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Don't like senior minister of the grace communities United Church of Christ in Saint Paul, Minnesota hello reverend thank you for -- coming on tonight.
We -- ornaments are for the past 22 years you led the only predominantly black church in the Minnesota conference of United Church of Christ.
Seven years as president of the Saint Paul black ministerial alliance.
And you march for racial equality during the civil rights era and they were in trouble in your community in terms of numbers in your church and living if you stood up.
For gay equality.
Is that was going on.
I think you'd be in its development here at that's exactly was going -- And you 200000 dollars in debt.
Because in the.
That's correct we -- Well.
We had to have meeting in that Atlanta Georgia in the year 2000.
I was at a delicate.
At that senate.
And what -- the big discussion.
That took place had to do with.
And of course the there was a big debate a lot of people disagree with that of a lot of people agree with it but then when the smoke cleared the room.
That delegates present voted in favor of it.
And united church -- press has traditionally been a more liberal denomination correct.
That's why -- United Church of Christ yet.
And so there was an 80% agreeing.
Whenever you can thank your own congregation -- find that your own.
The people to whom you minister to did not see it that way.
Well that's correct that -- and and out the prize as a matter of fact because it before.
I left or that meeting -- thought have prepared my congregation we had talked about it.
And everybody seemed to.
That have any problems listed.
So forth and so on have been.
But I came back and glad they reported that to put -- the -- -- same sex marriages.
But within weeks.
I started to see.
My numbers diminish greatly.
And this was long before the president came at -- correct.
How long time before the president this is 2000.
We had 320 members.
And within the -- Numbers doable.
Two -- to accept the fact.
And all of them all because you came -- gay marriage equality yes.
What do you do about it.
I big -- -- -- Well you know like any ministerial without went around -- visited with my members and tried to reason with them.
But there was no coming back there was there was nothing -- -- do their minds -- made.
So there interpretations of of the Bible is obviously.
Not different in the way.
But still they heard because.
I thought I had prepared them for that so I was in in has shot lower left.
In hindsight did.
Would you've done a different one.
I think about that a lot in I have friends who have that could be.
That I probably should note that -- thing that probably should have voted for it tell it became legal.
In the state of Minnesota so I've had those dust to go through my mind.
But meanwhile I think if I had it to do all over again I would not have done it any differently.
Because I believe.
That it's -- issue of justice it's not.
I have no right to decide.
-- someone who -- -- -- -- Mary.
My only job this to teach people to love each other to accept the -- the unconditionally.
We -- -- a problem that can't get people.
-- left and about -- -- well I'm -- women I left it.
On let me in trouble.
And if -- majority the majority's right -- Leno leaves that hit you with a ruler in fewer kids and try to change and to be right -- remember those days Latin America.
-- at night and and I find that the those who -- me remind me of those days.
I do recall teachers hitting students with the -- there's.
Forcing them to admit to the left hand picked students to write with their right hand -- it's -- that the same thing we're talking about.
So -- people are born there and they don't choose to be.
Yeah he held her -- -- very much similar similar argument you also get death threats correct.
-- I have received threats.
But people things I think.
Don't leave your house.
In the morning -- had no -- -- I know where you where can.
-- be waiting for you.
Or if you say something.
But what what more word out of your mouth about this issue.
Will be the last -- -- That's amazing -- manages to remarkable to me that it.
I just can't it's it's so hard -- bring myself to understand that that kind of bigotry exist but it does obviously.
Fortunately as it exists in the name.
So called right just in this.
I received that is every single day I don't know if you.
Then on my website you to read blogs but -- -- that that people have become the on -- the hill.
And they praise the people who left the -- is -- that they should've let that that -- haired pig.
Ten -- attract a new group of worshippers that that there -- any new people come and.
-- not a lot of new people but we have attracted a few new people and certainly we've attracted a lot of attention.
Churches don't normally grow.
Because there's situations like this and and and I exposed.
It would be good for me to say that.
Our church is struggling well I mean we're struggling to keep stability in the union bank and that doesn't necessarily make -- very attractive.
But we have managed to draw few.
And new people who are committed and I'm very very happy about that there's no problem.
With them except being.
The LG PPP.
But on the other hand my church is located in the community that is extremely homophobic.
But we have been label has -- as the gate church have been labeled as that -- minister noted that this.
But we're not politically about a heterosexual church then you're Kissinger yes absolutely -- -- left -- church so you're welcome.
Thank you were half as well I'm left the album left -- I would be welcome.
People can -- building is -- before -- company you know lot's been said when when President Obama came out for marriage equality that this would not sit well.
With the black community is this a black white issue.
How I would go so far this state that I think that the African American community has to be -- just that the president.
It's not enough of -- influential ministers are talking about.
This sort of situation.
They're talking about.
Prosperity ministries as opposed to justice oriented type that -- ministries.
I believe that that if the black church.
Where it could go back to the fundamentals.
What it means to love.
Your neighbors you love yourself.
-- make a big difference and maybe that in this generation but I believe that that -- generation we're gonna see that change redundancy people learning to.
They accept each other unconditionally is felt fortunate that I probably -- they'll -- the lead that but.
But I think it's gonna happen I have hope of that is gonna have another -- there's no -- happened at church.
If we Kenny -- -- -- what is being too.
Two to really really reach out to -- about.
Wherever American people go to help you out of -- gonna go to your website is there an opportunity to participate.
Two help you move forward if they go anywhere play.
They can go to my web site which is grace community UCC dot org or.
They could simply go to rally that the lord and and they will find.
-- there -- -- simply Google my name reverend Al overflights and they will be connected to.
Many sites and which states make a.
-- -- I hope you sleep well at night knowing you've done the right thing even -- the consequences may not may seem a little -- at the moment but.
I hope you know that you're doing the right thing.
-- -- I believe in my hand and doing the right thing even though.
-- scary sometimes it's scary to be right.
Did I -- I mean Matt Matt Matt but not so much because.
What I don't know what -- saying right now but it it just -- scary scary.
I like that slogan scary to be right I think that has many meanings which I like to incorporate penniless and at reverend I appreciate your talking to our audience tonight and once again people can Google reverend Oliver Wight.
-- grace community United Church of Christ or rally is -- rally dot org really thank you sir all right thank thank you redundant it was.
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