A tale of two churches: One fasts ‘whiteness’ during Lent, the other catches up with an unwitting connection to the KKK

Two churches seek racial equality and justice in very different ways. One made headlines by waking up fasting on anything white. The other is to take a proactive approach to restitution.

The First United Church in Oak Park, Illinois, recently announced on its website that it is forgoing “whiteness” for Lent, which also includes hymns written by white people.

“For Lent this year, First United is doing a mix of ‘give something’ and ‘take something’. In our worship services throughout Lent, we will not be using any music or liturgy written or composed by Our music will be drawn from the African American spiritual tradition, South African freedom songs, Native American traditions, and much, much more,” reads the church’s website.

The church continues to speak of unity while simultaneously banning Christian songs written by white people.

“For Lent, it is our prayer that in our spiritual disciplines we may grow as Christians, united in the body of Christ with people of all ages, nations, races and backgrounds,” the message concludes.

In addition to the website posting, the church also put up a sign on its front lawn proclaiming that the church is “FASTING WHITENESS,” according to Turning Point USA.

“This Lent, we build our worship life around the voices of Black, Indigenous Peoples and People of Color,” the sign reads.

The days of Lent are marked as a time of faith-filled meditation, fasting and repentance, from Ash Wednesday to Easter. For 40 days and nights (not counting Sundays), some Christians around the world imitate Jesus’ fasting in the desert before he began his public ministry. Although the observance of Lent is different for every believer, fasting is usually a major factor.

CBN News has reached out to First United Church leaders for comment. We’ll post it here if we get a response.

Church that received KKK donation is now giving back to the fight against racism

Meanwhile, another congregation in New Orleans, Louisiana, which once received a donation from the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, is giving back to the community by donating to various organizations to advance racial equality and fight against racism.

About two years ago, the Algiers United Methodist Church of New Orleans discovered that the KKK had donated $100 to the congregation in 1922, around the time of their sanctuary dedication, reports The Christian Post (CP).

In response, the church will donate $1,675 over the next 12 months to groups that help in minority neighborhoods and promote anti-racism efforts.

The first organization selected to receive the first funding will be the About Family and Community Engagement (FACE) founded by church member Lyndon Jones, according to CP.

Church historian Sarah A. Waits told the outlet that the congregation decided to donate the $1,675 amount because it is equal to the KKK’s $100 donation in 1922 after adjusting for inflation.

“We discussed choosing a different nonprofit organization per quarter with the understanding that the organization provides beneficial services to the black community in the New Orleans area,” she said.

Waits said the planned anti-racism donations are “a pledge of continued growth and recognition that each person is created in the image of God.”

CBN News has also reached out to Algiers Methodist Church pastor Joanne Pounds for comment on the donation program. We will post it here when we get back to you.

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