Part of our founding vision in Metropolitan Community Churches includes responding to the Biblical mandate to shape a world of just and right relationship. Over the years we, as people of faith, have preached a Gospel of equality, offered safe space and worked to address the intersections between homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, mass incarceration, poverty and economic inequality. With the formation of the Global Justice Institute, we have been able to expand our outreach and our work in these areas.
This year for the first time, as the United Nations marks the 67th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th, the focus will include economic development and addressing the intersection with human rights.
The GJI has been a leader in linking economic well-being, Queer rights and the social change necessary to insure the security and freedom of human beings around the world. Our projects in East Africa, South and Central America and Pakistan testify to the change possible when people learn to work together for the common good.
This year, as we mark World Human Rights Day, join GJI in promoting peace on earth and goodwill among all by supporting our most recent project in Mtito Andei, Kenya. Bringing water to the land of our new satellite location will enable local women currently caught in the sex-for-survival trade to have the opportunity to pursue an alternative means of securing food for their families by growing vegetables on the land hosting our new building. It is a way to move the wider population from judgment to compassion and community.
And, please remember to pray daily for the work God has called us to embrace in this world. Join your brothers and sisters around the globe in praying that we might all act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God.
Click here to make a donation to the water project in Mtito Andei.
Dear Friend of The Global Justice Institute:
This work can be brought to an even larger scale with your financial support.
The GJI is forging a better tomorrow for LGBT and allied people, fighting bigotry and violence that masquerades as “faith.” Our work stands at the intersection of faith, freedom of expression, freedom from fear and violence, social justice, liberation, and equality for all. Indeed, faith is a source of liberation (not oppression). Your generous support will not only root out discrimination, but will also sow the seeds of equality and liberation for all of God’s children, all over the world.
Make your secure, online donation HERE. 100% of your contributions provide program support.
In faith and solidarity,
Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner
In her bestselling book The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander likened the U.S. criminal justice system to the Jim Crow caste system of the U.S. South, in which a class of Americans are subject to a basic political, economic, and judicial system of legalized discrimination. Her powerful analysis inspired a new look at the impact of the mass incarceration of African-American men and people of color on communities of color, causing many lawmakers, sociologists, and activists to conclude that “mass incarceration in the United States…is a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of social control.” Now, there is a growing consensus that something must be done to bring balance to our criminal justice system.
We’ve been shocked by the image of the drowned innocent boy all over the media this morning and have joined this campaign demanding EU politicians take urgent action to save lives and give sanctuary to people fleeing war and hunger.
They’re meeting in a few days so we need to act fast. Join me here by signing the petition, sharing the link on any social media you’re on, and forwarding the email below to friends and family:
For the first time since 1983, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering amending its blanket ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM). The proposed new policy would only permit donations from men who have abstained from sex with men for at least twelve months. The FDA says the waiting period is needed because “compelling scientific evidence is not available at this time to support a change to a deferral period less than one year while still ensuring the safety of the blood supply.”
Though we applaud the incremental progress this represents, we find the FDA’s rationale highly problematic. Should the change take effect, the FDA would continue to base its MSM selection and screening policy on outdated theories and centuries-old stigma rather than evidence-based criteria. For example, the viral life cycle of HIV is not linked to behavior. Based on the FDA stance, it would follow that all persons engaging in penetrative sexual acts should be subjected to this year long abstinence period. Current laws and regulations mandate all blood donations be screened for a range of potential threats, most of which are no more common among MSM than other groups. Therefore, we believe the system will remain safe with no ban on MSM donations.
Here are actions you can take to help end the ban:
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This action alert was prepared as a collaboration between MCC’s HIV/AIDS Advisory Council (Dr. David Williams, M.D., M.P.H., Chair) and the Public Policy Team of Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute (Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, Chair).
While studying the Bible together, a young man, apparently well-schooled in racially inspired hatred and animosity, announced he would kill those gathered simply because they were black.
There are no words to take away the anger, pain, sorrow and loss of the families and friends of the victims and the community of Charleston, or that will adequately address the outrage of those among us who have spent lifetimes working for the dismantling of racism and its systemic supports and the promotion of goodwill among all.
There are, however, words to address this senseless act: STOP THE VIOLENCE! STOP THE HATE! JUST STOP IT! Pass sensible gun laws that protect society from the animosity of the few. Reinstate the legal protections that many fought and died for, like equal voting rights legislation and equal educational opportunities and job programs. Teach and practice love before all other options. Teach and practice kindness, compassion, acceptance, generosity and appreciation of difference. Someone taught that young shooter that difference was to be eliminated, not reverenced as a part of God’s good design.
There are words we can all remember and hold on to for inspiration and guidance as we move through this tragedy. A little over 50 years ago, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, facing a similar tragedy with the murder of 4 little girls at Sunday School in a Church in Alabama, called the nation and the world to accountability when he said, those who have been taken from us have something to say.
“They have something to say to every minister of the Gospel who has remained
silent behind the safe security of stained glass windows. They have something to
say to every politician who has fed his constituents the stale bread of hatred and
the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government
that has compromised …. They say to each of us, black and white alike, that we
must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned
not merely about WHO murdered them, but about the system, the way of life
and the philosophy which PRODUCED the murderers. Their death says to us
that we must work passionately and unrelentingly to make the American dream
All of us can and must do something every single day we are blessed to grace this earth to make that dream of a world at peace with its God-given diversity a reality. As the saying goes, “See something, say something.” Never ever allow a racist remark to go unchallenged or pass for humor. Push for strict and enforced gun legislation that will eliminate easy access to weapons that do nothing but take life. Challenge legislators to reinstate the principles and practices of law and governance that challenge inequality and promote the value, dignity and worth of each life. Preach, teach and practice the ways of nonviolence.
