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The Pastor’s Blog

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

I always have mixed feelings about PRIDE month. On the one hand, it’s necessary. On the other, I wish it wasn’t. On one hand, it provides a clear visual of how far we’ve come. (Did [...]

It’s Not Hot…It’s Hot AND Humid

Oh, my goodness! Have you noticed? Have you noticed how HOT it is? And for no extra charge, we’ve got an extra helping of humidity... Now, this is not a complaint; this is an announcement. [...]

Flaming Christians

I will admit right up front that I designed this title to grab your attention…and yes, I did have certain ones of you in mind ? This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, the "Birthday of the [...]

After Manchester

I have a special place in my heart for Rev. Ilene Brenner Dunn. Ilene is one of the wonderful people who tried to get the Presbyterian Church (USA) to ordain out gay clergy back when [...]

Responding to the Chaos

One of my favorite passages in all literature comes near the end of A Tale of Two Cities. Miss Pross, longtime caretaker for Lucy and Dr. Manette, engages in mortal combat with Madame Defarge as [...]

Our Faith Doesn’t Discriminate

Once again clergy from many faith traditions gathered at the capitol today to let legislators know that our faith calls on us to love one another and treat each others as neighbors. We are [...]

It’s All About Who You Know

I’m not really writing about “It’s All About Who You Know” today, but I thought you’d be more likely to be interested in that title than “It’s Cool To Connect People.” In the same [...]

Aging Grace Fully

Here are a few of the titles that my clergy friends have posted lately on their Facebook pages: “5 Things Millennials Wish the Church Would Be” “Millennials leaving church in droves, study says” “10 [...]

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Rev. Karen Thompson
Rev. Karen ThompsonSenior Pastor
In May 2008, the congregation of MCC Austin elected Rev. Karen Thompson as Sr. Pastor. In this role she holds responsibility for planning and conducting worship, serves as head of staff, and leads the Board of Directors as its Moderator. A graduate of Austin Presbyterian Seminary, Rev. Karen began her journey to ordination as a Presbyterian. However, the Presbyterian Church’s 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 in MCC. Rev. Karen’s hope for MCC Austin is that people who believe in the transformative power of God’s love will find a spiritual home here, will worship and serve and grow in their own spiritual journeys here, and will in turn invite others to join us here. Rev. Karen is married to Stacey McTaggart, and their lives are blessed with three children, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren.
Rev. Bill Young
Rev. Bill YoungAssociate Pastor
For over 20 years, Rev. Bill Young has served the people of MCC Austin. A full-time professor in the Computer Science department at UT Austin, Rev. Bill dedicates many of his non-teaching hours as a volunteer member of MCC Austin’s clergy staff. In addition to occasionally preaching and performing weddings and funerals, Rev. Bill provides pastoral care in coordination with the MCC Austin Deacons. Most importantly, Rev. Bill works quietly behind the scenes every Sunday morning to see to it that everything runs smoothly. Rev. Bill shares his life with his partner Blake, their Chihuahuas and numerous farm animals.
Amanda Alvarado
Amanda AlvaradoProgram Coordinator
Amanda Alvarado began attending MCC Austin in the summer of 2012 and immediately fell in love with its members. She is grateful and honored to serve them now as MCC Austin’s Program Coordinator. In this role she organizes and promotes small groups for adults and children, supports and encourages ministry and program leaders, and helps visitors and new members get plugged in. She holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and has a heart for working with children and youth. She lives with her husband, Sergio, and their sweet daughter, Naomi.
Dr. Daniel Arredondo
Dr. Daniel ArredondoDirector of Music and Worship Arts
Dr. Daniel Arredondo is the Director of Music and Worship Arts at MCC. 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 doctorate in choral conducting at the Butler School of Music of 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. In addition to his position at MCC Austin, Daniel works as a consultant with the Secondary Choral programs of Dallas ISD, and his mentoring of the district’s choir directors has led to their students earning an unprecedented number of ensemble and individual awards. Music is a lifelong avocation for Daniel as well as his full-time profession.
David Blackburn
David BlackburnPianist
David Blackburn began singing with the MCC Austin choir in the summer of 2006 and soon became a substitute pianist. In 2007 he became the full-time pianist and has been playing ever since. David is quite active in the music and theatre scenes in Austin. He co-teaches a musical theatre class at Hendrickson High School and is a music director and instructor with kids Acting Studio. He saw his dreams come true when he and Barbara Schuler started Austin Theatre Project in 2011 where he is the Artistic Director and serves as pianist/music director for their musical productions. David was instrumental in the creation of MCC Austin’s popular Summer Broadway Sermon Series and is thrilled to see it grow every year.
Cindy Stocking
Cindy StockingOffice Administrator
Cindy Stocking serves as the Office Administrator for MCC Austin. She has been a member of the congregation since 2001 and has served in several volunteer positions at the church, including co-leader of Project Brown Bag and treasurer of the MCC Austin Board of Directors. Cindy graduated from Abilene Christian University with a degree in mass communication/news-editorial and completed a certificate program in Nonprofit Management at the University of Texas at Austin. After working for more than 20 years in the communications field, doing a stint as a manager of a local outdoor retail store, and working as a bookseller and the assistant to a district manager for Barnes & Noble, Cindy pursued her love of teaching and became certified as an educator. She taught elementary special education for a dozen years with the Austin Independent School District, where her students enriched her life and brought her much happiness. Cindy is married to Lupe Garcia, and they enjoy life with their two pups, Brotchen and Tiny.

2018 Board of Directors

Members of the Board of Directors of MCC Austin are elected by the congregation during the annual congregational meeting, and they serve a two year term.

    Board members are charged with the following responsibilities:
  • Ensuring adequate financial resources for MCC Austin to pursue its mission and vision
  • Ensuring effective management of the church’s funds and other assets
  • Ensuring sound risk management policies
  • Participating in selecting the candidate to be elected by the congregation as Sr. Pastor when that is necessary
  • Supporting and advising the Sr. Pastor and providing constructive feedback
Karen Thompson
Karen Thompson Moderator
Jen Chancellor-Hurd
Jen Chancellor-HurdVice-Moderator
Nicole Piche-Romero
Nicole Piche-Romero Clerk
Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson Treasurer
James Carpenter
James Carpenter Community Liaison
Harold Hardy
Harold HardyAt-Large

Lay Delegates

Lay Delegates are the official representatives of the local congregation to the General Conference of Metropolitan Community Churches. Their primary responsibility is to attend and represent the congregation at the General Conference by voting, by gathering information about the denomination to take back to the congregation, and by sharing the views of the congregation with the denominational leadership as appropriate. In between General Conferences, Lay Delegates serve as the communication link between the local congregation and the denomination. They are elected by the congregation at the annual congregational meeting and they serve a three-year term.

2017-2019 Lay Delegates

Brenda Hammer
Brenda Hammer
TJ Wasden
TJ Wasden
Velma Garcia
Velma Garcia

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