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Open Table MCC to host ‘Proud Faith’ as a move to #RiseUpTogether vs. religious bigotry

As its contribution to #RiseUpTogether this June Pride Month 2018, Open Table Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) will hold “Proud Faith” at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) Cathedral of the Holy Child, Taft Ave., Manila City this June 16 at 2:30 pm.

As its contribution to #RiseUpTogether this June Pride Month 2018, Open Table Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) will hold “Proud Faith” at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) Cathedral of the Holy Child, Taft Ave., Manila City this June 16 at 2:30 pm.

Pastor Joseph San Jose, administrative pastor of Open Table-MCC cites that rejection and discrimination of LGBT people in the Philippines is primarily based on biblical and theological perspectives of Christian Churches.

“Despite the rejection of Churches of LGBT people, many LGBT people continue to be persons of deep spirituality and Christian commitment. The fact also is that, it is not only the realities and struggles of LGBT people but many other realities of oppression continue to be fueled by religious rhetoric. In a predominantly Christian country our oppression continues to be rooted in religious thought and language,” Pastor San Jose said.

“Proud Faith” hopes to respond to the problem of intolerant religious perspectives.

“The event offers a learning opportunity for members of different LGBT organizations and church workers to gain new and alternative theological insights that affirm include and celebrate LGBT people. The event is an opportunity for Queer Christians to proclaim that they are both LGBT and Christian and that we are able to worship and fellowship together just like anybody else. We are glad that the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, in the spirit of their LGBT Statement has opened the doors of its national cathedral to welcome the LGBT community,” said Pastor San Jose.

This LGBT event is a first for the national Cathedral of the IFI.

Vaughn Alviar, member of the IFI Commission on Mission and Evangelism and drafter of their church’s LGBT statement “Our Common Humanity, Our Shared Dignity” said, “This isn’t really something both churches planned. It was MCC that came to us, asking us if it was possible for IFI to host their Pride Month observances. Another church had apparently closed the door on them. I’d like to think the divine hand worked so that their search for a home would lead to the IFI National Cathedral. It will be a first for the Church.”

He added, “I think June 16 will only do wonders for us — IFI priests undergoing Clinical Pastoral Education will be there, some women priests, LGBTIQ+ individuals and allies from our fold. The forum topics are much needed given the lack of expertise from IFI so far. IFI has always believed in the power of immersion and accompaniment — and for us to host the diversity in society right at ‘the center of life, work and witness’ of the Church and to join a worship that comes from a ‘liberational’ theology like ours, that historic day will be significant and exciting.”

For Open Table-MCC, much more lies ahead to be done this Pride Month 2018 and beyond.

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“After the event, the Church will be supporting and attending the oral arguments for marriage equality in the supreme court on June 19th. We have a planned Mass Union for LGBT couples coming either this July or in October.

Currently, Open Table has an active HIV ministry, is exploring the response to LGBT elderly, and transgender PLHIVs.

“In the coming months and years, Open Table MCC will through the pastor will be more visible in other social justice issues in forums and street protests. Even as we, as a struggling community of progressive faith try to equip and transform ourselves, we hope that we are able to help transform the LGBT community and Philippine society to be more just, equal and loving,” Pastor San Jose ended.

For more details, visit HERE.

Written By

A registered nurse, John Ryan (or call him "Rye") Mendoza hails from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao (where, no, it isn't always as "bloody", as the mainstream media claims it to be, he noted). He first moved to Metro Manila in 2010 (supposedly just to finish a health social science degree), but fell in love not necessarily with the (err, smoggy) place, but it's hustle and bustle. He now divides his time in Mindanao (where he still serves under-represented Indigenous Peoples), and elsewhere (Metro Manila included) to help push for equal rights for LGBT Filipinos. And, yes, he parties, too (see, activists need not be boring! - Ed).

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