Since being founded in 1968 by Rev. Troy Perry, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC, commonly known as MCC) has sparked a spiritual revival and been at the vanguard of the civil and human rights movements by addressing important issues such as racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, 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. Doctor 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 became a beloved figure in President Obama’s administration, reading scripture at his second inaugural interfaith worship service. Today, Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, who was elected by the Governing Board as interim moderator in October of 2016, heads MCC.
Church of Our Savior, MCC (COS), began in 1990. Since 1997, we have met in a unique church in Boynton Beach. A renovated Pizza Hut, with beautiful stained glass windows, Church of Our Savior is often called the “Pizza Church” by members of the 10 Recovery Groups that meet here weekly.
Although MCC and COS were founded in the LGBT community, we are quite diverse: About 30 percent of us consider ourselves to be straight. About half of us identify as female and half as male. We also have transgender and cross-dressing individuals. While most of our congregation identifies as Christian, we are also Jewish, agnostic and pagan.
Like most MCC congregations, COS’s Christians come from a variety of backgrounds, from Catholic and Lutheran to Pentecostal and Baptist. As a result, our church services are “blended,” including elements from the various traditions.
One thing that is constant with all MCC Churches, including COS, is that Holy Communion is celebrated at every service. When Rev. Elder Troy Perry held the first service, he celebrated communion. There were tears as people who had been denied the Sacrament came forward to partake. At COS and other churches I have served, this is not an unusual response. By the way, we celebrate an open communion, you don’t have to be a member of COS or of any church to be fed.
And to be a member, you don’t have to pass a “beliefs test.” Our Statement of Faith begins, “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.”
As Rev. Elder Perry is fond of saying, “God made you the way you are and God loves you the way you are.”
Rev. Wendy R. Woodruff, Pastor Church of Our Savior MCC
Rev. Wendy R. Woodruff, Pastor
Church of Our Savior MCC