Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos serves as the Associate Director of Formation and Leadership Development for MCC. Prior to beginning this work in November of 2011, she served as the Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia for nine years. Kharma has been a member of MCC since she was 19 years old (more than half of her life) and has been a member of congregations in Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. She is currently a member of Gentle Shepherd MCC in Tallahassee, Florida where her partner, Rev. Elder. Diane Fisher is the Pastor.
Mario Bonfanti is the leader of a newborn emerging church (called “Il Cerchio”) located in the North of Italy. He’s a queer priest. He left Catholic Church in 2012 and now he’s in the process to be re-ordained in MCC. He’s attending General Conference thanks to Be a Gem Scholarship
For the last 30 years, Rev. Elder Lillie Brock has been speaking to audiences of all different kinds around the world. Her primary career focus has been on assisting individuals and organizations to move through the challenges of life and organizational changes. She worked as the corporate COO of a franchise seminar company and co-founded the Change Cycle Management Company dedicated to assisting organizations through times of change. After going into professional ministry in 2000, she was a Staff Pastor in a 2,000-member church and served as an Elder in the denomination for 10 years. She is an ordained minister in Metropolitan Community Churches and currently serves as the Pastor of Congregational Life at MCC of Greater St. Louis.
Rev. Rachelle Brown leads the MCC Emerging Church program which is committed to the formation of new MCC churches around the world.
Reverend Victoria L. Burson affectionately known as “Pastor V” is Lead Servant and Senior Pastor for Metropolitan Community Church of Baltimore (MCCB). Pastor Victoria L. Burson is a powerful preacher, engaging teacher, innovative leader, and inspiring speaker, empowerment/development coach. She has a deep passion for the people of God and believes that she is divinely positioned to make a difference. Her motto is: “Changed people change people.” Rev. Burson is married to Prophet Theresa Anding, they have an adult daughter Trachena Wallace who resides in Memphis Tennessee.
Pj Dwyer is the Project Lead for the I Am Project, a stewardship initiative at MCC Sydney. He has been a member of MCC Sydney since 2008 although his connection goes back to 2001. In addition to running this project, Pj leads worship and is the LEAD Coordinator for Australasia. In 2015 Pj was awarded the Kerry Brown Award for Distinguished Lay Leadership. Pj is currently completing his MBA and in his spare time likes to run, travel, spot planes and sing.
Jim East is the Lay Delegate of Trinity MCC of Gainesville FL in the US. He is totally blind and has earned a BA in Political Science and a Minor is Sociology. He completed a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation and mental health counselling. Both degrees are from the University of Florida. He has worked for Walt Disney World providing quality assurance and has worked as a counselor for both the private and public sectors.
Janine Everall is a foundation member of Church in Progress MCC, an emerging church in New Zealand. She is a teacher and author of several children’s, teenage and adult books. Her latest poetry book “On the Way” has been published recently on Amazon.
Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy, the Director for Faith Partnerships and Mobilization for the Human Rights Campaign. MacArthur served as the Faith Director for numerous Marriage Equality campaigns. and federal governments. MacArthur serves as the Chairman for the National Action Network LGBT Alliance.Most recently, MacArthur has produced a short documentary entitled “Brave Spaces.” Brave Spaces is a new documentary that speaks to the necessity, vitality and principles to building diverse inclusive coalitions from a faith perspective. National Civil rights leaders, clergy and members of the LGBT communities give voice to the evolution of civil rights movement to become fully inclusion of LGBT communities. Brave Spaces also highlights the necessity to engage people who hold different perspective, yet it remains important to engage them to actively demonstrate that when there is room for intersectional partnerships, its critically important to do so. MacArthur holds a Master’s of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion at the Graduate Theological Union.
Velma Garcia serves as the Texas-New Mexico Network Team Leader. She has been a member of MCC Austin, Austin, TX, USA for 24 years since 1992. She currently serve as a Lay Delegate, Deacon, and a worship team member. She is a L.E.A.D. II graduate from 2013. She loves traveling all over the state of Texas having face to face time with folks at the local church level. Her meeting, connecting, caring, helping, and praying for folks has and continues to be her greatest joy!
