Metropolitan Community Churches Awards 2016

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Emerging Ministry Award

The Emerging Ministry Award recognizes a person(s) and/or ministry that embodies MCC’s vision and values and shows promise of growth and success.

Brandilynne DearBrandilynne Dear

Pastor Brandilynne Dear is the founder of Joshua Generation MCC, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Her vision, spirit, activism, and saying “yes” to God’s call led to the beginning of a radical and powerful community of faith called Joshua Generation MCC.  Since the first worship service in September 2014, hundreds have heard the message of God’s love and liberation.  Worship and outreach led to multiplication as Marriage Equality arrived in June 2015 and now Joshua Generation MCC is in their 3rd location in less than 18 months with an average of 60 in worship each week.  Joshua Generation MCC’s mission is to “Build the Church that God Intended” and with Brandilynne’s authentic and Spirit-led leadership this vision is alive.  Folks in Mississippi know her as “Pastor BB” and now we honor her as this year’s MCC Emerging Church Leader.


Distinguished Service Awards

The Distinguished Service Award is given for exemplary efforts that have positively impacted local churches and the MCC movement worldwide. 

Ed MorganIrene LaudemanEd Morgan and Irene Laudeman

Members of MCC, and consultants to the Office of Emerging Ministries in 2014 and 2015, Ed Morgan and Irene Laudeman generously contributed professional services to research on the use of technology by MCC congregations and to make significant recommendations that will enable MCC churches to offer technology-enabled high-quality and culturally relevant spiritual community, pastoral care, and spiritual development.

Susie Brenner (1)Susie Brenner

Susie Brenner receives this award for several reasons: she has been a lay leader and musician/evangelist for many years, with her partner, Linda Brenner, touching many with her original music.  Recently she has been active in music leadership for denominational programs such as the Leadership Mentoring Retreat and Network gatherings. In the aftermath of the death of the pastor of SunCoast MCC, in Venice, Florida, Susie, as lay worship and program staff, held the church together and offered pastoral and spiritual leadership in a time of great sorrow and uncertainty. Her service to her local church and denomination was exceptional, and we are proud to acknowledge it.


Jennifer Justice and Carlos Chavez Young Adult Award

This award is named for Carlos Chavez and Jennifer Justice, whose commitment to Young Adult leadership and inclusion in MCC has changed the denomination forever. The awards are given each year to young adults who demonstrate MCC’s values, and who show promise of future leadership in MCC.

Rev. Michael-DiazRev. Dr. Michael Diaz

Rev. Dr. Michael Diaz – Resurrection MCC. Has shown leadership from the inception of the current Young Adult movement in MCC, faculty for the Leadership Mentoring Retreat, being the face of clergy advancing LGBT rights in Houston (ballot initiative), cheerleading educational advancement for young adults.


Rev. Ed Paul Award for Leadership in Transitional Ministry

The Ed Paul Award for Leadership in Transitional Ministry is offered annually to an outstanding Interim Pastor.

Amy Lambert-BurnsRev. Amy Lambert-Burns

Rev. Amy Lambert-Burns served as interim pastor at Emerald City MCC, Seattle, Washington and is currently serving as interim pastor at MCC Knoxville, Tennessee. She provided and continues to provide exception guidance and leadership to both churches during their transitional period. As one of our “next generation” leaders, Amy has a clear vision and understanding of what healthy, functional, successful churches can look like and she strives to plant these seeds in the churches where she has been appointed to serve during their transition. Rev. Amy also currently serves as part of the OCLH’s Transitional Ministry Faculty.

Rev. Wanda Floyd

Rev. Wanda Floyd has served with excellence in her ministry with MCC, as a lay leader, support clergy, Founding Pastor, Senior Pastor and Transitional Pastor for more than 28 years. She founded Imani MCC in Durham, North Carolina; and recently completed her appointment as Interim Pastor with MCC Las Vegas, Nevada. Her gifts for spiritual teaching, project management, executive-level experience, collaboration, wisdom, and sensitivity in tending the journey of change has made MCCLV stronger and focused with purpose for their next chapter.  Rev. Wanda also volunteers time to serve as MCC faculty for training Transitional Ministers. Thank you, Rev. Wanda, for leading the journey from transition to transformation so beautifully and effectively.


Excellence in Diversity Award

This award is given to honor a church that embodies and models MCC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

AGC signAll God’s Children MCC and Pastor DeWayne Davis

All God’s Children MCC and Pastor DeWayne Davis for reviving the transgender ministry (Transcend), a weekly meeting and support group for trans and gender non-conforming persons, for advancing visibility for trans/GNC persons in Minnesota through partnerships with statewide LGBT and allied organizations, and for your leadership in the Black Lives Matter Movement locally.


Excellence in Technology Ministry Award

This award is given to a church technology minister/ministry or a ministry group that demonstrates excellence in the use of technology to further the mission of the church or group.

