Greetings!

What a difference a week makes! Last week, Rev. Alejandro and I were getting word out about new safety protocols. Alas, we ended those protocols by saying, "Stay tuned in case something changes!" Well, things have certainly changed! After much thought and prayer, the Staff and Board of Directors made the decision to suspend in-person worship for at least the next six weeks. It seems each day we're learning of more individuals and families in our congregation that are being affected by Covid-19. Out of the abundance of caution, we decided it was best to return to ONLINE-ONLY worship for the time being. We will re-evaluate this as time goes on to see if we need to push the time further.

Let us keep each other in prayer, especially those in our congregation who are isolating because of the virus. PLEASE: If you haven't been vaccinated, do so. PLEASE: If you have been vaccinated, make sure you are boosted. PLEASE: If you are having ANY Covid or flu symptoms, stay home if at all possible. The good news we have is that those in our congregation who are testing positive for Covid are having mild cases and are not hospitalized. They are all vaccinated, so we believe that is a major factor in the severity of the illness.

We DO, however, plan to continue having worship with our online crew! So join us ONLINE until further notice!

Last week, we celebrated the New Year. This Sunday, the emphasis is on the baptism of Jesus, an Epiphany of sorts. It was an "aha" moment for John and his followers. The message this week is, Lord, We Need An "Aha" Moment! If you'd like to read ahead, check out Acts 8:14-17 (The Voice) and Luke 3:21-22 (The Voice). I look forward to "seeing" you ONLINE this Sunday for worship!

Pastor Keith
Founder's Metropolitan Community Church Announcements for the week of 1-7-22!
 In-Person Worship Suspended
Due to the extreme transmission of Covid-19, our in-person worship for all services have been suspended for at least the next six weeks. FMCC's Staff and Board of Directors made this decision prayerfully and out of an abundance of caution to keep us as safe as possible. Please join us each week on either our Facebook channel or our YouTube channel.
2022 Best of the LGBTQ Readers' Choice Award
We invite you to take the survey at the following link to vote for Metropolitan Community Church as the Best House of Worship! Voting ends January 9th.  

Winter Pictures
Please send in your winter-themed pictures for our Passing of the Peace during worship. It is so wonderful being able to "see" some of you that haven't been present at in-person worship for awhile! Send photos to revkeith@mccla.org.  (Pictured: Ramiro Vasquez)
Celebration of the Black Christ  
This is an outdoor concert from the front steps of the church beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Stewardship Campaign Info  
 These are the 2022 Stewardship Refocusing Our Vision Campaign totals so far.  

Estos son los totales de mayordomía de 2022 Reenfocando Nuestra Visión

Tithes 24 @ $81,922.00
Building Fund 10 @ $4,660.00

Please take some time this week to prayerfully consider your financial commitment for 2022. Then, fill out the Stewardship Commitment Card either in person or online at www.foundersmcc.org. We so appreciate all that you commit to make Founders MCC a vital part of our lives.
New Church App Coming Soon!!!
Volunteer Opportunities!
Food Available
Food Delivery

Our Food Delivery is every Friday Morning between the hours of 7:30 A.M. to 9:30 A.M.

Food Distribution

Each Saturday, our church offers food to those who are in need. In addition to the HopeNet food that comes each week, we have started offering fresh produce from Food Forward. Come by from anytime between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning to pick up food. 
Vaccination@mccla.org  
If you haven't done so already, please send a picture of your vaccination card to vaccination@mccla.org so the check-in line will run quickly on Sunday!  
Vaccinations for those 5 years of age and older:
Tithes & Offerings
General Tithes & Offerings for January 02, 2022: $4,302.62

Helping Hands: $756.00

Designated Building Fund: $136.49


Total Designated Funds: $.00


Facilities Rentals: $3,060.00

Grand Total of all tithes, offerings and designated funds: 1/02/22

$8,255.11

Attendance: 41
Thank you to all who have given so generously through our online giving portal. Our church cannot function without your generosity!! Feel free to continue giving through our website (on PushPay) or simply sending a check in the mail (4607 Prospect Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027). Again, thank you.
Wednesday Night Bible Study Groups are back!!!
 Wednesday: Bible Study with Pastor Lucia Chappelle, 7:30 p.m. on Facebook

