Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches

Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond is an affiliated church of
the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches

UFMCC Fact Sheet

The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC, commonly known as MCC) commemorated its 50th year starting 6 October 2018, in Los Angeles at the first MCC, now called Founders Metropolitan Community Church. Activities continued throughout the year and culminated recently in July 2019 at MCC’s General Conference the international, triennial event allows the Fellowship to conduct denominational business and provide informational, educational opportunities through workshops and plenary sessions. It is also a time to worship and celebrate the leaders—clergy and laity—and local churches around the globe.

Since its founding in 1968 by Rev. Elder Troy Perry, MCC has sparked a spiritual revival. It has been at the vanguard of the civil and human rights movements by addressing important issues such as race, gender, age, sexuality, ableism, and other forms of oppression.

MCC was the first to perform same-sex marriage in 1969, which led the way to marriage equality. Under the ensuing leadership of the Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson from 2005 through 2016, MCC continued to be on the forefront of human and environmental rights around the world. Dr. Wilson first visited Jimmy Carter at the White House and was appointed to President Barack Obama’s White House Advisory Council. Dr. Wilson was later invited to read scripture at President Obama’s second inaugural interfaith worship service.

MCC’s Governing Board elected Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown as Interim Moderator from 2016 until 2019. In 2019, MCC’s General Conference clergy and lay delegates elected Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston as MCC’s next Moderator. Rev. Eggleston is the first Moderator to reside in the UK.

  • MCC is the largest international organization for public education about homosexuality and Christianity.

  • MCC congregations have an aggregate annual operating budget in excess of $20 million USD.  

  • MCC Headquarters has an annual operating budget of approximately $1 million USD.

  • More than fifty percent of MCC clergy are women.

  • MCC has 172 Affiliated Churches, 46 Emerging Ministries, 7 Oasis Communities in 33 countries worldwide.

  • MCC has members in every state in the United States and congregations in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

  • The largest MCC churches are MCC Toronto (Toronto, Canada), Resurrection MCC (Houston, TX), and Sunshine Cathedral MCC (Fort Lauderdale, FL), each with a membership exceeding 300.

  • MCC holds observer status in the World Council of Churches, is a full member of the Danish National Council of Churches, participates in the programs of the National Council of Churches (U.S.A.), and has full membership in the California, Colorado, and North Carolina Council of Churches

Moderator Bios:

Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston (2019 – present) has been involved in MCC for 30 years, starting as a young LGBT activist who helped to plant a local church. She has served as European District Coordinator and as Regional Elder, working with our churches in Western Europe and Africa. She is one of the few MCC leaders who has served at a denominational level with both Rev. Perry and Dr. Wilson as Moderators, learning from them both about what it means to lead a global movement and international denomination.

Whilst undeniably [British] English, Rev. Elder Eggleston speaks some French and German. After serving for nine years as Pastor at Northern Lights MCC, in the UK, she spent a year travelling and fulfilling her wish list, including volunteering for three months in Swaziland, Southern Africa. She was so inspired by her experience there that she looked for opportunities to continue this justice work. She previously worked for an international development charity, Send A Cow, which trains and equips farmers in Eastern Africa to overcome poverty.

Rev. Elder Eggleston is an engaging preacher and public speaker, as well as an author. She returned to further her studies at Durham University, which has one of the leading theological departments in the UK. She gained a distinction for her dissertation: “Gay Men and Disenfranchised Grief.”

 

Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown (2016 – 2019) was ordained with MCC in 2007, and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, and Master of Communications degree from Missouri State University. Rachelle is a currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Human Sciences at Chicago Theological Seminary. She has served as an Intentional Interim Minister, North Central U.S. MCC Network Leader, and MCC Emerging Church Specialist.

Rev. Brown published a chapter called “Beyond the Open Table” in the anthology Queering Christianity edited by Robert E. Shore-Goss, Thomas Bohache, Patrick S. Cheng and Mona F. West. (ABC-CLIO, 2013)

 

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson (2005 – 2016) was the first elected Moderator, and was one of the first women to lead an international Christian denomination. In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Wilson to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. For President Obama’s second inauguration, Dr. Wilson was the first openly LGBTQ person to read scripture at a presidential interfaith service. She had previously been among the first delegation of gay and lesbian people to meet with a sitting president, President Jimmy Carter. Her honors include receiving the first “Lazarus Award” from the Witherspoon Society of the Presbyterian Church (USA), preaching the Earl Lectures at Pacific School of Religion (2002), and being named among 50 powerful religious women leaders by Huffington Post.

Dr. Wilson’s published works include: I Love to Tell the Story: 100+ Stories of Justice, Inclusion and Hope (Books to Believe In, 2016), Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures (Life Journey Press, 2013), Outing the Church: 40 Years in the Queer Christian Movement (Life Journey Press, 2013), Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus and the Bible (Alamo Press)(1995) and Amazing Grace, with Fr. Malcolm Boyd. Her prayers and poems are included in Race and Prayer edited by Malcolm Boyd and Chester Talton (Morehouse Press, 1991).

 

Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry, MCC Founder and the first moderator of MCC, is an internationally recognized human rights activist and has received honors from many human rights organizations, including honorary doctorates from Episcopal Divinity School, Samaritan College and Sierra University along with awards from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, the Lazarus Project, and the Gay and Lesbian Press Association.

His published works include: The Lord Is My Shepherd and Knows I’m Gay (1973), Don’t Be Afraid Anymore (1990), and Ten Spiritual Truths for Successful Living for Gays and Lesbians (and Everyone Else) (2003), and Profiles in Gay and Lesbian Courage (written with Thomas L. Swicegood, 1992).

Rev. Perry the first American citizen to receive Cuba’s Cenesex Award in 2017. Rev. Perry was honored for his long history of working for human rights, and rights of the LGBTQ+ community worldwide.

 

Revised August 2019

Contact: Linda Brenner, MCC Communications

LindaBrenner@MCCchurch.net

+1 941-321-7886 (cell, Viber, WhatsApp)

Skype: lindabrennerbeckstead

Statement of Faith

As adopted July 5, 2016 at General Conference XXVI,

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Preamble

 

Metropolitan Community Churches is one chapter in the story of the Church, the Body of Christ. We are people on a journey, learning to live into our spirituality, while affirming our bodies, our genders, our sexualities. We don’t all believe exactly the same things. And yet in the midst of our diversity, we build community, grounded in God’s radically inclusive love for all people. We are part of an ongoing conversation on matters of belief and faith, shaped by scripture and the historic creeds, building on those who have come before us. Our chapter begins when God says to us: “Come, taste, and see.”

 

Our Faith

 

“Come, taste, and see.” Jesus Christ, You invite all people to Your open table. You make us Your people, a beloved community. You restore the joy of our relationship with God, even in the midst of loneliness, despair, and degradation. We are each unique and we all belong, a priesthood of all believers. Baptized and filled with Your Holy Spirit, You empower us to be Your healing presence in a hurting world.

We expect to see Your reign on earth as it is in heaven as we work toward a world where everyone has enough, wars cease, and all creation lives in harmony. We affirm Your charge to all of humanity to care for the land, sea, and air. Therefore, we will actively resist systems and structures which are destroying Your creation.

 

With all of creation we worship You—every tribe, every language, every people, every nation. We know You by many names, Triune God, beyond comprehension, revealed to us in Jesus Christ, who invites us to the feast.

Amen.

© 2018 Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond. All rights reserved.

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