MCC Impact – January 2011

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Metropolitan Community Churches

Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

CONGRATULATIONS TO MCC TORONTO

MCC Toronto (Ontario) is the recipient of a $1,000,000 (CD) gift, the largest ever received by an MCC.

The donation was from Martha McCain, the daughter of Margaret and Wallace McCain, who co-founded McCain Foods Limited. The gift from her family is to ensure MCC continues to grow in Toronto and transform lives while spreading a positive message internationally.

MCCT’s plans for the money include:

$150,000 – Over three years to build social-justice refugee-support work

$100,000– For technology such as webcasting

$  55,000 – Over three years for vision and outreach planning, marketing and communications

$180,000– Over three years to help with senior staffing

$300,000– To pay off debt, primarily the mortgage

$215,000 – To build reserves for future repairs and endowments

Click here to read more.

TIME FOR LEARNING AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH

New GrowthRev. Elder Ken Martin was at MCC Albuquerque (New Mexico) over the weekend to lead a Church Size Summit and to preach.

MCC San Francisco (California) has just begun two new classes which will continue for five more weeks. “Meditation Tuesdays” will focus on learning how to meditate and “Group Spiritual Direction: The Tide of Transitions” will use a variety of methods to explore how transitions impact our spiritual lives.

Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) is currently offering two classes: “The Gospel of Thomas” and “Grief as a Healing Process”.

The Finance Team of St. John’s MCC (Raleigh, North Carolina) will present “Biblically Based Finances OR How to Better Manage God’s Money in Your Care” on 12 February. Lunch is provided.

Last Saturday night, Our Tribe, the MCC group within another church in Edinburgh, Scotland, viewed and discussed Milk, the movie about Harvey Milk, the first gay man elected to public office in the US, and then shared Communion together.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) has been tuned into the Spiritual Food Channel for shows (sermons) on “Soul Food, the Master Chef, and You”.

Beginning Wednesday folks at Holy Covenant MCC (Brookfield, Illinois) will begin “Embracing an Adult Faith”. Biblical scholar Marcus Bog addresses questions via a DVD for the group to discuss.

On Thursdays at Open Door MCC (Boyds, Maryland) they are studying prayer and enjoying a bowl of soup together to begin the evening.

Last Thursday night congregants at MCC San Jose MCC (California) gathered to view and be inspired by Call Me Troy.

MCC of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) has just begun the seven week series “Living the Questions” to explore what faith can mean in today’s world.

Take the Journey...Next Saturday folks at MCC Austin (Texas) will have an all day retreat. “Journey” promotes a better understanding of and appreciation for self, others, and God.

MCC in the Valley (North Hollywood, California) offers a variety of monthly spiritual growth experiences including walking the labyrinth, a drumming circle, a poetry group, and a contemplative Taizé service.

At the Friends on the Road Gathering at MCC Winston-Salem (North Carolina) last week they viewed clips from the Women in Faith Conference and then selections from “Big Ol’ Sweet Ice Tea,” a DVD set of Christian Comedy by comedian Anita Renfroe.

On 13 February at All God’s Children MCC (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker will begin the sermon series “If You Want to Walk on the Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat” based on John Ortberg’s book of the same name.

Rev. Elder Ken Martin will present a Size Summit weekend at MCC Lubbock (Texas) 12-13 February.

Deacon Bradley Curry led a workshop on Inclusive Language yesterday at MCC New York (New York).

Living Springs MCC (Bath, England) will be marking Homelessness Sunday and Poverty Action Day next week with their guest speaker Paul Solly, the Director of the Genesis Trust.

The small groups at Open Circle at the Villages MCC (Oxford, Florida) are doing a six week study on Personal and Communal Prayer.

Rev. Elder Diane Fisher will present a Church Size Summit for MCC of the Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) next weekend.

The Wednesday night Bible study group at MCC El Paso (Texas) is studying the various creation stories which come from different cultures and religions.

“Melting Fear and Nurturing Faith” is the theme for a winter day spiritual retreat at MCC NOVA (Fairfax, Virginia) on the 13th.

The Christ-Centered Prayer Group at MCC Corpus Christi (Texas) focuses on listening to Christ, meeting on Friday mornings at 9 am.

