2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
Speaking Truth to Power!

Chicago’s Trinity UCC

 

Send Letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton:
United States Must be fully Participate in United Nations Conference
 on Eliminating Racism (Durban Review).

 

 

Home March 13,2008 Hillary Clinton and Gearldine Ferraro     February 26, 2008 - Tim Russert;     February 21, 2008 - Bill O'Reilly;       February 20, 2008 - Bill O'Reilly;          January 30, 2008 - National Organization of Women - New York;          January 15, 2008  - MSBNC, Brian Williams and Tim Russert Discussion Forum
This site focuses on one issue: racial inequality. It does not endorse or oppose any party or any candidate.

 

Home                                                    x
Worst Person                               x
Institutional Racism                                    x
Inequalities & the Election                                  x
Race and Racism                              x
Racial Groups                                       x
World Perspective                               x
NAACP Questionnaire                            x
Primaries and Caucuses                             x
Site Map
This website is always under construction please email me  relevant links related to any of the candidates or to race and racism and the election.
RACIAL GROUPS
African Americans                                         X
Asian Americans                                                   X
European Americans                         X
Latino(a) Americans                                          x
Native Americans                                 x
Pacific Islanders                                       x
 
UNITS
Institutional Racism                                     x
01 Race and Racism                                     x
02 Citizenship Rights                                     x
03 Justice                                     x
04 Basic Needs                                     x
05 Intersectionality                                     x
06 Worldwide                                     x
 
 
 
Chicago’s Trinity UCC is ‘Great Gift to Wider Church Family’
By J. Bennett Guess
United Church of Christ

[Originally published in the United Church of Christ News]

In the wake of misleading attacks on its mission and ministry, Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ is being lauded by United Church of Christ leaders across the nation for the integrity of its worship, the breadth of its community involvement and the depth of its commitment to social justice.

“Trinity United Church of Christ is a great gift to our wider church family and to its own community in Chicago,” says UCC General Minister and President John H. Thomas. “At a time when it is being subjected to caricature and attack in the media, it is critical that all of us express our gratitude and support to this remarkable congregation, to Jeremiah A. Wright for his leadership over 36 years, and to Pastor Otis Moss III, as he assumes leadership at Trinity.”

Thomas says he has been saddened by news reports that “present such a caricature of a congregation that [has] been such a great blessing.”

“These attacks, many of them motivated by their own partisan agenda, cannot go unchallenged,” Thomas emphasizes. “It’s time for all of us to say ‘No’ to these attacks and to declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends.”

Located in the heart of Chicago’s impoverished Southside, Trinity UCC’s vast array of ministries include career development and college placement, tutorial and computer services, health care and support groups, domestic violence programs, pastoral care and counseling, bereavement services, drug and alcohol recovery, prison ministry, financial counseling and credit union, housing and economic development, dozens of choral, instrumental and dance groups, and diverse programming for all ages, including youth and senior citizens.

Thomas, a member of Pilgrim Congregational UCC in Cleveland, has attended worship at Trinity UCC on a few occasions - most recently on March 2 - and says he is “profoundly impressed” with the 6,000-member congregation.

Among Trinity UCC’s crowning achievements, Thomas says, is its work with young people.

“While the worship is always inspiring, the welcome extravagant, and the preaching biblically based and prophetically challenging, I have been especially moved by the way Trinity ministers to its young people, nurturing them to claim their Christian faith, to celebrate their African-American heritage, and to pursue higher education to prepare themselves for leadership in church and society,” Thomas says.

Exceedingly gracious

The Rev. Steve Gray, the UCC’s Indiana-Kentucky Conference Minister, describes Trinity UCC as a “jewel.”

“It’s everything a Christian community is supposed to be,” says Gray, who has been working with Trinity UCC for the past three years to develop a new UCC congregation in Gary, Ind. “Trinity has given well over $100,000 in support of its partnership with us, and in 15 months of regular meetings with Jeremiah Wright, we always found him to be a man of gracious hospitality, humor, generosity, who paid attention to detail but also a man who does not call attention to himself.”

Trinity UCC has been involved in planting more than 15 new congregations, according to the UCC’s Evangelism Ministry in Cleveland.

Gray, a member of First Congregational UCC in Indianapolis, has worshiped several times at Trinity UCC and is most impressed by the overflowing sense of welcome it extends to visitors.

“When you’re Euro-American, the people [at Trinity UCC] are so exceedingly gracious, warm and welcoming. They hug you and say, ‘Welcome to our church!’”

Many, including Gray, point with appreciation to Trinity UCC’s generous support of denominational and ecumenical ministries. From 2003 to 2007, Trinity UCC gave more than $3.7 million to Our Church’s Wider Mission, the UCC’s shared fund for connectional mission and ministry.

Extraordinary outreach

The Rev. Bennie Whiten, retired Massachusetts Conference Minister who prior served for 15 years as associate director of Chicago’s Community Renewal Society, says, “Trinity was one church that we could always rely on to respond almost immediately. They have been very, very involved in the community in so many meaningful ways.”

Noting the church’s work in health care, early childhood education and economic development, Whiten says, “The scope of their concern and outreach is extraordinary. It’s really just an outstanding congregation.”