Hospitality - online - after worship!
Don't forget that we have a time of Hospitality after worship each Sunday. The link is at the top of the first page of our website. Come and have some fun with your church family!
STATEMENT ON REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
Jesus said: “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” (Luke 12:57)

Following the example of Jesus and empowered by the Spirit, we seek to build leading-edge church communities that demand, proclaim, and do justice in the world.
(From the MCC Statement of Faith)

Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” In an interview with Public Radio International’s Marco Werman in October, Dr. Mofokeng spoke about Covid’s impact on reproductive health, saying: “We know that in many countries there’s been a regression and a push back on women’s rights and autonomy.” In her role at the UN, Dr. Mofokeng states that “it’s about reinforcing the very important message that women and girls and people capable of becoming pregnant have a right to make informed decisions about their pregnancy outcomes.”

The MCC Elders celebrate that all God’s people are provided with agency - the ability to act independently without coercion from the state, religious bodies or family systems. When MCC gathers in all of its glorious theological diversity, we recognize that while we may have a myriad of spiritualities, we may at the same time encourage one another in seeking God’s truth, justice and salvation. The well-known hymn “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love,” proclaims that “we'll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.” MCC is called to protect the dignity of people seeking reproductive justice and resist political manipulation that aims to eliminate self-determination.

Some countries and states have taken drastic steps to reduce access to abortion and this is a matter of both reproductive and economic justice. While on the surface the recent decisions seem to be limited to abortion, they are also about a continuing disdain of poor people (people with financial means have always and will always have access to abortion due to their money and connections). Economic inequality often makes an appearance alongside gender inequality.

Everyone should be empowered to make decisions about their own body: every person is born with sexual and reproductive rights. This means they are entitled to equal access to health services like contraception and safe abortions, to choose if, when, and who they marry, and to decide if they want to have children and if so how many, when and with whom. People are to live without fear of forced marriage, forced pregnancy, forced abortion or forced sterilization.

Dr. Mofokeng says that “It’s important to realize that fundamentally the right to health entitles all of us the right to autonomy, to bodily integrity, to dignity and the practice of medicine in itself should be a protection and a defense for human rights.”

The spiritual support MCC may provide for those pursuing reproductive justice is a ministry of companioning, journeying with people as they reflect on Jesus’s words, “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” The companion walks with the person whatever their decision or choice about their reproductive health. The spiritual companion is present with people (online or in-person) and helps all to accept God’s grace that has already arrived.
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds" - Romans 12:2

Our theme for this conference pushes us into our prophetic imagination as we consider what a global, multi-site conference may be like. The ongoing pandemic has taught us many things including how to live into our best innovative, creative, and experimental ideas.

For our 2022 Global General Conference, we are seeking to learn from our experiences so far and co-create a new kind of conference that lives up to the diverse needs that MCC has around the world.

We will carry with us the best of our one-site conferences with dynamic worship, powerful speakers, and transformative connections. At the same time, we will be gathering in multiple locations around the world, woven together by similar threads, textures, and patterns through the content, themes, and design of the conference.

In coming months, we will be describing more about the content of Global Conference as well as the similarities and differences between locations. Be on the lookout for a lot more information in the New Year.
Registration Opening in January 2022!
Registration for the Global General Conference 2022 will open in January 2022!

You are invited to go to ANY Global General Conference site and are encouraged to consider attending a site that may not be closest to your home. For this reason, we are confirming the details for ALL locations before beginning the registration process.

In January, we will open registration for all of our sites and provide links to reserve your accommodations at each location. We are also planning a webinar to help you navigate the many choices ahead of you. The webinar date will be set soon.

Note on Registration Rates:
Registration rates vary from location to location and currency to currency. MCC follows the recommendations from the World Council of Churches to strive toward an equitable pricing structure using the median income of each country to group into categories. Registration rates are the same percentage of median income in every place around the world.

For all of our in-person locations, we are planning to have at least two registration rates: regular registrant (base cost of conference) and a scholarship registration for those able to subsidize the conference expense.