For Jochen Gewecke MCC is an international experience. He visited many MCCs around the world, found new friends, and served in different ministries. He is the lay delegate of his local church and leader of the blessing team, is Network leader, served in the Moderator’s International Task Force and the Moderator’s Transition Team. As a visual artist he created price winning exhibitions. With his interreligious art project “Come together!” he brings pictures of mosques, churches and synagogues into the respective other place, to grow knowledge and understanding. In his free time he loves adventurous eating and all things bright and beautiful.
Reverend Gutiérrez has spent most of his career as a professor at universities and seminaries in Mexico. He provides pastoral support, wisdom, and advice for MCC groups, missions and churches in Iberoamerica. He also conducts workshops on a variety of topics for MCC’s ministry in Iberoamerica and beyond.Reverend Gutiérrez’s pastoral presence and open spirit help him not only to hear but empathize with marginalized sisters and brothers across Iberoamerica. His ability to communicate complex theological concepts and God’s unconditional love has allowed him to rapidly develop new groups in different countries.
Rev. Dr. Karl Hand; Leichhardt, New South Wales (Australia), is an ordained minister in Metropolitan Community Church, and the founding pastor of Crave MCC in Sydney Australia. Karl has an evangelical theology, a pentecostal spirituality, and a liberationist hermeneutic. He enjoys provocative and playful readings of the scripture which trigger spiritual transformation and cognitive growth. He is passionate about social transformation, and is the co-convenor of Community Action Against Homophobia, an activist group which campaigns for the rights of the LGBTI community in Australia. He has taught Exegesis and Greek courses at UTC as well as Australian Catholic University, and the University of Newcastle. He holds two masters degrees in theology and philosophy, and has completed his PhD through Charles Sturt University, which was about the source history of the gospel of Luke.
Rev. Lisa Heilig is, at present, a Doctor of Ministry student at Columbia Theological Seminary in the Gospel, Culture, and Transformation of the Church track, having received a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 1995. Lisa is the Resource Development Specialist for MCC. She works through the Office of Church Life and Health to provide resources to strengthen and support local congregations to be vital and vibrant as they live in and share the unconditional love and grace of God. Ordained in 2001 in MCC, Lisa has served in a number of churches in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, with particular gifts in assisting congregations through times of transition and with growth in organizational development through intentional outreach.
In addition to parish ministry, she also has over 20 years experience in social service and non-profit management, directing programs for persons with disabilities and their families.
Her current areas of study and experience have focused on transformational leadership in the 21st century that creates, sustains, and renews authentic and inclusive spiritual communities.
Julius Kaggwa is the leader of the Agape Reconciliation Ministries (ARM) – an emerging group in Uganda that shares scripture to support our stand against religious violence and extremism. ARM is a voice for the inclusive, unconditional love, symbolic of the nature of God. And we use the authority of scripture to reduce fear, self-doubt, and unfounded interpretations of scripture, which have caused many painful religious divisions. Julius is also the Executive Director of SIPD Uganda, an intersex rights initiative advocating for the health and rights of intersex and gender nonconforming children and people in Uganda and the East African region.
Rev. William Knight serves a small but committed community on the Big Island of Hawaii. His goal and the goal of Open Arms is to welcome “All of God’s Children with Aloha,” the very Breath of Life. Rev. William celebrates connection and relationship with the incredible variety, diversity and complexity of all those that seek a path to God’s Goodness and Grace. A core of dedicated members and friends are working to construct a permanent facility that will allow for even more outreach to our community.
Rev. Kurt Krieger is currently serving as the Clergy Well-being Coordinator for MCC. Kurt coordinates the Clergy Well-being Coaches which includes himself as a coach, presents seminars on Well-being by Webinar and Skype and coordinates the Clergy Well-being Retreats for the OFLD. Kurt is also completing unit 5 of his Chaplain Residency while serving in this role. His Quality Improvement Study and Presentation is entitled “Unresolved Shame in Caregivers: Motivation or Hinderance?” and will soon invite MCC clergy to participate in the discussion. Kurt has served MCC in a variety of roles including Senior Settled Pastor, Associate Pastor of Administration, Staff Clergy at Spirit of Hope MCC Kansas City, USA as well as serving on various denominational/regional roles including coordinating MCC’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
Shelly Morris has been MCC Toronto’s Executive Director for 5 years. Shelly served on the Board of Directors for 3 years before joining the staff team. She has an undergraduate degree in Finance and an MBA in Strategic Planning. As a certified project manager, process engineer and people change management practitioner, Shelly has dedicated her professional life to the field of organizational transition.
