Monday, December 28, 2009

Dec 27, 2009 Sermon

Rev. Carolyn Mobley and Minister Adrain Bowie from Ministry of Inspiration share a Kwanzaa message based on Day 2 - Kuchijagulia - the principal of self-determination. (This material is copyrighted and may not be used without permission from Ministry of Inspiration)

Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI

(My apologies for the quality of the recording. There is some kind of mechanical type of hum that is noticeable throughout the message. Still worth listening to.)


Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve Service

Christmas Eve Service at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI co-officiated by Rev. Steph, Pastor and Rev. Karen.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Christmas Prayer

Dear Jesus,

As we gather together this Christmas to celebrate Your birth, may we begin to see the world with Your grace and understanding.

You taught us how to love one another; help us to remember to share this love with others, taking the time to look into their eyes, to hear the message of their hearts sometimes hidden behind their words, and to appreciate the deep worth of each person who crosses our path.

You taught us how to do the right thing; remind us that You are always with us, even when we think no one is looking. Help us also take time to seek You in the quiet of our hearts, homes, and churches. Bring peace to every part of our world, every room of our homes, and every corner of our hearts.

We thank You that You didn't stay a baby in a cradle but grew up to be our loving Savior.

Dear Jesus, may You be born again in us this day. Amen.

The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news
of great joy that will be for all people. For today in the city of David a savior
has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."
Luke 2:10-12


Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Please join us for a traditional candlelight Christmas Eve service as we celebrate the birth of our Sovereign and Savior.

The service will start at 7:00 pm, Dec 24, 2009 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church
3864 Benjamin Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Ph: 616-364-7633

We will take a love offering as we share the love of Christ with others.

This year RMCC gave to our own church through our Sunday collection of tithes and offerings
as well as our fundraisers.

We gave to our local community by collecting food items and gently used clothing for United Council of Ministries; participating in local food drives, petitioning on the court steps for same gender marriage, donating the hats and gloves from the warming tree to the North Kent Service Center in Rockford, Christmas caroling at the VA home and more.

We gave at the denominational level through our gifts and talents at the local Michigan MCC workshop, and a love offering during MCC’s “Fellowship Sunday.”

We now move to the global level. This year our Christmas Eve Love Offering will go to Heifer International. According to the Associated Press, “The idea behind Heifer ... is similar to the notion that it's better to teach a man to fish so he can feed himself than to give him a fish that will feed him just once. One animal could eventually benefit an entire community.” You can learn more about the Heifer International by visiting their website at:

*¨´♫ •. ♥♫ •.♥.•°°¸.•*¨`*•´♫ • °¸.•* ¨`*♥

Come let us adore Him.

*¨´♫ •. ♥♫ •.♥.•°°¸.•*¨`*•´♫ • °¸.•* ¨`*♥


Dec 20, 2009 Sermon

Sermon based on the Revised Common Lectionary Advent 4C, Luke 1.1-55 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson, Pastor.


RMCC Welcomes Rev. Carolyn and Minister Adrain

Dec 27, 2009 RMCC welcomes Rev. Carolyn Mobley and Minister Adrain.

They will bring us a Kwanza Message through Word and Song.

Kwanzaa, celebrated from December 26 through January 1, is an African-American and Pan-African holiday. The holiday began in the United States in 1966 and was first celebrated by Dr. Maulena Karenga in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Karenga began the celebration as a way to promote and honor African heritage. The name "Kwanzaa" comes from the Swahili words matunda ya kwanza, meaning "first fruits."

Kwanzaa has seven core principles:

Umoja (Unity)
Kujichagulia (Self-determination)
Ujima (Collective work and Responsibility)
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
Nia (Purpose)
Kuumba (Creativity)
Imani (Faith)

These seven principles are represented by seven candles: one black, three red and three green, which are placed in a Kinara (candle holder). The black stands for the people, the red for their struggle and green for the future and hope that are born from that struggle. On each day of Kwanzaa, a new candle is lit and the principle for that day is discussed. (Source UFMCC website)

In addition to our regular collection of Tithes and Offerings we will be collecting a Love Offering to support Rev. Carolyn and Minister Adrain.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Video Message From Rev. Elder Diane Fisher

You are invited to watch the Christmas Video Message from our Region 5 MCC Elder, Rev. Elder Diane Fisher.

Launch in external player


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Join us on Dec 27, 2009 for worship with special guest speakers Rev. Carolyn Mobley and Minister Adrain Bowie.

Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church
3864 Benjamin Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
PH: 616-364-7633

Worship starts at 10:00 AM

Hope to see you there.
Pastor Steph

Rev. Carolyn Mobley

Rev. Carolyn Mobley has more than twenty years with MCC. She joined Resurrection MCC, Houston, Texas in 1990. During her 15 years at Resurrection MCC, she was the Director of Christian Education, the Associate Pastor for Congregational Care, Outreach, and Community Partnerships. She received
many honors while in Houston, these included being the Grand Marshall for the 1993 Pride Celebrations, the Extra Mile Award given by the Uncommon Legacy Foundation, serving on the Board of the Houston Black Tie Dinner, the African-American Lesbian and Gay Alliance, and member of the City of Houston’s Urban AIDS Taskforce. She is a gifted preacher, teacher, and inspiring worship leader.

Minister Adrain Bowie

Minister Adrain Bowie, a native of Saginaw, Michigan, is a gifted multi-media communicator, social anthropologist, and small business owner. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, working on her m-div at Candler School of Theology at Emory, and a clergy candidate at First MCC.
For many years, she used her gifts and talents as an instructor for secondary schools, Community Colleges, and as a trainer in several local churches. Adrain has used her multi-media skills and experience as a producer/director editor, photographer, technical director, and camera operator to train Audio-Video Ministry Teams at large and small churches. Minister Adrain’s extraordinary oratory gifts, have been used to develop speech choirs, and other spoken word ministries for worship and edification. She is a master storyteller and a contemporary griot to say the least.

Minister Adrain, along with her partner, Rev. Carolyn Mobley, have created A Ministry of Inspiration that offers Praise and Pros as a fresh new approach to any worship experience.

They have shared their anointed ministry with many congregations from Michigan, USA to Cape Town, South Africa. This spiritual union of songs and story telling has created a harmonious universal language that will bless those who hear them.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas

From our hearts to yours Merry Christmas.

Pastor Steph and Janet


Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009 Sermon

I apparently took leave of my senses today. I had too much coffee, experienced cabin fever as I was not able to get out and travel due to the blizzard, and didn't change the battery in recorder. ;o)

Having said that, this weeks sermon was not recorded - it is however available in a word doc located at:


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 3, 2009 Sermon

Sermon based on the Revised Common Lectionary Advent 2C, Luke 3.1-6 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson, Pastor.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nov 29, 2009 Sermon

Sermon based on Revised Common Lectionary Advent 1C at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson, Pastor.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nov 22, 2009 Sermon

Sermon based on Revised Common Lectionary Proper 29(34), Year B. John 13.33-37 and Rev. 1.4b-8 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson, Pastor.


Nov 15, 2009 Sermon

Sermon based on Revised Common Lectionary Proper 28(33), Year B. Mark 13.1-8 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson, Pastor.


Thanksgiving Letter

On Thursday, parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, lovers will gather to enjoy a feast of “traditional” Thanksgiving food. For many, it’s “turkey and all the trimmings,” but cultural, regional religious specialties are also on the table. Thanksgiving is for love of family.

Besides family gatherings, members of various religions and community groups will put together a feast and invite those who are without family, those who are poor, and those who are homeless to come in for dinner together. Anyone who comes is welcomed, no questions asked. Thanksgiving is for caring about each other.

Cities like Detroit, Chicago and New York will have Thanksgiving Day parades, with high school marching bands, clowns that handle balloons such as Snoopy, Shrek, and Mr. Potato Head, and people riding floats through the streets. People along the way will stand with their friends, family and strangers to enjoy the spectacle. Thanksgiving is for relaxation outdoors, with some razzle dazzle thrown in.

Football rivals will battle each other on the gridiron and the crowds in the stadium will shout and cheer and groan at missed plays. What about that turkey prepared for the Detroit Lions every year with an abnormal amount of drumsticks? Thanksgiving is for football.

Everywhere Americans are – military folks, and travelers, and other people who are apart from the country and their loved ones will “make” a family for the day. They’ll laugh and talk, cry and share how they celebrate Thanksgiving “back home”. Thanksgiving is for “I remember when…” stories that help make new friends.

On Thursday, as Americans sit down for a feast, around many tables, some will take the time to share - one by one, children and adults alike will search their memories and feelings and answer the question of what they are thankful for.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for:

God’s grace that sustains me.

A wonderful, loving partner.

The congregation of RMCC who has welcomed me with open arms and their willingness to go and grow in Christ.

My friends who are my family.

A place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear.

A simple look outside my window that continuously reminds of the many ways our Creator works.

I have had, amidst the worries and challenges of everyday life, many moments of grace this past year. For that I say, "Thank you, God."

To each of you who grace my life with love and blessings, I pray in song the words of St. Paul:

"I thank my God each time I remember you, which is constantly, praising God for the blessings I have known through your love."

Happy Thanksgiving.

