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Monday, September 29, 2008

"From Amistad to Guantanamo" at Trinity United Church

Yesterday was the final installment of an adult education program that I have been teaching at Trinity United Church in Warren, NJ. The series, "From Amistad to Guantanamo: Justice Ministries in the United Church of Christ" detailed the development of justice work in the UCC, moving from the grassroots organization of the Amistad Committee, through the efforts for equal rights for women, people of color, LGBT people, and a host of other issues. Finally, we discussed ways that individuals and congregations could integrate the Bible's call to do justice into the daily practice of our lives.

I enjoyed being at Trinity these last few weeks. It is a smallish congregation with a warm heart. The choir is very good and the sermons were all inspiring. As an added bonus, each week that I attended, I got to hear from a different preacher. The pastor's father, The Rev. Dr. Richard Armstrong preached the first week. The pastor, Rev. Elsie Armstrong Rhodes, preached the second week, and one of the interns, Jared Stephens, preached yesterday. I particularly enjoyed hearing the voice of the next generation of pastoral leaders as Jared and the church's other intern, Joy Klingeman, led worship.

One of the added benefits to leading the program at Trinity is that my son traveled there with me each week. With our busy lives, it is sometimes hard to find time to spend together, so the hour's drive each way has been a great way to connect with him and, as an added benefit, he's a terrific roadie, setting up the computer and digital projector for me, making photocopies and collating them, dismantling everything after the program and schlepping things back to the car. I think I'll keep him. Next week, Ian and I'll be back worshipping in my home church, so the whole family will be back together again.

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