Our Statement Regarding COVID-19

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“What happens when we live God’s way? God brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard – things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.” (Galatians 5:22 – The Message)

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We are a people who believe our bodies are holy, and that we can find God in the bodily expressions of love that exist between us when we are together.  We value the real presence of our God when we are in physical proximity and when we experience physical closeness.  We also, however, believe in the power of the Spirit that binds us together even when we are physically apart.  We believe the Spirit can bring us together as a community in marvelous ways, including through digital technologies.

We are a denomination rich in LGBTQ+ history, and a church composed of LGBTQ+ people and our Allies. We are, therefore, experienced people who were among the front line pioneers, activists, and patients during another global pandemic: HIV/AIDS.  We value the God of Reason and we fully understand how the Spirit can move within the minds of scientists and medical professionals, and through the healing hands of doctors, nurses, and healthcare providers.  We have often faced tough odds and harsh realities, and we are a wise and formidable people who know how to come together as a community of hope while engaging in reasonable and appropriate behaviors.  We believe “those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”’ (Isaiah 40:31 – NRSV)

For these reasons, and for more, we have encouraged all of our churches to temporarily cease their worship services, obey stay-at-home orders recommended by governmental bodies and public health agencies, and refrain from physical gatherings that may place anyone at risk during this pandemic.

We are proud to be part of a concerted effort with other faith leaders and organizations that are also practicing and encouraging social distancing during this time.

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What our churches are doing

MCC churches across the globe are already making a difference in the face of this crisis!  Some examples include:

  • Members of God’s Acre MCC (Ocala, USA) sent palm crosses in the mail so their members would have them ready for their Palm Sunday online service.
  • MCC Brisbane (Brisbane, Australia) are working diligently and successfully with Facebook Live, inviting guest preachers from around the world to engage with them, and are seeing increased attendance in their worship.
  • ICM Rio (Rio de Janeiro) is successfully using messages recorded on WhatsApp so they can include many different voices in their online worship
  • Elävä vesi MCC (Helsinki, Finland) is hosting a weekly tea and social time on Zoom, so people can chat together and be sociable.
  • Wichita Falls MCC (Wichita Falls, USA) is anonymously delivering food parcels to people’s homes.  Over 280 people received a parcel in one week’s time!

What our denominational staff is doing

  • The MCC Moderator is providing a weekly time of prayer and reflection for pastors, pastoral leaders, chaplains, lay leaders and anyone who is serving others in ministry during this unusual time. She is also planning a special message for Easter Sunday.
  • We are creating purposeful time for members of our denomination to gather for fellowship as we have virtual tea, coffee, and conversations that seek to build hope, cultivate joy, and simply create a space to connect with one another, and with God.
  • We’ve provided our churches and leaders with considerable resources for online worship, including a webinar that helps people to specifically learn the technologies and best practices involved in virtual church.
  • We’ve created a webinar that discussed the similarities and differences between the AIDS Crisis and COVID-19 in order to discern how our churches can best respond as they seek to provide care for our communities.
  • We have created a financial webinar to help our churches understand the economic impact of this virus, how members can give virtually, and how churches discern the benefits of the CARES Act.
  • We are regularly providing our members, churches, and leaders with various resources to help them to take care of themselves and their communities through continued education, self-care, and specific COVID-19 information or instructions.

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How YOU can help

Pray for us!  As you spend time in prayer this week please remember us and the ministries we are seeking to provide to those who are confused, anxious, sick, grieving, lonely or suffering.  We welcome and encourage you to share your prayers for us on our MCC Facebook page.

Please consider a gift!  The economic impacts of this global pandemic are not only affecting individuals, families, businesses, and governments; they’re affecting us as well.  If you’re willing and able to provide a monetary gift to us, please Donate today or contact our Resource Development Team Lead to explore your options.

Connect with us! If you are one of our partners in ministry and want to work with us as we build community and equip our leaders during this time please contact our Community Development Team Lead.

If you’re a member of the press please contact our Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator.

Join us!  Finally, we encourage all faith leaders in joining us by signing this petition from our friends at Auburn Seminary that encourages #faithfuldistance.

Blessings,

Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston

Moderator for Metropolitan Community Churches


Calls for Action to Stop Anti-Asian Discrimination In the time of COVID-19 (April 20, 2020)

A 51 year old woman taking out garbage is doused with a chemical, burning her face, neck back and shoulders.

A 31 year old woman is assaulted riding a bus in mid-afternoon, her head cracked open and requiring stitches.

Nurses, doctors, deli workers, delivery people, restauranteurs, an MCC clergyperson ~ all verbally abused or physically assaulted.

What do all these people have in common beyond the violence and harm they suffered? The answer is, they are all people of Asian descent, people increasingly targeted by those who think COVID-19 is ethnically based. It is not.

There is no rhyme, reason or excuse ever sufficient to justify an act of violence or hatred against any of God’s children. Ignorance fuels violence and hatred.  Whether you are a world leader or simply a neighborhood bully, associating COVID-19 with someone’s race or ethnicity is ignorant and wrong.

As LGBTQI and Allied peoples, we know what it is like to be blamed for or associated with disease. HIV/AIDS, a virus in many ways similar to COVID-19, was originally labeled GRID or “gay related immune deficiency.” That misunderstanding cost people not only their safety, but often times access to medical care and treatment because of fear based in ignorance. Many lives were needlessly jeopardized until human beings realized AIDS shows no partiality.  Neither does COVID-19. Regardless of ethnicity, race, culture, gender identity or sexual orientation, we are all vulnerable to a disease that is air borne and spread through simple human gestures like touching.

The sooner we as human beings acknowledge the truth, the closer we will be to wholeness and health globally, and hopefully a vaccine and a cure.

“See something, say something” ~ that’s the imperative many communities embrace when it comes to fighting terrorization of any kind.

If you see or hear or read about the targeting of people of Asian descent because of a false and faulty mis-association with the origin or causes of COVID-19, speak up/act up. SILENCE IS DEATH we learned a long time ago. What we all need to be putting our energy into right now is LIFE and the healing and restoration of people everywhere.

This statement issued on behalf of the Council of Elders,
Metropolitan Community Churches.
The Rev. Cecilia Eggleston, Moderator.

 


Metropolitan Community Churches Moderator Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston Discusses COVID19 Restrictions Ease (April 23, 2020)

Metropolitan Community Churches Moderator Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston on COVID19 Restrictions Ease

MCC hosted a “Return to Church” webinar on April 29th discussion to help MCC churches consider precautions, recommendations, and perspectives regarding when (and how) they might gather in person for worship again. Three medical doctors (and MCC members), Dr. Lori Dick, Dr. Tracie Traver and Dr. David Williams, shared their recommendations and perspectives.  They responded to various questions from the MCC clergy, lay leaders, and members who attended the webinar.