Greetings!

I hope you are being blessed this week, and that you received the spiritual "push" you needed to make some decisions and move forward in your calling. For some of us, it means gaining more education and training; for some, it means stepping out on faith towards our dream jobs/careers; for some, it means going to our places of prayer and meditation to re-think what God desires of us. Whatever it means for you, I pray that the Spirit gives you the "push" you need!

This week, we will take a look at how we read, hear, and understand Scriptures. When we encounter Scripture, and we think it can be just a moment in history, something to acknowledge and move on. But in both of Sunday's readings, we are shown that Scripture is a guideline to propel us into action after finding today's meaning/interpretation.

The message this week is entitled, Today, This Scripture Is Fulfilled, based on the words of Jesus. If you'd like to read ahead, check out Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 (Message) and Luke 4:14-21 (New King James Version). 

I look forward to worship with you ONLINE once again this Sunday. Please stay safe!

Pastor Keith
Founder's Metropolitan Community Church Announcements for the week of 1-21-22!
 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 four 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.
Free Home Covid Test Kits 
Special FMCC Wednesday Night Study Starting January 26th
Not just “homosexuality and the Bible” …

Human Sexuality & the Bible
A provocative series featuring the Rev. Elder Ken Martin of
Sanctuary in the Woods (sanctuaryinthewoods.com)
 
FMCC's former Interim Pastor did his doctoral studies at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. He'll take us way beyond the "clobber passages" to the ethics and morality behind a new sexual theology!
 
Beginning January 26th
FMCC Wednesday Night Study
7:30pm PT
 
 
Facebook LIVE: Founders Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles
UFMCC Commission on the Pathways of Healing and Reconciliation 
This coming Monday, 1/24/22 at 5:00 p.m., our denomination's Commission on the Pathways of Healing and Reconciliation will hold a free webinar to discuss the progress of the commission. We invite everyone to attend!
Free Webinar: Facing The FACTs
In the fall of 2021, a special issue of Theology Today featured 12 instructive articles based on the largest study of congregations ever, the 2020 Faith Communities Today project. As a follow-up to this issue, Theology Today and the Faith Communities Today (FACT) research initiative will jointly host an informative webinar on Tuesday, January 25 from 10am to 11:30am PST.
This webinar will feature an overview of findings from the FACT 2020 study, along with insights from researchers of several participating faith traditions and denominations, commentary by outside religion observers, and ample time for your questions. This webinar is free and open to the public.
As a thank you for participating, webinar registrants will receive complimentary access to this special issue of Theology Today both prior to and following the webinar.


Winter Pictures
We are still looking for those winter pictures to share during our Passing of the Peace. While most of us are worshiping from home, it is a wonderful way to continue "seeing" each other. Email photos to revkeith@mccla.org. 
 (Pictured: Jair Bula and His Mother)
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 22 @ $99,430.00
Building Fund 13 @ $5,182.00

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 16, 2022: $8,554.00

Bayanihan: $100.00

Helping Hands: $310.00

Pastor Discretionary Fund: $151.00

Designated Building Fund: $25.00


Total Designated Funds: $586.00


Facilities Rentals: $3,300.00

Grand Total of all tithes, offerings and designated funds: 1/16/22

$12,440.00

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.
Special FMCC Wednesday Night Study Starting January 26th
Human Sexuality & the Bible
A provocative series featuring the Rev. Elder Ken Martin of
Sanctuary in the Woods (sanctuaryinthewoods.com)
 
FMCC's former Interim Pastor did his doctoral studies at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. He'll take us way beyond the "clobber passages" to the ethics and morality behind a new sexual theology!
 
Beginning January 26th
FMCC Wednesday Night Study
7:30pm PT
 
 
Facebook LIVE: Founders Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles
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!
COMMISSION ON PATHWAYS
OF HEALING AND RECONCILIATION

YEAR ONE REPORT

Youtube
Vimeo
"How good and pleasant it is
when God's people live together in unity!"
Psalm 133:1

This report outlines the first year's work of the Commission, its initial findings and the next steps it will undertake in order to present final recommendations to the Governing Board in mid 2022. 
Purpose and Mission of the Commission:

In a letter written to the Governing Board, one person wrote “MCC cannot move forward until we look back.” This statement encapsulates the spirit and intent of the Commission on Pathways of Healing and Reconciliation. The Commission was established by the Governing Board to help MCC address racism and other issues that were highlighted during and after General Conference 2016. 



The Commission developed a charter to guide their work. In brief, 

The Commission on Pathways of Healing and Reconciliation will:

  • Design and offer a pathway for individuals to move towards healing and reconciliation on elements that have fractured relationships in recent years
  • Review previous reports on diversity and inclusion, making recommendations on further work to be done
  • Conduct an in-depth review of MCC and its current state in relation to race equity
  • Work with the Governing Board, Council of Elders, MCC staff, church leaders and local congregations to start the process of organizational and policy change, which will embed racial equity into all areas of the denomination
  • Make recommendations for accountability mechanisms, so that the progress towards race equity, diversity and inclusion continues.


