Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Truth Is Trinity is Loved By Many

I can't say enough about the fact that I'm always hugging people in the pews that are different races at Trinity. I know we also get a lot of support in the online community. Even in the mist of all the controversy, people are able to see Pastor Wright for the genius he really is. Thank God someone gets it!

I am white, 58 years old, born and raised a Catholic (lapsed after the first eight years of school with nuns!) in a French-Canadian community in Nashua, NH. I spoke only French until I was 15 years old, when my dear grandmother passed away and French was no longer strictly required at home, and I started high school with mostly English-only classmates. As recently as 10 years ago, my boss at the time decried that the authors of a report we were reviewing were "ESLers," to which I replied, "I'm an English as a second language guy myself," and he quickly turned on his heel. I still get dinged for my occasional quasi-European grammatical constructions. Most amusing/distressing, is that I also get dinged for having a difficult-to-pronounce and too-fancy name: Rene de Pontbriand (renny d-PONT-bree-end), like it's my fault for making their life so miserable by embarassing them into trying something different. My wive and I both wo rked hard, finally earning our Ph.D. degrees in our mid-30s. This was especially big for me, as the first high school graduate in the family.

Beyond this admittedly stringy common experience, what I really want to express here is my deep admiration not only for Senator Obama and yesterday's speech, but for Reverend Jeremiah Wright. I have listened to his "Audacity to Hope" sermon twice now, on the Internet, in part out of curiosity and in part out of believing in and wanting more background on his more recent sermon making the rounds, the fiery one.

"Audacity" had to be one of the most marvelous sermons to have heard, and we should all be proud of the reasons it could be delivered in these fine United States. Here is a man, Pastor Wright, for whom, had things happened slightly differently or at a different time, could have become a wonderful national leader to us all. I can easily hear the heart and even the cadence and the eloquence he so generouslty passed along to Barack; there is no mistaking it. And there is no mistaking why Barack is proud to honor this fine man. As for the fiery words on the Internet, of course there are many ways he could have said what he did. I, along with many other Americans, direly agree that the U.S. has rubbed the rest of the world's nose in our greed and selfishness for far too long. We're doing it again to the developing countries---they are either ignored altogether (Darfur, Somalia; not to mention Native Americans) until it's too late; attacked; or railed against for wanting to start their industry the same ways we did: by ignoring the long-term environmental and global good. Why was this God's Will for us, but Satan's doing for them? As for his other "controversial" phrasings, except for the "god damn america" which was a bit over the top although I fully understand and appreciate his intention, that's the way of the pulpit.

The fervor in this type of sermon does tend to frighten Whites, who are largely innocent here---we rarely needed to scold ourselves in this way into fighting for a better life for our children and theirs. Even that is changing, we can feel it, that the next generation will have a lower standard of living. Two and a half billion dollars a week for Iraq; it is beyond comprehension how we ever let Bush start that, or why we are still there with people being blown up every day, or how to extricate ourselves and the Iraqi people without bringing more misery to that entire region. What of their children's children? How long will they be made to pay for our actions? So many unanswered questions, but there are really no nice answers there.

Let me cap my thoughts here. Thank you all for supporting Reverend Jeremiah Wright, for nurturing that kind of soul, and for finally sharing his words with the rest of us. I am so very grateful.


Anonymous said...

I'm praying for Rev. Wright, for your church, it's members, for Senator Obama and his family and all those who see those snippets of video clips and use them to try and destroy and divide and demean. God will prevail because we know, we believe, right?!

olga said...

thank you for this site.

Anonymous said...

I've been a proud member at TUCC since 2001. This church, its vision, pastor & staff, ministry, and message BLESS ME day in and out!!!!! Spiritually, mentally, & emotionally, I've grown so much that other's those who know God, have noticed it.....And those who did not know God, now know him b/c they have been witness to my transformation. I owe it to the spiritual genious of Rev. Dr. JA Wright & his obedience to God.

Texas Queen said...

Thank you for creating this blog and for putting out the truth about Rev. Wright. The media owes him an apology, but I'm sure it won't be forthcoming. They rarely admit mistakes. I will do what I can to spread the word about your blog and let others know the truth.

Tami said...

I was a member of Trinity for nearly 10 years before moving away from Chicago three years ago. I continue to be disappointed at how Pastor Wright, Trinity and the UCC are being maligned by the media.

Here is what I wrote on my blog:

Thank you so much for this blog and your efforts to spread the truth.

cherese said...

