A Message from Reverend Rebecca Anderson
Dear Members, Friends, and Visitors of Metropolitan Community Church of San Jose,
As your newly appointed Part-Time Provisional Pastor, I am looking forward to beginning our work in ministry together soon! MCC
San Jose has a great deal of potential and together I believe we can build on the commitment of those who’ve sustained the community at MCCSJ to this point, while opening the doors with a resounding welcome to all those, already known and as yet unknown, who will become the church with us into the future.
My first day with MCCSJ is February 1st. I’m planning to spend most of that day working in the church office on the second floor of Grace Baptist, where MCCSJ is now meeting for worship (in the Fireside Room) on Sunday mornings at 10 am. Please feel free to come by and say hello if you’re in the area. I’ll be looking for opportunities to get to know each of you in the weeks and months to come, so watch this weekly e-newsletter for invitations to join me. I have a few getting-to-know-you ideas perking!
I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I am a Northern California native. Born and raised in this state, I’ve lived nearly all of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area and nearby counties, mostly in the North Bay. So, I am getting to know the San Jose area, and I’m delighted to have this excellent reason to do so.
I was recently ordained (2010) with the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, to a call as Volunteer Clergy (Pastor of Congregational Care) with Peninsula MCC in San Mateo. This was soon after I completed a three month Summer Sabbatical Interim Pastorate with PMCC. PMCC is also where I had served my Ministry Internship for two years during seminary. I earned my Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree and Certificate in Sexuality and Religion (CSR) at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley in 2009. Since then, I completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (hospital chaplaincy training), and was certified as an Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist with MCC.
Prior to seminary, I worked for more than thirteen years as a Biologist-Educator and Director of Education for an environmental education & conservation non-profit in Marin and Sonoma Counties. For five of those years I also served on the California State Department of Education’s Environmental Education Advisory Committee. I have Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biology from Sonoma State University, emphasizing botany, ecology, local natural history, and environmental education, and a great deal of experience working with people who give themselves to the work of community because they share a passion for its particular mission. It’s amazing what this kind of commitment and caring can create when we believe in what we are doing together!
Before Seminary, I had many years of leadership experience as a volunteer and member of the United Church of Christ congregation in Suisun City. In the years I was a member there, many pastors came and went, and members of the church sustained the community throughout those transition times. Among other things, I served on the church board, moderated the church board, served on the pastoral relations committee, the stewardship committee, many pastoral search committees, lead worship and special events, coordinated publicity for our church, sang in the choir, was a member of our small church’s renewal committee, and just before attending seminary, I represented our church at a nation-wide training on church renewal and evangelism (the good kind !).
In addition to ministry, I am also a visual artist working and exhibiting in many media (ink, fiber, collage, and photography), an avid reader (I love mysteries and good novels), a singer, songwriter, essay writer, and poet. While I value most every aspect of ministry, I feel particularly called to share beauty, love, hope, and spiritual formation through nature and the arts in community. I love this part of California, I am committed to ministries of inclusion, hope, justice, and joy, and I expect to be involved with vital and meaningful ministries for a long time.
At this time, I am delighted to be appointed to work with you. I had the good fortune to be a guest preacher at MCCSJ last spring, and I look forward to seeing many of you again, meeting others for the first time, and getting to know you all. I will be worshipping with you beginning on February 6th. I hope you’ll be with us that day! I look forward to discovering how we will be the church together in San Jose in 2011!
Much love and many blessings,
Rev. Rebecca Anderson