Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rev. Moss, Trinity and Thanksgiving


Obama Pastor Otis Moss: Don't Let Enemy Tell You How To Act

I find myself watching video clips on the Internet of Trinity United Church of Christ and of Rev. Moss and I am getting angry. I am getting angry at the less than subtle racism used to diminish this church and the one dimensional thinking used to understand or describe this church.

Is this a church that courts controversy? Of course it is. Are Christians to be complacent and accept things as is? Of course not. We are called upon to love our enemies, forgive, forgive and then forgive some more. We are called upon to turn the other check. So while I support Israel 100% I don’t assume that others who support talking with Hamas are supporting terrorism. It means talking with the enemy. It does not imply giving in to an enemy.


Fact Check: Reverend Otis Moss on Obama's Faith

Louis Farrakhan was honored in this church. I would not do that but I do not assume it means the church is honoring his past racists and anti-Semitic remarks. I assume they are honoring his compassionate works and his change of heart. Are we to accept that African-Americans can forgive and embrace George Wallace but they cannot believe that a Black leader can change? Or are we saying we cannot believe a Black leader can change? Even if their decision to honor this man is wrong it was done through the principles of love, reconciliation and acceptance. We need more of that, even if the world says it is naive.


Pastors Wright & Otis Moss III: The Enemy of Obama's Church

I watch commentators and bloggers refer to the church as “Gangster’s Paradise” or as “Obama’s Crackpot Church”. It is reduced to being described as pro Hamas, anti Israel, as an “outrageous church”, outside the norm and “that joke of a church”. I suspect this is all by people who believe they are practicing Christian Charity.


United Church of Christ

Now I don’t believe this is a perfect church without problems. Many of Rev. Wright’s comments were outrageous and divisive. I believe they were the exception to the rule but they were still a problem. Rev. Pfleiger looked as if he was seduced by the feedback from an audience. I can see that happening to me, getting lost in the moment and the feelings and reactions becoming more important than the message only to realize it too late. So, it is agreed, it is a church full of humans. But it is a church of Christians who combine faith and works.

What do they do besides preach and worship? Well, ministries include:
Senior Services, Adopt a Student, Africa Ministry, Athletes for Christ,
Can-Cer-Vive, Career Development, Caribbean Connection: This ministry is our Afrocentric congregation's attempt to educate our North American members about the many aspects of the Caribbean culture..
Church in Society: continually seeks ways and opportunities to educate, inform and empower the congregation and community to understand, identify and to be effective advocates for social justice policies that better our lives and our world.

Church School, Counseling, Alcohol and Drug Rehab, Literacy Training, Marriage Counseling, Domestic Violence Ministry, Dance Ministry, Grief and loss Ministry, Food Share, HIV/AIDS Ministry, ministry for young men and women coming of age and so, so much more.
All f this is Christ Centered.

So, maybe the podium is a place that allows for some easy sound bites for those who want to diminish this congregation for their own purposes. But wake up, how many of our churches provide this much love and contribution to our neighborhoods? This is a church that has grown to a membership of 6000. It rejects a silo mentality and works with others in the community. I find far more at this church worthy of honor and thanksgiving than to be critical of. Rev. Moss and Trinity will be in my prayers and they will be prayers of thanksgiving.


We Are Trinity United Church of Christ

2 comments:

stephen said...

Happy Independence Day Viva USA

Carl Jylland-Halverson: said...

Stephen, thank you my friend. It was a fun day, lots of fire works and noise and wonderful weather. It is good to hear from you. I trust Poland in the summer is very nice.
Peace and all good,
Carl