Moderator’s Circle March 2017: MCC is Energized

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Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, Interim Moderator, joins members of All iNC who performed at the All Florida Network Gathering closing service 11 March 2017. The band is from Thrive MCC located in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. (photo by Linda Brenner)

Dear Friends,

Your commitment to MCC’s vision and global mission to transform lives is evident through your generosity. If you have been a member of the Moderator’s Circle in the past, and you have been waiting to see what is happening before deciding whether you want to continue your membership, please read this entire message!

It is my deeply held belief that gifts sent to the Moderator’s Circle are a sacred trust designated for the greatest needs. Belonging to the Moderator’s Circle also means that you receive more information about what is happening around the world and inside of MCC.

This season of transition has presented challenges, yet we have faced each one with courage, care, and concern for the people, churches, ministries, and leaders. There is also a time of discovery during these first months of transition. I have begun to work with various MCC leadership bodies to address the 21st Century needs of the denomination, churches, ministries, and leaders.

The foundation of MCC is the people. It is the people whose lives have been forever changed through the churches and leaders that ensure our mission continues. During this interim time, the entire denomination is returning to the focus of the people and needs of the local communities.

MCC is Energized

The churches and leaders are energized and living into the MCC Values of Community, Inclusion, Social Action, and Spiritual Transformation.

  • At MCC of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, hajib solidarity opened new ministry doors for transformative dialogue.
  • The homeless are finding resources and community through MCC Brighton.
  • MCC showed up in cities around the world for the 21 January Women’s Marches, and local protests regarding immigration in MCC and trans* rights.
  • More churches are engaging technology and social media to build community, even live-streaming worship, Bible studies, and gatherings to share the message of MCC far beyond the local church.
  • MCC leaders are visible in new ways, appearing in local and national media nearly every week.

New MCC emerging churches are opening and new leaders are arising.

  • Just recently MCC authorized the Liberty Africa Youth and Worship Center in Kampala, Uganda. This MCC’s second ministry in Uganda.
  • MCC opened an emerging church in Havana, Cuba, the second growing community in Cuba preparing the way to continue the development of an educational center and training leaders.
  • New emerging churches are flourishing like Reflection MCC, Folsom, California;
  • Others are just starting like Beyond These Walls MCC in Punta Gorda, Florida;
  • Coming soon: an ICM/MCC to serve LGBTQ Latinx in central Florida.

We are also strengthening our existing churches and leaders through Communities of Practice that build peer-to-peer leadership cohorts and nurturing new ways to lead and collaborate. With fresh ideas, clergy and church leaders are discerning next steps of revitalization.

The Governing Board is working tirelessly to ensure the newly formed Assessments Commission begins its work. They received almost twice as many applicants as positions available! The blessing of abundance once again demonstrates people are engaged and ready to move into a new era.

The Senior Leadership Team is developing programs, projects, and piloting initiatives that will strengthen existing churches, ministries, and leaders and create new paths for additional growth around the world in many languages.
The Council of Elders continues to share Lenten reflections to nurture our spirit during this holy season. They are also preparing new ways to be spiritually engaged in our churches and supporting one another.

Listening Tour Kick Off

I have made a commitment to begin a Listening Tour that will be meeting the people of MCC in person and if necessary through a series of webinars. I will be present at many of the 2017 Network Gatherings, along with another member of the Council of Elders, and when possible, Governing Board members. During these Network Gatherings, I will share the vision for the interim time, ask questions and listen to the people of MCC.

Recently, the All Florida Network Gathering hosted the Listening Tour. The honesty, passion, and authenticity of the people and clergy was felt as they described MCC as “acceptance” and that we are here to “teach the world what love is.” We named challenges openly and with respect.

Future destinations for the Listening Tour can be found at the bottom of this letter. Introduce yourself if you are at an event I am attending. Participate in a Network Gathering or a Listening Tour Webinar. I want to meet you and spend time listening to your passion for MCC as we continue forward in our legacy of being both church and movement.

Improving Our Connection with You

As a Moderator’s Circle member, I want to give you an update on how we are being completely accurate in our financial protocols. First, there is a need for new and updated technology. There are two primary sources of data, and we discovered there was a problem with sharing of information between our two databases that lead to incorrect contact information on giving reports. In the spirit of accountability, I can assure you that the financial system was reviewed at the end of January by a member of the Governing Board Finance Committee and found to be completely accurate, with strong procedures and separations of duties.

Secondly, Operations is now managing the separate donor database to ensure the same level of accuracy and procedures. Some of you were rightfully distressed by inaccurate data on your annual statement, and I want to personally assure that I have worked with both the Governing Board and MCC Operations to ensure this has been swiftly corrected.

Finally, we will soon launch a new integrated database that will improve communication with churches, clergy, lay delegates, and yes, Moderator’s Circle members. We have put in place new processes to ensure accountability and reporting of your generous gifts.

Looking Forward in 2017

MCC has so much to offer through our churches, ministries and leaders around the world. Every week someone is asking, “How can I be part of MCC?” Your generosity helps us say “Yes, here is the path!”

  • We are planning new leadership training through REVM and LEAD in Brazil in April, the U.S. in June, and Europe in September.
  • The Persons of African Descent (PAD) Conference “Grounded in Love,” August 3-5 in St. Louis, MO, USA
  • MCC Clergy Retreat is August in Las Vegas.
  • Network Gatherings hosting the Listening Tour will be in multiple countries, in person and virtually.
  • MCC Women’s Conference is November 2-4, Sarasota, Florida
  • MCC is hiring a new Emerging Church Specialist to continue the work of new church development around the world.

Please take a moment and review your commitments for this year and consider whether you can add an additional $20 or more. Then, invite someone you know to become a Moderator’s Circle member.
Your gift will ensure we can listen deeply and act boldly during this year.
Together we can ensure the next generation of MCC can rise up to lead and serve!

Blessings to you and yours,

Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown
Interim Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

Florida Network Gathering

Rev. Brendan Boone consecrates communion during closing service

Rev. Ruth Jensen-Forbell (on right) blesses new emerging ministries

MCC Tampa, Florida, USA

Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown (left) brings the Listening Tour to Florida MCC clergy.

DONATE Moderator’s Circle

Interim Moderator Listening Tour Schedule

MCC Toronto Sunday Service
19 March 2017: 9 am, 10:50 am, 7 pm

Brazil Network Gathering
20-23 April 2017
For details: contact
Shannon Young

Mountain and Plains USA Network
28-29 April 2017, Omaha, Nebraska
MCC Omaha Sunday Service
30 April 2017, 9:30 am, 11:15 am