Messages of Welcome to Members & Friends of MCCSJ – from Faith & Spiritual Communities

Dear Friends,
What words are there to express the enormity of emotions rippling through Northern California because of your closure?  Like you, I am saddened, but I trust that you are doing the right thing at the right time.  “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

As people of faith, you may be pondering what will happen during your “next season.”  Will you find a new church home?  Will there be “room” for you in a new community?  The answers are “yes” and “yes” and “more yes.”  Although this may feel like a discouraging chapter, the next part of your story has yet to be written.

After the events of the church’s closure have set in and feel real, my prayer for you is that you will begin searching for a new way, a new place, a new home in which to cultivate your faith and make new connections.  As associate pastor for spiritual care, programming and stewardship at MCC-San Francisco, I extend to you a heartfelt invitation.  Come on up, and check us out.  We are worth the shlep!

All of you at MCCSJ ––and my dear bosom buddy Rev. Rebecca–– remain in my best prayers for guidance, comfort and hope.  If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me through MCC-San Francisco’s website.  I have enough hope to share with you as you journey into the future God has for you.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares YHWH, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
As you let go, may your grief give way to “the peace that surpasses understanding.”

Every Blessing,
Rev. Victor H. Floyd, Associate Pastor
Metropolitan Community Church
150 Eureka Street, San Francisco 94114
www.mccsf.org

“Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.”  – Psalm 85:10-11

Join us at MCC-SF…
2nd Saturdays, 5PM, Queer Catholic Eucharist with Rev. Victoria Rue, Lesbian Priest
Sundays, 11AM, Traditional MCC Worship Service
Sundays, 7PM, Worship & Praise Service
Tuesdays, 7PM, Q-Sangha (Buddhist) with Rev. Jana Drakka
Wednesdays, 7PM, Prayer at the Heart – Taizé

Please note:  I work full time, Sunday through Thursday, with Friday & Saturday off.

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Dear Rebecca,
My blessings to you and the congregation. When the time is right, please let them know
they would be quite welcome at New Community of Faith – a very small, but very welcoming congregation.
Grace and peace and please drop me a note or give me a call when you can,
Sue Ann Yarbrough

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Dear friends at MCC San Jose,
I wanted to express my personal prayers and also on behalf of New Spirit Community Church in Berkeley extend all of our prayers to you on your recent decision to close your church.  Please know you have our love and our support for this difficult and courageous decision. We also want to extand an invitation to you to remain in contact with MCC through New Spirit Community Church. You are welcome to visit once, or from time to time, or on a regular basis. We value your history and legacy, and we value your ongoing presence in MCC through whatever relationship- you might like to have with New Spirit Community Church. Come visit us and know that we are with you in sprirt in the upcoming weeks especially.

Sincerely, Rev. Elder Jim Mitulski, pastor of New Spirit Community Church

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Dear Members of MCCSJ,
At the Peninsula MCC we hold you all in our prayers during this season of change.  We celebrate all that MCCSJ has been.
Lent is a time of transition, of letting go, and for celebrating ressurections that often come from making new room for them.
I hope you will each find a community of faith to nurture what God has in store for you, to give you much needed rest.
(Perhaps you could plan a series of group field trips to each of the MCC’s in the Bay Area to find the best fit for each of you)
Please know you are welcome at the Peninsula MCC in San Mateo, CA. and we’d love a visit!

Many blessings,
Rev. Terri

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Rev. Rebecca has recently shared with us that you have decided to close your doors at the end of February.  Please know that we are holding you in our prayers and in our hearts.  I am sure that this time of transition will hold pain for many of you and at the same time hold many possibilities for a new beginning.  Living in that tension is never easy.
Our Denomination has not always been fully welcoming to our brothers and sister who are part of the LGBT community.  However, I can now say with great joy, we have repented and are now seeking to heal the pain that our actions created.  Each of you would be fully welcomed into our community of faith if you found a church home with us.  We are a small church with a large heart.  We seek people who will join us in our journey of faith and share their gifts of faith and ministry with us and with those who seek to know God more fully.

