MCC Impact – July 2010 – Vol. 2

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METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCHES
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Tearing Down Walls.  Building Up Hope.

MCC Impact

July 2010/Vol. II
In This Issue… 2010 General Conference Awards
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Welcome to a special issue of the MCC IMPACT.  This entire edition is devoted to the awards presented during General Conference in Acapulco and to honor the recipients for their dedication to MCC and for all of the work which they do to benefit our churches and denominational movement.

AWARDS FROM THE BOARD OF ELDERS

THE HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD ~ Rev. Elder Diane Fisher

Because of her work, we are known as the Human Rights Church in Eastern Europe. She has inspired a new generation of spiritual activists, not only in Eastern Europe, but throughout MCC. She has also been on the cutting edge of human rights work with persons who have various disabilities, the LBGT community, and others.

THE EXCELLENCE IN MINISTRY AWARD ~ Rev. Jeff Miner

He has created a path of spiritual formation and growth through SoulShift, an innovative program that offers multiple opportunities for Christian discipleship at LifeJourney MCC (Indianapolis, Indiana), where he is senior pastor.

THE EDITH ALLEN PERRY AWARD ~ the family of James Byrd

Named for the mother of Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry, this award honors parents who unconditionally love their children. The family of James Byrd, an African-American who was dragged to his death behind a truck in Texas, was active in supporting the inclusive hate crimes legislation passed by the US Congress.

THE KERRY BROWN AWARD ~ Marvin Bagwell and Tim Fellows

Honoring distinguished lay leadership, this award was presented to Mr. Bagwell for his service above and beyond on the Board of Administration, especially in the areas of legal, property, and investment issues. It was also given to Mr. Fellows for his many years of service to the churches in the UK and in Region 4.

AwardsTHE PURPLE GRASS AWARD ~ Rev. Fernando Frontan, Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins, and Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin

This award is named for Rev. Elder Freda Smith’s famous sermon and honors her many years of evangelistic work and bringing spiritual renewal to congregations. Rev. Frontan has accomplished pioneering, global work in Spanish language media ministry from ICM Casa de Luz (Monterrey, Mexico). Rev. Drs. Watkins and Griffin have used new technologies to share the Good News through Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) and Sunshine Cathedral MCC Jamaica.

THE PHOENIX AWARD ~ Rev. Mic Hinson and Rev. Charley Garrison

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, so do some of our churches experience renewal. Rev. Hinson fostered a new era of breaking down barriers to growth at MCC San Antonio (Texas) and Rev. Garrison led healthy growth in a small church with a big vision, Central Texas MCC from the Heart (Waco, Texas).

THE ED PAUL AWARD ~ Rev. Bob Bond

Named for Rev. Ed Paul and the amazing work he did in transitional ministry, this year’s award honors Rev. Bob Bond’s extraordinary pastoral leadership as the intentional interim pastor of Safe Harbour MCC (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).

THE BOB CROCKER AWARD ~ Diane Leah

Named for an exceptional MCC musician, the award honors the dedicated and faithful service of Ms. Leah and her outstanding contribution as director of music ministry at MCC Toronto (Ontario, Canada).

THE JOHN H. HOSE AWARD ~ Rev. Margaret Walker

The award honoring Papa John is given for dedicated and faithful service. Rev. Walker has done outstanding work mentoring and supporting the intentional interim pastors throughout MCC, as well as being faithful in her pastorate at Exodus MCC (Abilene, Texas).

THE ECUMENICAL AWARD ~ Markens Liljer MCC and Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas

Preben Sloth accepted the award for Markens Liljer MCC (Copenhagen, Denmark) for being the first MCC anywhere in the world to become a member of their country’s National Council of Churches. Rev. Dr. Thomas was honored for his tireless work ecumenically for marriage equality in California.

THE MCC THEOLOGIAN AWARD ~ Rev. Patrick Cheng

He was honored for his contribution to Queer Theology in the Academy.

THE AIDS MINISTRY AWARD ~ Dr. Robert Scott

He has provided fearless and dedicated contributions as a physician at the Mother of Peace Orphanage in Zimbabwe.

THE FOUNDER’S AWARD ~ CRAVE Australia

The recipient of this award is selected by our Founder, Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry, rather than by the Board of Elders. CRAVE Australia was honored for their innovative and inspiring leadership in music-based worship and ministry.

THE YOUTH AWARD ~ Mr. Angel Collie

He was honored for his continued work on the Oral History Project and his advocacy for youth and transgender issues in MCC.

THE WOULD JESUS DISCRIMINATE? AWARD ~ Rev. Joe Cobb

He was honored for his leadership role in fostering the campaign.

THE MEDIA/PERFORMING ARTS AWARD ~ the producers of Prayers for Bobby

This documentary has enthralled countless viewers because of their powerful portrayal of the terrible price LGBT youth and families pay for religious homophobia. We are grateful for their positively highlighting the ministry of MCC in this struggle.

AWARDS FROM THE LAY MINISTRY COUNCIL

Following a global request, the LMC received almost 30 nominations for the four awards which they present at each General Conference. The following were the ones selected for 2010.

THE JONEE SHELTON LAY LEADERSHIP AWARD ~ Doreen Garrett

Together!Named for JoNee, who served as chair of the Commission on the Laity for 10 years and dedicated her life to the laity of MCC, this award honors a person or team who has been in the forefront of lay leadership, spending countless hours furthering the cause of Christ in various areas of the local community. Doreen Garrett has served MCC London (Ontario, Canada) in every possible capacity, from serving three terms as vice moderator to baking cookies for fellowship. She served on the UFMCC nominating committee and volunteers with local agencies and groups.

