I can only speak from my personal experience of MCC and the ministries I have witnessed, but the following are the ones that have really inspired me.
Oasis – A great programme allowing those who feel disconnected to be a part of something, wherever they are. Allowing groups and even individuals to join MCC without needing to be an established church or faith group. MCC Oasis has reached people in far off places that had no hope of belonging to a Christian Church or finding a genuine home, a place they are truly a part of. For us at MCC Brighton, it gave us the space to spend time figuring out what we wanted to do and be, whilst receiving the full support of MCC and allowing us to move forward into our calling.
Refugees – Here in the UK, MCC has had some great successes with providing a safe haven for LGBTQ+ people fleeing persecution and violence. We have helped refugees obtain “Leave to remain” to give them a sense of safety and stability. Many of the MCC Churches in the UK have worked to support refugees and campaign for their rights.
Outside – MCC Brighton has moved all of its services, worship, support, and pastoral care … outdoors. We have taken church out to those who have been excluded, whether overtly through aggression, or covertly through isolation, or for whom Church is just too intimidating. We offer a fully inclusive, welcoming experience, open to everyone, of any faith journey or none. This has radically changed how people perceive “Church” and demonstrated just how much can be achieved if you live your faith.
Homelessness – MCC Brighton works very closely with the homeless and rough sleepers. We work with the street community and walk with them, rather than just offer food and clothes, and say goodbye. We have worked hard to become a part of the community and built a huge amount of trust and respect among them. MCC Brighton has challenged local authorities on actions against rough sleepers, organised opportunities for the homeless to take part in community events and is working towards offering a new way of moving off the streets. This is not just a feel good ministry where it is all smiles and happiness, we are with them through some of the darkest days. We have been there to baptise and to bury them, we have supported them through grief at losing members of their community needlessly, and we have been there to pick them up when they have been repeatedly knocked down by aggression, abuse, and ignorance. This ministry has raised awareness of how badly treated this community is and transformed how people view the homeless.
MCC has a rich history of taking up the causes of those who cannot speak for themselves, those who are marginalised or treated as invisible.
Campaigning – MCC has always been at the forefront of campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights, but many people are less aware of the campaigns waged in other areas. MCC has been involved in fighting for Refugees and asylum seekers’ rights, rights for the homeless, for travellers and for Trans* rights and equality. MCC also has a rich history of taking up the causes of those who cannot speak for themselves, those who are marginalised or treated as invisible. One of the great ministries that MCC worldwide shares is making the unseen visible, dragging into the light the inequalities and injustices that have flourished in the dark. That is truly transformational work.
ABOUT THIS MCC AUTHOR: Andrew Ramage – Pastor MCC Brighton