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Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
Proclaiming the relevance of the Black Church, local ministries will present the ‘Theology In The Hood Revival' around the theme ‘Revisioning The Black Church: The Church as Community Sanctuary.'
Headlining the services is the internationally acclaimed Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL.
The event, sponsored by Bethel A.M.E. and Bryant Temple A.M.E. Churches in partnership with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches (LAM), is set for Monday, January 23, to Wednesday, January 25, at 7 p.m., at Bethel, 7900 Western Avenue in Los Angeles.
The Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. Calloway is pastor of Bethel and the Rev. Dr. Clyde W. Oden, Jr. is pastor of Bryant Temple. Cheryl A. Branch is the executive director of LAM.
"Dr. Oden and I wanted to bring more to our community than just another preaching event. We wanted to address, in a relevant way, the challenges facing our community with re-entry issues. The Black Church has always been and still should be the place where our people come for sanctuary," said Pastor Calloway.
"This Revival, in ‘Revisioning the Black Church,' wants to demonstrate how the church can make a difference by projecting a ministry that is more inclusive and more sensitive to the emerging needs in our community," said Pastor Oden.
Branch added, "Faith-based organizations are being called upon to provide a critical public safety function without resources. This strategy is not sustainable. I am hoping we can send a message to the state that our churches will reject the justice realignment constitutional amendment if it does not provide line item funding for reentry and drug treatment services.
"We need the legislature and local government to form community corrections authorities and establish small city demonstration projects all over. God bless clergy like Rev. Wright, Dr. Oden and Pastor Calloway who get it. We need more like them." Dr. Wright, who established scores of outreach ministries while serving as senior pastor of Trinity UCC, will share his knowledge and expertise to equip individuals, churches, and organizations for service to underserved segments of the community.
"Dr. Wright is one of the special gifts to Black Community. He has been so severely misrepresented and misunderstood by those who fail to grasp the language of the prophetic.
"We are proud to have him to return to Los Angeles and bless us with his unique preaching style and his prophetic utterances for the times in which we live. We must not take this gift from God for granted," noted Dr. Oden.
Each night, the services will salute a different segment of the community. Monday's worship will recognize veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Representatives from the Veteran Administration Chaplin's Office and other organizations will be on hand to offer information on services for successful re-entry and integration into society. "On Tuesday, we will celebrate and recognize the return of our brothers and sisters who have paid their debts to society and are returning from incarceration from the Department of Corrections. We are partnering with the LAPD, the County Sheriff's Office, the Probation Department, the County Supervisor's Office, and other government and non-government agencies who work with this population to facilitate their successful re-entry into our communities," Dr. Calloway said. The service on Wednesday will be dedicated to the memory of the victims of violence and their families. Also, Vicky Lindsey, Executive Director of Cry No More, will be honored for her significant work in this effort.
In addition, LAM members will distribute a resource directory and conduct a resource fair after each worship service to assist families in identifying available services.
For more information, call Bryant Temple A.M.E. Church at (323) 293-6201 or Bethel A.M.E. Church at (323) 750-3240.