Global General Conference Planning Teams!

Co-Team Leads

Mike and LaurenRev. Lauren Bennett (She/Her/Hers) serves MCC as the Conference/Events Coordinator which includes co-leading this Global General Conference. She graduated with honors in 2019 with a Master in Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary. In 2019 she was ordained in Washington, DC and started on staff as the Associate Pastor of MCC of Greater St. Louis. In her free time she likes being outside, reading, dancing, and drinking coffee when not hanging out with her partner AhSa-Ti and step-son Ahmmit.

Mike Haase (He/Him/His) serves MCC as the IT, Website and Database Coordinator. His “other duties as assigned” includes co-leading this Global General Conference. In addition, for the past 17 years he has served as the Minister of Music at All God’s Children MCC in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. He leads the worship team and conducts the Chancel Choir and Praise Singers and Band. Mike is an accomplished organist and pianist, a respected coach/accompanist, and a singer. He has served as a church musician for over thirty five years at various churches and denominations.

2022 Global General Conference Worship Team Leads

Rev. Karen ThompsonRev. Karen Thompson (She/Her/Hers) is the Senior Pastor of upRising (formerly MCC Austin) in Austin, Texas, USA.  She graduated from Austin Presbyterian Seminary and began her jouney to ordination as a Presbyterian.  However, the refusal to ordain openly gay pastors at that time, combined with Rev. Karen’s growing desire to work in and with the LGBTQ faith community, led her to ordination with MCC.  She loves cycling, quilting, reading and writing.  Her life is blessed with three children, their three partners, and three grandchildren.

Daniel ArredondoDr. Daniel Arredondo (He/Him/His) is the Director of Music and Worship Arts at upRising (formerly MCC Austin) in Austin, Texas, USA. He earned his undergraduate degree in music education at Westminster Choir College, his master’s degree in choral conducting from Texas State University, and his DMA in choral conducting from the University of Texas. In the summer of 2011, he traveled to Hungary to study at the Kodály Institute in Kecscemét, where he was one of twelve international students accepted into the post-graduate conducting seminar. Music is a lifelong avocation for Daniel as well as his full-time profession. In addition to his position at upRising, Daniel works as a consultant with the secondary choral programs of Dallas, Texas USA Independent School District and he serves as adjunct faculty for the graduate school of music at Texas State University. In the greater community, Daniel serves at the artistic director for the Austin Gay Men’s Chorus.

2022 Global General Conference Programming Team Lead

Collis FloydCollis Floyd (She/Her/Hers) is called to help others make a difference in their lives by understanding their purpose and passion! By sharing methods to create positive change, she works to improve wellness and spiritual connection. She has served in various professional and church leadership positions throughout the last 20 years

In MCC she has served as Board of Directors member, Strategic Planning Team member, and leadership consultant. Using her professional and spiritual experience she leads workshops on topics such as stewardship, church leadership development, personal empowerment, small group leadership, public speaking and grief and loss. Using her experience in these roles, Collis hopes the General Conference Programming Team will fulfill needs of attendees in an impactful and meaningful way. She invites you to come learn, experience and share all of who you are with others through programming at conference!

2022 Global General Conference Core Team

Rev. Dr. Kharma AmosRev. Dr. Kharma Amos (She/Her/Hers) serves as a member of MCC’s Senior Leadership Team and as the Team Lead for Resource Development for Metropolitan Community Churches worldwide. She has been on MCC staff since 2011, where she served for 8 years in the Office of Formation and Leadership Development, working to support clergy from their initial call to ministry through retirement. She now enjoys working with the Finance and Communications Teams, as well as directing MCC’s fundraising and development efforts. Kharma was ordained by MCC in 2002 and served for 9 years as the Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia (USA). Attending her first MCC at the age of 18, she has been a member of MCC well over half her life.  Rev. Amos received her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Oregon; her Master of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary; and her Doctor of Ministry degree from the Episcopal Divinity School, where her thesis was entitled “Queering Church: Integrating Queer Theology in Congregational Life in Metropolitan Community Churches.” Kharma holds plural standing with MCC and the Unitarian Universalist Association. She currently serves as the Minister of the Unitarian Universalists of Central Delaware in Dover.  Kharma lives in Rehoboth Beach Delaware (USA) with her wife, the Rev. Elder Diane Fisher (a proud Canadian and the Senior Pastor of MCC Rehoboth) and their menagerie of pets (Kady, Téa, Tobert, and Annie).

Dr. Lillian DunlapDr. Lillian Dunlap, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers) is Executive Director/Co-Founder of Your Real Stories, Inc., a non-profit organization that uses theatre, documentary film and other media to create and promote conversations across difference. Lillian is a former resident faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida and a former professor of broadcast news at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and Indiana University/ITM Institut Teknologie MARA (Malaysia). Lillian has worked as a reporter and television producer, served as the national seminar leader for the Radio and Television Digital News Association’s (RTDNA) ‘News Management Seminars for Journalists of Color and Women’, worked as a senior consultant to the award-winning Eyes on the Prize II and is co-author of an online teaching guide to the book, The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity (Columbia University Press, 2006). Among Lillian’s international clients are South Africa’s Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the University of Central Lancashire’s Journalism Leaders Programme in Preston, U.K. Lillian received a bachelor’s degree from Defiance College and served on its Board of Trustees. Her M.A. and Ph.D. are from Indiana University-Bloomington. Lillian is a member and former Board member of King of Peace, MCC in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Rev. Elder Cecilia EgglestonRev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston (She/Her/Hers) was elected as Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches by the General Conference in July 2019. Cecilia is responsible for leading MCC globally. She is CEO and Chief of Staff, leading and guiding our staff team, Chair of the Governing Board and is a member of the Council of Elders. She is the spokesperson for MCC and is responsible for advancing the vision and mission of MCC worldwide. She is humbled to be serving as Moderator at this time when we are learning so many ways of being church and is excited to see how we can use that learning to create a truly global General Conference.