All rates below are listed in local currency.

Budgeting for the Global General Conference Beyond Registration:
Because the Global General Conference will be in so many stages during the initial phase of GC 2022, budgeting an exact amount will be challenging until we have all the various components confirmed.

We are working on accommodations for each location. Please refrain from making reservations until January 2022 when we will release accommodation information for each location. This will ensure you are getting the best deal and are as close as possible to the event location.

As you look at the costs below, please remember that you are welcome to go to ANY of the locations listed. You do not need to attend the conference nearest your home.

To help you plan for this Global experience, we recommend you budget for GC 2022 as follows:

Online Only
$200 USD; $225 CAD; €187 EUR; £174.13 GBP; $325 AUD; $712 MEX; R260 BRL; ₱3831 PHP

Included in online registration: Access to all content for 6 months including: plenary sessions; pre-recorded versions of all 30+ workshops with guides to use in your personal spiritual life or in your congregation; access to short Transformative Practices to deepen our connection to God and our Global experience of the Divine; communication portals to help you engage with people from all over the world over all sorts of kinships and shared interests.

All of this content will be available to everyone who registers online or in-person, meaning if you register for an in-person gathering, you will also have access to all of the online content and connective opportunities.

In-Person Gatherings
Those who register will have access to all of the online content as listed above. In addition, the extra cost of registration covers meals (lunch, dinner and snacks in most locations) and transportation where needed.

We will be bound by a shared theme, similar worship experiences and similar plenaries in all locations. Some presentations will be the same throughout each location through shared video, where other things will be locally put together. Each worship service will be recorded so that others can delight in the similarities and differences of worship around the world following General Conference. More details on the specifics of each location will come out in coming months.

See below for a list of locations and for the average expected costs:

Africa: Invitation Only. Contact conferences@MCCchurch.net to inquire.

In many places around the continent of Africa, it is punishable by law, sometimes to the point of death, to practice same-gender loving relationships. In order to keep our African siblings, security is our top priority, thus little information will be shared about our African conference publicly.
Houston, Texas, USA
Primary Language: English

Regular Rate: $325
Sponsorship Rate: $425

Hotel: $140USD/night
(Note: there will be multiple options that range from about $100 - $150USD)

Included in Registration
*Transportation to Resurrection MCC from endorsed accommodations.
*Lunches, dinners, and snacks.
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Primary Language: Portuguese

Regular Rate: R482
Sponsorship Rate: R556

Hotel: R195 BRL/night

All events will take place in the endorsed hotel. Some meals will be included with registration.
Manila, Philippines
Primary Language: English

Regular Rate: ₱1244
Sponsorship Rate: ₱1791

Hotel: ₱4300/night

All events will take place in the endorsed hotel. Some meals will be included with registration.
Europe: We are still finalizing details for a European site but anticipate the registration fees to be the following:
Primary Language: English

Regular Rate: £240
Sponsorship Rate: £315
Latin America: Our Latin American contingent will be meeting online. In addition to the regular online programming provided, we will be coordinating additional online opportunities for connection and sharing in Spanish.
Primary Language: Spanish

Registration Fee: Same as online above
Africa: Invitation Only. Contact conferences@MCCchurch.net to inquire.

In many places around the continent of Africa, it is punishable by law, sometimes to the point of death, to practice same-gender loving relationships. In order to keep our African siblings, security is our top priority, thus little information will be shared about our African conference publicly.
Reminder of Conference Structure

The Global General Conference will take place in two phases: 

To begin, our Global General Conference Jubilee will take place at locations around the world in-person and also online from 1-3 July 2022.  

The second part of our Global General Conference will be the Business Meeting and will take place online from 15-16 July 2022


More Information Coming Soon!

Keep checking your emails for updated information.

Registration will open in January! Mark your calendars and start saving.

Specific hotels, retreat centers, and other accommodations are still being identified or in negotiation. In some locations there may be multiple options. Please wait to make reservations until accommodations are announced to receive the best rates and most amenities.
THANK YOU for your support as we navigate this new way holding General Conference!

