This is a local interest story which is placed on the blog for easy access, and so that others can be forwarned to check up on the locations chosen for their children’s field trips. Parents might be investing in private school tuition for their kids in order to have some security that the instruction and influence is in reasonable accordance with their own values and religious beliefs. There is still reason to be vigilant.
The original permission slip, brought home by my son, (who attends a Catholic primary school) for me to sign, did not give any information about, nor location of “WashingtonUCC”,
which was the destination of the service trip for their group. My son was also not able to give
sufficient information about the trip for my satisfaction. I opted to exclude my son from this student service trip, and found another option for him. I also requested that further information about the site be provided to the other parents, and I provided the information given below to the school officials. The school provided the location and the website link of the UCC on hard copy to the parents.
I had done some research about the service
site for the student group and found that it is a United Church of Christ in
Camp Washington of Cincinnati. My other concern was that the students were not of sufficient age nor adequately prepared to undertake the service which appeared to be planned for
the kids of the WashingtonUCC.
My additional concerns about the service site are particular to myself,
and might not be shared by some other parents whose kids were to be
performing service activities at the site. However the information is
offered below in order to show part of what may be obtained through
internet research, and elucidate what I have long understood about the
United Church of Christ (denomination) due to my pro life activism.
This is the Church at which President Obama heard the sermons of
Jeremiah Wright for years. Pastor Wright is now retired.
Chicago Trinity United Church of Christ
Pastor Otis B Moss III
Address: 400 W 95th St.
This is the church to which the student group was
slated to travel in April, to fulfill requirements for service (in the
church ministry called Kids Cafe.)
Cincinnati Washington United Church of Christ
Pastor: Pam DeFusco
Address 2950 Sidney Ave
(Camp Washington, Cincinnati Ohio)
These two churches belong to the same denomination.
They are both found on the same website: http://www.ucc.org
The UnitedChurch of Christ has a strongly politicized social mission, some of which is not in
accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church with which our school is affiliated.
Below is a UCC church statement on the issue of reproductive “rights:”.
This is a pro-abortion denomination.
When you proceed to the website of the Religious Coalition for
Reproductive Choice, you will find the United Church of Christ as a
Likewise, the UCC has the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice on its list of Political
and Social Activism on the Web. http://www.ucc.org/links/
The United Church of Christ also differs significantly with the
Catholic Church on such things as gay marriage.
The Ohio Conference, to which the Washington UCC belongs, shares this priority with the UCC.
The WashingtonUCC has on its website an
indication that the UCC is a diverse group founded on the idea that
Christians do not have to agree in order to be in communion with each
other. Perhaps this is a means to set itself apart from the
stranger political activities of its parent association.
Unfortunately the parent UCC has affiliations and activism with which
many people might have objection, and is placing the weight and funding of its entire church behind such things.
The organization to which I belong assisted in breaking through the media barrier and allowing civic minded people to have awareness of Obama’s position against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act of Illinois, and his position (to the left of most abortion doctors) on the abortion issue. His church (TUCC) had two pastors on the board of the health care entity (Advocate)
which oversees the Christ Hospital of Oaklawn / Chicago. The practices of this
hospital (to deny care to premature babies born after failed abortions)
were the inspiration for the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, advocated and driven by Jill Stanek, RN, and signed by President Bush.
Obama, during his time in Illinois, steadfastly defended the practices
of this hospital, and prevented passage of the Illinois Born Alive
Infants Protection Act while he served in that state legislature.
Find the direct voting record of Obama on this issue linked here:
The links on this page are to Illinois state legislature documents.
The following year, our parish picked a location for a mission trip for the 8th grade students. Once again we declined to participate. It was apparent that the concerns we expressed to the administration about the above mentioned trip were to no avail, as they picked another church affiliated with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. We instead chose to notify the rest of the parents, rather than the administration of our decision to decline. Most of the letter appears below:
…………….. After receiving many emails concerning the future fundraiser for the class trip, it has been impolite to not reply, but it took awhile to decide how this should be done. Here is the resultant explanation. We don’t expect agreement, but we ask for tolerance.
According to its own historical accounts, Red Bird Mission began with the influx of the Evangelical Church into the Red Bird area of KY.
Evangelical United Brethren Churches – had a reasonably agreeable confession of faith before their 1968 merger with the Methodist Church to become the United Methodist Church. The good intentions supporting the founding of Red Bird Mission are recognized.
After the merging, local churches were reorganized as Red Bird Missionary Conference which comprises 23 churches of the United Methodist Church.
The United Methodist Church, as it now exists, is actively and vociferously supporting some things with which our family strongly disagrees.
Excerpt from The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2008. Copyright © 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House.
We affirm the family and work to strengthen its relationships. We affirm the sanctity of marriage and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We recognize divorce as regrettable and intend to minister to the members of divorced families. We affirm the integrity of single persons. We recognize that sexuality is a good gift of God and that sex between a man and woman is only to be clearly affirmed in the marriage bond. We recognize the tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion and urge prayerful consideration by all parties involved. We assert the right of every person to die with dignity.
The beginning of life and the ending of life are the God-given boundaries of human existence. While individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, they now have the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will be born.
Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother, for whom devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy. In continuity with past Christian teaching, we recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection.
We oppose the use of late-term abortion known as dilation and extraction (partial-birth abortion) and call for the end of this practice except when the physical life of the mother is in danger and no other medical procedure is available, or in the case of severe fetal anomalies incompatible with life. We call all Christians to a searching and prayerful inquiry into the sorts of conditions that may warrant abortion. We commit our Church to continue to provide nurturing ministries to those who terminate a pregnancy, to those in the midst of a crisis pregnancy, and to those who give birth. We particularly encourage the Church, the government, and social service agencies to support and facilitate the option of adoption. (See ¶ 161.K.)
Governmental laws and regulations do not provide all the guidance required by the informed Christian conscience. Therefore, a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel.
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2004. Copyright 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House.
The actual activities of the United Methodist Church with respect to abortion, and their perception of human rights, are given here in the News Archives. While there is controversy within that Church, it has elected to remain a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
The RCRC exercises social and political influence in direct opposition to the religious and economic interests of our family. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice lobbies to co opt the treasure and the efforts of the U.S. Citizenry in providing abortion. It is also a threat to our major form of sustenance, as the organization opposes pro-life health care professionals who refuse to service the demand for chemical and surgical abortion. KB has already been fired once for refusing to dispense an abortifacient form of birth control, and has expended much effort to bring legal assistance to other health care professionals who have had this and related experiences. This is part of the job with Pharmacists for Life International, one of the pro-life health care organizations which RCRC opposes and dishonestly misrepresents.
Our family will need to avoid supporting the interests of the United Methodist Church, as it continues to oppose our religious freedom through its involvement with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. We boycott many other organizations and corporations which actively oppose our human right to avoid participation in abortion and other willful killing. We wish to minimize the use of our resources for our own detriment.
We understand, from the last attempt to call the attention of the school’s administration to an ethical conflict with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (member United Church of Christ), that our family is not in sync with the feelings of many others at in the parish on how to address inherent, religiously based conflicts of interest. We therefore did not bring up this second problem with them. Rather, we have decided not to participate. Our family will not be further involved in the fund raising activities for the 8th grade school trip………………………