Dear Pastoral Candidate:
Thank you for your interest in River of Life MCC in Kennewick, WA. I hope you will prayerfully consider the information in this packet to determine if God might be calling you to pastor our church.
As we have explored the next chapter in our church life (our pastor of 18 years is retiring this summer), we have explored who we are, where we have been, what we want in a pastor, and tried to listen to what God wants from us at this time. We are seeking a pastor who will be a good fit with our congregation, and who can build on the strong foundation of our almost 40-year ministry while expanding ministries that are more relevant to the 21st century. We are open to someone newly trained and ordained (or soon to be ordained). We value experience in social services, good preaching/public speaking skills, an ability to represent the congregation in a generally non-churched (and somewhat church phobic) TLGBQI community and in a generally non-TLGBQI friendly wider community. We would like someone who helps expand our outreach in the community and who fosters a sense of care. Our church community welcomes all and is diverse in faith backgrounds (generally Christian), race, ages, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
We seek a pastor who will help us grow spiritually and be a dynamic presence in the community.
We hope you will find this information helpful to get to know us better. If you are interested in exploring a relationship with River of Life MCC as our next pastor, please submit an application. Feel free to call GeGe Roberts at (509)987-6123 if you have questions, or need more information. You may also call our current pastor Rev. Jim Pierce at (509)430-1987.
Yours in Christ,
GeGe Roberts, Vice Moderator, Board of Directors
(Updated: 13 March 2019)
History: River of Life MCC was founded in 1980 as a local congregation of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. Since its founding, River of Life MCC has addressed important issues including racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, and other forms of oppression prevalent in the Christian church and society. River of Life MCC has been on the forefront in the struggle towards marriage equality in Washington and continues to be a powerful voice in the TLGBQI equality movement.
The church had a variety of pastors or was lay led for the next 21 years. As the only gay organization in town for much of its early years, the church took an active role in TLGBQI activities and politics. This included, sponsoring quarterly gay dances held at the fair grounds and other locations like a local gun club. Early local gay groups like Oasis, and PFLAG got their start in MCC. MCC members formed speakers groups to talk to local clergy and congregations during Hands off Washington efforts to stop and overturn anti gay laws. Rev. Janet (now Jim) Pierce was called as pastor of River of Life MCC in January 2001. In 2001, ROLMCC had a membership of 11, 6-9 who attended regularly. Within 6 months, the church grew to average 40 in attendance. In 2001, ROL raised over $60,000.00 towards the purchase of a new building. In 2006, River of Life MCC purchased the old Cosmo Angus Motel at 2625 W Bruneau Place in Kennewick, Washington. The purchase of this 20,000 ft2 building has allowed a variety of programs to develop and flourish.
Non profit programs that were housed in our building for a time include: Vista Youth Center (a glbtqi youth drop in center); Tri- City Trans (support group for trangender folk); Diversity Pride Center – (an organization that fosters and supports diversity in the Tri-Cities); TEAMS of Tri-Cities (an HIV/AIDS support Group); Therapeutic Innovations and Recovery, TIR (a homeless day center); Adios Counseling (a counseling center); and OPTIC (a transgender support organization).
Current activities housed on site: ROLMCC Worship at 10:30am Sunday in the church sanctuary at 2625 W Bruneau Place #100 in Kennewick, Washington; Scouts BSA Boys Troop 261 (inclusive of TLGBQI scouts and parents) meets Mondays at 7pm in Gettmann Hall; ANSIL Service Center (hygiene center for homeless folks offering offering showers, laundry, haircuts, clothing, and furniture) open Monday–Friday from 8am-12pm; ANSIL Hall (housing for homeless young adults and a high school completion program); Dayspring Ministries (homeless/street and prison ministry) offers meals daily; Iglesia de Pentecostales (Spanish language church) Tuesday, Friday, and Sundays.
Vision Statement River of Life Metropolitan Community Church is compelled by an unfinished calling and a prophetic destiny. We are a spiritually and sexually diverse people who are fully awake to God’s enduring love. Following the example of Jesus and empowered by the Spirit, we seek to build a community that demands, proclaims, and does justice in the world.
Mission Statement River of Life MCC: Transforming ourselves as we transform the world. River of Life Metropolitan Community Church proclaims and practices a spirituality that is anchored in the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ and confronts the issues of our diverse, uncertain, complex, and volatile community. We are called to develop and equip leaders, programs, and ministries that foster physical, mental, and spiritual growth, do the work of justice, act with compassion, and integrate sexuality and spirituality. We will do this through offering refuge, support, resources, and expanding partnerships with organizations in our community.
Inclusion Love is our greatest moral value and resisting exclusion is a primary focus of our ministry. We want to continue to be conduits of faith where everyone is included in the family of God and where all parts of our being are welcomed at God’s table.
Community Offering a safe and open community for people to worship, learn, and grow in their faith is our deep desire. We are committed to equipping ourselves and each other to do the work that God has called us to do in the world.
Spiritual Transformation Providing a message of liberation from the oppressive religious environment of our day or to those experiencing God for the first time is what guides our ministry. We believe that when people are invited to experience God through the life and ministry of Christ, lives will be transformed.
Justice Working to talk less and do more, we are committed to resisting the structures that oppress people and standing with those who suffer under the weight of oppressive systems, being guided always by our commitment to Global Human Rights.
Service: Following the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 25, we are committed to making a difference in the world by creating a community where all people are respected, and all people have their basic needs met.
Health: Jesus came into this world as a healer. We follow his example by creating a place where all are afforded the opportunity to build confidence, self sufficiency, and develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind and body.
Our community: Tri-Cities Washington (Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco) is a gay tolerant community in South Eastern Washington. The community is located approximately 3.5 hours from Portland, Oregon, or Seattle, WA, and approximately 2.5 hours from Spokane, WA. The Tri-Cities is home to Columbia Basin College (a community college) and Washington State University (an extension campus). River of Life MCC serves SE Washington, NE Oregon, and Western Idaho. These portions of these states are conservative, and generally brown in color (hi step desert, average 6 inches of rain per year). Population of the Tri-Cities metropolitan area in 2016 was 283,846 (12% growth since 2010). The community is thriving and growing.
Our Church: We seek to be a sanctuary of love and support of God to everyone with a special focus on the TLGBQI community. Current active congregants are 37% transgender, 25% non TLGBQI, 12.5% Hispanic, 25% retired, 37.5% disabled. We currently have a membership of 21 and average attendance of 8. Our church has been very active in helping the homeless community, and would like to continue that work as we get a new pastor. We are a diverse congregation and all inclusive, treating each other with love and respect.
Our Building: We call our building the Diversity Pride Center, because of all of the different services we offer to the community. This 20,000 ft2 building is a resource center, a location which feeds, provides showers, toilets, laundry, clothing, haircuts, housing, and food for the homeless. GED, and high school completion program are also offered through ANSIL – A New Start In Life. There is space available and some expressed interest in starting a TLGBQI community center.
What we want in a pastor: We are looking for a pastor who is a self-starter and spiritual leader for our small but growing congregation. We are looking for someone who is engaging and friendly, and has a passion to preach. We would prefer someone who has an online presence, and is able to communicate through email and social media.
Pastoral compensation: For 15 hours per week work, we are offering the option of a one bedroom apartment on site with utilities included (about a $1500.00 value) and a $500.00 stipend OR a $1000.00 housing allowance with out the apartment.
Position availability: Can start as soon as 1 April 2019 (for overlap with retiring pastor), or wait until 1 July 2019 after the pastor retires.