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God-O-Meter

trinityucc.jpgGod-o-Meter just sent an email query to Barack Obama’s church–Trinity UCC in Chicago–about the controversy over retired Rev. Jeremiah Wright and thought the reply message was worth sharing. It’s a form email sent to members of the media, but it’s a tidy defense of Wright that appears to be the church’s blanket reply to reporters seeking comment on the controversy:

Thank you for your interest in Trinity United Church of Christ and for your consideration of our member, Sen. Barack Obama, in the Democratic primary election. Due to the high volume of emails and inquiries, we are unable to respond to each one personally. We were overwhelmed with “hits” after Senator Obama’s historic victory in the Iowa democratic caucus.
Barack Obama has been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ for nearly two decades. As a young community organizer, new to Chicago, Barack met with Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Trinity’s Senior Pastor, seeking advice. He received good counsel about the complexities of life in Chicago and the challenges faced by residents in poor communities like South Chicago’s Altgeld Gardens.
The United Church of Christ (http://www.ucc.org), Trinity’s denominational affiliation, is “a community of faith that seeks to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed.” It was founded in 1957 through the union of several different Christian traditions. Not only does Trinity not exclude anyone from membership or attendance based on race or ethnicity, but:
The majority of UCC members are white; the conference minister of the Illinois Conference of the UCC (Rev. Jane Fisler Hoffman) and her husband (both white) are members of Trinity (You can watch a video of Rev. Hoffman speaking at Trinity about her positive experiences there.); Trinity has been instrumental in working with and lending financial and staff support to the development of new UCC churches in Gary, IN (with the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the UCC, Milwaukee, WI (with the Wisconsin Conference of the UCC), and Benton Harbor, MI (with the Michigan Conference of the UCC). There is no anti-American sentiment in the theology or the practice of Trinity United Church of Christ. To be sure, there is prophetic preaching against oppression, racism and other evils that would deny the American ideal. Trinity is “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian.”
Trinity was founded in 1961 and had 87 families when Dr. Wright started his tenure in 1972. Currently, as Dr. Wright anticipates a 2008 retirement, there are more than 8,000 members, 70 ministries, and three Sunday worship services. You and your family can watch these services online at 7:30am, 11:00am and 6:00pm CST.


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