Rev. Elder Héctor GutiérrezRev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez (He/Him/His) was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and is the youngest of a family of eight. Much of his ministry was focused on formation, responding to his great passion for teaching and education. His graduate studies were at the Pontifical University of Mexico, where he earned his Pontifical Master Degree in dogmatic theology with a specialization in Christology. Since May 2003 Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez has been the Head of Development for Latin America. In 2005 he was admitted as a clergyman. In 2012 was appointed as an MCC Elder. He is the Team Leader of MCC Community Development, the Networks Coordinator and Latin America Coordinator. Rev. Héctor Gutiérrez lives in Guadalajara, México, with his partner Juan Ramos.

Jennifer (J.C) HallRev. Jennifer (J.C.) Hall (They/Them) is an ACPE Certified Educator (CPE Supervisor) and has worked in healthcare as a clinical chaplain and chaplain educator for the past 15 years. Jennifer is currently working with the Ecumenical Institute for CPE offering online CPE groups. They are an ordained Christian minister with Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) and hold a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary, a Master of Administration degree in Criminal Justice Management & Administration with a specialization in Chemical Depending, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from University of Central Oklahoma. Jennifer has expertise in LGBTQ+ theory, chemical dependency, conflict resolution, critical race theory, and liberation theology. They frequently present on gender identity, sexual identity formation, LGBTQ+ healthcare competency, and diversity and inclusion. Jennifer is married to Dr. Cyndi Wiley. They live in a 1908 farmhouse with 4 cats, and 2 dogs.

Chad HobbsChad Hobbs (He/Him/His) is the Manager of the IT PMO (Project Management Office) at WellCare Health Plans. In this role he is responsible for a team of 10-15 Technical Project Managers and overseeing that they manage their multiple projects through all cycles of the Project Lifecyle and ensuring they are completed on time and within budget. He lives in sunny Tampa, Florida, USA with his husband of over 13 years Samuel Asencio, and their 3 fur babies (cats) Pastina, Bailey and Kailey. He has been a member of MCC Tampa since 2009 and attending since 2006. He has served in a variety of roles, including 5 years as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors, a member of the Pastoral Search Committee; and served as the part time Bookkeeper from mid 2015 to mid 2017. Chad was also elected to be a Lay Delegate in September of 2016 and served in that role through September 2019, and was an active member of the inaugural Pastoral Relations Committee at MCC Tampa from 2017-2019. At the denominational level, Chad’s work includes him being a member of the Assessments Commission that was responsible for restructuring the assessments structure for UFMCC. The Assessments Commission’s proposal was approved by a vote of the body and took affect in January 2019. In addition, he served on the Programming Team and the 50th Anniversary Gala Planning Team for General Conference 2019 in Orlando, FL; and assisted with all AV needs at GC. Chad was elected to the UFMCC Governing Board at General Conference in Orlando and was then appointed by the Governing Board to serve as the Treasurer for UFMCC.

Barry HundleyBarry Hundley (He/Him/His) has been a member of MCC for over 30 years. He is currently a Co-facilitator for MCC’s Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship program. He has co-chaired the planning of a PAD conference, Regional Conference for Region 2 and the first MCC Brazil Conference. During his time with MCC he was Project Manager for the Church Revitalization Initiative, on the Geographic Review Board, the Structure Review Team and the Board of Ordained Ministry. He was a Lay Delegate for over 20 years. He was awarded the first Trailblazer Award from the MCC PAD conference, the 2014 Moderator’s Award and the Region 2 Regional Leader Award.

Rev. Lori McPhersonRev. Lori McPherson (She/Her/Hers) started attending MCC Richmond in 1997, transferred her membership to MCCDC in 2002, and completed her clergy candidacy there. She was ordained in 2006, served as Interim Pastor at MCC Fredericksburg from 2006-2007, and since that time has expanded her ministry to an ‘in the streets’ focus on social justice issues, most recently as a member at Holy Redeemer MCC in College Park. Rev. McPherson received her Masters of. Divinity., magna cum laude, from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2007, and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Richmond in 1996. She is currently Volunteer Staff at MCC NoVA.

Léo RossettiLéo Rossetti (He/Him/His) is a History Teacher, Historian, Poet and Actor. Master in History Teaching and Doctorate Student in Social History at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. He has been an MCCer for over thirteen years and serves at ICM Rio in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is Vice-Moderator and Lay Delegate in the local church, General Secretary of the MCC Brazil Network and member of the UFMCC Communication Commission and the Governance Team. He is married to Rev. Luiz Gustavo Silva and both are parents of Safira, a queerly adorable bipolar cat. Whenever possible, he performs Penelope Meneghel, a cheeky and blessed drag queen who brings shine and glitter to the Gospel at MCC.

United Theological Seminary