Overheard
April - May 2007
May 1, 2007

"We join church leaders and human rights groups across the globe in expressing profound sorrow and deep outrage over the assassination of Turkish newspaper editor Hrant Dink. His death is a source of great pain to all Armenians and to people of good will everywhere who cherish the right to publish truth."

The Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president, and the Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte, executive minister of Wider Church Ministries and co-executive of Global Ministries, offering words of support to Armenian members of the UCC following the assassination of Turkish newspaper editor Hrant Dink on Jan. 21. UCC leaders also asked the U.S. government to press for a "full and fair investigation into this crime."

"We see it as a faith response, responding to a need that's been requested of us."

The Rev. Kim Wells, pastor of Lakewood UCC near St. Petersburg, Fla., who has offered a portion of the church lawn as space for 60 homeless residents to stay in 30 tents. The church's decision has angered some neighborhood residents, according to news reports. (WTSP-TV, March 12)

"The First Congregational UCC in Billings [Mont.] is a frontier edifice. Its theology is pioneering, too."

From a Billings Gazette feature story on the 125th anniversary of the church, known for its diverse membership, social justice commitments and "a long history of outspoken pastors." (March 11)

"[The UCC's Congregational Vitality Initiative] is not necessarily saying everybody has to come in. We're saying everybody who is inside must move out."

The Rev. Art Cribbs, pastor of Christian Fellowship Congregational UCC in San Diego, Calif., after attending a CVI training there (Union-Tribune, March 3). Learn more at uccvitality.org.

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3801
guessb@ucc.org