In her Moderator’s Report to the 2007 General Conference, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson announced the formation of the new MCC Theologies Team.[1]

Rev. Wilson reported, “While this is a team in formation whose specific agenda is still being shaped, I am very excited that we are going to begin formulating a more intentional process of theological reflection in MCC worldwide.” This is a daunting task, but one that is ripe for such a time as this.

In their initial conversations, team members agreed that this is a kairotic[2] moment for MCC and an opportunity to create safe space for theological conversations that explore and nurture the diversity of our global movement. The team hopes to help empower all people – clergy and laity alike – to be reflective as well as practical theologians.

It is also an opportunity for MCC to more fully engage in broader ecumenical conversations about queer and liberation theologies. Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson says, “Who better than MCC to contribute to this discourse, since we have the practical experience of doing queer theology for nearly forty years? We have important perspectives that we need to share with one another and the wider religious world.”

During the 2007 General Conference in Phoenix, three Theological Cafés were held to discuss various perspectives on Jesus, baptism, and theological labels. These discussions, hosted by members of the team, were well attended and demonstrated the vast hunger people have for opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue about matters of faith and justice.

The Theologies Team had its first meeting later that year, in December of 2007. In 2008 and 2009, Team members led a series of workshops entitled, “What’s Theology Got to Do with It?” at Regional Conferences and sub-regional gatherings. Hundreds of people in MCC participated in these sessions, engaging in theological conversation about such things as eucharist, baptism, and the nature of the church.

Participants described these conversations as “liberating” and indicated a strong interest in having similar conversations in their local churches.

[1] Theologies is intentionally rendered in the plural in order to honor the multiplicity of theological perspectives and traditions that exist in MCC. In 2007 as the team was still being formed, several team members gathered with the Board of Elders for a day of discussion about theology with Dr. Mary Hunt. Dr. Hunt noted that this diversity of theological understanding is one of MCC’s greatest resources, and that being able to respectfully engage these without resorting to litmus tests for theological orthodoxy could be our greatest strength.

[2] This term comes from the Greek word kairos, which refers to an opportune or appointed moment in time when the way is made for God’s purposes to unfold. In contrast to the more ordinary word for a quantity of time (chronos), kairos time is qualitative – a moment that represents a great opportunity for God to work.