making the state law banning gay marriage into a Constitutional amendment. News article with video footage can be foundhere. Jeff was also interviewed on the Michelangelo Signorile Show on OutQ, Sirius 109/XM 98.

Rev. Kieren Bourne was invited to give a lecture to theology students at Wesley College in Bristol, England, on the question “Would Jesus Discriminate?”

Doug Gazlay, Director of Celebration at First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) has composed an original song to raise funds for disaster relief in Japan. “Song for Japan (A New Beginning)” can be downloaded from iTunes ($0.99 USD) and CDbaby ($1.99 USD).

There’s a new book coming out on Christian music and evangelism that contains an article called Coming Out of the Jesus Movement: A Conversation with Marsha Stevens-Pino, about Marsha and BALM Ministries. You can read about the book here, as posted by the author.

TRANSITIONS 

David M. Pelletier tendered his resignation as pastor of MCC of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs,California), effective Palm Sunday.

Rev. Terri Steed’s last Sunday as the pastor of MCC Charleston (South Carolina) will be Easter. She and Kim will be moving to Houston, Texas, for Kim to accept a job promotion.

Rev. Bob Bond’s final Sunday as the intentional interim pastor of Eternal Joy MCC (Dayton, Ohio) is Easter Sunday.

Rev. Pressley Sutherland has been named the Coordinator for the Office of Formation and Lay Development for the Western Europe Network. He will offer courses and programs for those interested in becoming Clergy, as well as liaise with ordained MCC Clergy regarding License renewal and Continuing Education opportunities.

NETWORK NEWS

The Valley and Bay Area Network met last Saturday afternoon at New Spirit Community Church MCC/UCC/DOC and then were blessed at a Revival service in the evening.

“Building and Sustaining Connections” is the theme for the Eastern US Network (Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC) gathering hosted by MCC Richmond (Virginia) 6-7 May 2011, with Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson as their special guest. Friday evening there will be worship, music, and fellowship. Saturday’s schedule includes a session with the Moderator about the exciting happenings in MCC, workshops, lunch, and a time of sharing, prayer and Communion. RSVP .

CHURCH ACTIVITIES

Shave or Style? MCC Tampa (Florida) has created a unique fundraiser. Their pastor, Rev. Phyllis Hunt, is going to get a new hairdo, after giving 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love to make wigs for children with cancer. The church is raising funds to determine whether she will shave her head or get a “new do.” Their goal is $7500 (USD).

Flip Flop! MCC Lubbock (Texas) is collecting flip flops for the men, women, and children of Haiti, who are still struggling from last year’s earthquake.

Lezberados (comedians Sandra Valls and Mimi Gonzalez) will be performing at Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) on 16 April at 7:30pm. Call 941-355-0847 for advance credit card sales.

MCC Elizabethtown (Kentucky) celebrated their 15thanniversary with a spiritual renewal/revival over the weekend led by Jason Deshazo.

The latest episode of Sunshine Cathedral MCC’s (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) Sharing the Light Webcast is titled “A Gay Friendly Jesus.” It is an encouraging, playful, yet rich and powerful discussion. To enjoy this dialogue, click HERE. Share it with your friends!

MCC of the Blue Ridge (Roanoke, Virginia) is one of 12 non-profits to receive a grant through the Strengthening Communities Fund, part of the U. S. Stimulus package. The Board and congregation are working with a consultant to create a strategic ministry plan to guide them for the next three years.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) just started a Children’s Church on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) just started a Children’s Church on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

Stormchasers…no, not chasing tornados! It’s a baseball team. MCC Omaha (Nebraska) will be providing the staff for the concession stands, having fun, and earning money for the church.

Join Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) aboard the Freedom of the Seas, 16-13 October, with ports of call at Labadee, Falmouth, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman beginning at $789 (USD) per person. The initial deposit of $250 USD is due by 24 April. Departure is from Port Canaveral. For more information, email .

This week Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) is beginning a new class, Justice for the Poor, based on Jesus’ ministry to the poor and marginalized.

Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Richey, Florida) is in the midst of a Tax Refund Giving Challenge. An anonymous donor, not a church member, will donate $1500 (USD) to begin an emergency fund for the church if the congregation will match that amount from their tax refunds.

Christ Chapel MCC Santa Ana, California) and MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) have partnered with The Treasure Box, a food ministry providing low cost food options to the community. Each box of food has a retail value of $65 – $100 and sells for only $32 (USD).  Anyone can participate in the program.

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) will host a Spring Fling dance on 15 April at the church.