Pastor Steph


Monday, November 9, 2009

Nov 8, 2009 Sermon

Sermon based on Revised Common Lectionary Proper 27(32), Year B. Mark 12.38-44 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson, Pastor.


Nov 1, 2009 Sermon

Sermon based on Revised Common Lectionary Proper 26(31), Year B. Rev. 21.1-6a and John 11.32-44 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson, Pastor.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Sermon based on Revised Common Lectionary Proper 25(30), Year B. Mark 10.35-45 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson, Pastor.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sermon based on Revised Common Lectionary Proper 24(29). Mark 10.35-45 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Ray Gomez.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sermon October 11, 2009

Sermon based on Revised Common Lectionary Proper 23(28). Hebrews 4.12-16 and Mark 10.17-31 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson
Click here to listen.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Sermon October 4, 2009

Not Why - but Now What.

Click on the title "Sermon October 4, 2009, 2009" to hear the sermon from this Sunday.

Sermon on Revised Common Lectionary Proper 22(27). Job 1:1, 2:1-10 and Psalm 26 at Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church, Grand Rapids MI by Rev. Steph Maxson

I misquoted the song - it is in fact sung by Elvis Presley.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Devotion by Alma K. Myers

Daily Devotional for September 29, 2009

God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73: 26

God is for you. Turn to the sidelines: that’s God cheering your run. Look past the finish line: that’s God applauding your steps. Listen for God in the bleachers, shouting your name. Too tired to continue?

God will carry you. Too discouraged to fight?

God’s picking you up. God is so good for you.

Oh! What a wonderful concept of God’s love we all have. Amen.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bible Study: "One Anothering" Begins October 28, 2009

Well its fall, and with all the abundance God has given us its also the time to settle in and gather together to learn and grow and what better way then to join a small group gathering...

What does that look like you ask.....????

This gathering small group is a 12 week committment and what better way than to break up the middle of the week by meeting on Wednesday Evenings studying God's word. Starting on October 28th and ending after the holidays. We will meet at Rev Stephs home wednesday evenings from 6pm to 8pm.

My name is Linda Shields and I am not new to RMCC. Many of you remember me from years past when I was a member here and then moved to New York for 2yrs . During that time I was involved with the Open Arms MCC and I have a passion for the MCC Churches as well as all Gods Children and I believe this 12 week series will bring us closer as a community and a church.

The book is called "One Anothering" by Richard C Meyer and i have actually been a facilitor for a group in my home in New York so I am very familiar with this study and have seen the positive things it can do.

Basically it walks us through a series of Fellowship, Love, Pray, Care, Bear Burdens, Encourage, Submit to One Another according to Gods word it is a tool to bring us closer together as we study the word of God. This will be volume 1 of the series.

So lets begin this journey together, if you have any questions or need more information please call me at 616-307-4503 Verizon Phone. You may also find more information by going to and searching for "One Anothering" by Richard C. Meyer. (Remember it is volume 1)

Gods Blessing

Linda Shields


Lessons From The Pond

Just outside my apartment approximately 12 feet away is a small pond with a water fountain located near the center. This setting brings with it some wild life. There are Canadian Geese, turtles, minnows, a couple of sand cranes, a frog that sings bass, a raccoon, American Black Ducks and more. I’ve found myself quite taken with these ducks to the point of trying to find individual makings in order to name each one. Admittedly, that has not been a successful task.

What seems to continuously amaze me is how much I seemed to have learned from watching my new little friends and today I feel called to share one insight with you.

These American Black Ducks seem to spend much time cleaning themselves. As Google is my friend, I dragged my laptop outside and began to ask why. What I discovered is that ducks have a “Preen Gland” near their tail. The duck spreads this oil over his/her body as a form of waterproofing. The duck picks up the oil with its head and beak, and then smears it all over its body to make the outer feathers waterproof. Without this protective barrier, a ducks feathers would become water-logged and because they spend their whole lives around and in water, this water-proof barrier is extremely important. Beneath the water-proof coat are fluffy and soft feathers which keep the duck warm. (

Somehow this behavior brought to mind the Armor of God as found in Ephesians 6.10-18

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...."

If we don’t put on this armor much like the ducks spread their oil, we will become waterlogged in ways of the world. Our struggles have little to do with flesh and blood and much to do with our spiritual battles.

Can we learn from the ducks? Will you take time each and every day to preen yourself by arming yourself with what God has given you?

Will you pray with me?

Loving God, I put on the belt of truth. Thank You that You provide us with the truth and that the truth has set me free. Next, I put on the breastplate of righteousness, which I know I have protecting me because Jesus is in my heart. Then I fit my feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, and I pray that I will walk in peace today and take every opportunity to share the Good News with those I meet. I take up the shield of faith to guard my heart against all the flaming arrows of the evil one. I put on the helmet of salvation to protect my mind. Then, fully clothed in my spiritual armor, I take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and the only true weapon I have to fight the raging battle that surrounds me. Thank you for protecting me this day and every day. In your many names we pray – Amen.

