Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Melbourne is a caring and diverse Christian faith community, providing a safe space for all, but with a specific outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning individuals and their allies. All to often, these individuals are turned away from and rejected by mainstream religious organisations. This can be heartbreaking for those trying to reconcile their sexuality and/or gender identity with their faith. LGBTI Christians are a minority within a minority and, as such, MCC Melbourne provides an essential refuge. For some, MCC Melbourne provides a permanent spiritual home, while others use the church and all it offers to rebalance their lives before returning to their journey. For over 40 years, MCC Melbourne has actively supported this amazingly unique and diverse community.
Not only are MCC Melbourne church services attended by those in the LGBTI Community and their heterosexual allies, but several sub-communities are supported within the congregation. For example, there is a program for Young Adults promoting both spiritual growth and social inclusion. Additionally, with a large proportion of seniors in the congregation, MCC Melbourne runs specific study groups and social catch ups that are more suited to this group’s needs and interests. Of course, many events are church-wide, which allows those of all ages to study and socialize alongside each other, bonding over things in common and learning from that which makes each person unique.
MCC Melbourne is truly inclusive, even using inclusive language in all services, and aims to actively involve all in the community. Services are provided to those in the LGBTI community looking for religious based ceremonies and events, such as christenings, baptisms, civil unions and hopefully marriages soon as well. Importantly, these services are provided by a community organisation that knows about the importance of inclusion and is acutely aware of the struggle for equality in wider society. MCC Melbourne also has special services for Transgendered Day of Remembrance, Stonewall Celebration, Words AIDS Day and Intersex Awareness Day, amongst others. For many people MCC Melbourne is ‘family’.
Later in 2017 MCC Melbourne will be running an informative weekend program aimed at understanding the impacts of conflicts between faith and sexual orientation and/or gender identity. For many, this conflict leads to mental health issues, suicidality, self-destructive behaviours, internalized homophobia, trauma and grief, and a loss of self esteem. Helping individuals in the LGBTI Community work through this conflict will be of enormous benefit not only to them, but also to their families and loved ones. Also, offering tools to those who work with the LGBTI Communities is vital, so they can provide non-judgemental, safe spaces for LGBTI people of faith.
MCC Statement of Faith
Christianity is the revelation of God in Jesus Christ and is the religion set forth in the scriptures (the Bible). Jesus Christ is foretold in the Old Testament, and proclaimed by the Christian Church in every age and in every land. Founded in the interest of offering a church home to all who confess and believe, Metropolitan Community Churches move in the mainstream of Christianity.
How MCC Began
The fellowship of MCC’s (UFMCC) began in 1968 in Los Angeles when Reverend Troy Perry realised that there was a need to share God’s love with the gay and lesbian community. MCC was founded. Since then MCC’s ministry has expanded beyond the gay and lesbian communities to incorporate all those who do not feel comfortable within established churches such as bisexual, transgendered and hetrosexual supporters of the GLBTIQQ community. MCC today has 43,000 members and friends in almost 300 congregations in 22 countries. MCC Melbourne started in 1973 and became MCC Melbourne in 1974.
In its deep awareness that faith without works is dead, MCC has brought acceptance, friendship, care and support to thousands within and outside the LGBTI communities who have experienced discrimination in any form. MCC was founded as a church whose doors would be open to all the people of God’s creation, without exception.