MCC Quezon City (Philippines) held their LGBT Summer Retreat over the weekend at Union Theological Seminary’s Bahay Alumni and Retreat House. Rev. Ceejay Agbayani was the primary facilitator, in addition to faculty from UTS.

April 2011 – Volume I
Making the Impact!
Holy Week Around the World
People in Ministry
Transitions
Network News
Church Activities
Day of Silence
IDAHO
PAD Conference
Young Adult Retreat
OFLD Clergy Retreat
Rev. Chris Glaser
EMAIL HOAXES
There have been multiple emails circulating lately posing as various MCC clergy, claiming to be stuck somewhere without money or identification, and asking for money. The requests could seem plausible, as they are from recognized email addresses and include a phone number. A good general rule is to never believe an email asking for money and to never send money to someone you have not identified clearly.

 

 

DAY of SILENCE

The annual U. S. Day of Silence for LGBT students and their allies is 15 April 2011. It may be too late to plan anything special, but you can let others know so that they can participate. Details can be found here.
Students take a vow of silence to remind people of the anti-gay bullying and harassment that often happens in schools and colleges. They pass out educational information to those who note their silence.

IDAHO 

 

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 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.

People of African Descent, Friends & Allies Conference

Loving Ourselves Into Liberation

The MCC Conference for People of African Descent, Our Friends and Allies will be at the Fairmont Hotel, Washington, DC – 19-21 May 2011Click here to register today!

Join the MCC PAD Conference at the 2011 HRC Clergy Call for Justice and Equality

22-24 May 2011

Washington, DC

RSVP now:

HRC.org/ClergyCall

MCC Announces Upcoming Young Adult Retreat!

Led by young adults, this Young Adult Retreat will be an experience of meeting and connecting with your peers, having spirited discussions, and working on strategies for empowering our young adults in their home churches and in MCC’s around the world. The retreat will take place 27-30 July 2011 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event will being at 7:00pm on the 27th and will end at noon on the 30th. This retreat is intended for only those 18-35 years in age.

We will spend time identifying who we are as a young adult group, working to serve others through a service project, discussing the future of MCC with MCC leadership and taking time for Spiritual Connection. We will also focus on coming out of the retreat with a clear vision of what we, the young adults of MCC, see as our future.

 

The host church for the retreat is Sunshine Cathedral MCC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They will provide lunch and dinner for retreat attendees on the Friday and Saturday of the retreat.

 

The host hotel is the Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale Airport North, 1851 SE 10th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The group rate is $69 USD (+tax) per night for double occupancy. The hotel does feature complimentary internet and complimentary continental breakfast. In addition, the hotel has a complimentary airport shuttle that runs from 5:00am-12:00am (midnight.) To make a reservation call 954-763-7670 and mention our group name MCC Young Adult Summit, or click here to select dates of stay and enter group code G-MCCY to receive our discounted rate.

 

To keep costs low and make this retreat as accessible as possible, we have set the registration rate at $50 USD per person. To register, please CLICK HERE.

 

If you have any questions or need more information, email .

Reflect, Renew, Refresh! 

Diana Butler Bass

OFLD Clergy Retreat with Diana Butler Bass

September 12-14, 2011

Duncan Retreat Center, Delray Beach, FL

 

Cost of the retreat is $275 USD which includes 2 nights lodging (double occupancy with a private bath and wireless internet) and six meals. The $275 rate is good until 5 May 2011. After 5 May, through 5 July, cost for the retreat will be $325 USD. Absolute deadline for all registrations is 5 July 2011. Click here to register.

 

Thanks to a generous donation from MCC Austin, the OFLD will be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to help with the cost of registration for the retreat. Please contact Rev. Dr. Mona West () to inquire about scholarship applications.

 

For more information on Diana Butler Bass and to view a video of one of her presentations, go to dianabutlerbass.com. To find out more about the Duncan Retreat Center, go to duncancenter.org.

 

REV. CHRIS GLASER

Have you read Rev. Chris Glaser’s new contemplative blog? New posts are published every Wednesday morning: Progressive Christian Reflections.

He also has a guest post on the blog site of Episcopal Divinity School: “Do Progressive Christians Pray?”

Rev. Glaser has served three MCCs as the interim pastor and is currently available for presentations, workshops, seminars, and retreats. He is a prolific writer. His most recent books are The Final Deadline: What Death Has Taught Me about Life (Morehouse, 2010) and As My Own Soul: The Blessing of Same-Gender Marriage (Seabury, 2009). Learn more at ChrisGlaser.com.