Metropolitan Community Churches is a democratic denomination – some people may think it could be more so. Every clergy person has a vote at our General Conference, and every congregation has one vote per 100 Members. Every time we meet, the denominational bylaws (the constitution) are amended by the vote of those present. We vote on other issues too, which impact the life of the whole denomination. At a local level, the people who are active Members of their MCC vote on the budget, electing the Board and electing a new Pastor and other issues, such as aims for the year ahead, and, as in our case, voting to adopt our new name and logo.
It is easy to take our ability to vote for granted, whether in church or in the politics, and to see our responsibility to vote as a chore, rather than a precious right. It is alarming to hear the stories coming out of Ukraine where people were too frightened to even open the polling stations and where the ballot boxes were smashed. I remember seeing those powerful images of Black South Africans queuing in the heat to exercise their right to vote, often for the very first time in their own country. Women in the UK were only given the right to vote in 1918, and then it was only to those aged over 30. People all over the world have given their lives, so that individuals may take part in the democratic process. We might think we can’t change anything, just with one vote. However, an avalanche is made up of millions of tiny snowflakes, each one weighing so little. However, when they are added together, nothing can stop the movement of the snow. We all have power, if we choose to use it.