Global General Conference Core Team: 
Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos
Dr. Lillian Dunlap 
Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston
Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez 
Rev. Jennifer J.C. Hall 
Chad Hobbs
Barry Hundley 
Rev. Lori McPherson
Léo Rossetti 
Rev. Lauren Bennett, co-chair
Mike Haase, co-chair

If you have any questions or ideas you want to share with our core team, please contact us: conferences@MCCchurch.net 

We look forward to co-creating this new way of doing General Conference with you. 
Keep in Touch! | conferences@MCCchurch.net
Epiphany
Click on the image below to view the Advent message on Vimeo
Click on the image below to view the Advent message on YouTube.
Epiphany

In the celebration of Epiphany, we read in the Matthew gospel a story of magicians traveling a great distance to follow a new star in the east, in order to find a king and bring him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
 
That Jesus is a king is a parable, an inversion to surprise us and help us to understand Jesus in a new way, or understand kingship in a new way. Many of us have forgotten to think about what it means to call an immigrant child with uncertain parentage a king.

God's empire is described consistently as filled with nobodies, with mold and weeds, sick people, dead people. Everything that Jesus ever said – congratulations poor people!, love your enemies, if someone asks for your outer shirt give them your undershirt, too, give to everyone who asks, give without being asked, give without expectation of return, give without expectation of thanks – everything that Jesus ever said is in the story of Epiphany. We repeat it for a reason. Because it's in the Christmas story, because that's what it means for the eternal to become embodied. Because it's all in the Easter story, because that's what it means for life and love to overcome death and violence. Because it's in the Pentecost story, because that's what it means for the spirit of life, the breath of rightness, to be poured out on us, to become the air in our lungs...

Because it's in the Epiphany story, because this is what it means for us to understand. This is what it means to find Jesus. And it is as important as it has ever been to understand and talk about and act on. Because there is an ongoing permission, an ongoing encouragement and incitement and excitement to be Somebody, to horde and hold onto, to hate our enemies and hate our neighbors and hate the orphan and widow and foreigner who live among us. 

What does it mean to travel a great distance? To come at great risk? To lay down what is precious to us at the feet of no one of consequence?
To travel great distances and great risk, to call the outcast our king, I believe we must support immigrants, Latinx and Muslim, to support women in headscarves and men in turbans. To interfere with the murder of unarmed Black people and trans women, interrupt the silent disappearance of indigenous girls and women, obstruct the disproportionate incarceration and warehousing and economic exploitation of Black and brown bodies. Reject torture, refuse capital punishment, renounce solitary confinement, lest we become what we abhor. Lest we abhor whom we have been instructed to love.

What does it mean to travel a great distance? To come at great risk? To lay down what is precious to us at the feet of no one of consequence?
I pray that these are the questions we will not tire of asking ourselves in the weeks and years ahead. I pray that we will be kin and comfort and comrade to one another. I pray that we will not despair. I pray that we will triumph.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me. Your rod and staff comfort me. 

Fire, Light, Flame, illuminate the world, enlighten us all. You are coming and have come, you reveal yourself and we are exposed.

Soul of our being, center of our longing, what shines in all, with all, for all (like a candle, like a star) and flows through all (like spirit, like breath), be with us, animate us, and guide us, now and always.

Grieve with us when we grieve; celebrate with us when we celebrate, free us from our debt, embolden us to free others. Be the first to hear our sincere apology and our commitment to start again. This breath. This breath. This breath.

Travelers, let every candle on our altars, let any flame we light as we name our hope, let every star in every night sky represent the arc of justice, and our part in it; the endurance of love, and us awakening to our undefeated goodness. 

Be blessed, now and forever. Amen.
Rev. Elder Miller Hoffman
MCC Council of Elders

Read Elders' Bios here:
Founder's Metropolitan Community Church Board Of Directors
Rev. Keith Mozingo (Moderator)
Jenni Nichols (Vice Moderator)
Oyie Esguerra (Treasurer)
Kim Doneche (Clerk)
Gef Aviles (Member)
Antonio Martinez (Member)
Bob Stayton (Member)
Parking Available
Children's Hospital has so graciously volunteered up to 10 spaces for us to park. It is a small lot off Sunset Blvd., just beyond the Metro Station entrance.