Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08



Church Reaches Out to those 'Excluded from the Table'
by Cleve Adkins

This article shared 4265 times since Mon Sep 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

At first glance, Chicago is not one of those cities that needs another new church. We already have thousands, from cathedral-size to storefront. So when the Rev. Phyllis V. Pennese said she had been called to start a new congregation for Christian believers, some of her friends questioned her. But never one to doubt God, Pennese has plunged forward and is quickly gaining new followers.

'We started back in February and have grown to 16 full members,' she said. 'I was compelled to do it out of obedience to what I believe God was telling me to do. And I see it as an offering to people of faith—an offer for a radically inclusive justice ministry of Jesus Christ.' Pennese said the idea started from an epiphany she had three years ago when she visited the City of Refuge UCC/Fellowship 2000 in San Francisco.

'The vision I had in my life was being lived out in that community of faith,' she said. 'It was truly a representation of diversity—old, young, Black, white, Latino, Asian, straight, bi-, trans-, gay, recovering, HIV+, AIDS-infected, male and female. All of the diversity of God's landscape worshipping together in one space. I wanted to come back and create that here in Chicago. And because of my religious roots, it's sprinkled with the flavor and spirit of neo-Pentecostalism—a movement that is sweeping the community of faith.'

'I want the church to be a place of healing for those who have been excluded from the supper table of our Lord, for whatever reason. And it is also our goal to do ministry through the lens of social justice so that eventually we will be attentive to the needs of those with AIDS, in recovery or in transition from a prison environment and those who are unemployed. That's what Jesus would be doing.'

Pennese, 46, was born and raised in the Chicago area, the child of an African-American mother and an Italian immigrant father. She identifies and lives her life on a daily basis as an African-American woman. She is also in a five-year committed relationship with Vickie R. Sides, a coordinator for Chicago's Rape Crisis Hotline. And they are raising Brandon, 16, Side's biological nephew.

When asked if her life as a woman-loving-woman impacts what she does in ministry and how she does it, she says, 'It is peculiar that women are excluded from the very places for which they have a particular propensity. There are pieces of nurturing and a need for inclusion that guides my ministry.'

'In the LGBT community we have come a long way but part of what I hope for is to take our community to another level. Is our lifestyle reconciled with our spirituality? For LGBT's we are still novices at that. We have been excluded for so long that many of us are fearful at attempting to even realize the spiritual nature of our being. So creating a safe space that focuses on the grace of God is what we are all about at Pillar of Love Fellowship Church—using that to help folks reconcile themselves back into a relationship with God.'

Pennese previously worked as a coordinator for anti-violence against women programs on the local and national level and was at Rape Victim Advocates as the coordinator of programs.

She is currently working on her Master of Divinity at Chicago Theological Seminary and recently received the G. Campbell Morgan Preaching Award for 2000-2004. She also is the 2002-2003 Castenada Scholar—an award given to an LGBT seminarian that shows the greatest promise for ministry.

In June, the Rev. Yvette Flunder in Oakland ordained her at the Fellowship 2000 annual conference. Flunder officiated the ordination as her first official act after becoming a bishop of the church—the first woman and lesbian so honored.

Call (708) 458-1893. The congregation meets Saturdays at 5:30.

This article shared 4265 times since Mon Sep 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Former pope faulted in report on sexual abuse in German diocese 2022-01-20
- A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany's Munich diocese faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI's handling of four cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s, The Chicago Tribune reported. Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, the ...

Gay News

Pope Francis thanks U.S. nun for advancing LGBTQ+ rights 2022-01-14
- In a recent letter to Sister Jeannine Gramick, Pope Francis thanked her for her 50 years of advocacy and ministry to LGBTQ+ Catholics, The Hill reported. The pope in his letter, dated Dec. 10, said Gramick ...

Gay News

LETTER Continue the dialogue on racism 2022-01-08
- I am writing this letter to the editor about the article that appeared on the Windy City Times website titled "A look at Northalsted/Boystown bars since 2020 town hall on racism," written by Cris Villalonga-Vivoni. Also, ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Vermont judges, trans bishop, Jared Polis, gay mayor 2022-01-02
- Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced his appointments of three Vermont Superior Court judges—Elizabeth Novotny, of Jericho; Heather Gray, of Quechee; and Justin Jiron, of Underhill, a press release noted. Novotny is a Vermont lawyer with more ...

Gay News

Lighthouse Foundation releases analysis of Chicago LGBTQ+ nonprofits 2021-12-28
- Lighthouse Foundation of Chicagoland—a Black- and queer-led, multiracial social justice organization—has released its Black Queer Equity Index (BQEI). The BQEI evaluates the organizational cultures of five of the area's largest ...

Gay News

Utah billionaire leaves Mormon Church, donates to LGBTQ group 2021-12-22
- Billionaire Jeff Green resigned from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, writing in a letter to the church's president that he believes the institution has "hindered global progress in women's rights, civil rights and ...

Gay News

Pride in the Pews: from storytelling to mobilizing Black LGBTQ+ leaders of faith 2021-12-21
- Storytelling, justice and community—these core values drove Pride in the Pews when it began in March 2021 as a campaign to collect 66 stories from Black LGBTQ+ Christians across the country. While the mission for Pride ...

Gay News

Indiana minister leaves job after appearing with drag queens in TV series 2021-12-12
- The Rev. Craig Duke has been a Methodist minister for three decades, building a reputation as a staunch advocate of LGBTQ inclusion. However, according to ABC News, his pastoral duties have ended—the result of a split ...

Gay News

Michigan diocese issues anti-trans request 2021-12-12
- A Catholic diocese in Michigan is asking its pastors to deny baptism, confirmation and other sacraments to transgender and nonbinary people unless they have "repented"—a policy that's possibly the most sweeping of its kind in the ...

Gay News

Rainbow Railroad plans 'When I Am Free' benefit concert to get LGBTQI+s to safety 2021-11-20
--From a press release. Videos below - Chicago, IL (November 12, 2021) - The annual Chicago 5 Lives Fundraiser hosted by Rainbow Railroad is proud to return this year with "When I Am Free", a benefit concert offering attendees a premier evening of ...

Gay News

Bishops approve paper that falls short of denying Communion to pro-choice Biden 2021-11-18
--From a press release - On Nov. 17, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to approve a document that fell short of refusing Holy Communion to President Joe Biden or others who support abortion rights—something conservatives in the Church ...

Gay News

Hell in a Handbag Productions to present Christmas Dearest 2021-11-12
--From a press release - Book & Lyrics David Cerda Music by David Cerda and Scott Lamberty. Directed by Derek Van Barham. Nov. 27 — Dec. 31, 2021 at Ebenezer Lutheran Churchz CHICAGO (November 11, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag ...

Gay News

Believe Out Loud multi-faith statement decries Texas' anti trans youth law 2021-11-02
--From a press release - DALLAS, Texas (Nov. 2, 2021) — A national coalition of 37 organizations and more than 171 individuals have endorsed a multi-faith statement of solidarity with transgender children in Texas, after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Foster-parent case, stars speak out, Texas youth, 'Queer Eye,' HIV 2021-10-17
- Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Lambda Legal, together with the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along ...

Gay News

OP-ED The Black church was one of R. Kelly's enablers 2021-10-13
- The long-awaited justice for R. Kelly's survivors finally came last month when a New York federal jury found him guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking. For nearly 30 years, underage Black girls and their families have ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.