THE FAITHFULNESS AWARD ~ Mary Warders

The doors at New Spirit MCC (Cincinnati, Ohio) would not be open today if it weren’t for Mary Warders. The church has been without a pastor for several years, but Mary’s faithfulness, dedication, and commitment have been a rock for the church. She works with the board, schedules weekly speakers, and does whatever needs to be accomplished to reach the community with God’s love. She has been a stable force in the church for nearly 20 years.

THE SERVICE AWARD ~ Robert W. Pope and the H.O.T. Team at King of Peace MCC

This award is presented to an individual or team that enables people to access the Good News of God’s inclusive love in ways that were previously unavailable to them. Mr. Pope has been the lay delegate for KOP MCC (St. Petersburg, Florida) since it began and coordinated fundraisers during the church’s early years. He established the Human Outreach Team fifteen years ago so that congregants could use their gifts and talents in community outreach, such as preparing meals for persons in need, collecting funds to help children in developing nations, hosting a food distribution site. Through their commitment and passion, they have made Christ visible in the community.

THE MUTUALITY IN MINISTRY AWARD ~ Rev. Kristen Klein-Cechettini

When clergy and laity partner together, amazing things can happen and the priesthood of all believers becomes a reality. As the director of life development at Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas), she has created spiritual education programs and activities which inspire the knowledge and practice of the Christian faith and promote growth in health and wholeness.

PROFILES IN COURAGE

Crossing Bridges...These awards honor people for the amazing courage they have shown to stand for Christ and the LBGT community in places where their lives could be threatened by doing so.

______ (We cannot endanger her by using her name) for courageous leadership and pastoral ministry in Moldova.

Ms. Judy Cowen for her courage and commitment as a lay leader in the face of challenges.

Rev. Stephen Parelli for taking Other Sheep around the globe in hope and love.

Rev. Michael Kimindu for the work he is doing for LGBT people in Africa, especially in Kenya.


DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS

These awards are given to people who go beyond their regular duties to serve the global vision of MCC.

For translating material into Spanish and Portuguese ~ Rev. Hector Gutierrez

Ours the journey...For sacrificial, creative, and committed work in reviewing the MCC structure and proposing changes ~

Rev. Tony Freeman, Mr. Stan Kimer, Dr. Jonelle Neighbor, Mr. Barry Hundley, and Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

For the diligent and detailed work of reviewing the Bylaws and making recommendations ~ Rev. Michael Cooper, Ms. Judy Dale, Rev. Ron LaRocque, Rev. Robyn Provis, andMs. Leah Sloan

For service on the Judiciary Review Team ~ Rev. Paulette Armstead, Rev. Terri Echelbarger, Rev. Elder John Gill, Ms. Jude Litzenberger, Mr. Ray Nutter, Rev. Clay Witt, and Ms. Vickey Gibbs

For helping shape MCC’s response as a faith community to US public policy and its impact on the world ~ Rev. Dr. Pat Bumgardner, Mr. DeWayne Davis, Rev. Jorge Delgado, Mr. John Hassell, Rev. Jim Merritt, and Mr. Kareem Murphy

For their work in continuing to bring assistance and relief to Haiti ~ ICM Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)



CHURCH GROWTH AWARDS

These awards honor those churches displaying outstanding growth in average weekly attendance.

Signs of Growth...For churches with less than 50 each week ~ MCC of the Gentle Shepherd (Vancouver, Washington), Big Easy MCC (New Orleans, Louisiana), and Spirit of Life MCC (New Port Richey, Florida)

For churches with 50 – 150 in average weekly attendance ~ First MCC of Wichita (Kansas)

For churches with 150 – 300 in weekly attendance ~ MCC New York (New York)

For churches with more than 350 each week ~ Resurrection MCC (Houston, Texas)


STRATEGIC PLAN AWARDS

These awards are given based on the strategic priorities of MCC globally.

Marketing ~ MCC Las Vegas (Nevada) for their Season of Prayer program which opened their church to the community in new ways

Finances/Stewardship ~ MCC New York (New York) for their faithful and generous support of the The Way...denomination and the work of Global Justice as the highest single contributing church to MCC in recent years

Global Justice ~ John Hassell for his work with people with HIV/AIDS through the United Nations, especially for his commitment to the activists in Uganda

Resources ~ LifeJourney MCC(Indianapolis, Indiana) for their Discipleship Program resource, which is being used by many MCCs, and the Lay Ministry Councilfor the Lay Delegate Manual, which has helped new and old delegates find their way

Church Planting ~ Rev. Kevin Downer for planting achurch4me? MCC(Chicago, Illinois) and encouraging other church planters in MCC, and Rev. Cee Jay Agbayani, Jr., for planting MCC Quezon City (Philippines) and for his passion for the future of MCC in the Philippines

THE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION


New Thoughts...

Gratitude was expressed to the members of the Board of Administration who gave many hours of dedicated service under the old structure ~ Rev. Jeff Miner, chair, Mr. Marvin Bagwell, Mr. John Hassell, Ms. Julie Krueger, Mr. John Vespa, and Ms. Marsha Warren.


Appreciation was also expressed to Rev. Dr. Cindi Love for her service as Executive Director of MCC.

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If so, please send it to [email protected]. Thanks!

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