February - March 2006
March 1, 2006

"Can you hear King now?"

The rhetorical refrain of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor of Chicago's Trinity UCC, speaking to an estimated 4,000 attendees at a Martin Luther King Day service in Lexington, Ky. "The problem that I now wrestle with, as his message becomes even more distorted," said Wright, "is that the vast majority of Americans didn't hear him, and on some days, it seems to me that nobody heard him." (Herald-Leader, Jan. 16)

"For me, it's church and state, not church in state."

The Rev. Eric Williams, senior pastor of North Congregational UCC in Columbus, Ohio, who joined 31 religious leaders across the state who petitioned the Internal Revenue Service to look into the political activities of two large conservative churches allegedly involved in actively promoting the candidacy of a Republican candidate for governor. (Associated Press, Jan. 16)

"Vermont is abundant in colorful foliage and lacking colorful folk."

The Rev. Arnold Isidore Thomas, former Vermont Conference Minister, recounting his response to a persistent parishioner's question concerning why Thomas - an African American - chose to live in "the whitest state in the union." (, Jan. 16)

"I do think that there's a strain of the Democratic Party - it's not uniform - that is somewhat patronizing towards people who go to church."

U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), an active member of Trinity UCC in Chicago, in The American Prospect's February issue.

"I wish that all of us would be more outraged by the poverty of our brothers and sisters in this country than by issues of human sexuality."

The Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president, speaking in Burlington, N.C., in mid-January. (Greensboro News-Record) 


Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115