As part of our effort to develop authentic and holistic lives, we take spirituality seriously. Worship is at the center of our communal life. It repeatedly draws us back to our relationship with God and one another, reminds us of our core moral values, provides the community context for living and prophetic proclamation, and allows us to seek God’s blessing for every aspect of our lives.Yet, Spirit is more than worship; it is a way of living authentically inside and “out.” Spiritual formation at MCC NOVA takes into account all of the activities and practices that shape us: worship, prayer, retreat, educational formation throughout the lifespan, and diverse explorations in spiritual practices. As individuals, we are committed to intentionally and actively pursuing spiritual growth and development so that our entire lives become shaped by God’s spirit of grace, compassion, and justice. The ultimate goal of spiritual formation, though focused individually, is the transformation of our community and world as we authentically embody our faith through words, actions, and relationships.
We are committed to spiritual vitality, innovative worship, and the creation of relevant sacred rituals that meet the actual needs of our diverse lives. We value intellectual integrity and welcome the opportunity to critically examine various differences in our religious backgrounds and experiences. We appreciate the ways in which we can learn from one another and promote the tolerance and understanding necessary to heal divisions. We participate in various spiritual practices, and aren’t afraid of being adventurous in our explorations. And contrary to many body-denying and sex-phobic religious traditions, we promote the bold and holy integration of sexuality and spirituality.
“Community” is the word we hear most often when we ask what people value about MCC NOVA above all. As one of our banners proclaims, we are “A Spiritual Community for ALL People. No exceptions. No kidding.” This is our commitment — to be a radically inclusive spiritual community where diversity is not only tolerated, but deeply valued. We want our children to grow up in an environment of acceptance in which they learn to appreciate the inherent worth and dignity of every person.We provide a safe context for individuals to discover and live out of their most authentic selves. We encourage one another to develop and nurture friendships and relationships rooted in love, compassion, mutual respect, and service. We support one another on our spiritual journeys, particularly during life’s most profound experiences. Whether our members are praying together in times of health crisis; helping one another through times of grief; sharing food and stories in times of isolation; or creatively celebrating the formation of new families through birth, adoption, holy union, or other type of sacred covenant; our community sustains us for life. Additionally, on a day to day basis, we enjoy one another and have a whole lot of fun. Joy and laughter are hallmarks of our community life.
Along with Metropolitan Community Churches around the world, we are committed to creating a spiritual community that is liberating and sufficiently profound to address the issues of our chaotic and complicated world. We are engaged with the world around us, and we know that hatred, intolerance, division, and misunderstanding are a great threat to our global community. That is why nuturing a supportive community of love, inclusivity, tolerance, and justice is so important. We are creating the type of community we believe every person in the world has a right to.
We believe that the fullest measure of our faith lies in how well it translates into tangible acts. From the Hebrew scriptures, we learn that our most important calling is to DO justice. From the life and witness of Jesus, we learn that concrete acts of compassion and justice on behalf of society’s most marginalized can transform lives one at a time. From the example of countless men and women throughout history who have taken this to heart, we know that faith embodied in action transforms the world. Therefore, we are committed to intentional action in our local community and greater world.With Metropolitan Community Churches around the world, we stand boldly with those who resist structures of exclusion and oppression, and work to insure freedom for all people. We openly work for full inclusion and equality for LGBTQ people and families. Yet, our social justice work is not limited to narrow self interest. We are committed to coming “out” beyond our closets, walls, and neighborhoods and engaging in service, as our authentic selves, to all people in need. From feeding the hungry in our community, to supporting disaster relief in and outside of our country, to building homes that house and protect families very different from our own, to supporting those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, to advocating for policies of global economic justice, we are putting feet to our faith and making a difference.In the future, we will continue to do what we always have, and we will place an even higher priority on building alliances with other individuals and organizations who are out there working for equality and engaging in acts of compassion and justice. We believe we can accomplish more together than we can alone and we will put our resources into creating strategic partnerships that can best serve our community.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: “For what does God require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
MCC NOVA was founded in 1981 and is a member church of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a worldwide fellowship of Christian churches with a special outreach to the world’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. For 30 years, Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia has been a spiritual and community center for GLBTQ persons, as well as our families, friends, and allies. MCC NOVA is a progressive, inclusive church, exploring the vast expanses of Christian expression, and welcoming people into the beloved community to explore and celebrate ‘Spirit, Community, Action – Inside & Out.’