Dear MCC Marikina, Northern Sanctuary MCC and Open Table MCC,
To all God’s beloved in MCCs in the Philippines who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Know that the MCC Elders cover in prayer all MCC’ers in the Philippines on the passing of beloved Rev. Richard Mickley. Surely God greeted Father Richard with wide open arms and the words, “well done, good and faithful servant.” While we hold fast to the promise of the resurrection, we know there is deep sadness in bidding farewell to Richard as he takes up residence in his eternal home. We especially hold his partner Simon in prayer, for God’s comfort during this time of grief and change.
We praise God that Father Richard heeded God’s call to start MCC in the Philippines. May the same Spirit that guided him continue to be a source of hope for MCC leaders and supporters throughout your country.
We understand the importance of public witness and rejoice in Father Richard’s role in the first Pride March in the Philippines in 1994. What an inspiring moment for MCC (and the world) to have LGBTQIA people journeying along Quezon Avenue, culminating in worship and a rally in the heart of Manila. This is MCC at its best: advocating for justice, worshiping authentically and delighting in God’s gift of community.
The prayers of the Elders surround Open Table MCC as you organize the arrangements for Father Richard’s service, care for mourners and proclaim God’s inclusive love both in the present moment and for all time around the heavenly banquet table. We trust God will smooth out the details and bring people together for a resurrection celebration of life and hope.
We know that the resurrection is not just an event and is a continual process. As Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff writes: “Wherever in mortal life goodness triumphs over the instincts of hatred, wherever one heart opens to another, wherever a righteous attitude is built and room is created for God, there the resurrection has begun.”
We give thanks to God for the times in the past, the times now and the times to come when MCC’ers in the Philippines practice resurrection living. As you make room for God and open your hearts you continue to build up the beloved community. We are grateful for your willingness to serve and love.
Let us pray – We commend Father Richard to a life fulfilled beyond our imagining. We trust that he is accepted with all of his gifts and challenges. May we who remain here hold more firmly to the ties that bind us to one another. May we love in ever larger circles so as to embrace people everywhere until at last we are all united. We do not want to let go of Richard but we know there is joy and peace for him forever. We all look to the final day when, as the scriptures promise, God “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There shall be an end to death, and to mourning and crying and pain, for the old order has passed away.”