Written by Lee Foley
May 2001

Lee Foley

 The Rev. Eileen (O'Hickey) Norrington got quite a sendoff when she left her former position to join the UCC's national setting. The New Orleans Times-Picayune covered her retirement ceremony as Captain, United States Navy and Chaplain for Commander, Naval Reserve Force, New Orleans, ending her 22-year career as a Navy Chaplain.

"I ended up being a pioneer in the chaplain corps," she is quoted in the story as saying, "and I feel good about the progress the corps has made in terms of women. But the part that pleases me most is that I've touched the lives of sailors and Marines at crisis points and made a difference for them. That's what's been most rewarding."

At the ceremony, Norrington also received the Department of Defense Legion of Merit medal. She is now in charge of ministerial authorization in the Parish Life and Leadership Ministerial Team in Local Church Ministries.

The Akron Beacon Journal provided extensive coverage of a demonstration protesting the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo logo on opening day of the Major League Baseball season at Jacobs Field in Cleveland.

The demonstration was used by the Beacon Journal as part of a broader story on what many view as racist logos by the Cleveland baseball team and other professional sports teams. In 1991 General Synod passed a resolution urging members, local churches and other UCC bodies to oppose the "negative stereotyping" of American Indians in sports, commerce and the media.

When the United Church of Penacook (N.H.) was vandalized, it made front page news in the hometown paper, the Concord (N.H.) Monitor. The vandals trashed the church basement— where a soup kitchen operates—and set a fire. Nobody was hurt but damage was extensive. Because the church participates in the United Church of Christ Insurance Board program, the loss will be covered in its entirety, minus the deductible.

The UCCIB issued a $1,500 check immediately to keep the soup kitchen in business during the clean up.

An issue we are all certain to become aware of in the months and years ahead is already news for many in the Chicago area where two newspapers, The Chicago Maroon and the Chicago Weekly News, have published paid ads explaining why government reparations for descendants of slaves are not only a bad idea, but racist in as well.

Now members of Chicago's University UCC have paid for a counter-ad outlining their reasoning for supporting non-economic reparations, which include an apology from the President of the United States, on behalf of the people of the United States to the people of African descent.

The Register in New Haven, Conn., is reporting on a still too uncommon occurrence: an African-American woman serving as pastor of a largely white-membership church.

Specifically, the paper tells the story of the Rev. Carolyn Young, pastor of Whitneyville UCC in Hamden, Conn. The article uses the Young's installation service to point out some of the difficulties black women and, to a lesser degree, white women sometimes still have obtaining a call to be a church pastor.

Quoted in the story is the Rev. Peg Slater, inclusive ministry coordinator for Local Church Ministries.

"More and more women of color are going to seminary and they are finding places in churches," she says, "but it's not always easy."

The Rev. Jan Griesinger is the subject of a complementary profile in The Post, an independent paper serving Ohio University and the area around Athens, Ohio. Griesinger is the director of the OU Campus Ministry.

The article points to her involvement over the years in feminist groups, the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War. Now much of her energies are directed toward helping gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. She also works at helping heterosexuals understand the GLBT community.

Has your local church "made the news" lately? Send news articles to Clippings, United Church News, 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Lee Foley was a TV news director before joining the UCC's Proclamation, Identity and Communication Ministry last fall.