MCC Washington BuildingMCC Washington, DC

MCC Washington, DC current mission includes a commitment to opening doors, to creating and sustaining spiritual growth, to inner strength, and to outward social responsibility.  It is the mission of MCCDC to provide a life-giving home for all. One avenue in moving toward this goal was to perform a technology overhaul for the entire church which will enable video capture, live streaming, virtual meetings and presentations. The overhaul will also allow for the integration of video and visual elements in worship services and as a community hub.


Founder’s Award

Nominees are chosen by Rev. Elder Troy Perry, Founder of Metropolitan Community Churches, who selects an individual or group that has shown leadership in founding an MCC Church or Organization in a new country or region, or in the creation of a new ministry that impacts MCC’s future.

Somos ICM en CubaElaine Saralegui and Somos ICM

Elaine Saralegui and Somos ICM – For being MCC before they heard about MCC ministry, and their profound commitment to establish not only in their city of Matanzas, Cuba; but looking to expand the MCC presence in the whole country. For their dedication and the proud representation of MCC in each single event that they are invited to take part, sharing the good news of the radical inclusion of MCC’s message.


Rev. John Hose Award for Dedicated and Faithful Service by a Clergy Person in MCC

This award is named after Rev. Elder John H. Hose, one of the first MCC clergy who became part of the first Board of Elders, served as Treasurer of MCC, and contributed a great deal to MCC’s Statement of Faith. This award honors outstanding service to MCC as Clergy.

Rev. Keith MozingoRev. Keith Mozingo

Rev. Keith Mozingo is the embodiment of the service that ministry is. He is tireless in his service. It is that Spirit of service that has inspired his congregations to orient themselves to actively serve the communities of which they are a part. In Chattanooga, he assured that  ties to community organizations such as Chattanooga Cares were strengthened. In LA, he became part of intentional outreach. And, in Baton Rouge, this orientation to service inspired the MCC congregation there to open their building, their hearts, and their lives to the community. That building, because of Rev. Keith’s leadership and inspiration, is abuzz with life, as groups from the community – support groups, social groups, advocacy groups – use the space. MCC Baton Rouge, in fact, has now created the Freedom Center for all of these groups and more to come to use as their home base.


Kerry Brown Award for Distinguished Lay Leadership

This award is named after a pioneering lay leader, who, among many roles and offices she held, was a founder and mover of the pension plan for clergy in the US. This award honors outstanding service to MCC as a Lay Leader.

Elizabeth Jensen-Forbell - LizElizabeth Jensen-Forbell

Liz is a long time lay professional in MCC, serving as the church administrator for FirstCoast MCC, in St. Augustine Florida since the founding of the church 19 years ago.  Prior to that she served at the MCC in Jacksonville, for a total of 25+ years as an administrator. She has also been a faithful supporter of the denomination, and was among the first persons appointed as a Network Leader to serve in Florida. Liz is a person of great faith, a team player, an organizer, and a connector of people and projects.  She has modeled excellence in the implementation of the Network ideals of connection, caring and community.  She has marshalled the resources within Florida Networks to help with pulpit vacancies, celebrations and urgent needs of churches. She was also in the first class of L.E.A.D. graduates.

Brian BrenieBrian Brenie

Brian Brenie has been a volunteer at MCC Toronto since 1990. He started work at MCC Toronto in 2007 in the Worship area where he assisted the Coordinator of Worship with the logistics and stage managing of worship services at MCC. In May 2011, Brian transferred to the position of Coordinator of Refugee Programs which he managed until December 2014. His work with the Refugee Ministry included helping newcomers to Canada integrate in their new life here, providing written letters of support for refugee claimants seeking asylum from persecution in their home countries, running monthly Refugee Peer Support Meetings, working with the government and overseeing the refugee settlement process. He also assisted inland refugee claimants to have successful Immigration and Refugee Board hearings as well as facilitate the sponsorship of refugees fleeing persecution in their homeland come to safety in Canada. Brian helped MCC Toronto to establish an active relationship with and act as the Sponsorship Agreement Holder for constituency groups in the community including Rainbow Railroad. Brian has also been on the Board of Rainbow Railroad since 2011. His work with Refugee Peer Support  got Brian interested in helping refugees to learn English, so he tutored a number of foreigners who had just arrived.


Moderator’s Award

Nominees are selected by MCC’s Moderator to recognize exceptional and faithful service to the denomination through the embodiment of MCC’s Values and Vision.

MCC North London membersMCC North London

MCC North London has more than 50 refugees in its membership. More than half their members and regular attendees are asylum seekers or have received asylum status themselves, including at least 3 of the Board of Directors and one of their Lay Delegates.