As we collectively mourn this needless tragedy at Mother of Emanuel, let us remember the promise of that community’s name ~ that God is with us ~ and that we can do all things through the One who strengthens us.
Let us pray to the Mother of All Life for the courage to do the things and live in the ways that bring peace to this earth and honor the promise of all life.
Let us pray together ~
The people of Mother Emanuel have faced hatred and oppression in the past, and have risen like a phoenix from the ashes of despair and heartache with you by their side.
We pray that they will once again rise from this painful moment, and will be an example of hope that cannot be destroyed, integrity that will always survive, and community that no prejudice can divide as we stand together in solidarity.
Holy One, bless the dear people of Emanuel AME Church and all of us, and let the power of your love bring healing to the hearts and minds of people everywhere who continue to face hatred, injustice, and undeserved pain.
And, loving Spirit, we pray also for the assailant who took innocent lives. Even as Justice demands that he be held accountable, mercy also requires that we pray for the healing of his soul, and for all souls that have not learned to replace blind hatred with love of self and
Join us in supporting The Korea Queer Culture Festival and organizers who have been blocked by local government and police from having the Seoul Pride parade after 16 years. In response to demands by anti-LGBT secular and religious groups, the Seoul police agency officially banned the Korean Queer Culture Festival, which is scheduled for 28 June. The parade traditionally marks the end of the three week-long festival (which starts 9 June). Anti-LGBT demonstrators recently gathered outside of the Seoul City Hall carrying bigoted signs referring to the Seoul Mayor as the “Mayor of Sodom.” Religious groups have also pressured South Korean government officials to place hardships on Festival and parade organizers.
None of us are free until we all are free to express our pride and our innate God-given human dignity in the public square.
For more information, contact the Public Policy Team at email@example.com.
By: Stan Kimmer
I know it has been a while since my last update on my work in Kenya,
Africa, and that is because there was a change in direction. If you
look at my original Africa Center Page first created in late 2010, you
will see the short story and my vision to want to make a significant
impact in one of the poorest medium size cities in Kenya, Mtito Andei.
After a number of false starts and being frustrated with local
corruption, I needed to put the work with my initial partner Global
Roots on hold. While considering how to reengage in this work, I was
having a growing relationship with Rev. Michael Kimindu; pastor of
Neema Metropolitan Community Church in Nairobi, Director of African
Affairs for the Global Justice Institute, and leader of Other Sheep –
Africa. (At that time I was board chair of Other Sheep in the United
States.) Since Rev. Kimindu is originally from the area near Mtito
Andei and speaks the native Kamba tribal language of that area, I felt
he could be an ideal partner to help this work progress.
Rev. Kimindu visited me last May while in the USA (see photo) and we
further discussed teaming on this project. I ended up moving my church
membership from my local MCC Church in North Carolina to Neema MCC so
I could provide my church tithe support, and discussed the idea of
Neema MCC and Other Sheep Africa teaming with me to make the
Kimer-Kamba Cultural Center a reality. Sometimes multiple groups with
a similar vision and mission need to combine efforts and resources to
progress the hard work.
When Rev. Kimindu visited with in my home in 2014, we started the
discussion of him becoming the lead partner in my vision for the
Kimer-Kamba Community Center in Mtito Andei.
Rev Kimindu agreed and at the beginning of the year he and his wife
Robai moved themselves and Neema MCC from Nairobi to Mtito Andei so he
could start this ministry and oversee this work. Using some existing
funds and with additional generous donations from Bobbi and Kathy
Graham-Ward of North Carolina, 2 acres of strategically placed land
near a new university was purchased and building began.
And now the building is complete for the first activities starting
this month! Multiple ministries and organizations will now share the
• The Kimer-Kamba Cultural Center which will focus on vocational and
cultural education and economic empowerment
• Other Sheep Africa / Kenya, providing a positive accepting ministry
to sexual minorities
• Neema Metropolitan Community Church, part of a global denomination
of over 200 local congregations located in 40 countries worldwide,
providing an open and inclusive ministry to all people
• Global Justice Institute, focusing on increasing global justice and
equality for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people in all
areas of the world.
Rev Kimindu (on the right) first traveled
with me to Mtito Andei, Kenya when I was last there in 2011.
I am hoping that my original partner Global Roots will also want to
become a part of this innovative collaborative work after Executive
Director and my good friend Rick Montgomery or his deputy Patrick
Firouzian travels to Kenya this summer to access progress and
applicability to his work.
Activities at the complex will include education, affirming worship
open to all people, nurturing people in need of justice, education
around early childhood development and more. The future vision
includes collaborating with the new local South Eastern Kenya
University – Mtito Andei Campus, and the Kenya Wildlife Service. We
also need to build Phase II which will include two classrooms, an
office and a guest room, which will facilitate most of this work.
Tax-deductible contribution can be made to support this work. Checks
should be designated for “Kenya work” and written to Other Sheep, and
mailed attn.: Stan Kimer, 4404 Pamlico Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609.
Additionally, 5% of gross receipts of my consulting practice, Total
Engagement Consulting by Kimer, will continued be contributed to this