The Boards, Delegates, Clergy, and staffs in churches in the North Central US Network (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin) will gather at Heartland Community MCC (Springfield, Illinois) next Saturday for training. Everyone can make it a one day trip by car or train.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Linda Gregory of MCC Louisville (Kentucky) and Reba Norman of Edmonton, Kentucky, will be featured on the cover of Lesbian Connection for their March/April issue, which will be released globally on 3 February.

During the 35th anniversary celebrations at MCC Portland (Oregon) Gail Bumala was presented with the annual Volunteer Award for her work in feeding people, serving as a Lay Delegate, singing in the choir, and numerous other activities. Dave Dishman was the recipient of the very first Lifetime Achievement Award. Dave has served on the Board and finance teams, in the choir, as Lay Delegate, and many of us know him as a professional MCC conference junkie!

In the media Rev. Sharon Ferguson, the Chief Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement in England, praised the court for ruling that a couple who had been joined in civil union could not be denied a single room together at a Bed and Breakfast owned by conservative Christians.

Rev. Bob Galloway will be one of four persons honored with a Peacemaker Award next Saturday at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Knoxville, Tennessee. The event is sponsored by Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.

Rev. Gavin Ward, Associate Pastor of MCC Good Shepherd (Granville, Sydney, Australia), has completed his first phase as a First Officer for “REX,” one of the Domestic Airlines operating in Australia. Who knows, we may have a flying MCC Chaplain!

Adrienne Williams is the new (and very first) Office Manager at achurch4me? MCC (Chicago, Illinois). And, amazingly, they have had 45 talented individuals apply for the new position of Music Minister.

Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis was ordained into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on the 23rd.

Rev. Gordon R. McCoy and Dr. Eugene M. Thomas celebrated their 40th anniversary earlier this month.

Rev. John McLaughlin was installed as senior pastor at St. Jude’s MCC (Wilmington, North Carolina). Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson officiated and MCCer Stan Kimer, president of the North Carolina Council of Churches, was a participant in the service.

Hospital chaplain Rev. Janice Levering was featured in an article in the Topeka Capital Journal. https://cjonline.com/life/religion/2011-01-21/hospital-chaplains-someone-your-side

VALENTINE’S WEEKEND EVENTS

Rev. Elder Troy Perry, Founder, and Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator, will be the special guests at a dinner dance on Friday, 11 February. Rev. Perry will be honored for his pioneering contributions for marriage equality. The tickets for the Church of the Trinity MCC (Sarasota, Florida) event are $100 (USD).

Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas) will enjoy a Valentine’s Dinner together.

MCC Richmond (Virginia) will co-host the “2nd Annual Love Equality Style Weekend” with the Gay Community Center and People of Faith for Equality in Virginia. There will be a dance and silent auction on Saturday, two appearances by Jason and deMarco on Sunday, and the Annual Witness for Marriage Equality event at the John Marshall Courts Building at noon on Monday.

MCC Knoxville (Tennessee) will host their annual Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dance on the 14th.

MCC of the Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pennsylvania) will again sponsor their annual Freedom to Marry events. There will be a Courthouse Rally on Friday at 10 am. Saturday evening the Interfaith Freedom to Marry worship service with Rev. Elder Diane Fisher as the speaker will be followed by a reception and dance. Sunday will feature Rev. Fisher preaching at the church’s regular worship service.

United Methodist Wesley Church invited Gentle Shepherd MCC (Phoenix, Arizona) to join them for their Sweethearts Social on the 11th. There will be food, fellowship, and a talent show.

Folks at MCC Key West (Florida) will be sending roses, chocolate covered strawberries, teddy bears, and more to their Valentines and helping the church at the same time. Richard Dennison (Gourmet Nibbles and Baskets…and Flowers by Request) is providing the packages.

Couples from Joy MCC (Orlando, Florida) will gather at Carol’s Place for a spaghetti dinner on Valentine’s Day.

ACTIVE CHURCHES

FirstCoast MCC (St. Augustine, Florida) has begun a healthy lifestyles support group.

Yesterday MCC Newcastle (England) hosted a special Holocaust Memorial Day service.

Open Arms MCC (Rochester, New York) is working on their outreach. They have created a Facebook page to attract college students and a You Tube campaign to increase their visibility.

