What a great question! I’m pretty new to MCC so my answer is probably different from someone who has been around longer, but here’s what I think.
My love for music and the arts began as a child in my grandparents’ living room where they had a large player piano and a jukebox. My love of books and especially poetry was formed sitting on a bean bag chair in the corner of the public library. The auditorium next door is where I saw my first stage production, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Music and the arts have long been a source of relaxation, inspiration, and comfort for me. Growing up in church, I was drawn to the hymns and the majestic sounds of the organ and brass ensembles on holidays. The only plays I ever acted in were on the church’s stage. My most notable role was staring as the back end of the donkey in the Christmas pageant.
Music and the arts transformed that unfamiliar space into a home and a group of strangers into family.
In my experience, churches and communities of faith as a whole, are filled with people who like music and the arts, so this isn’t something that is unique to MCC. However, what does make MCC unique is that as a queer church—meaning that it was founded by members of the LGBTQIA+ community and continues to lead by and is fully open to this community—our diversity is reflected through our music and the arts. MCC churches and communities throughout the world feature a wide array of musical styles and artistic expression. Depending on the location, MCC gatherings include vocal and instrumental music, poetry, dance, dramas, powerful preaching, and art expressed through painting, sculpting, photography, and other forms of media.
For me, music and the arts are a means of connecting to God, to community, and to my spirituality. Music and art invoke a sense of wonder and awe, stir up questions and doubts, bring insight, cause reflection, and inspire my own creative process. Since joining MCC, my faith has been renewed and I’ve rediscovered my purpose for living. This renewal and discovery began when I walked into an MCC sanctuary for the first time and sat timidly at the back of the room listening to the songs, readings, and dynamic sermon coming from the front. Music and the arts transformed that unfamiliar space into a home and a group of strangers into family.
Now, I have a question for you. What is your experience with music and the arts? I invite you to attend an MCC church or community near you (in person or virtually) to more deeply explore this question for yourself. We look forward to your answer.
ABOUT THIS MCC AUTHOR: Rebecca Wilson, while now a resident of Florida, is a proud Michigander with roots in Flint and a heart still in Detroit. She is a poet and storyteller whose writings weave together her life experiences with scripture and spirituality. Her passion for ministries of justice and mercy is driven by her upbringing in the Vehicle and Motor City. She joined MCC staff in April 2020, as the Church Support and Development Co-ordinator.