Social Justice

A civilization of love that did not demand justice of people would not be a true civilization, it would not delineate genuine human relations. It is a caricature of love to try to cover over with alms what is lacking in justice, to patch up with an appearance of benevolence when social justice is missing.
–– Oscar Romero (1935-1982), “A Just Society.”

True love begins by demanding what is just in the relations of those who love Wellington Avenue Church has a long history of involvement in social justice issues on the state, national and international levels. Over the past 40 years, Wellington has offered a place of refuge for a wide variety of folk: Cuban, Chilean, Vietnamese, and South African exiles, conscience objectors, Good Shepherd Metropolitan Community Church, and Roman Catholic women gathered to protest the absence of dialogue within their communion. In the 1970s Wellington’s ministry was focused locally on helping member, James Harper, to establish an Uptown center for alcoholics (now known as Harper House).

Internationally, the congregation’s attention turned to the victims and survivors of human rights abuses in southern Africa and Central America. Through Collins Ramusi, a South African exile, Wellington established a sister church relationship with a Labowa Homeland congregation, and later sent a representative to help in registering people to cast their first-ever vote on that homeland for their first elections in southern Africa and Central America. In the early 80s Wellington was challenged to become the final station on an Underground Railroad that was being put in place to bring El Salvadoran refugees to Chicago. After faithful consideration and weighing the cost, the congregation declared itself a Public Sanctuary in 1984, the second in the nation to do so. Through all these people and events, Wellington has not only been challenged to grow, but has been deeply blessed by the people we have come to know and love.

Below are some of the public statements and resolutions Wellington as made as a community of faith regarding social justice issues that influence our faith and practices.

Statement and Resolutions