I have been a member of TUCC for almost 6 years. I have learned more and been more inspired during those years than in my entire life. Rev. Wright speaks to people about what they need to survive in the world today. He helps us keep the faith when dealing with everything life throws our way. I HAVE TRULY BEEN BLESSED BY TUCC AND REV. WRIGHT. We are encouraged to embrace both our religion and heritage,I am proud to say that I am unashamedly black and unapologetically christian.Thanks Rev. Wright & TUCC for empowering me !!!!!

seligk said...

I have been a proud member of Trinity United Church of Christ for 28 years, and I just returned from the "The Seven Last Words of Christ" that was Good Friday Service held at noon today at Trinity. After listening to Rev. Dr. Eugene Gibson, Olivet Fellowship Church (Memphis, TN); Rev. Dr. Lance Watson, St. Paul's Baptist Church (Richmond, VA); Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Presiding Prelate - 13th Episcopal District (AME Church); Father Michael Pfleger, Faith Community of St. Zion Church (Atlanta, GA); Rev. Dr. E. Dewey Smith, The Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church (Decatur, GA); and, Rev. Dr. Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr. Bethel Baptist Institutional Church (Jacksonville, FL), each minister just reinforced for me the great man, husband, father, and minister that Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. really is. He has done so much for so many, and the media has been in a frenzy to discredit him on a few sentences taken from a sermon out of context.

You cannot believe everything that you read in the newspaper or see on television. But I can say that the unfounded attacks on Rev. Wright by the media will only make him a stronger person to continue the good and great things that he does for Trinity and the community.

I also want to thank our new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III for being a brilliant and gifted leader that Rev. Wright brought to our congregation as his replacement. Rev. Moss has remained focused on our mission. During the last month Rev. Moss has shown "courage under fire", and we are blessed as a church to have him and his family.

For those who have not seen the entire sermon by Rev. Wright that is being seen internationally for the past week, watch the entire sermon before you judge Rev. Wright and Trinity Church. After you watch it, you may want to add a comment to this website.

My thoughts and prayers are with Rev. Wright, Rev. Moss, Senator Obama, and their families.

I thank God for Trinity United!

Natasha Robinson said...

I have been a member of Trinity UCC for over twenty five years. I have never had to experience the dual emotions of being proud of my church and my pastors and being pained by the systematic crucifixion of my beloved Senior Pastor and church. There is not enough time and space to tell you all that God has done for me through the work and legacy of Pastor Wright and Trinity UCC.

When I first joined the church at the age of six, I saw a black and white sign outside of the church. It read "Free South Africa". At the age of six, I thought it meant that if our family joined, we would get a free trip to South Africa. Never did it cross my mind until after membership that Pastor Wright was talking about apartheid and the unjustices that plagued our brothers and sisters in our home continent.

I WOULD NOT be who I am today if it were not for the prophetic teaching and preaching of my Senior Pastor. I would never know how to deal with what Dr. W.E.B.DuBois describes as "twoness", the duality of being an African and an American. I would never have learned how to enjoy the wonderful blend of my Africanity and my Christianity.

There has never been a time where Pastor Wright was too busy, too tired, too fatigued, too anything, to not be there for me. He has written letters of recommendation for me, he has prayed for me, he has blessed my house and my family, he has been so much and more, not just to me, but to others across this country and this world.

It pains me to read and to hear the mischaracterization of my Pastor and reduce his legacy to 15 and 30 second soundbites without providing the proper and complete context in which Pastor Wright speaks truth to power. Nearly all of those who have negative comments have never met the man, never spoken with him, never seen him, but allow the media to crucify this man without so much as a blink of an eye.

Romans 8:28 says that all things will work together for those who love the Lord, for those who are called according to His purpose. I am persuaded that the Lord will only lift Pastor Wright to heights higher than ever perceived. I thank you for the site and this blog for it allows the TRUTH to ring forth. And the TRUTH will set us free, so for all you incarcerated minds, I pray for your liberation!

kshelton said...

Kim Shelton:
I have been member of Trinity for over ten years. My expereince has been of joy, hope and liberation. Through the ministry of Pastor Wright, I have established a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a love for my culture. Also under Pastor wright I accepted and embraced my call to ministry and he has nurtuted me to be the woman and minister of the most high God, the African Messiah, Jesus the Christ. So to the world, to know Pastor Wright is to embrace the experience of Trinity United Church of Christ. A ministry that speaks truth to power and not only speaks but puts words to actions, through its ministries and outreach. Trinity is more than a church it is a community for all God's people.

AMS said...

