Obama a member of denominations largest congregation, the 10,000-member Trinity UCC in Chicago since 1988 has spoken often about his profession of faith, his membership in the socially progressive UCC and the need for Democrats to take seriously the concerns of religious Americans. Our churchs rich historical legacy is interwoven with the history of this nation, and the heritage of the United Church of Christ makes it clear that faith is to be expressed actively in public life on behalf of the community and the world, Thomas said. Thomas, the UCCs general minister and president, said the denominations only organizational interest in Obamas candidacy is that his faith and his religious tradition be discussed accurately within the media.
In November 2004, during his acceptance speech following his election to the Senate, Obama expressed appreciation for the support of Trinity UCCs members. Obama says he first heard Wright use the phrase in one of his stirring sermons.
Trinity UCC has been a true community to me a place in which the mind, heart and soul come together to celebrate God&'s goodness, Obama told United Church News in 2004.
The UCC is a Cleveland, Ohio-based denomination of more than 5,700 congregations, located in all 50 states.
Often confused with the much-different Churches of Christ, the United Church of Christ is one of the oldest and youngest church bodies in the United States.
Formed by name in 1957 by the union of the Congregational Christian Churches in America and the Evangelical and Reformed Church, the UCCs roots in American history are deep.
Eleven signers of the Declaration of Independence were from UCC traditions, and a full 10 percent of present-day UCC congregations were formed prior to 1776.Many UCC churches trace their founding to the early 1600s, when the Pilgrims and Puritans first came to America.Obama wrote about his faith and his UCC membership in the August-September 2006 issue of United Church News, the UCCs national newspaper.You come to church in the first place precisely because you are of this world, not apart from it, Obama wrote.You need to embrace Christ precisely because you have sins to wash away, because you are human and need an ally in this difficult journey.It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity UCC on 95th Street in the Southside of Chicago one day and affirm my Christian faith. Wright Jr., pastor of Trinity UCC, is one of Obamas close spiritual advisors and is credited with giving inspiration to the title of Obamas bestselling book, The Audacity of Hope.