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With 'Unrighteous' Trump Elected, Hyde Park Churches Offering Solace

By Sam Cholke | November 11, 2016 12:23pm
 KAM Isaiah Israel is one of many south lakefront houses of worship offering special services for people afraid after Donald Trump was elected president on Tuesday.
KAM Isaiah Israel is one of many south lakefront houses of worship offering special services for people afraid after Donald Trump was elected president on Tuesday.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

WOODLAWN — South lakefront houses of worship are reaching out to congregates afraid and uncertain after Donald Trump was elected president on Tuesday.

Religious leaders are urging their congregations to seek knowledge and understanding and reject fear as many worry Trump’s administration will mean dark days are ahead for the South Side.

At Wednesday’s Bible study at Apostolic Church of God, Rev. Byron Brazier said he would devote his Sunday sermon to the election.

“We may be in for a difficult time. It will not happen right away,” Brazier said. “There are a lot of battles, but no matter what it looks like God is in control.”

After a campaign that was at times racist and anti-Semitic, Brazier encouraged his congregation to reject the fear they may be feeling now.

“Whatever you do, do not allow someone else to get into your head about the fear for what may take place,” Brazier said. “Fear is fear, and fear hasn’t happened.”

He called Trump an “unrighteous” man and said he expects the South Side to be stripped of some public services under Trump.

“It’s a take away of services, and we’ve seen that take place even in our state where you have a businessman become governor who didn’t know what he was doing — and still doesn’t know what he is doing,” Brazier said.

KAM Isaiah Israel, the synagogue across the street from Barack Obama’s house at 1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd., is searching for understanding after Tuesday’s election.

At the 6:30 p.m. Friday Shabbat service, the synagogue will have no sermon and will instead allow time for the congregation to talk openly about their thoughts and feelings about the election.

At noon Tuesday, the synagogue will seek greater understanding about the election and has invited University of Chicago public policy Professor William Howell to explain what happened in the election and what it means. The talk is free and open to the public.

The Rev. Peter Lane of St. Paul and the Redeemer, 4945 S. Dorchester Ave., said the church will now do more to offer a haven for refugees and bring more people of all sexual orientations and genders into the ranks of the church leadership.

He said the church will continue to investigate how people have been malformed by the insidious white supremacy that pervades society.

“We can do all of that with strength and with humility, really listening to the legitimate concerns of the many millions who voted for President-elect Trump,” Lanes said. “As it says elsewhere in Isaiah, ‘Be not dismayed.’”

First Unitarian Church, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., held a day of healing Wednesday for its congregation. The church will continue that effort during Sunday’s services “to take heart that the end is not near,” according to the church.

University Church, 5655 S. University Ave., has also offered itself as a safe place for people afraid after Tuesday’s election and will also dedicate Sunday’s sermon against fear.

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