Members

At the direction and leadership of the Governing Board and Moderator, individuals with the skillset, diversity and availability to serve on the commission were interviewed and selected. The members of the Commission created a covenant to guide their work.

Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow, MCC Detroit, USA (Co-Chair)
Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, Moderator UFMCC (Co-Chair)
Rev. Cathy Alexander, MCC Staff
Mr. Kedric Brown, Resurrection MCC, Houston TX, USA
Ms. Clare Coughlin, Governing Board UFMCC
Mr. Juan Garcia, MCC of Washington DC, USA
Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw, MCC Tampa, USA
Mr. Richard Norman, Good Hope MCC, South Africa
Ms. Ivana Warwick, ICM Sao Paulo, Brazil

Previous Members:

Ms. Coralis Weston, Vision of Hope MCC, USA
Ms. Reece Jackson-Whitaker, Founders MCC, USA
Commissioner's Work Plan

The Commissioners are divided into 2 sub teams to be able to focus more intensely on specific areas of concern: 
  1. Organizational change within MCC 
  2. Developing personal pathways to healing.

Organizational Change:
The Commissioners had a starting place through the work of the Rev Elder Ines-Paul Baumann. He reviewed the documentation made by a variety of groups within MCC as it related to race, racism, race equity and other inclusion issues, and then compiled a summary report for the Governing Board, Council of Elders and Staff to address a number of issues, which they have received and have begun to take appropriate actions. This was an invaluable resource as it connected previous work with the task that lay ahead.

A key resource that the Commissioners use to help work through the process of organizational change is found in the document “Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture” produced by Equity in the Center. At the “awake” stage, we focus on increasing diverse representation at all levels. At the “woke” stage, we focus on inclusion and internal change in behaviors, policies, and practices. At the “work” stage, we focus on integration of a race equity lens in all aspects of the denomination. 

The Commissioners consulted with two organizations to help guide us in a framework of change. 
  1. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice consultants from the Unitarian Universalist Association shared lessons learned from their process of developing a race equity culture and addressing organizational and structural inequity within their denomination.
  2. The Washington Consulting Group led by Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington and Rev. Samuel Offer developed and performed a day-long training on anti-racism with MCC Staff, the Commissioners, and the Governing Board. A few of the outcomes from this training included:
  • Developing an agreed way of working with one another that is respectful, open to listening and learning and owns our individual responses and journey 
  • Developing a common lexicon to enable us to communicate well and with common understanding about the different issues that we are working on together, particularly around racism and white supremacy
  • Begin to think about the dynamics of how to bring lasting cultural change to MCC.

Following this day-long training, all participants received a survey to evaluate MCC’s commitment to race equity at the denominational level to the local level (19 people participated). 

Developing Personal Pathways to Healing
In June and July of 2021, the Commission sent invitations throughout the denomination inviting people to share their experiences within MCC around racism or other areas needing healing and reconciliation. Three ways were offered:
  • Sharing their story via email (7 persons participated – 2 of 7 emailed Cecilia and Roland individually)
  • Sharing their story with a trained listener from around the world, with English, Spanish and Portuguese available. (5 persons participated)
  • Responding to questions in a survey (73 people participated).
Summary of Responses

The Commissioners recognize the courage and trust that it took for the responders to engage in this important process and to re-live painful experiences. The Commissioners offered the pathway resources in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. One person from Asia, one person from Australia, and three people from Europe participated. The rest were from the United States. There were common themes that arose as well as individual responses worth noting.

  • Lack of Support: There seems to be a lack of support for clergy by denominational leadership. One person shared they were not offered any pastoral care nor collegial support after a major hurt and they needed to find their own way to make peace and move forward on their own. There were several questions raised regarding the ordination selection process and whether it benefits some over other qualified candidates. There is an “elite” class of people who are favored rather than treating all people equally. There needs to be a safe process for whistleblowers. 

  • Mistrust in Leadership: Confidences have been broken and attempts to approach leadership were met with silence or silencing, indifference and/or resistance. Leaders have pitted Black people against one another. It appeared that leadership did not have the willingness or skillset to address racism and supremacy. The leadership seems to be threatened to address racism and power dynamics. There is a pattern of protecting the institution rather than the people who need support. There needs to be a clear understanding of what happens to someone when they violate the code of conduct.

  • Disappointment with lack of follow-through: There seems to be no accountability or consequences for bad/negative behavior during the 2016 General Conference once it was brought to the attention of denominational leadership. Several hurtful social media posts have been made, but who enforces or monitors MCC’s policies? Some feel they no longer matter to MCC which they labeled as a form of spiritual abuse.

  • Racism / White Supremacy: MCC has a white European culture and training is needed to see how this world view impacts others. There needs to be a mechanism to address racial incidents at the MCC staff level. MCC is seen as not being welcoming to clergy of color. One person’s Latin identity was erased, and they were mistaken to be an ally rather than a member of the community. This leads to exhaustion and not feeling seen or valued. Leaders must consider diversity in worship and theology. There appears to be more diversity among the laity whereas the clergy tends to be more monolithic. More attention needs to be paid to cultural differences around the world, and the ordination process needs to reflect this cultural diversity.

