I’ve been part of the MCC movement for around 15 years. Over that time, I’ve met hundreds of people from all around the world who have had an experience of visiting or being a part of a local MCC church. I’ve heard so many people describe attending an MCC as ‘coming home’. I can relate to that feeling. My first MCC experience occurred while I was living overseas in London (UK). Even though I was surrounded by strangers, by the end of the service, I weirdly felt like I was part of a family.
I now have the responsibility of ensuring people feel that way when they attend my church – Church in Progress MCC – in Aotearoa (New Zealand). We proudly declare that ‘All Are Welcome’. However, we want to welcome people to a safe space and that can be challenging and hard work. In our space we are discussion-based. We have worked together to create some boundaries so we all understand how we can respect one another. The inspiration for having a preamble came from how AA meetings begin.
I’ve been part of the MCC movement for around 15 years. Over that time I’ve met hundreds of people from all around the world who have had an experience of visiting or being a part of a local MCC church. I’ve heard so many people describe attending an MCC as ‘coming home.’
This preamble is read out at the beginning of our discussions, whether we are meeting online or in person. Fortunately, there has never been a need for me to say, “Hey, we welcome you here AND the group needs you to follow the guidelines in our preamble”. However, one day someone might come along and be totally disrespectful and I would need to start this kind of conversation. I can imagine that one day this might even lead to a need for me to ask the person to leave as others’ emotional and spiritual safety could be at risk.
Church in Progress MCC is on a journey together and we welcome anyone who genuinely wants to travel together. Overall it’s super fun! We laugh a lot and we cry together too. It’s not always a smooth road, but we feel fortunate that we are all heading in generally the same direction.
ABOUT THIS MCC AUTHOR: Rev Emily Worman is the Pastoral Leader of Church in Progress MCC in South Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand and the MCC Network Leader of Australia and Aotearoa.