Don't forget Troy Perry and the MCC

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Heather wonders why no one mentions Troy Perry.

Funny that Reverend Troy Perry has gotten so little copy in the last couple of months. And I have seen nothing in the press about Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) ... Rev Troy Perry started the church a year before Stonewall, back in 1968 and its grown to 300 churches in 22 countries. This church was an outreach by and for the queer community (GLBT).

I haven't thought about Troy Perry or the MCC in ages. Here in the part of North Carolina known as research Triangle Park the church with the larget number of gay members is Episcopal. Here in Durham itself it is a United Methodist church. There are MCC branches, very small and I don't know anyone who goes to them.

Three hundred churches isn't many I'm afraid. I suspect many gay Christians who grew up in a denomination that was liberal or has grown so tend to graviate to the church of their childhood.

There's no denying the historical importance of Perry and the Metropolitan Community church. I remember when the MCC was often the only church an openly gay man or woman could worship in. The increasing acceptance of gay people by some mainstream churches has diminished the MCC's role in the queer community.

A good thing? Probably, there shouldn't need to be gay only (and I know the MCC wasn't literally that but it was often in practice) churches than there are white only water fountains.

Gay marriage is currently focused on politics, not churches. When (if?) the dust settles I don't think Perry will be forgotten by those of us who care about the roots of the gay liberation movement.

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It would be a wonderful thing if MCC was no longer needed because so many other churches fully accept LGBTQ people but unfortunately that is not the case.

Sure, many churches might tollerate you presence, and a few individual locations might even embrace you, but the fundamental teachings of these churches remain the same. I know many Gay catholics, even priests but that doesn’t negate the hatred the Pope passes out.

Where are the heads of these positive accepting churches you are talking about standing up for same sex marriage.

MCC is still unique in that it’s whole reason for being is based on positive outreach to all, and especially the LGBTQ community. I’m afraid we are a long way off not needing a home like MCC.

So why don’t we hear much of Troy Perry? Well, not that it’s not for the amount of statements and appearances he’s making, check out www.mccny.org for his latest press releases. Unfortunately the fact is that the mainstream press isn’t interested in someone who is going to tell them the truth, and tell them so eloquently too.

Regards,

Chris

BUSINESS ALLIANCE OF LOS ANGELES NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 7, 2005 For more information, call Maria Elena Cabral (310 753-3961 or (626) 570 0241

The Business Alliance of Los Angeles (BALA) 26th Annual Awards Dinner to honor Reverend Troy Perry as “Person of the Year”

The Business Alliance of Los Angeles (BALA) Annual Awards Dinner honoring Reverend Troy Perry will be held on Sunday May 1, 2005, at The Fountain Court Restaurant located at The Assistance League of Southern California located at 1370 North Saint Andrews, Los Angeles California. A Silent Auction benefiting the Trevor Project will start at 5:00pm and Dinner will be served at 7:00pm. Tickets are $75 dollar in advance, and may be purchased at http://www.BALAweb.org

“The BALA Board was unanimous in its choice of honoring Rev. Perry,” said BALA President Dominique Cavelier. “His contributions to the LGBT community and the people who comprise it worldwide have been immense, revolutionary and transformational.”

Rev. Elder Troy Perry is known and internationally recognized as a spiritual leader and one of the world’s leading activists for the civil rights of gay/lesbian/bisexual and transgender people. On October 16, 1968, along with 12 people in his living room, Rev. Perry founded the Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles to serve the spiritual needs of the gay and lesbian community.

In the brief span of 36 years the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches has come to play a vital role for the lesbian, gay and transgender community around the world. The Church’s membership exceeds 44,000+ people in more than 300 congregations in 16 nations. In 1981 Rev. Perry initiated the movement for MCC™s membership in the National Council of churches. The UFMCC was given Official Observer status to the 7th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, which was held in Canberra, Australia in February 1991.

Rev. Perry’s ministry and activism during the past 30 years has included positions on a number of boards of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered organizations. He held a seat on the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. In 1978 he was honored by the American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter with its Humanitarian Award. He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Ministry from Samaritan College in Los Angeles for founding MCC, an Honorary Doctorate in Human Services from Sierra University, Santa Monica, California for his work in civil rights, and was lauded by the Gay Press Association with its Humanitarian Award. Rev. Perry has been invited to the White House on four occasions since 1977 to participate in discussions on LGBT civil rights, AIDS, and hate crimes, and in 1997 to be honored by President Clinton as one of 100 national spiritual leaders in the USA.

Rev. Perry is author of “The Lord Is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay,” and “Don’t Be Afraid Anymore: The Story of Reverent Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Churches.”

The Silent Auction held during BALA™ annual Awards Dinner will raise funds for The Trevor Project, at Rev. Perry’s request. BALA is currently accepting donations for the Silent Auction. Please contact Gerard Monte at (323) 467-9812 Ext. 204. The Trevor Project is a nonprofit endeavor established in 1998 to promote tolerance for gay and questioning teenagers, and to aid in suicide prevention among that group. Statistics have shown that gay teens are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers are.

The cornerstone of The Trevor Project is the 18-minute film TREVOR, a comedy/drama about a gay 13-year old boy named Trevor who, when rejected by friends and peers because of his sexuality, makes an unsuccessful attempt to take his life. Heartfelt and moving, this bittersweet tale won the 1994 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. The Trevor Help line is the country’s first round-the-clock toll-free suicide prevention hotline aimed at gay teens.

For additional information about BALA and the Awards Dinner go to http://www.balaweb.org. For more about MCC go to http://www.mccchurch.org. Find out more about The Trevor Project at http://www.thetrevorproject.org.

BALA is a non-profit association of gay, lesbian and lesbian/gay-friendly businesses, professionals and individuals joined together to promote business networking, personal relationships, and professional education and growth among members and the community at large. BALA members are a part of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and BALA serves as the GLBT Chamber of Commerce for the greater Los Angeles area. BALA member benefits include member to member discounts, dinners, mixers, professional workshops, and fun outings, plus opportunities to contribute the larger GLBT community in a variety of ways.

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Thanks,
Richard

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