Trinity MCC, Gainesville

About Us

About Us

On this page you will find our Mission, Vision and Core Values as well as a brief bio about our Staff and Board.

Mission Statement

The mission of Trinity Metropolitan Community Church of Gainesville is to spread the message of God’s inclusive love.

Vision

The vision of Trinity Metropolitan Community Church of Gainesville is to:

  • welcome all people,
  • actively pursue social justice and peace,
  • respect the faith of all people and invite them to participate in our worship,
  • pursue answers to life’s questions with open hearts and minds both as individuals and as a congregation,
  • share our spiritual gifts, talents and resources within our congregation, our community and beyond.

Core Values

The Core Values of Trinity MCC are:

Embracing diversity

Welcoming all with respect and friendship, creating sanctuary and community.

 Celebration

Celebrating God’s Presence within our life’s journey and giving thanks daily through worship and prayer.

 Consistent witness

Of God’s love for all.

Looking to Christ

As Guide, Teacher and Example for living, who provides the way by which we develop love for God, ourselves and our neighbors.

 Embodying wholeness

By striving toward the integration of our spirituality, sexuality and healing.

 Stewardship

Using our gifts faithfully and responsibility in the church we are called to serve,and in the wider creation entrusted to us by God.

 Intentional education

Developing our knowledge, expanding our boundaries, refusing to accept limitations.

 Action in community

Working for change, peace and justice to educate the world around us of God’s charity and grace.

Rev Catherine Dearlove, Senior Pastor

Rev Catherine joined Trinity MCC on the 8th November 2015 from England as our Provisional Pastor. This position was made permanent on June 12th 2016 by a unanimous vote.
She worked in the UK as Founding and Senior Pastor of River of Life MCC, Dorchester, Dorset.
She also served as Interim Pastor at MCC Brighton, East Sussex. Rev Catherine has been a member of MCC since 1982 in England, Australia and now the USA.
She has a Bachelor in Theology from Brisbane College of Theology, Queensland, Australia and completed her Masters in Contemporary Christian Spirituality through Sarum College, Salisbury, England.

Rev Catherine has served as the European Coordinator for the Office of Formation and Leadership and Development and on the Governing Board Nominating Committee for MCC, and is currently part of the OASIS Team who are working on a virtual ministry worldwide for MCC.
Rev Catherine enjoys anything to do with nature – and lives with her three dogs: Bobby, Simba and Lola and goats: Mischief, Oreo and Rascal.
She also has a penchant for English, Belgium and Swiss Chocolate and although has a generous heart, WILL NOT share her chocolate with others.

Jonathan Dees
Music Director

Throughout the years Jonathan said he has been blessed to play and sing in various settings and develop this gifting. His parents recognized the gift and a few years later enrolled him in private music lessons piano, violin, and they bought him just about any instrument he asked for including Piano, Organ, Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Drums, Bells, Xylophones, Harmonica, Violin and some other miscellaneous instruments. Later in life he took 2 years of college music focusing on voice and piano.
Along the way he has also been blessed to preach and teach at various denominations, he took all the home college courses for the AG to be qualified as a licensed minister, although he felt the call to ministry long before then and was allowed to speak at his parents Baptist church when he was in my early teens as well as in private Christian school. He was ordained a minister in an, Independent Pentecostal Church years ago in which he served as the Assistant Pastor, Music minister, and Youth leader, and since that time have had the opportunity to preach and teach in various denominations including most of the ones mentioned above.
Jonathan is convinced that the more relationship we have going up and down between us and God the more effective we are in ministry.

MaryJo Valle
Confidential Assistant
To The Pastor

Hi everyone! My name is Maryjo Diaz Valle; I am a first-generation Nicaraguan American from Miami, FL. I use she/they pronouns. I recently graduated with my Master’s in Agronomy from the University of Florida and received my Bachelor’s in Plant Genetics/Gender and Women’s Studies from UF as well. I’m very into reading works by Angela Davis, Kimberle Crenshaw, Ralina Joseph, Rigoberta Menchu, among other writers, poets, and activists that share their intersectional lived experiences in an oppressive society. If you’re looking for something new to read, I’m more than willing to share some suggestions!

