2633 Denver Street, Clairemont
- Membership: 200
- Pastor: Dan Koeshall
- Age: 56
- Born: Pipestone, MN
- Formation: Evangel University, Springfield, MO; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena
- Years Ordained: 25
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Dan Koeshall: God’s faithfulness. I know from experience in my life that God is with us in every situation. I think of all our blessings and then the strength God gives us. One of my favorite lines in the song “How Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow/ Blessings all mine but ten thousand besides…” I think that is a powerful way to express an attribute of God that transcends everything. God’s faithfulness covers God’s grace, love, and peace as well.
SDR: Why Metropolitan Community Churches?
PK: It is a global movement started in 1968 by a defrocked Pentecostal minister, reverend Troy Perry, who was kicked out of his church because he was gay and he felt that there had to be others who are in the same boat as he is who want to have connections with God and Jesus in a place where they would be able to worship authentically and still be themselves. So that was the beginning of Metropolitan Community Churches. As one of those churches, we were founded in 1970. I was originally ordained in the Assemblies of God and after ministering in a church for ten years I came out as a gay man, and that was not acceptable. So I was kicked out of that denomination and found MCC — or MCC found me. I’ve been here ever since.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PK: Our mission is to bring people closer to God and one another as an open and affirming faith community. Our roots and teachings are in Christianity guided by connection to God through the life, teachings, and ministry of Jesus. We also believe in a God who is concerned with every human being personally and accepts each person with unconditional love.
SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?
PK: A pivotal time in my life was moving from one church to another. I remember coming out and going to a gay bar and having the most fantastic spiritual conversations with people in of all places I was told was the worst place you could possibly go to in terms of immoral influences. To be able to go there after being kicked out of a church where I was pastoring and to find people who loved God, as we were speaking I felt the power of God’s spirit so beautiful and alive in these conversations.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PK: We will be in heaven with God worshipping and rejoicing. I don’t know what it looks like but it’s a place I’m hopeful to be. I don’t specifically believe in a place called hell — that is, eternal separation from God. I think people try to do that in their lives right now by making poor choices and decisions, but I believe the grace of God is greater than anything that could separate us from God. I believe that scripture verse, “What can separate us from the love of God?” It then says, “Can heaven or hell? No, nothing can separate us from the love of God” [Romans 8:38–39]. I believe that God longs for us all to be in relation with God here on Earth and in eternity also.