The Metropolitan Community Church in Quezon City (MCCQC) marks its sixth year as a “church that touches lives” with an eye “on continuing bettering the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trangender (LGBT) Filipinos.” This is a big move for the group that “finally found what its core value is. After six years, now, alam na namin kung ano ang MCCQC; we now identify as a progressive Christian church, (where we teach) liberal theology,” said MCCQC head Rev. Ceejay Agbayani. “Dati kasi parang centrist (lang) kami; but now, we are taking sides.”
That side is, of course, the side of LGBT Filipinos.
MCCQC came into being in 2006, then with only a handful (six, to be exact) of attendees gathering in Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City to profess their faith. Even then, Rev. Agbayani has taken the leadership role, even as “isang seminarista pa lang ako noon sa Union Theological Seminary sa Dasmasrinas, Cavite. I was inspired to organize MCC in Quezon City after the 15th anniversary of MCC in the Philippines, then headed by Pastor Regen Luna.”
Although initially the group just wanted to be able to provide a venue for worshippers, by 2008, it was declared a “full church”, having been granted independence from MCC Philippines. Then, MCC’s US-based Rev. Elder Ken Martin ordained Rev. Agbayani, whose appointment to head MCCQC was officialized.
Currently, the group has 30 regular (and, more importantly, active) worshippers, “at marami pang nagpapa-member,” Rev. Agbayani said.
MCCQC has established itself as a key player in the LGBT community in the Philippines, having established MCC Simbang Gabi, LGBT Flores de Mayo Pride, LGBT-related film showings, and Summer Pride March in Isabela City. It also helped establish MCC in Metro Baguio and in Marikina City, which used to be “daughter churches namin sila noon, pero ngayon ay sister churches na namin sila dahil binigyan na namin sila ng independence,” Rev. Agbayani said.
Among its biggest effects to the LGBT community and its representation is MCCQC’s abetting in the defining of notions of same-sex marriage in the Philippines. It holds an annual LGBT mass wedding ceremony, which Rev. Agbayani said is more than mere unification of two lives into one, but is also a call for equal rights for all. In the 2012 gathering, seven couples opted to wed.
“We’re eyeing becoming full autonomy sa lahat ng bagay,” Rev. Agbayani said. But even as it looks for ways to implement its bigger plans, there are “small steps” being implemented. Starting September 22, for instance, “magkakaroon na kami ng Saturday worship service from 6.30PM para sa mga nais mag-attend ng ‘anticipated Sunday worship’.”
All part of the intent to continue touching lives.
Metropolitan Community Church – Quezon City is located at 3/F Green Building, 56 Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City. For more information, call (+63 2) 508 3523, or call/SMS (+63) 9152904310 or (+63) 9391790395; or visit www.mccqcph.com.