“Foods You Love!” is the theme for next Sunday’s Community Lunch at MCC of Greater Dallas (Texas).

SunCoast Cathedral MCC (Venice, Florida) has added a time of anointing and personal prayer after worship on the fourth Sunday of every month.

First MCC of Atlanta (Georgia) will host their annual Charity Ball on 26 February. All of the proceeds from the elegant evening of dinner and dancing will benefit various ministries of the church.

Reconciliation MCC (Grand Rapids, Michigan) will celebrate their 30th anniversary with a dinner dance at the English Hills Country Club on 5 February.

Great idea! At MCC Topeka (Kansas) congregants bring in gifts they received which they didn’t need and the church uses them for door prizes at various events.

Harvest MCC (Denton, Texas) is working with the Heifer Project to purchase goats for families who can then benefit from the milk and share the offspring with other starving families.

MCC/ICM Los Angeles (California) will host the Vagina Monologues on 13 February to benefit the Susan Horn Surgery Fund. Tickets are $20 (USD).

Last Saturday MCC Charleston (South Carolina) had a Chili Cook-off and Brownie Bake-off to raise funds for their upcoming anniversary celebration with Rev. Elder Troy Perry as their special guest.

The Board of MCC Bournemouth (England) offers the congregation the opportunity to join them for a Beer, Wine, and Fellowship Time before they went on retreat over the weekend.

MCC Tampa (Florida) provided a team of volunteers to help with the official homeless count in their city.

Blue Ridge Pride “BLURP” has chosen MCC Sacred Journey (Hendersonville, North Carolina) as a religious location site. Their January planning meeting was hosted by the church.

The Great Mac and Cheese Cook-off was held yesterday after worship at Peninsula MCC (San Mateo, California).

The Big Easy MCC (New Orleans, Louisiana) is beginning a transportation ministry for those who are unable to take a streetcar to come to church.

MCC Washington DC will be the host for the DC area’s observance of National (US) Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day next Saturday.

MCC of the Palm Beaches (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) distributes items from their Food Pantry every Thursday afternoon.

OPPORTUNITIES

Journey MCC (Birmingham, England) is hosting a retreat weekend in Wales, 11-13 March. The theme is “Walking with the Saints” and participants will explore the origins, practice, and personalities of the Ancient Celtic Church, as well as look at its modern-day successors Creation Spirituality and the Iona and Lindisfarne Communities.  Click here for details and booking form.

If you are planning to attend the Creating Change Conference sponsored by The Task Force in Minneapolis, Minnesota, next month, plan on joining other MCCers for a reception on Friday, 4 February, at 8:30 pm. Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker is overseeing the event.

Finding our way...NuWine Press, an independent publishing company dedicated to offering works that provide fresh perspectives on the Christian faith, is sponsoring a revolutionary poetry contest open to individuals who have felt excluded from constructive, empowering participation in the Christian community. Participants may include Christ-followers of all races, denominations, genders, sexual orientations and socio-economic backgrounds, as well as those who may be physically and mentally challenged. Entries must be submitted via e-mail . Winning entries will be featured in an upcoming book, This Is My Story. Further information is available at https://www.nuwinepress.com.

The R. Scott Hitt Foundation is offering both undergraduate and post-graduate internships for 2011 for future leaders in the LGBT community. The undergraduate ones are for eight 40 hour weeks and limited to 501(c)3 organizations in Southern California. The graduate ones are for a seven to nine month full-time position with a non-profit committed to the advancement of LGBT equality. Visit www.scotthittfoundation.orgfor details.

WHY ISN’T MY CHURCH EVER MENTIONED?

The answer to that question is simple … because no one from your church ever sends in any news!

Here’s an easy way to remember to submit something. As soon as you receive an issue of the MCC IMPACT, look ahead on your church calendar two weeks or more and send me information about an upcoming event. We prefer to publish happenings in the future, rather than in the past and only mention a church once per edition. (I even keep a tally sheet to help me try to do that!)

Don’t forget to send significant news about individuals, as well as your church.  If there is a link to a TV or newspaper story, please include it, even if it means it’s a current event.

The 2011 People of African Descent,

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– Loving Ourselves Into Liberation –

 

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