  • Sexism: During the 2016 General Conference, some men were seen as disruptive because they did not get the outcome they wanted. We are a denomination that seeks to be inclusive, but it will actively harm women. There have been situations of bullying (primarily online) that included a theme of sexism with a group of men bullying a group of women. One person experienced a Black woman being silenced by white men at the local level when the issue of race and racism was addressed.

  • Transphobia / Misgendering: One individual shared they are continually misgendered in public and private settings within MCC. Thus, they feel erased and silenced by MCC. It is important to allow individuals to self-identify, rather than making assumptions on external appearance.

  • Ageism / Ableism: Those who are Gen X or Gen Y are often overlooked and ignored. Their contributions are not taken seriously. There needs to be greater awareness of multigenerational experiences. An older black woman in a wheelchair wanted to have her concerns acknowledged during the 2016 General Conference, but many felt annoyed by her and wanted her silenced. 

  • Invisibility: The question of “who really matters” in MCC was a recurring theme. A common tactic to suppress others is through ignoring their voice, their complaint, their identity and/or their ideas. Public statements that do not acknowledge racism, sexism, etc. render people invisible.

A Commissioner’s analysis included: “Some of the contributors came to MCC with a history of pain, and hoping to land in safe space, but instead found more trauma in a variety of ways. The pain in the testimonies was evident. Distrust compounded by examples of breaches in confidentiality, insider/outsider behaviors in leadership, promises to enact change but no results. I saw a pattern in testimonies of a lack of faith in the future direction of MCC. There were calls for people to apologize and to name specifically where their lack of knowledge and/or awareness caused pain and suffering. I saw themes of a great love for MCC, and deep disappointment when this beloved community has sought to be safe and liberating but has failed.”
Next Steps for the Commission

The Commissioners are grateful to those who were willing to interact with us and also know that we need to hear far more stories from around the world. We are not satisfied with the number of responses compared to the size of the denomination. We recognize that additional outreach is needed to non-English speaking people to gain their experiences. The Commission will partner with MCC staff, kinship groups and others to find the most effective ways to get feedback from MCCers around the world.  Connecting again to the colleagues from the Unitarian Universalist Association may be a good idea to gain guidance in the ongoing work. We will partner with the Governing Board and Senior Leadership Team on their ongoing work on race equity so that we may incorporate it into one cohesive plan for MCC. 

The Commissioners will continue to send an E-Blast Newsletter bi-monthly to keep the denomination informed of the work. As questions or issues dealing with the focus of the work of the Commission, several Commissioners are assigned to respond to email inquiries. 

Each Commissioner sought to be reappointed by the Governing Board for another year to continue to work on receiving feedback from MCC’ers, especially increasing the number of respondents from areas outside the United States. As the 2022 General Conference approaches, the Commissioners are planning to present a more comprehensive analysis of the MCC’s race equity efforts and present a plan first to the Governing Board and then to the General Conference of our recommendations for organizational change and ongoing healing opportunities.
Commission Webinars

Region, Languages, Dates and Time Zones
Brazil - Portuguese/English - 24th January - 7pm BRT / 10pm GMT / 5pm EST

USA (Houston) - Spanish/English - 24th January - 7pm CST / 8pm EST / 1am GMT (25th January)

Philippines - English - 27th January - 7pm PHST / 11am GMT / 6am EST

United Kingdom - English - 27th January - 7pm GMT / 2pm EST
"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
Dear God, creator of all that is, lover of all that might be
You are so great beyond measure
And I am but a mere shadow in your presence 
 
I weep for my loves who have fallen 
I grieve kindred who comfort me no more
I cry out for those that might comfort me again.
I yearn for peace in the anxieties of this World.
 
So much is happening
So much is to be feared
There is too much.
Too much uncertainty
Too much pain 
Too much loneliness 
Too much grief
I cry out
I grieve
I retreat
 
Can you reveal your presence?
Can I know you're here?
 
I yearn for peace.
How do I become peaceable?
 
I yearn for truth.
How do I become honest?
 
I yearn for hope.
How do I create hope?
 
I yearn for faith.
How do I act in trust?
 
I yearn for Love.
How do I love?
 
Your steadfast love endures forever.
I vow to you, oh God of Ages Past and Future, that I will love in truth, in Hope, in faith, in honesty, in Truth, in You.
 
Thank you for creating me.
Thank you for loving me.
You made me beautiful. 
You made me whole. 
I am enough.
For you made me in your image; and You are more than enough. 
 
Your steadfast love endures forever. 
Your steadfast love includes me. 
I endure because you love me.
I endure eternally because you love me eternally.
 
In the Name of Christ Who Is, I Praise the God Who Is.
Amen.
PRAYER SUBMITTED BY:

DR. MARK ISAAC DALGLEISH
Mark is a Queer Scottish primary care physician working and living in Australia.
Mark Isaac was born and raised in the streets of Glasgow, and strives to understand how this life matters in today's confused and uncertain World.
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.