It’s been 44 years since a dozen brave souls decided to bring to Austin Rev. Troy Perry’s vision for a Christian church that didn’t just accept LGBTQ+ people, but celebrated them. Thank God that those brave souls, almost all of whom have now passed from this earthly life, were followed by dozens and dozens more over the years who joined their love for Jesus Christ with their love for this community of faith. The result of their courage and commitment is a vibrant, welcoming, worshiping, difference-making congregation that’s doing our best to share the Gospel message of God’s love for all people.

It can be a challenge to be part of a community, especially when that community thinks of itself as family. All the dynamics—positive and negative–that are present in a family are also present in a congregation, but they’re multiplied many times over. Our anniversary is a time to acknowledge both the challenges and the blessings as we give thanks for all that has come before and all that is yet to come.

The Christian ethicist Robin Lovin says this about our relationship with our church: “The issue is less a matter of choosing a church that you like than it is creating a church that does not yet exist.” I’m thankful that so many of you understand that. When you come at it from that angle, you’re not in evaluation mode, sizing up the church’s plusses and minuses. Instead you’re in possibility mode, considering where God and the community are inviting you to engage; to offer your resources of time, talent, and treasure; and to risk the possibility of failure and disappointment in pursuit of the joy that comes through authentic relationships with God and God’s people.

If life and commitments have kept you away from us for awhile, I hope you’ll use our 44th Anniversary as a “stepping back in” opportunity. We’ve missed you.

Always in Hope,

Saturday, October 5 at 10:00 a.m.

Blessing of the Animals – The love we share with our pets often reflects the purest, most unselfish, unconditional love we humans are capable of and we celebrate that love in this annual event. Bring your pets–or a picture, toy, or some other item if you can’t bring your pet—for a brief service with readings, prayers, individual blessings for all the animals present or represented, and a time of remembering the pets we have lost. We will meet in front of the pet memorial area. (All animals must be on a leash or in a carrier at all times for their own safety.)

Saturday, October 5 at 2:00 p.m.

Memorial Service for Bill Lukenbill – We will celebrate the life of Bill Lukenbill, longtime member and archivist of MCC Austin, and also bear witness to the promises of the Resurrection on Saturday at 2:00. Afterward we will host a reception for Bill’s family and friends in Cowan Hall where we can share memories of the life and love Bill shared with us.

Saturday, October 5 at 6:24 p.m.

Saturday @ 6:24 – After 10 years the 6:24 service and 6:24 Band are back! We call this service “comfortable church” because it is a free-flowing, feel-good, sing-along worship service that includes your favorite old and new praise and worship songs, a thoughtful and encouraging message, and communion. We meet in the Chrysalis Center (the original sanctuary) on Saturday.

Sunday, October 6 at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.

Sunday Worship – Every Sunday morning we gather together to celebrate the promises of the Resurrection, believing that when we live our lives in alignment with the teachings of Jesus Christ, we become partners in Christ’s ministry of love, peace, justice, and reconciliation. In addition to celebrating our 44th Anniversary, we will be joining Christian churches around the world in celebrating World Communion Sunday.