Northern Lights MCC, Newcastle

Northern Lights MCC, Newcastle –  runs “RAINBOW HOME“, a joint project with MESMAC NE for LGBT people seeking asylum in the UK. Rainbow Home was started in September 2012. It meets once a month for lunch to create a safe, relaxed environment. People come from countries such as Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone. Northern Lights MCC hosts the lunch and acts as the sponsoring organization for the group – they successfully applied for funding for a worker. Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston chairs the Steering Group and the church Treasurer, Charlotte West, acts as treasurer for RH. They also provide letters of support where needed. Members of congregation also provide one to one support, including accommodation, when needed.

Journey MCC BirminghamJourney MCC, Birmingham

Journey MCC, Birmingham runs a monthly LGBT ASYLUM AND REFUGEE GROUP. The group was established at Birmingham LGBT Centre and has been running since 2014. It started from nothing and has grown exponentially. Asylum seekers are being invited to share a meal one Sunday a month to offer a supportive community and contact. People can get additional help and advice. They provides meals, bus passes, clothes, toiletries and letters of support. Advice and support has also been given to those attending tribunals but there is a need for a specialist worker. Journey MCC is the only organisation supporting this critical work in Birmingham apart with support from Pride and BLGBT Centre.

MCC East London

MCC East London – working with 5-6 asylum seekers to provide pastoral care, spiritual support, and practical support, going with people to interviews with the Home Office, visiting them, taking them communion, providing a support network. They have made connections with other organizations that specialize in particular areas to get people the services they need. Most of the people that are referred to them are from Out and Proud Diamond group.


Moderator’s Award for Partnership

Partner Organizations and/or individuals are selected by MCC’s Moderator to recognize those who share the vision of MCC as a Movement.

Religious Coalition for Reproductive ChoiceReligious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

For inviting UFMCC and the Global Justice Institute to be its first official LGBT identified partner and expanding its message to be explicitly LGBT friendly.  RCRC is a coalition of national religious organizations.  The power of its collective voice for reproductive justice is in fact magnified by the unique, diverse views of its various member organizations – views which are grounded in thousands of years of scriptural texts and accepted beliefs around the moral agency of people to make the decisions that are best for them and their reproductive lives.


Network Ministry Award

This award is given to a Network for excellent service to its local churches and leaders.

Jacqui JonesMichael SmithGulf Coast Network Co-Leaders: Jacqui Jones and Mike Smith

This team has dedicated their volunteer efforts in strengthening local congregations in their network. They began a relationship with each of the local churches, providing on-site support and care for them.  They worked tirelessly with each local church by providing support and care for them.  They have actively provided advocacy and love for Joshua Generation MCC in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and have openly embraced Holy Cross MCC in Pensacola, Florida as these two churches came under the purview this past year.  They present a well-balanced approach as they make connections and build strong relationships with each individual person in their network.  Watching them work is an absolute pleasure as they use their strengths to build-up a network that hungers for connection, communication, collaboration, care, and resources.


Phoenix Award for Church Renewal

The Phoenix Award is for those who have revived a church or ministry.

MCCNOAlisan Rowland and MCC New Orleans

Rev. Alisan Rowland is an extraordinary pastor whose gifts equate with spiritual growth and success for a church like MCC New Orleans. She has mobilized the congregation to take ownership of their church by making worship, evangelism, and programming an event that is spiritual and vital. They have made a concerted effort to reach out to the city and have increased the spirit of the community. They have partnered with other agencies in the city and increased their spirit of service. They are a great example in a city that truly teaches the country how to rise from the ashes…like the mythical Phoenix.


Purple Grass Award for Evangelism

This award is named for a sermon still preached by Rev. Elder Freda Smith, the first woman ordained in MCC and elected an Elder. It is given to persons who have a passion for Evangelism, and for sharing the vision and message of MCC in creative and innovative ways.

marcos-lord-dragMarcos Lord

Marcos Lord is nominated for his brave love and commitment to preach not just with his voice and testimony in all places where he takes MCC’s presence, but with his personal performance as Luanda Peron, and take MCC’s message beyond Rio de Janerio, to other continents and countries including  Germany and England among others. Marcos or Luanda is taking the risk to the next level of preaching commitment, raising his voice as a drag queen preacher who is calling  attention to the people that are suffering marginalization, but more important is his physical presence in different fronts or fights looking to get more rights for the LGBTQIA community in Brazil and beyond.  He/She is putting down the roots for expansion of MCC’s vision and mission with this testimony.


Bob Crocker Award for Excellence in Music Ministry

This award is named for Bob Crocker who led music at MCC San Francisco and at General Conference for many years.

Cassandra-WhiteCassandra White

Cassandra White is the Gospel Ensemble Director of MCC of the Resurrection, Houston, Texas. She is an incredible songstress and Director, and has served the Music Ministry at MCC-Resurrection for many years. She has directed choirs for General Conference and has served as Music Coordinator/Director for PAD conferences. She has done so valiantly, passionately and with a level of excellence that serves as a model and example for others. Cassandra models spiritual values and radical inclusion.