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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Be MCC? Yes Please!

We've had lots of discussion lately about Church in Progress being part of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Christian denomination. The video above records the core team saying a big fat YES to the question of ... do we get into relationship with MCC?

So today, Emily signed some papers and sent them back to Rev. Elder Darlene Garner. This means Church in Progress will be recognised as being an 'emerging church' under the MCC umbrella and slowly we will work towards affiliation. So even though we are not fully an MCC church (yet) the core team decided it would be good to get into relationship with MCC. This means MCC and Church in Progress can support one another. Some good things to come out of this relationship are...

  • Being part of something bigger. MCC has lots of great resources that we can tap into and contribute to. Want to know more - try exploring the main website 
  • It's world-wide and MCC has AMAZING conferences every couple of years. Alan and Emily were lucky enough to get some help from the 'Be a Gem' fund last year to attend.  Here's Emily talking in 2013 in Chicago (at about the 18 minute mark).  Start saving now for the next conference in 2016 in .... Canada!

  • Emily is currently working towards ordination within MCC. Becoming part of MCC is really important for this process AND it also ensures that I (Emily) adhere to the MCC Code of Conduct for pastoral leaders. Church in Progress's core team thought it was healthy for us to have some guidelines in place to ensure that Church in Progress continues and remains a safe, happy and welcoming place - being in relationship with MCC can help us do that.
  • MCC has an INCREDIBLE history of being inclusive and affirming of ALL people - regardless of where they are at or how they identify themselves. Church in Progress is excited about building upon this foundation. MCC was founded by a guy called Troy Perry. If you want to know more about his story check out the movie made about his journey here
  • Eventually we'll be able to use the MCC logo and images - which will be really cool!
  • Lots of other good things will come out of this but you might have questions too - please go to our facebook group page or use the comments field below to join in the discussion.
We really encourage you to look more into what Being MCC is about. To get you started here's a few bits and pieces from their website.

Love, Emily and the Church in Progress Core Team

MCC Statement of Vision

Metropolitan Community Churches are on a bold mission to transform hearts, lives & history. We are a movement that faithfully proclaims God’s inclusive love for all people & proudly bears witness to the holy integration of spirituality & sexuality. Just as Jesus did, we are called to:
  • Do justice, show kindness, and live humbly with God. (Micah 6:8)
  • Explore life’s questions with open hearts and minds.
  • Raise our voices in sacred defiance against religious (and political or systemic) exclusion.
  • Reach out to those with no hope.
  • Lift up new generations of remarkable, far-reaching spiritual activists.

MCC Statement of Direction

MCC has staked its claim. As one of the world’s emerging churches, we are proclaiming a spirituality that is liberating and sufficiently profound to address the issues of our chaotic and complicated world. We live out our belief that in the margins we are blessed and we are offering multiple ways for people to access our message of liberation and inclusion. Through church planting, church revitalization, alliances, the internet, and our work in acts of compassion and justice, we will expand our reach substantially over the next few years. MCC will become a name known to an increasing number of people as a place where all are welcomed and our service to those who are excluded is a primary focus of our ministry. We will be leaders in the world about the union of spirituality and sexuality by articulating our message and spreading it effectively.

MCC Core Values


Love is our greatest moral value and resisting exclusion is a primary focus of our ministry. We want to continue to be the conduits of a faith where everyone is included in the family of God and where all parts of our being are welcomed at God’s table.


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.

Social Action 

Working to talk less and do more, we are committed to resisting the structures that oppress people and standing with to those who suffer under the weight of oppressive systems, being guided always by our commitment to global human rights.

Friday, 10 January 2014

New Year, New Prayer!

We gathered our thanks for the things that happened in 2013 and thought about our hopes for 2014 - here they are offered as a word search prayer!  
See if you can find the hidden message after you find all the words below.

Being Supported
Building Foundations
Christmas Event
Church in Progress
Project Why
Respect Our Community Campaign
Christ Followers
Being Present
Personal Development
Church in Progress
Good Health
Using time wisely
Self Care

Record of Church in Progress Ideas - 10th January 2014 (at Youth Line Cafe Papatoetoe)

Present: Adrienne, Matheus, Riley, Angie, Alan and Emily

Adrienne opened in prayer

New Year, New Prayer word search handed out

Focus – Mark 6:30-44 – Feeding the Five Thousand. The disciples didn’t know how to feed all the people gathered. But Jesus said go and see. It turns out that they had all the resources they needed – they just needed to look. Just like Church in Progress.

We talked through being officially connect with MCC – we all said YES!

Christmas Event

Things that we would change

Time – better use of time - tighter
Keep to time so it finishes at the time we said it would
More unconnected people to come – random people coming who aren’t directly connected to the core team (being connected to MCC will help this)
Facilitator not be totally involved in the session they are leading – have core activities that we will defo do – what could we drop

Stay the same
Snow fight (playing, physical, allowed to have fun, minimal effort cost maximum gain)
All the different people that were there. People that wouldn’t normally come to church came along.
The effect and learning it had on the kids and adults alike
The format – most of it worked really well
Group crafts – enabling people to chat
Venue was perfect for this event
Communion (people took communion that haven’t for a long time)
It’s not about recreating what people can access else where
Mix of traditional and new
All ages together
Lots of things can happen at once
Angie can still bring her whole family next time!
It was fun! The preparation was fun.
Working together towards the content – Team effort
Food Bank – The Mangere Budgeting Centre really appreciated the food

Bank account – we will have to open one at some point - decided to give koha $34 to ROCC

Busking, beach and other events planned for January – see facebook events

Soup Circle – time of learning, discussion and foundation building – starts on the 5th of Feb – 5-6.30pm (each week someone is responsible for doing a one dish wonder – if you bring friends along, you are responsible for them)

Alan closed in Prayer

Inaugural Christmas Gathering 2013

Alan & Megan's handiwork

Daniel & Riley with Mum Angie

Being welcomed on to Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae

Meeting the Tangata Whenua
Alan opens with an 'all inclusive' welcome  

Adrienne & Matheus invite the group to begin with a special Christmas Cracker activity

The Snowball activity gets under way (see Angie about to fire)...

...and the response is just as enthusiastic...

and still the battle continues!

Creating something out of nothing - from junk mail to a collage with a message

The group's creative touch starts to take shape

Making a paper chain of prayers - Naomi assists with production

...and the chain keeps growing

Riley demonstrates how to make the most of the toy library slide
Wayne shows his daughter Te Paea how to play snakes & ladders

Emily and her support team, as we begin the Nativity Play - Church in Progress style!

Megan transforms into Mary

Mary's baby Jesus (Matheus), is a little unsure of the script

Our resident playwright (Michelle), becomes co-narrator

And theres nothing like ending with Boney M

Tania & Wayne's daughter Ngaia looking very focussed

Our Church in Progress group (minus a few who departed earlier)

...the sun beckons

Some found it hard to leave!  We were surprised and
delighted to be invited join in with the celebrations hosted by the
people of Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae - what a day!