5th August 2012
Question and Answer session on 20 years of ordained ministry in MCC
Scripture - Luke 4:16-21
Rev Andy Braunston
[We have no printed text of this Q & A session. However, a video recording is available for viewing on the church's YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/lLS4gikOGhU]
Letters of congratulation
In recognition of Andy's 20th anniversary of his ordination as clergy within the Metropolitan Community Church, the following four letters of congratulation were received from denominational leaders and were read aloud to the congregation during the worship service.
From The Reverend Elder Dr Mona West - Director, Office of Formation and Leadership Development:
Dear Members and Friends of MCC Manchester,
I want to join you in celebrating and appreciating Rev. Andy Braunston on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his ordination. I have known Andy to be a person committed to excellence in the training of our clergy and lay leadership in MCC. I am grateful for his willingness to share his gifts and his time in offering courses for our students, working on the UK Protocol, mentoring our clergy candidates and working with other UK faculty. I have also appreciated Andy’s example as a lifelong learner and the depth of his scholarship. As many of us know, ordained ministry can be challenging and stressful as well as rewarding. It is quite a milestone for a person to celebrate 20 years in ordained ministry.
From The Reverend Elder Darlene Garner - Director, Office of Emerging Ministries:
Greetings Rev. Andy,
Congratulations and Thank You …
…for the twenty years of ministry you have shared with MCC Manchester and with MCC worldwide. Your witness to the impact that a vibrant church can have in the world is testament to the movement of the Holy Spirit. May God enlarge your territory!
I offer you this poem by Judy Crowe:
I see the hands that hold God's word
And fold in prayer to seek God’s will.
I see the feet that walk the path
And offers of praise as from lofty hill.
I see the hands that serve God well,
The ears that seek to hear Spirit’s call,
The mouth that speaks truth and wisdom,
The busy feet that carry the message to all.
I see all of this as you stand in the pulpit,
An instrument through which God speaks
The words of wisdom, of love and peace,
To lead and guide all those whom Spirit seeks.
From The Reverend Elder Dr Nancy L. Wilson - Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches:
Much love and hearty congratulations on this the occasion of the 20th anniversary of your ministry in MCC!
I am so grateful for your consistent, excellent service as a pastor, and in our denominational ministries, in helping to train other pastors, in offering ecumenical outreach. Bless you for leading your church into the very challenging ministry of working with refugees – I am so proud of your commitment to justice on a local and global level.
Since you, Andy, were in almost every sense, Rev. Elder Jean White’s son, I know we are also profoundly related! Thank you for your deep commitment to Christ, to Christ’s church, and its embodiment in MCC.
May your celebration be filled with joy and hope for the future!
From The Reverend Elder Dr Troy D. Perry - Founder and First Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches:
You do not know how thankful I am to write you to congratulate you on the 20th Anniversary of your Ordination!
It seems as though it was only yesterday that I met this young pastor in the U.K., who was seeking to become Clergy in the Metropolitan Community Churches. I was, and am, impressed with your wicked sense of humor, and your willingness to agree or disagree with ANYBODY in our movement!
As Phillip and I watched the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, we thought of you, and of my recent visit to Manchester. The movie clip of Her Majesty Elizabeth II and 007 jumping out of the helicopter really made me think of you! One of these two reminded me of you. Not the Queen, you twit, (as Jean White used to say to me) but of Daniel Craig. I still see that young, gay man, but all jokes aside I also learned very quickly how smart and intelligent you are.
My last visit to the United Kingdom and your church, made my estimation of your abilities just go through the roof! I paid you a compliment, if you remember, I said, "You have incredible pulpit presence, Andy!" I don't want this to sound pompous, so please forgive me if it comes across that way. As the Founder, and First Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, it is the highest praise that I give to a Pastor. You are one of the few that I have ever given that praise.
Andy, thank you for your faithfulness to God and the MCC movement for all these years! I pray the Lord will bless you for the rest of your life as you serve out your ministry. You will never know how many lives you have touched.
Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry
PS: Phillip sends his love to you and your partner.