In places of celebration and protest, this Pride will be a first for someone. There are people coming out today and they are looking for a spiritual home. I want MCC to be there for those coming out, their friends, loved ones, parents and children. For nearly 50 years, MCC has offered a place for conversation, assurance, blessing and celebration. These “first” moments are happening all around the world because of you! MCC continues to carry the message of liberation and healing with an open table for all. There is so much to celebrate!
Over the last few months, I have been traveling, meeting the people, visiting churches, sharing meals in fellowship halls, restaurants, and homes. MCC Networks and Churches are filled with gratitude, faith, hope, and love.
The stories shared during hours of listening affirm the importance of detailed care for each part of our global work.
Along with the traveling to attend Network Gatherings, I am diligently guiding MCC’s various leadership bodies and staff through this time of transition. We are actively evaluating all processes and procedures to improve our relationship with churches, clergy, lay leaders, and anyone who contacts MCC.
A few things we discovered right away is that Moderator’s Circle Members need a direct and responsive contact person. To ensure we are communicating effectively, Marina Laws is now assisting with MCC Donor Relations. She is available to answer questions, adjust contact or financial information, assist with one-time or recurring Moderator’s Circle donations from anywhere in the world. Her email address is [email protected]. I am also available if you wish to contact me directly at: [email protected].
In this newsletter, you will find testimonials, summaries, and see pictures from a few of the most recent stops on the Listening Tour plus NEW ways to connect!
Thank you for being part of the Moderator’s Circle! Your generous support ensures the message of MCC is shared literally around the world.
It is my humble honor and pleasure to serve the people of MCC.
Blessings to you and those you love,
Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown
Interim Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches
Listening Tour Testimonial
from Ana Ester Pádua Freire in Brazil
“I do not call you hirelings any longer, because the hireling does not know what the manager is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Parent.” (John 15:15)
“Dear Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown,
This verse sums up what, in a few days, I realized in your ministry: you were called to be a friend! Your leadership is built with signs of friendship and affection that draw people close to you. So on, for this date I can assure the birthday is yours, but the gift is ours! We have received the gift of your friendship, the gift of being able to walk with you building a global MCC that reflects the sweet face of our Master Jesus. May the Santa Ruah bless you giving you health for your walk of encounters!”
Interim Moderator Listening Tour Summary
Mountain and Plains US Network Gathering, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
MCC Omaha Sunday Sermon: https://bit.ly/2soOSiH
Every MCC church in the Mountains and Plains Network, Chaplains, lay leaders, lay delegates, and others converged upon MCC Omaha for a wonderful Network Gathering! Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, along with Rev. Elder Tony Freeman and Elder Nancy Maxwell heard how MCC is “My Home,” a place for spiritual diversity and social justice. Across the Network, churches go beyond the LGBT umbrella with strong community-based ministries.
North Central US Network Gathering, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Media coverage: https://bit.ly/2rm29cI
Some people drove for six to seven hours to be in Detroit, Michigan, USA, for the North Central US Network Gathering with a “Gospel of Motown” theme. Presentations during the Network Gathering encouraged community ministry beyond Sunday worship. During the Listening Tour presentation Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, Rev. Elder Tony Freeman, and Elder Nancy Maxwell heard from a diverse network of historic and new churches. Participants described being with MCC for many years. One said, “People are feeling scared because of the US presidential election,” continuing, “I believe MCC is called to be rabble-rousers.” Others expressed concern in their local communities and churches about aging, expanding the racial diversity of congregations, and making space for spiritual diversity in worship. The lively conversation was open, honest, and powerful!
Western US Network Gathering, A Church for All MCC, Sacramento, California, USA
During this stop on the Listening Tour, Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown met with Sacramento, California, USA, area pastors to learn more about their established and emerging churches. At the Network Gathering, Rev. Elder Tony Freeman was in the Los Angeles location, with Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown in Sacramento. Through a multi-site simulcast, questions and comments from each location were shared in real time. Participants described how MCC is justice, freedom, equality, a place of diversity, openness, and compassion. One church described its story of how they went from “beige and boring” to “fierce and fabulous.” Some of the local church challenges include getting the word out through marketing, technology, and networking to share best practices and to get to the root causes of social justice issues.
Interim Moderator Listening Tour Schedule
21-24 July 2017
Contact Shannon Young
Virtual Listening Tour Dates
English with German translation
12 June 2017, 1 pm ET / 17:00 GMT
Spanish with English translation
19 June 2017, 7 pm ET / 23:00 GMT
Tagalog with English translation
26 June 2017, 6 am ET / 10:00 GMT
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