As the Pastor at First Presbyterian, please know that my door is always open.  I would be delighted to share some time with you, just talking and getting to know one another.

Joyfully in Christ’s Service
Pastor Sharon Hare

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Dear Pastor Rebecca and Our Dear Friends at MCC,
I speak for myself and the whole congregation here at Grace Baptist. I know you already know this from our long association but I want you to hear it clearly and from our hearts. As you move forward in new directions that seem unclear at the moment, I want you to know each and every one of you, individually and collectively are welcomed and embraced into the life of Grace Baptist Church. We have always seen MCC as our partner in ministry and will continue to you as brother and sister ministers of the Gospel with us in the days ahead. I personally, my leadership, and my people have you in our prayers and our hearts are open to you.

Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Daryl L. Lavway
May God Bless your day.

Rev. Daryl L. Lavway
Grace Baptist Church

“Taking seriously the ministry of reconciliation”

Corner of 10th and San Fernando (484 East)
San Jose, CA   95112   (408) 295-2056

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Dear Rebecca,
I am so sorry for this decision.  MCC has been around for a long time!  I know it will be difficult.  I hope that many of MCC San Jose will want to be part of what’s happening at Celebration of Faith!!  I can even keep them updated by putting them on our church email list, where I send out daily inspirational messages and remind people of our regular events and future activities?  I do hope those MCC people who choose to affiliate with us will feel welcome with us, and I hope COF will become a major part of their life!

We have social events and our Bible Study, which meet on the first and third Thursdays of the month.  Currently we are reading “The Shack.”  Please, tell them to come and be with us!!  We’d love to see them on a regular bases.

As you may already know, we are an open and affirming church, trying hard; seeking the Lord for guidance, to present the kind of “Worship Experience” that will meet the needs of those individuals who attend.  We have found that generally a person needs to visit two (2) or three (3) times to get a better understanding of our fellowship.

I’m sure your people will feel comfortable with us, and hope they will visit soon.

If I can personally be of any Spiritual help to you, or assist you in any other way, I want you to know that I am available.

Many Blessings,
David J Harvey

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Dear Rev. Anderson,
Thank you so much for your wonderful spiritual note inviting members of MCC San Jose to explore our spiritual community.

It is quite an honor to receive this invitation.  I have spent many wonderful hours at MCC San Jose with Rev. Denis Moore, prior to starting my own ministry and church.  And knowing you were there has always been very comforting to me and my gay brothers and sisters.

MCC San Jose was a safe haven for me when I was coming out and always receptive and loving to me and my partner.  For this it will always have a very special place in my heart.

I know that many members of MCC San Jose have visited the Center for Creative Living to attend our sponsorship of the quarterly AIDS Rejuvenation Retreat put on by the Centre for Living with Dying.

CCL, as we lovingly call it has a Sunday Celebration service every week from 10:00 to 11:30.  We are a congregation of approximately 50 to 60 people, who believe in the spiritual and inclusive nature of all faiths and creeds.

Our church is unique, in that we have different people of various faiths speaking almost every Sunday and a varied assemblage of all religions attending our services.  We have an enthusiastic choir, amazing diversity, are completely inclusive and give wonderful hugs.

Besides being a church, we are also a Healing Center.  We have a chiropractor, massage therapist, Huna Healing counselor, hypnotist and a gentleman specializing in Native American healing techniques.  Our spiritual library of over 2,500 books is open for perusing and borrowing.

Some of our CCL members will be attending your church service and potluck on the 26th of February, to join you in loving prayer and community. However, since I have a guest speaker and a workshop, I doubt I will be able to be there.

God bless you in all you have done and in your future endeavors.

Love and Light,
Rev. Doti Boon

The following is a copy of our Mission Statement

Mission Statement
We proclaim and affirm the spiritual nature of all faiths, religions and creeds.  Our vision is to co-create spiritual communities of love, trust, integrity, and mutual respect which embrace our diversity, celebrate the oneness of the human spirit, serve the well-being of the human family and honor the sanctity of all creation.

