From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Gay Cleric Rev. Troy Perry To Receive Doctorate From Episcopal

Date Mon, 12 May 2003 19:07:18 EDT

Divinity School

Perry is the Founder of Metropolitan Community Churches,
the World's Largest Church Group Serving Gays and Lesbians

N  E  W  S     R  E  L	E  A  S  E
Metropolitan Community Churches  .

Photo Available Upon Request

Gay Cleric Rev. Troy Perry To Receive Honorary
Doctor of Divinity Degree From Episcopal Divinity School
Perry is the Founder of Metropolitan Community Churches,
the World's Largest Church Group Serving Gays and Lesbians

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA -- Rev. Troy D. Perry, human rights activist and Founder
of the predominantly gay Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), will be
awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Episcopal Divinity School,
Cambridge, MA, during graduation ceremonies on May 22, 2003. Metropolitan
Community Churches is a Christian denomination with a positive outreach to
the gay and lesbian community.

"Episcopal Divinity School is proud to recognize the Rev. Elder Troy Perry as
one of the landmark leaders of the contemporary church," The Rt. Rev. Steven
Charleston, EDS President, said. "We are a community that stands for justice,
compassion and reconciliation for all God's people. Troy Perry Stands with

Episcopal Divinity School is an academic community of biblical, historical
and theological inquiry that educates lay and ordained leaders of the
Episcopalian Church. Their mission is to instill students with a valuable
learning experience, support spiritual and ministerial formation, and provide
them with tools for lifelong work of social and personal transformation.

Last year's recipient of the EDS award was Nobel Peace Prize honoree
Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

"I am deeply humbled by this recognition by Episcopal Divinity School. This
award not only honors me, but honors the entire Metropolitan Community
Churches movement and MCC's contributions to Christendom," Rev. Perry said.
"By honoring me with this degree, EDS has honored our movement and its legacy
to the Christian Church."

Charleston said Perry's openly gay witness to the love of Christ for every
person is a message of hope that Episcopal Divinity School shares in common
with Perry and the MCC movement.

"By bestowing the Doctor of Divinity degree on Elder Perry, we celebrate a
man of vision, integrity and gospel courage," Charleston said.

Metropolitan Community Churches and the Episcopal Church share a long and
proud history.B MCC member Ellen Barrett was the first open lesbian ordained
to the ministry of the Episcopal Church in an ordination service conducted by
the late Bishop of New York, Rev. Paul Moore. This event sparked an ongoing
debate about the role of gay people in the ministry of that
denomination.B Episcopal Bishop John Shelby SpongB  is a frequent speaker at
MCC churches and meetings, and many MCC congregations meet or have met in
worship space provided by Episcopal churches. Episcopal Divinity School
faculty member and openly lesbian Carter Heywardbs theological writings have
been highly influential in the training of MCC clergy, and during 2004 the
EDS campus will be the site of several MCC educational programs.

Perry, a longtime human rights activist, founded Metropolitan Community
Churches in 1968. The international movement has grown from 12 original
members, to more than 46,000 members and adherents in 23 countries. Perry was
a member of the first gay and lesbian delegation to be hosted by the U.S.
White House during the Carter Administration, the first openly gay member of
the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, and a delegate to the White House
Conference on Hate Crimes during the Clinton Administration.

Additional information on the MCC movement can be found at <A
A free newsletter is available by writing to

-- END --

For Additional Information, Contact:

Jim Birkitt, Director of Communications
Roman Cardenas, Assoc. Director of Communications

MCC Communications Department
8704 Santa Monica Boulevard, Second Floor
West Hollywood, CAB  90069
Tel. (310) 360-8640, Ext. 226 or 228
Website: <A HREF=""></A>

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home