I have joined the Trinity MCC team as Rev. Catherine’s confidential assistant. If you have any questions, concerns, or simply want to say hello, please feel free to reach out at info@mccgainesville.org. If you have any community events in Gainesville or at large, ideas, charity/donation opportunities that you would like to let everyone at Trinity MCC know, please send me an email to share! I hope to meet everyone in the near future, for now, stay safe and warm hellos from behind the computer screen.

Barb Petersen
Vice Moderator – Board

I was raised in a Methodist family where church was important.  My mother taught Sunday school for 14 years and my dad was a greeter every Sunday.  I was active there up to the time I got married, then I became a Presbyterian and my children were also raised in the church.  We as a couple were advisors to a youth group and took four mission trips with 14-20 high schools working with developemently challenged adults in Sand Francisco, improving housing for low income seniors in Colorado, constructed and stage for an inner city black church in Seattle and painting the Chinese Presbyterian church in Portland, Or.  I stayed active in United Presbyterian church until after my divorce and meeting Barbara when I became a member of MCC in 1989.

I attended Eastern Montana College and left to go to work for Mountain Bell in 1962, After which worked as a Customer Rep, Training Instructor & Supervisor, Business Office Supervisor, Office Manger.  I also established “The Tag Team” with Barbara Grimes (spouse since 1989) and taught customer service to local businesses.  In 1995-Co-Established “Fairy Dust Creations”, creating Teddy Bears in outfits and dressed as some of the leaders of MCC.  They were sold at three general conferences.

At MCC I have served on boards at three MCC’s, Capital fund drive at AGC in Mpls, Lay Delegate for 2 MCC’s, Attended 7 General Conferences, Served on numerous committees and teams.

Barbara and I moved to Florida in 1996 built a house and settled in to retired service or so we thought.  Around 2000, we transferred our membership to Trinity MCC in Gainesville, have served as a lay delegate, several board positions and chaired the vacancy while searching for a new Pastor.  Our search gave us the best possible person Rev Catherine Dearlove.  I have served several times on this board and always felt it was an honor.

 

Jackie LaPerriere
Clerk

Jacqueline was born in Beaver Falls, PA. Her family lived nearby in the town of Beaver and she was raised in the Lutheran church. Wanting to escape the cold of northern winters, she came south after high school graduation and attended the University of South Florida in Tampa before transferring to pursue her Bachelor’s in Pharmacy degree at the University of Florida.
Jackie returned to Tampa after graduation, completed residency training at the James A. Haley VAMC and subsequently spent 13 years at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research institute as an oncology pharmacist and Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Pain & Palliative care Team. During this time she began attending the Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa. She also completed her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree at the University of South Carolina and made the move back to Gainesville to begin a new career as a Medical Science Liaison/ Regional Medical Director in the pharmaceutical industry. During this time Jackie began attending Trinity MCC and became a member last year. She also serves as a member of the TMCC Building Committee.
In her spare time Jackie enjoys golfing, biking, hiking, reading and anything Gator-related. She also has two fur kids, Keeva (the big white dog) and Tioga (the verbose tuxedo cat).

Cecil DelCarmen
Board Member

I am a Native Floridian – Born @ NAS in Jacksonville.  Joined Trintiy MCC, Gainesville 26th November 2017  and I am the Coordinator of the Grounds (7 Beautiful Acres of TMCC). I am a Retired Registered Nurse 40yrs.  

Started in Jacksonville, Fla moved to Hawaii in 88 then triangulate to Denver & Jacksonville. Being an RN has taken me to almost every discipline in Nursing.  Pain Management and AIDS with Hospice in the 80-90’s.   I have helped open several hospitals. One of my greatest was opening North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH)in 1996 on the Big Island being their Healing Service Leader taking care of their Healing and Spiritually.  We were doing a new concept of incorporating the medical model and complementary modalities in a hospital setting.  Modalities included Healing Touch, laying on of hands, Acupuncture, chiropractor, psychotherapy, music, visualization & pet therapy along with the Hawaiian healers.  We use the Hawaiian Healers. Showing each modalities how to work into the medical model.  Challenges goes without saying and the opportunities & rewards outweigh them each time.  

