General Conference 2007

July 16th, 2007 • Category: Denomination (MCC)

This report was submitted by our Lay Delegate, Curtis Boyd.

Metropolitan Community Church’s 23rd General Conference was held July 2-6 in Scottsdale, AZ at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Although the Princess is a very large hotel and conference center, almost all of the MCC conference events were held in one main building, thus minimizing the walking between daily events — a good thing when it is 117 degrees outside!

The conference was well attended, with about 1,400 people present. That makes this the largest General Conference to date.

Events included workshops, plenaries, a business meeting and daily worship services. Along with the business meeting, I attended workshops such as: The Human Rights Church, Hope for Our Bodies: Living Longer, Feeling Better, and What is the Emerging Church? I also listened to plenaries with the titles: A Conversation about Jesus and Justice, The Fellowship of Those Who Suffer, and Thriving with HIV—What Does It Mean for MCC? A nice addition to the “Jesus and Justice” plenary was the presence of Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye). It was nice to hear about his story of feeling like an outcast after his parents humiliation and how that made him come to understand how people in the LGBT community can often feel.

The business meeting involved two major issues: the elimination of the Vice-Moderator as a separate MCC position in the Board of Elders (coinciding with Don Eastman’s retirement), and the motion from the Board of Elders and Board of Administration to adjust tithing from the local churches. The change states that beginning January 2008, the minimum amount to be remitted by local churches as a tithe shall be 13% through December 2010, and then be decreased by 1% per triennium until reaching 10%. Both of these motions passed.

The conference included a tribute to Vice-Moderator Don Eastman, and Don provided a message for the closing Worship on Friday evening. He has been a key leader in MCC for over 30 years. Although he is retiring, he will still provide consultation services to the denomination from time to time.

In closing, I wanted to say that I attended my first General Conference in 2001, and overall, each one has improved over the one before. Everything from the topics chosen for discussion, to the preparation and conference layout seemed well thought-out and organized. The next General Conference will be in 2010 (they’re held every three years). If recent years have been any indication of what is to come, I expect an excellent conference and record attendance in 2010.

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