I really loved the sermons. They gave me chills, in a good way. I would like to thank Paster Wright for his honesty and the great courage it must have taken to preach these truths. I know this is a trying time for you, but God is not blind and you will be vindicated. AMS

Lee Keyes said...

People are outraged...well please add me to that list. I am outraged as well to know that people can be so ignorant to think they can turn on the news and listen to thirty seconds of a sermon without knowing what was said prior or said after the thirty seconds of what was heard. Then presume to think they now know Trinity UCC, and Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. I've had the esteemed pleasure of being a member of Trinty UCC for the past six years under the pastorate of the brilliant,and one of the most loving African American ministers I have ever encountered. Rev. Wright preaches love, justice, and equality for all. He is a very passionate man of God, and I, Chicago, and people across the world have been blessed, empowered, and encouraged by his prophetic ministry. I will conclude this comment with, all those outraged people, come visit Trinity (what a church) and learn the truth!!!

des52 said...

6 year old Taylor Marie was in Chicago with her great-grandmother Elaine McFarland for the summer, as a result of problems her mother was encountering in Houston. Taylor was bewildered and missing her mom. One night her great-grandmother was awakened by what sounded like Pastor Wright's voice coming from Taylors room. When her great-grandmother entered the room, she found a wide eyed Taylor sitting up in bed, listening to a tape of Rev. Wrights sermon. When asked what was she was doing, Taylor pointed to the tape player and said, "That's Jesus!" Wrights sermons gave her great comfort and so this went on every night for the entire summer. At summers end, Taylor returned to Houston, with a horde of Rev. Wrights tapes and a walkman found in her aunts old closet. According to her mom, she listened to these tapes every night and returned to her usual carefree childish demeanor. Elaine McFarland has been a member of Trinity since 1975 and has attended this church since 1962.

Faith said...

Thank you for this new blog. I have been heartbroken about the way that Trinity and Rev. Wright have been demonized in the media.

Alicia said...

This whole news coverage is a major distraction for what really ails America. Yes, the remarks were inflammatory and could easily be seen as hateful. Anti-America comments, no, it's the truth many people see and not just African Americans. The last presidential election it was "same sex marriage" that got the people stirred up and Bush a second term. This time it's anti-patriotism, a distraction!

I feel sorry for hardworking Americans trying to survive in this economy (regardless of race) and soldiers dying or wounded in a needless war. Our unstable economy and loss of jobs and what NAFTA has produced is what concerns me. These are the issues that affect my life, not seeming anti-American statements of a Chicago preacher. In Chicago, in the Black community, Dr. Wright and the Trinity Church has and is doing marvelous social work and is considered a beacon of light. Wright is not perceived as a hate-filled preacher and craze ministry. The Black community don't always understand how easy Americans are distracted, especially, when we're really hurting and at the hands of our own leadership. With films like "Iraq for Sale" and others, they don't make a dent in the American people's ability to see that we're a very much an imperfect union. It's almost as if we prefer to be deceived and issues sugar coated if stated at all. Racism promotes white supremacy and this is no substitute for a true sense of self-worth and fairness. At the end of the day, we're all trying to feel good about ourselves and hopefully, make this world a better place. Distractions such as this will always hinder blind-sighted, Americans, who have good intentions, but are taught and guided to be judge and jury on race issues and not real issues and resolutions that sustain growth...this war, gas prices and companies taking jobs overseas and still getting tax credits.

The great thing about the Obama Presidential bid is that Americans are getting the chance to think for themselves! Out of this new America will become a stronger and more viable country. "The People" will have a true voice, politicians will do their job or lose them. This distraction is to take this away and I guess this is the real reason for trying to stop the Obama train.

Dr. Jeremiah Wright is an honorable man, beloved and I've seen the good he has done and I'm proud to have sat in his audience, to see Dr. Wright protest when black vendors weren't being used in Chicago's "A Day of No Violence" in Washington Park on Chicago's Southside, an inner city neighborhood, in the 90s when murder rates were staggering as now. I personally approached this wonderful man after a session at the MAAFA Conference dealing with Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome with a program I wanted to implement and to help build confidence in our youth, he was wonderful!

The beautiful South African Singers I've enjoyed while visiting Trinity and a wonderful bookstore and library.

I marveled at how well Trinity volunteers were organized and treated when hosting Tavis Smiley's "Blacks In Technology" at Chicago's Navy Pier in 2002.

I am so proud of Trinity and Dr. Wright, we have been served well!

Thank God for Dr. Jeremiah Wright!