It’s that time of year again!
MCC Toronto will be hosting our annual HOMECOMING event on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
Join us for a special Service filled with entertaining performances, moving words and refreshments after the Service.
For our 11:00 AM Celebration Service, our special guest offertory performer will be no-other than the talented Robert Markus, from the Tony award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen.
Invite your friends or people you’ve missed seeing at Service regularly. Let’s remind each other of the wonderful community we have built together, and where we all belong.
We can’t wait to see you there!
Join us for Homecoming 2019 – You Belong!
“Welcome Home!” Those words are emblazoned on the front wall of the Sanctuary, along with “Bienvenido” and “Bienvenue” in Spanish and French respectively. It might sound a bit cliché, but we really do mean it when we say “Welcome Home” at MCC Toronto. In fact, it’s become a bit of a mantra for us here at the church.
Whether you join us having left your community of faith due to a lack of acceptance, or you are newly embarking on a faith journey; whether you identify as LGBTQ2+ or a straight ally, whether you are Canadian born, indigenous, a new Canadian, or refugee, whether you are young or old, whether you are single, dating, married, polyamorous, or happily asexual, whether you have a family, or a pet who comes with you to church sometimes, or are on your own, whether you are barely making ends meet or well-to-do, whether you deal with addictions and mental health issues, whether you are happy or sad, whether you identify as Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic or something else, whether you know who God is for you, or aren’t quite sure… we say… Welcome Home and you belong!
For many of us MCC Toronto has long been “Home”. Think back to that time you entered our doors. Did you cry? Did you feel welcomed? Were you nervous? How did you find out about MCC Toronto? What brought you here and what still brings you here? How has this place changed your life?
Well, we want your help to welcome others to their new home. On Sunday September 15th at the 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Services MCC Toronto will be celebrating Homecoming and intentionally welcoming new people in our midst and inviting those who may have strayed back. Homecoming is the perfect occasion to invite friends, family, coworkers, and neighbours or that congregant you haven’t seen in a while to come check out this place you call “Home” and some of the new and exciting things going on at MCC Toronto. Let’s remind each other of the wonderful community we have built together, and where we all belong.
– Rev. Jeff Rock
What Does MCC Toronto Mean to You?
One of the things we value at MCC Toronto is diversity and acceptance, and our community at MCC Toronto truly represents that. The people at MCC Toronto is what makes our community that extra special. To commemorate them, we have asked several Members and friends of MCC Toronto to share their stories of MCC Toronto.
When we started looking for a church to attend as a young family, our requirements were simple – good music, inclusive and not boring. It’s a combination that is surprisingly hard to find! So when our daughters started requesting to hear songs from The Choir’s recording “These Old Walls” at bedtime, talking about the kind people they meet while eating cookies in the Social Hall and asking about the stories they being told during the Service, we knew we had found the right place for our family.
The people who we get to sing with, learn from and celebrate the highs and lows of life together, make MCC Toronto the real jackpot. Every Sunday we leave with our hearts feeling full and we say “Wow, MCC Toronto is such a special place. We are so grateful for these people.” We have found connection, community and most importantly, our kids are learning about God’s all-inclusive, unconditional love.
As an older, gay man who has been in Toronto for a while, I have known of MCC Toronto since the 1980’s. At the time, I was a practicing Catholic and did not need another place for spiritual guidance. However, around 1985, I experienced an othering at my regular Sunday Catholic Church service when the priest talked about homosexuality being related to Satan and evil. I remember thinking that he was talking about me and began my permanent journey away from that Catholic church. It was also at that time when I started attended a few MCC Toronto services on Bathurst St. but I never felt completely welcomed, and being a person of colour, stood out and did not fit in.
Then a little over a year ago, a friend mentioned MCC Toronto to me again. He mentioned how he attended Service weekly and encouraged me to come. I decided to give it another try … and I have never looked back. The MCC Toronto of today is a warm and welcoming place for me, for so many, and for those experiencing or have experienced being other-ed. Almost immediately, I felt a warmth I haven’t felt in a long time. The community is so embracing, welcoming and without judgement. A long way from what was when I first visited.
Today, I feel a connection with MCC Toronto that has become vital in my life. The spiritual and community links I feel are all because of the people who lead the church, the people who volunteer, and the people who come for guidance, solace and community. It is home! It is a tangible link with my God and the God of all. It gives me light to carry to others and to want to continue my spiritual journey.
I believe the people who are involved in MCC Toronto believes in the goodness of others, believe in the simple pleasures of friendship and community, and believe in extending a helping hand no matter how small. The MCC Toronto community plays a vital role for so many – and I see it every week. I feel it every time I am there. It is a joy to be amongst people who genuinely want to welcome and be a part of a bigger family.
My Sundays are non-negotiable anymore. I won’t give up attending Service for dim sum, brunches, community events or potential social opportunities. To me, my regular Sunday Service means so much – it is an opportunity for me to commune with God in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment. I love it and I cherish it.
Because of MCC Toronto and what it has given me, I have chosen to give back – in small ways. I volunteer in kitchen during Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is my way to say thank you and to share my happiness with others, especially those who may be less fortunate than me.
I also participated in the Depression Initiative run by Linda Leeders. This 12-session annual group supported me when I needed it most and gave me the courage and strength to come back into the world and be a part of it. I admire the work Linda is doing, that I will be volunteering and helping her run the next Initiative.
To me, volunteering and being a part of MCC Toronto is not work and it is not taking anything away in my life. If anything, it reminds me of my journey in life and how fortunate I have been and how great the Universe and God has been in my life.
I believe a historical Jesus existed and that the bible is one of many metaphorical and practical guides on how to check, contemplate and conduct ourselves while we strive to interact with and negotiate our mental, physical and social environments from an ethical, moral and life affirming position.
That said, not only do I identify as 2-Spirited and Queer, I’m more of an Algonquin Ojibwe, Buddhist and Cosmic-Multi-Universal Spiritualist than a Christian and that’s OK with MCC Toronto.
Me and my people, you and your people, everyone are actually welcomed, honoured and respected at MCC Toronto.
Not only is the Sunday 11:00 am Service guaranteed to be an intellectually celebratory concert and fashion show, I get to commune, engage, meditate and pray with my fellow 2SLGBTQ+A community in Toronto and around the world.
We gather, we discuss and pray for Human Rights and Social Justice issues, while we engage in ways that make programs like MCC Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs and the Triangle Program possible!!!
I’m honoured and privileged to be a member of the congregation, sometimes donor and newer volunteer.