We accept that God is the moving spirit in all and the loving essence of the universe.

Rev. Doti Boon
Center for Creative Living
1460 Koll Circle ‘C”
San Jose  CA  95112
(408)392-9090

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Dear Rev. Rebecca and the Beautiful Community of MCCSJ,
Thank you so much, Rebecca, for sharing the news of the sad and difficult decision to close MCCSJ. I am holding you all with immense love in my thoughts and prayers as you navigate this huge transition. I can imagine how painful it is to lose your spiritual home, the community that you know recognizes your beauty and worth and that has supported you in your spiritual growth toward an ever more abundant sense of love and life. Please be gentle with yourselves, whatever your response to this change may be, and know that you are held in the loving hands of God and of all of us in the wider community.

Please know, too, that here at the First Unitarian Church of San Jose we stand ready to welcome any and all of you who would like to come to us–whether to visit, to sense if this might become your new spiritual home, to meet some wonderful warm people, or to join and to belong. Here all are truly welcomed and loved exactly as we are, recognizing each person’s unique gifts as well as our hurts. We come together to learn and grow and to “make Love visible,” as our mission statement says. Indeed, what binds our diverse community together–across our different races, classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, countries of origin, theologies, and more–is our commitment to Love. Every Sunday we say together that “Love is the doctrine of this church” and it’s true: Love is our central teaching, our compass, and our shared understanding of the Holy.

We will greet you with open arms–quite literally, as we do like to hug (or offer warm handshakes for those who prefer)! To which I’ll add a smile: :-)!

There is much more to share–about our history, our work for justice, our community life–and I encourage you to reach out to me or to my colleague Rev. Geoff Rimositis with any questions you may have (408-292-3858). But for now, I know that I speak for the whole community of First Unitarian when I say that we are with you in spirit! May God/Goddess/Spirit/Love bless you. May you know that you are whole and that you are part of the healing of the world.

With great warmth,
Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Senior Minister, First Unitarian Church of San Jose
408-952-9418

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Dear Rev. Rebecca,
My apologies for the delay in writing – I was traveling to a conference in New Orleans and just returned this week.  I appreciate what a difficult time this must be for many of those who are devoted to MCCSJ; I know this could not have been an easy decision.  Please know you are in my prayers, as is your community.

I wish I could be there with you this Sunday, but I am speaking at both services here at our Center, followed by a meeting which I cannot change.  However, in answer to your request, it would be my great honor for your community to know how welcome they are at our Center.  We are, indeed, an open, inclusive, loving community which enthusiastically and joyously celebrates the diversity of our world.  Our shared values are based on love, compassion, diversity and inclusivity, spirituality, integrity, and prosperity – to name a few.  While I know that we could never take the place of the home your members and friends have found, perhaps we can be a “home away from home!”  A place where new friends are met, connections made, and a safe harbor where those folks from MCCSJ could join with our community in our mission: transforming lives, building dreams, revealing love.

I send you blessings as you go through your closing celebrations. If there’s any way Center for Spiritual Living San Jose can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

In loving service,
Rev. Susan

Rev. Susan Overland, M.A.
Assistant Spiritual Director
Center for Spiritual Living
1195 Clark Street
San Jose, CA   95125
408.294.1828 x115

“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” ~ Rumi

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Dear Rev. Rebecca Anderson and MCC San Jose…

We wanted you to know that we are with you in Spirit this morning. What an amazing journey it has been for MCC San Jose. In speaking of MCC San Jose,  our congregants wanted to make mention of  your theological leadership, you work on the North West District, on the Women’s Retreats, and all of the classes and workshops you have offered on healing, death and dying among the many spirit filled offerings you have brought to the larger community over the years.

I know that God’s spirit was at the birth of MCC San Jose and will remain present throughout her current transition. We believe that her spirit will go wherever each of you will go.

Thank you again for all of your work and your presence among us.

Blessings
MCC of the Redwood Empire.

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