Whiten, a member of Pilgrim UCC in Oak Park, Ill., is especially taken with Trinity UCC’s commitment to the need and importance of quality theological education. More than 60 members of Trinity UCC are currently enrolled in seminary and pursuing masters-level degrees. Moreover, the congregation pays for students’ tuition costs.

“They firmly believe in the UCC’s commitment to an educated, seminary-trained clergy,” Whiten said, “and they have probably had more people feeling the call to ministry than any other church in the denomination.”

The Rev. Susan Thistlethwaite, president and professor of theology at UCC-related Chicago Theological Seminary, says Trinity UCC is a model church in the way it supports its people in discerning and cultivating their gifts for ministry, both lay and ordained.

“Another thing I really appreciate about Trinity is that its ministries are always directed both inward, toward the congregation itself, and also outward in supporting other congregations ecumenically and supporting community organizations that are dedicated to lifting up the wider society,” Thistlethwaite says. “We have had so many fine students come through Chicago Theological Seminary who were helped to discern their call to ministry through this church’s dedication to serving the wider church.”

Jesus and justice

The Rev. Kenneth L. Samuel, pastor of Victory UCC in Stone Mountain, Ga., says he is impressed that Trinity UCC “promotes spirituality and piety while also being emphatic about social justice.”

While Trinity UCC is the denomination’s largest congregation, Samuel’s 5,300-member church is the UCC’s second largest. Founded in 1987, it joined the UCC in 2004.

“Trinity was really one of the churches that inspired me to want to affiliate with the United Church of Christ,” Samuel said. “My church was originally National Baptist and Southern Baptist, but it was the critical-thinking that [Trinity] brought to this work, the justice work, that helped me to want to become a part of the denomination. I have no regrets about that.”

Samuel says that, during Wright’s 36-year ministry at Trinity, Wright has not been afraid to tackle difficult topics, while staying equally committed to preaching “Jesus and justice.”

“There have been two major sins in the Black church that many Black churches will not address - homophobia is one and sexism is another,” Samuel says, “and Jeremiah Wright has been one of the articulate, courageous voices that has not been afraid to address these critical issues. If he can do that and still maintain his close connectivity to the Black community, and stay grounded in the Black ethos, that’s what has inspired me.”

Speaks well for us

Carol Brown, national president of United Black Christians and a member of Cleveland’s Mt. Zion UCC for more than 50 years, describes Trinity UCC as “the flagship church of the United Church of Christ.”

“I think it’s very interesting that a minority group within a denomination can have the largest church, support the most ministries and give the largest number of OCWM [mission] dollars,” Brown says. “That speaks well for us as an accepting, open and affirming denomination. Especially, as a justice-oriented church, [Trinity UCC] sets a standard for all the denomination that all are welcome.”

Brown, who worships at Trinity UCC when in Chicago for meetings, says she is most taken by its exuberant spirit.

“It’s certainly a very welcoming church, and it’s certainly very reaffirming of the faith when people join in such large numbers when there’s an altar call,” Brown says. “It’s something that you don’t see in the average church. God is certainly at work there, and it’s exciting when you see that many people stand up to witness to their faith and step forward.”

 
 
 

Discussion Forum


 

This Page Last Updated:
Thursday, July 03, 2008  

You are visitor number
Hit Counter  
Since February 17, 2008

 

Submit for Periodic Updates
Update List

 CANDIDATES
DEMOCRATIC                   x
Obama                                                    x
REPUBLICAN                            x
McCain                                                    x
THIRD PARTY
McKinney                                         x

This website is always under construction please email me  relevant links related to any of the candidates or to race and racism and the election.
SELECT A CANDIDATE SURVEYS
Minnesota Public Radio                        x
WQAD  TV                             x
Australia - US Survey                                 X

 


Same level:
White preachers, Reverend Wright and God-damm America ] Just a Typical Black Person ] Of National Lies and Racial America ] Unequal Perspectives on Racial Equality ] Lest We Forget: An open letter to my sisters who are brave. ] racial hypocrites ] Wright's remarks 'ugly truth' ] America can't disown the Rev. Jeremiah Wright ] Big Issue in America Is Class ] Race, Religion and the Politics of Repudiation ] Barack Obama’s Problem - And Ours ] [ Chicago’s Trinity UCC ] Has Race Finally Trumped Hope AND Change ] Not Just Empty Words, or Another "Eloquent Speech" ] The Empire Strikes Back! ] The White Man Who Inspire Wright's  Comments ] Are we really ready to talk race? ] WILL RACE BE USED TO HIJACK THE 2008 ELECTION? ] Wright's truths painful for some ]
Child Level:
Home ] Up ]
Parent Level:
What is Institutional Racism? ] Institutional Racism in America ] January 2008 Articles ] March 2008 Articles ] Racial Inequality in America ] February 2008 Articles ]
Units:
[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]

Always Under Construction!

Always Under Construction!

Copyright @ 2008
Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved

 
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, some material on this website is provided for comment, background information, research and/or educational purposes only, without permission from the copyright owner(s), under the "fair use" provisions of the federal copyright laws. These materials may not be distributed for other purposes without permission of the copyright owner(s).

 


Last Updated:
Tuesday, April 07, 2009  

You are visitor number
Hit Counter  
Since January 9, 2008