This blog contains posts on a variety of spiritual and religious topics by Rev. Michael Patrick Ellard. Rev. Mike is an authorized minister with the United Church of Christ. He is not currently serving a congregation.
Rev. Mike has ties to two denominations. He was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) in February of 2003 and served as a licensed minister with MCC through 2013. In 2011, Rev. Mike was granted privilege of call by the United Church of Christ (UCC) and became an authorized minister with the UCC in 2015.
Rev. Mike was the senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of San Jose from 2003 through 2010. Rev. Mike helped make MCC San Jose a leader in LGBT marriage rights advocacy, HIV/AIDS advocacy, and transgender rights advocacy. Mike led MCC in working with other local churches, non-profits, and governmental agencies to do cooperative events. While serving as MCC San Jose’s senior pastor, Rev. Mike spoke at a variety of local colleges, high schools, and community events. He was interviewed in the print media and on television, the radio, and the Internet. Rev. Mike helped the church start new ministries and programs, including an online video ministry that attracted viewers from 137 countries around the world.
Rev. Mike was the designated term pastor of College Heights Church in San Mateo from 2015 through 2017.
Rev. Mike holds two graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion (PSR) and a Master of Arts in Biblical Languages granted jointly by PSR and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). While in seminary, Mike intentionally took courses from a broad range of the GTU’s partner seminaries and institutes, including:
- The Pacific School of Religion
- The Graduate Theological Union
- The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
- The Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
- The San Francisco Theological Seminary (Presbyterian)
- The American Baptist Seminary of the West
- The Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley
- The Church Divinity School of the Pacific (Episcopalian)
- The Franciscan School of Theology
- The Center for the Arts and Religion
During his time in seminary, Rev. Mike served as the editor of Logos, the community newspaper for the Pacific School of Religion. He began work after an eight-month period during which the newspaper was not published. Mike recruited more than 130 volunteer writers and editors, including students, faculty and staff. He intentionally worked to make the publication represent the full spectrum of diversity on campus, including active outreach to underrepresented groups. He recruited an editing team so that all decisions regarding the publication could be made by a group representative of the diverse voices present on campus. At the end of his three-year term as editor, he assisted in the hiring and training of a new Editor-in-Chief.
Outside of the local church, Rev. Mike has served in a variety of religious leadership roles, including:
- Serving at the President of the Council of Churches of Santa Clara County
- Serving as the Board Treasurer for the Billy Defrank Center
- Serving as the District Treasurer for the Northwest District of MCC
- Serving on the Advisory Board for California Faith for Equality
- Serving on the Coordinating Committee of Marriage Equality Silicon Valley