I’m not really writing about “It’s All About Who You Know” today, but I thought you’d be more likely to be interested in that title than “It’s Cool To Connect People.” In the same vein, I thought that my incorrect use of “Who” seemed more friendly and less formal/stilted than “Whom.” My apologies to you grammar purists!

Now that I’ve gotten all that out of the way, here’s what I wanted to say:

Last Sunday, we gave an MCC Cares grant to the Spiritual Pride Project. Spiritual Pride Project (SPP) exists to create a welcoming and safe community for youth and young adults of all sexual orientations and gender identities to experience and share spirituality, community and acceptance. In other words, it’s kind of like church camp for queer kids. Can you imagine being a teenager trying to sort out your sexual orientation and gender identity and having an invitation to explore that in a faith-based setting? What a gift!

And it’s only one gift among so many that you have given through your continued support of the ministries of MCC Austin. Our very existence, and the worship services we offer each week, bring hope and encouragement to hundreds of people. Without your generosity, those wouldn’t happen.

Last Sunday, in addition to having Chelsea here to receive the grant for the Spiritual Pride Project, we had Rev. Amelia from Labyrinth Progressive Christian Ministries as one of our worship leaders. Labyrinth is one of dozens of faith-based organizations on the UT campus, but it is the only one that welcomes and celebrates LGBTQ people along with straight and cisgender people. MCC Austin is one of Labyrinth’s partner sponsors.

So….one organization that provides a camp experience for youth and young adults of all sexual orientations and gender identities to experience and share spiritual community was connected to a group that ministers to that same community on the UT campus. Before Sunday, the two groups were unaware of each other. Now it’s quite likely that some of the students from Labyrinth will be able to experience a Spiritual Pride weekend either free or at a reduced cost because of us.

When the news of the world gets you down, when you wonder if you ever make a difference, please remember the amazing work that you’re part of through our church. Through your financial gifts, through your volunteering, through your prayers, you make a difference.

With Thanks and Blessings,