Rev. Keith Mozingo, Pastor of MCC of Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA), has served as clergy in MCC for 16 years and as Network Leader for six years. His passion for MCC worship in Mississippi spured his and his church’s direct involvement in supporting Joshua Generation MCC in Hattiesburg. He has been a leader connecting the many lgbt groups in Baton Rouge, serving on the Baton Rouge Pride Fest team, and becoming affectionately known in the Baton Rouge community as “Pastor Keith.
Dr. Jonelle Neighbor has served in many roles with MCC over the last 36 years. She is a member of Pikes Peak MCC in Colorado Springs, CO, USA where she co-facilitates Creating a Life that Matters and provides professional resourcing as a Licensed Psychologist to the church’s Congregational Care Team.
Sarah Jane Ramage is the vice chair of the governing board. She was elected to the governing board in 2013 and has served on the finance, governance and assessments committees. Prior to the Governing Board she served on the international task force 2011-2012. She is a member of MCC Brighton in the United Kingdom where she has served on the board and in various leadership positions since 2003, and is now enjoying a rest from formal leadership as her husband Andrew leads the church. She is proud to embrace the B/P of the LGBTQIA whatever community and loves the rich diversity of MCC around the world. In her secular life she is an accountant working in internal risk for Deloitte in the UK.
Bryce E. Rich; Chicago, Illinois (USA), is a PhD Candidate in Theology at The University of Chicago Divinity School, where his research focuses on the intersection of Eastern Orthodoxy and queer theory. He received his Master of Arts in Religion from Lancaster Theological Seminary, in Lancaster, PA, and his Bachelor of Arts in Russian & Eastern Studies from the University of Kentucky. His other academic interests include liturgical theology, theological anthropology, mimetic theory, and the uses of technology in education and worship. Before concentrating on his religious training, Bryce worked for a US nonprofit in Russia, living in Moscow and Siberia. His spiritual journey began in the Southern Baptist church, but has included time in the Charismatic, Episcopal and Mennonite traditions, as well as membership with MCC congregations and finally reception into the Eastern Orthodox Church. Bryce’s academic website can be found at http://www.brycerich.com.
Rev. Dr. Axel Schwaigert; Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg (Germany), received his Diploma in Evangelisch Theologie (Diploma in Protestant Theology) from the School of Theological Studies at Tubingen (Germany) and studied inter-religious dialogue at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He began his pastoral training in 1998 at MCC Bournemouth. In 2000 he launched the new Salz der Erde MCC Stuttgart. After 10 years of building this new congregation in surroundings not familiar with independent churches, Axel went on to earn his Doctor of Ministry degree at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. In his secular life, Axel works as a funeral director.
Rev. Scottie Shelton, MCC Redwood Empire, Guerneville, CA USA, began her MCC journey in MCC Dallas in 1975. In 1979 she and her partner moved to Abilene Texas where they founded Exodus MCC. In 1982 Rev. Scottie entered the student clergy at MCC Austin. In 1984 she became its Assistant Pastor. In 1988 – 1989 Rev. Scottie served as the intentional interim. In 1990, Rev. Scottie took an extended sabbatical from ministry. She came to MCC Redwood Empire in 2004 in Guerneville, CA., serving as lay delegate from 2008 – 2013. Later in 2013, she started the work of reentering ministry, studying at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. Rev. Scottie is currently clergy on staff at MCCRE where serves as its Worship Coordinator.
Rev. Elder. Dr. Candace R. Shultis is the Pastor of King of Peace MCC in St. Petersburg FL USA. She loves people in all the ways they show up and has a passion for the growth of churches and people. She and her partner of 23 years, Barbara, also enjoy the company of their two dachshunds: Wendy, and Mister Redd (Really Extraordinary Dachshund Dog).
Rev. Shirley Strader, Volunteer Clergy on staff at Joy MCC in Orlando, Florida. She received her MDiv in 2010 and has been ordained since 2012. She currently is in full time ministry as a Hospice Chaplain with Vitas Healthcare. She has been a member of Joy MCC since 1999.