Pastor Steph


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jason & deMarco, Live in Concert

Thursday September 24th
Villa Penna, Sterling Heights, MI

Friday September 25th
Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH

Saturday September 26th
Cross Creek Community Church-UCC, Dayton, OH

Sunday September 27th
Franklin Circle Christian Church, Cleveland, OH

This AMAZING pop duo is known throughout the world for reaching out and inspiring others through their music. With their outstanding inspirational leadership, vast array of contributions to the GLBT community, as well as their incredible vocals and stunning good looks, Jason and deMarco are breaking down barriers. They are honoring those before them by continuing to pave the way for others to be recognized for their talent and contribution while staying true to


Abundance by Rev. Will Bowen

When I was a kid, we did a science experiment using an empty home-delivery glass milk bottle (remember those?), a hard boiled egg and a match. The match was lit and dropped into the milk bottle and, as it burned, the hard-boiled egg with its shell removed was nestled into the mouth of the bottle.

After a few seconds, there was the slurp sound followed quickly by a “whump!” as the egg was magically sucked into the bottle.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fellowship Sunday

Your board of directors unanimously agreed to join MCC in “Fellowship Sunday” thus, a love offering (above and beyond our normal tithes and offering) will be accepted on Sunday, October 4, 2009 to support the MCC office of Formation and Leadership development.

Below is an excerpt of the email I received to help explain the details.

“The 2009 Fellowship Church Listing is off to a running start! As we eagerly approach the first Sunday in October, which have affectionately called "Fellowship Sunday in October," we find ourselves ready once again to reach deep within and out to global community. This year our Fellowship Sunday offerings are designated to support the global work of our Office of Formation and Leadership Development and the funds you donate will be used to support some of our best and most needed programs:

a Training for Interim Pastors

a Lay Leadership training opportunities

a Spiritual formation and discipleship curriculum

a REVM's (Readiness to Enter Vocational Ministry retreats)

a Seminary partnerships and scholarships

a Leadership mentoring programs

The need for the mission and ministry is as strong to today as it was 41 years ago and the training of our Lay and Clergy leaders enable us to answer the call for our presence at the many intersections of our lives. Please consider helping us by taking up an offering that will help fortify our future and equip our leaders today and all of our tomorrows.”


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Safe Haven Ministries is partnering with the YWCA and others to host a Candlelight Vigil on October 1, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. We invite members of the faith community to join us as we remember those who are abused as well as those who have lost their lives to domestic violence. The vigil will take place at the YWCA at 25 Sheldon Blvd SE.

For more information contact: 616-452-6664


News from the Network

News from the Network.

Rock Out to Come Out! - National Coming Out Day concert!

October 11th from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00p.m.

Rosa Parks Circle - Downtown GR

Live musical performances by Flying Without Wingz, Michael Christian, comedians, and many many more!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sermon September 20, 2009

Click on the title "Sermon September 20, 2009" to hear the sermon from this Sunday.

September 20, 2009 Announcements

RMCC will have a Garage Sale September 30 and October 1st using your items. Please bring in your gently used items on Sept 27. If anyone can help either transporting items to the garage sale site, or help with set up and clean up, please see Cheryl.

We also have a few silent fundraisers. In other words, they cost you nothing. We have submitted our first box of empty ink toner cartridges that you have donated. We expect the income from this fundraiser within the next 60 days. Please keep the ink and toner cartridges along with cell phones coming in.

Have you ordered you Meijers card? This is another silent fundraiser. Again, it cost you nothing to do what you already do – shop at Meijers. When you make a purchase you show your card, it is swiped and poof it is that easy – soon after that, monies are deposited into RMCC’s bank account.

We are about to embark on another silent fundraiser through Amazon. com. Stay tuned for more information.

The next Michigan MCC meeting is scheduled for October 9th and 10th and will be hosted by Divine Peace MCC in Pontiac, MI. It starts on Friday night at 8:00 with the vocal gifts of Paul and Roland then a time of connecting with a social. Continental breakfast will be provided on Saturday from 8 to 8:45. Then a series of workshops with four to choose from.

1. Gender and transgender in the Bible...........Rev. Fran Mayes

2. Support Your Local Pastor............Rev. Jim Lynch

3. Uncommon Hope-MCC & HIV/AIDS Pandemic..........Rev. Kevin Kinsel

4. All Kinds of Prayers............Rev. Martha Daniels

The cost is $20.00 forms in entry way.