Spiritually in the island has many different paths and to work with each one was a blessing and to learn and experience how to work together for all who came to NHCH. 

HEALING, a word on this – comes in many different forms. I find most people came for physical healing to find the mental & spiritual healing is taking place also.  When you work with physical, mental and spirituality which is Healing or to make whole, along with diversity healing is powerful.   Miracles still do happen – I’m here to tell you.

Now, going into my 6th decade and retired, I find more I have to do – I thought in retirement to relax, read, enjoy not working, well not the case.  I am busier than ever, doing service for others, meetings, organizing, camping experiences, sponsoring different groups on our grounds as a safe space.  Of course yard work which God directed me in this, cause I was not one to get my hands dirty literally, the land is healing and to walk the lands is peaceful and calming and I find it gives me strength.    So, yes working on myself and allowing God to be my Director and realizing I’m an actor and follow his direction.  I have found there is a joy that bubbles up in your spirit when it is done in the spirt that it is meant to be.   My Gifts, I still learning and receiving – I think that what they talk about in the Gifts of the Spirit.  Smiles!

I am asked many times how can you go to church when God has done you so wrong.  I feel them and know they had a relationship at one time – it was not God that done you wrong but the religious or institute that was not loving you as God does.  I pray that the dark area be filled with love and light to heal the pain and hurts of our brothers and sisters.  

Serenity prayer is powerful for me – It takes time on the 1st line – smiles!                                                     

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change….Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Margret Weeks
Board Member

Margret was born in Gainesville in and raised in Bronson. She graduated from Bronson High School and Santa Fe College, obtaining her EMT certificate and AA Degree. Margret has been married to Debra Page for 6 wonderful years; and joyously helps raise their fur babies which include: Sonny, Nucky, Priss, Taco, Molli, & Mylo.

Margret has been a member of TMCC since 2013. She says the “love, compassion, and acceptance at Trinity are several of the reasons she decided to make us her church home; and she is looking forward to working with everyone for on the growth of Trinity.”

 

Tamara Millay
Treasurer

Tamara was raised in the Midwest, and lived in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1989 through 2012. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Webster University, and worked in an administrative capacity at several local businesses over the years. She was also active in politics, running for office multiple times and advocating on issues, including anti-war protests. In 2002 Tamara was hired at Washington University School of Medicine, where she worked in the Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group on several research studies, including an HIV prevention intervention for women in the criminal justice system. Tamara moved her family to Gainesville in 2013, after her boss became Founding Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at UF. In 2015 she became active in the Gainesville LGBTQ community as part of the Steering Committee for Alachua TranQuility, a community group for trans folk and their allies that meets monthly at UF’s HealthStreet.
Tamara was raised in several Christian traditions but had not been active in any church for many years prior to relocating to Florida. The warm welcome and loving embrace she and her family experienced upon visiting Trinity MCC in August of 2015 made it a natural spiritual home for her. She became a member in early 2016 and was elected to the Board late that year.

Care Team Coordinator

This is the team that coordinates the care for our congregation – if you feel called to this position please call Rev Catherine on 352-317-5143

Nita White
Prayer Team Coordinator

Nita is a Tennessee native and lived there since she was 21.  She earned her Bachelors in Biology and Sociology at Jacksonville State University, and her Masters in Adult Studies at University of South Florida.

Nita worked many jobs but spent the last 32 years of her working life as a Social Worker.

Nita started attending Trinity MCC in 1999 and has served in several different positions since that time.

Nita enjoys the service and the fellowship at Trinity MCC.

As long as she could she enjoyed kayaking on rivers throughout the East and West; given a choice of going to a city or a National Park and Nature, National Parks and nature would win every time.