River of Life is founded in the global denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches. MCC moves in the mainstream of Christianity, seeking to break down barriers and open the Message of Jesus Christ to all people.
We believe that Divine presence moves in and through all things, drawing all of creation together under one natural law. Our mission is to be a progressive Christian church, which reaches outside of human boundaries and into the realm of God, challenging and growing in new ways and new understandings. We welcome all people, regardless of religious or church tradition, faith journey or background. All are invited to step into the water and journey with us along the river of life.
The Origin of MCC
In 1968, a series of most unlikely events in Southern California resulted in the birth of the world’s first church group with a primary, positive ministry to people of diversity who have been excluded by other churches. Those events, a failed relationship, an attempted suicide, a reconnection with God, an unexpected prophecy, and the birth of a dream led to MCC’s first worship service: a gathering of 12 people in Rev. Troy Perry’s living room in Huntington Park, California on October 6, 1968. That first worship service in a Los Angeles suburb launched the international movement of Metropolitan Community Churches, which today has grown to 43,000 members and adherents in almost 300 congregations in 22 countries.
During the past 40 years, MCC’s prophetic witness has forever changed the face of Christianity and helped to fuel the international struggle for rights and equality. Founded in the interest of offering a church home to all who confess and believe, Metropolitan Community Churches moves in the mainstream of Christianity.
The River of Life Community
At River of Life, we believe that everyone should be valued. This diverse way of thinking means that River of Life members are from all walks of life and spiritual backgrounds. We honour each person’s walk of faith and know that when we do that, we can journey and learn together.
We are called to meet human needs in Christian social action and social justice arenas. It is no mistake that social action was an integral part of Troy Perry’s first sermon in MCC. He has been an advocate for social justice throughout his ministry and continues to campaign even in retirement. Consequently, UFMCC has been in the forefront of justice issues around the world, whether it is the struggle for lgbt civil rights, racial equality, health care, feeding the hungry, homelessness or illegal wars.
It also significant that the word “community” is MCC’s middle name. All too often people are excluded, thrown out, and rejected because of their diversity. River of Life seeks to provide a welcoming, inclusive community for all people, celebrating our differences.
MCC Denominational Core Values
Metropolitan Community Churches share these common core values.
Love is our greatest moral value and resisting exclusion is a primary focus of our ministry. We want to continue to be the conduits of a faith where everyone is included in the family of God, and where all parts of our being are welcomed at God’s table.
Offering a safe and open community for people to worship, learn and grow in their faith is our deep desire. We are committed to equipping ourselves and each other to do the work that God has called us to do in the world.
Providing a message of liberation from the oppressive religious environment of our day or to those experiencing God for the first time is what guides our ministry. We believe that when people are invited to experience God through the life and ministry of Christ, lives will be transformed.
Working to talk less and do more, we are committed to resisting the structures that oppress people and standing with to those who suffer under the weight of oppressive systems, being guided always by our commitment to Global Human Rights.