Can you be gay (LGBT) and Christian?

Yes!  This is the reason MCC started in the first place – to provide a safe, open-hearted, church in which all people, including LGBT people, could participate, lead and grow in their faith.

We believe that the reasons LGBT people have been rejected by the church have to do with prejudice and harmful misunderstandings of the Bible.  Our church seeks to overcome those prejudices and misunderstandings, and to provide a place where all people can thrive and meet their full, spiritual potential.

We believe that the message of Jesus was God’s unconditional love for all.  The gospels are full of stories in which he reached out to people that other people labeled “sinners,” with love, acceptance and grace.  We believe that God does not discriminate, and that what needs to be changed is not our sexuality, but our hearts.  Learning to love and accept ourselves and each other, speaking out for those who do not have justice or hope, this is our mission.


Doesn’t the Bible condemn homosexuality?

We believe that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, or LGBT people and our loving, mutual relationships.

One of our Pastors, Rev. Nancy Wilson, has written a book about it, called Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures and is available for sale through bookstores or order through Amazon.

There are many excellent books and resources on the critique of the traditional, negative view of homosexuality and the Bible. Reach out to info@suncoastcathedralmcc.org for a listing.

We believe that sexual relationships between persons of the same sex, or opposite sex, should be governing by consent, mutuality, love, respect, and honesty.  These are Biblical values.

There are 6 passages in the Bible that have been misused to condemn same sex relationship.  For sixty years, scholars have been revisiting those passages, and coming to the same conclusion:  that those scriptures have been misinterpreted because of cultural prejudice against homosexuality.

Meanwhile, the Bible has plenty to say about loving your neighbor, reaching out to the outcast, promoting peace and reconciliation, forgiveness, God’s healing love for all, the importance of speaking up for justice.  These are the values that we preach and teach at SunCoast MCC.


 What is the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC)?

Metropolitan Community Churches is a Christian denomination with churches worldwide.  There are 18 congregations in Florida.  MCC has congregations in 42 states and the District of Columbia.  There are 160 Affiliated Churches, 45 Emerging Ministries, and 7 Oasis Communities in 33 countries worldwide: MCC Global Presence

 

MCC was founded in 1968 by Rev. Troy Perry, a former Assembly of God minister who was forced out of his church when he came out as a gay man.  Since that time Metropolitan Community Church has been a leader in civil and human rights, addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, economic, climate change, aging, and inclusion on a local and a global basis.   Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) has led the struggle towards marriage equality in the USA and other countries worldwide, performing the first same-gender marriages in the United States.  MCC recognizes a state of need around the world in the areas of human rights and justice and has been at the vanguard of civil and human rights movements by addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, economics, climate change, aging, and global human rights.

 

As people of faith, MCC endeavors to build bridges that liberate and unite voices of sacred defiance and transformation for all people who are marginalized or excluded, including but not limited to those who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, or queer.  For more information about MCC


What does MCC believe?

MCC believes in a God of unconditional love, in a Jesus who is our compassionate, divine friend, and in a Holy Spirit who empowers us to be God’s holy presence in a hurting world.  Our core values are:

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.  For the MCC Statement of Faith


How is MCC Governed?

Each MCC church is governed locally with a Board of Directors and a congregation that elects its pastor(s).

MCC as a denomination is governed by the churches and members of the denomination through elected representatives and appointed Elders.

  • Moderator – serves as the public spokesperson and visionary leader of the denomination. The moderator is elected by the members of the denomination for up to two 6-year terms.
  • Board of Elders Council of Elders – serves as the spiritual leaders of the denomination, providing guidance according to their personal gifts and calling.
  • Governing Board – provides for the day to day business of the denomination.

The Moderator and Governing Board are elected at a General Conference held every three years.  At this conference, each church has a voice and vote on the representatives as well as by-laws and other business matters.  Every licensed clergy person has a vote at the General Conference. Churches are also represented by Lay Delegates who have a vote.  The number of Lay Delegates is determined by the size of the church.   A lay delegate is elected by the congregation and is responsible to the local congregation to represent them at all General Conferences and Network meetings. Delegates are responsible for keeping the congregations informed on concerns and policies of MCC.

For more information on the Lay Delegates


When Will the Next MCC General Conference Be Held?

The next General Conference will be held in July 2019 in Orlando, FL.  The General Conference will bring together MCC’ers from around the globe to worship and learn. All are welcome to this gathering of Christians who celebrate God’s All-Inclusive Love.

Come, taste, and experience all that MCC is and is becoming.

We use this time together to conduct our denominational business and provide educational opportunities through workshops, day-long institutes, and plenaries. If it is a spiritual connection you are seeking, we also provide social opportunities, affinity groups, and diverse and uplifting worship experiences.

If you have any questions as you register, reach out to us: MCC General Conference


Does MCC Endorse Particular Candidates for Political Office?

MCC abides by US laws, and, as a church does not endorse candidates for public office.  However, we can and do speak out on issues of justice, which is not only legal, but, we believe, is a part of our calling.   Like all churches, we can speak to issues that are on a ballot and being voted on. We encourage our members to exercise our rights as citizens and vote.


How Does MCC Support Social Justice Issues?

MCC has been active in social justice issues since our founding.  Racial justice, justice for women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, environmental justice, gun violence, peace, advocacy for those who are discriminated against – these issues are important to us.