Thursday, June 12, 2014

Report - Discussions at LSEA June 10, 2014, Meeting

We had an excellent meeting on Tuesday, June 10. See below for key points, and please mark your calendars for our next meeting: August 5, 2014 at ALSO (2401 W. North).

(1) Inclusive and Affirming Ministry for LGBTI People in Africa

Pastor Erik Christensen from St. Luke's Logan Square shared information about a series of events taking place in the next several days relating to human rights for LGBTI people in Africa. The events start Friday afternoon with Judith Kotzé and Ingrid Schoonraad from Inclusive & Affirming Ministries (IAM) South Africa joining in conversation and reflection on the theological resources for the work of LGBTI liberation in Africa. They will consider the intersections of North American liberation theology and South African post-apartheid theology, as they inspire, encourage, and challenge the work of solidarity and liberation for LGBTI people.

Full details of Friday event, plus more on Saturday and Sunday: June 13-15, 2014 - LGBTI Solidarity in Africa Weekend, including special Sunday worship at St. Luke's.

(2) Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal process

Immigration attorney Christopher Elmore -- who is a member at St. Luke's Logan Square, and who volunteers with the Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) program at Humboldt Park United Methodist -- gave a brief introduction to DACA.

DACA is a discretionary policy that began in 2012 that allows eligible undocumented individuals to temporarily remain in the United States. Individuals who benefit from DACA must renew their deferred action every two years. The first opportunity for renewal begins this summer and it is very important that DACA recipients submit their renewal documentation before their initial 2-year DACA term expires.

Next step: A full presentation on DACA and the renewal process is being scheduled for the very near future - to be held at Nuestra Señora de las Americas at the corner of Logan Boulevard and Francisco. The entire community is invited and an announcement will be emailed.

You may also contact Mr. Elmore directly at

(3) Concern about police-community relations

An incident was discussed that led us to consider the need to be more attentitve with how police officers are engaging with people in the community, particularly with young people.

Next step: (a) Clergy members of LSEA will connect with others who are active with the local police district clergy council. (b) A "know your rights" training for youth is being scheduled - to be held at ALSO. Further details will be emailed.

(4) Upcoming Event: SCUPE Congress June 23-26

Pastor Bruce Ray of Kimball Avenue Church will be speaking at the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) Congress from June 23-25 at De Paul University. More info at:

(5) Support for activist clergy in Benton Harbor

The case of activist pastor Rev. Edward Pinkney in Benton Harbor was brought to our attention. Press coverage from the People's Tribune and Rachel Maddow describes the fact that this pastor is being prosecuted for his activism on behalf of the poor in Benton Harbor, and faces court proceedings in July.

Next step: Andy Willis of Kimball Avenue Church is scheduled a solidarity event, at which Rev. Pinkney will speak here in Chicago: July 11, 6:30 p.m., First Lutheran.

(6) Looking ahead to fall: "Labor in the Pulpit"

We were reminded that many area churches will invite labor movement representatives to speak on labor day weekend.  Contact Luke Sullivan at ARISE Chicago luke[at]arisechicago[dot]org for help arranging speakers.


Next meeting: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 -- ALSO - 2401 W North Avenue in Chicago.

We meet at 1:00 p.m.  (If interested, please come early and join us over a brown-bag lunch for informal discussion at noon.)

We will have a focused discussion on housing issues in the neighborhood. Additional topics for the meeting will be added to this post closer to the time of the meeting.