United Church of Christ

High school students choose lawn of ‘welcoming’ church for voter drive

When high school students in Oak Park, Ill., needed a visible place to encourage voting and recruit poll workers this fall, they thought of Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ.

Though they aren’t members there, the young activists felt comfortable asking the church. They knew of the congregation’s support of the Black Lives Matter movement, its openness to the LGBTQ community and its reputation as “a very welcoming community,” as Amelia Yu, one of the teens, described it.

Pilgrim’s leaders said yes, and soon the Oak Park and River Forest High School group – Students Advocating for Equity – had a table on the church’s front lawn during a Saturday farmer’s market there Oct. 19 (pictured below).

“From the perspective of the church, this is love of neighbor at its finest,” said Pilgrim member Leslie Lauderdale. She shared the story with the UCC’s 3 Great Loves initiative (see video above).

“They definitely demonstrated their love of children through helping our group make this event possible, helping us spread the word about voting,” said Maya Robinson, another one of the high schoolers.

Added Lauderdale, “It was a pleasure to have them on our lawn.”

Voter table, Oak Park UCC, Ill., 10/19/20


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