Metropolitan Community Church-Metro Baguio (MCCMB) recently celebrated its 5th anniversary, eyeing to continue serving as a “beacon of hope in the north for LGBTQIs to profess their faith in God and celebrate their love without fear of judgment and condemnation, inspiring not just the LGBTQI community but straight people as well,” said Rev. Myke Abaya Sotero, who helms MCCMB.
MCCB was established in 2009. Initially, in 2008, discussions happened between Baguio LGBT activists and MCC Quezon City (then led by ex- pastor Ceejay Agbayani) on the possibility of establishing an MCC congregation in Baguio. On February 22, 2009, MCCQC inducted Sotero, William Villacampa, Jude Baggo and Julie Palaganas at a public worship service held in Ayuyang Bar, making official the birth of MCCMB. MCCMB continues to be MCC Quezon City’s extension parish.
“MCCMB is unique from other religious groups because it stays true to its worldwide nature of being radically inclusive, affirming and ecumenical human rights church, proclaiming God’s inclusive love, specially for those living in the margins. Unlike other churches, MCC is a safe place for all to practice their faith regardless of their religious background, disability, HIV status, age, sexuality, gender identity and expression. It offers a safe community where all are welcome to partake in the table of fellowship,” Sotero said.
As a human rights church, MCC is committed to work for justice, show kindness and live humbly with God (Micah 6:8), and bear witness to the holy integration of spirituality & sexuality.” Just as Jesus did, we are called to: explore life’s questions with open hearts and minds; raise our voices in sacred defiance against religious (and political or systemic) exclusion; reach out to those with no hope; and lift up new generations of remarkable, far-reaching spiritual activists,” Sotero said.
Looking forward, MCCMB envisions to establish its own permanent place of worship, expand its ministries in Northern Luzon, and strengthen its special ministry for PLHIVs and HIV/AIDS awareness, Social Justice ministry and develop more people with calling for ordained ministry.