Written by Gregg Brekke
The Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president, has penned letters to both President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain in the days following the U.S. general election.
Thomas applauded each candidate for their willingness to faithfully serve the nation, and for the sacrifices that such service entails, including the personal scrutiny and vulnerability it exposes.
To Obama, Thomas was congratulatory as well as challenging, noting the great needs that the next Administration will face, especially with regard to "poverty, the environment, and a just and peaceful global community."
Thomas also extended an invitation for the Obama family to find a spiritual home at one of the UCC's Washington D.C. congregations. The Obamas resigned their membership from Chicago's Trinity UCC in May following media scrutiny of their former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
To McCain, Thomas extended thanks for his "strong and principled perspectives" and for a concession speech filled with hope which "[calls] us to the shared tasks that lie beyond this historic election."