On RESIDENTS ONLY CAFE’S {HUD Faith-Based Initiative Tenants Rights Organization’s} Legal Ability to Host Sunday Worship Services in the Joann Thompson Community Room of Bethel-Sangamon Terraces-South Side Englewood Chicago-16th Ward

“As indicated above, the other side of the religious component of the First Amendment is the Free Exercise Clause. HUD is sensitive to this branch of the law. One way HUD helps in this respect relates to issues concerning the occasional and incidental use of community space for religious purposes in federally assisted public housing and section 202 and 811 projects for the elderly and disabled. The general HUD policy is that community space may be made available for purposes of interest to residents, including religious purposes, so long as the space is made available to all residents in the same manner.”  -Separation of Church and State
in HUD Programs/Content Archived: April 9, 2010/ https://archives.hud.gov/initiatives/fbci/churchst.cfm

1.  RESIDENTS ONLY CAFE: HUD Faith-Based Initiative Tenants Rights Organization @ Bethel-Sangamon Terrace can be interpreted as coming into being originally as a HUD subsidized housing association created on faith principles.


RESIDENTS ONLY CAFE: HUD Faith-Based Initiative Tenants Rights Organization Seeks to Co-Host the Fall 2019 Annual Town Hall Meeting of METROPOLITAN TENANTS ORGANIZATION (MTO) With MIDWEST REGIONAL HUD OFFICE @ the JoAnn Thompson Community Room of Bethel/Sangamon Terraces’ HUD Subsidized Senior Apartments Complex of the South Side’s Englewood Square-16th Ward


“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”  -Psalm 127:1, A song of ascents, Of Solomon, NIV- 

TO: Evergreen Real Estate Group, Owner-Manager/ ATTENTION: Larry Pusaten, Evergreen Partner, Principal, EREG (Verigreen), Cheryl Warren, Evergreen Director of Regulatory Compliance, Carolyn Stewart, On-Site Property Manager, and Beatrice Jasper, Sangamon Terrace Board President, 900 W. 63rd PKWY and 6145 S. Sangamon respectively, Chicago IL 60621

FR:  RESIDENTS ONLY CAFE: Bethel/Sangamon Terraces HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Faith-Based Initiative Senior Tenants Rights Organization (ROC), Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), Convener & Executive Secretary Pro-Temp

RE:  Reserving Joann Thompson Community Room Space on either Thursday, October 10th 2019  or Thursday, October 17th, 2019, 12:30-to-4:30 PM, for a Fall 2019 Town Hall Meeting with HUD MIDWEST REGIONAL OFFICE & the Council of HUD Subsidized Tenants Rights Organizations Promotional Organized by METROPOLITAN TENANTS ORGANIZATION (MTO)

DA:  7-13-2019

Your tenant Joel Washington is using SquaredAway by MTO to help manage their apartment. They’ve indicated you as their landlord. They’re using this application to send you the following message:

As Bethel/Sangamon Owner-Management may be aware, our HUD subsidized senior housing complex’s long-term Residents Bible Study Group has recently moved from a Bible Study activity only to a HUD Faith-Based Initiative Senior Tenants Rights Organization that offers a Bible study activity.

Accordingly, we now operate as RESIDENTS ONLY CAFE: HUD Faith-Based Initiative Senior Tenants Rights Organization (ROC) of South Side Chicago’s Englewood Square-16th Ward.

This said, as a HUD Faith-Based Initiative Senior Tenants Rights Organization we are now more than a coffee-break.

More, as a part of our new and improved identity, purpose, and direction, ROC has teamed up with METROPOLITAN TENANTS ORGANIZATION (MTO) where we serve on its autonomous HUD SUBSIDIZED RESIDENTS COUNCIL OF TENANTS RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS (HSRCTRO).

One of the main activities of HSRCTRO is that of hosting an annual TOWN HALL MEETING with HUD MID-WEST REGIONAL OFFICE Executives and Staff wherein we discuss the challenges of residents in HUD subsidized buildings represented by HSRCTRO.

Accordingly, it was decided at our most recent meeting to set the upcoming 2019 annual Town Hall Meeting with MIDWEST REGIONAL HUD for either Thursday, October 10, 2019 or Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM.

Our organization (ROC) volunteered suggesting the possible location of the projected annual HUD Residents Town Hall at the JoAnn Thompson Community Room of Bethel/Sangamon Terraces, 900 W. 63rd PKWY and 6145 S. Sangamon respectively.

This said, would you please advise us on the availability of the community room on either of the Thursdays and times projected above and related details ASAP?

Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

Respectfully submitted: Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), #1012, Convener and Executive Secretary Pro-temp, RESIDENTS ONLY CAFE: HUD Faith-Based Initiative Tenants Rights Organization of Bethel/Sangamon Terraces

Joel Washington 
900 W 63rd Pkwy #1012 

Constitution & By-Laws of RESIDENTS ONLY CAFE: HUD Faith-Based Senior Tenants Organization -More Than A Coffee Break- @ Bethel/Sangamon Terraces -South Side Chicago’s 16th Ward -Part I

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  -Matthew 16:18  NIV-

1. Name and Location:

a.  The name of the organization shall be RESIDENTS ONLY CAFE:  HUD Faith-Based Tenants Organization (ROC) -More Than A Coffee Break- @ Bethel/Sangamon Terraces.

b.  ROC is focused on serving the independent interests of the tenants of  Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Apartments @ 900 W. 63rd PKWY and 6145 S. Sangamon respectively, Chicago IL, 60621, 16th Ward.

c.  ROC also seeks to serve the surrounding Englewood community and Metro Chicago as a whole.

2. Date:

a.  This ROC document is approved via a series of consensus votes at ROC’s weekly Bible study meetings over the period of June/July 2019.

3. Nature:

a.  ROC is an non-incorporated, non-profit organization.

b.  ROC is created in the interests of, by, and for the tenants of Bethel/Sangamon Terraces -a HUD subsidized senior apartments complex.

c.  ROC is organized under HUD’s Six Rights of Residents Organizations Rules.  True to our basic origins out of the now defunct ENGLEWOOD COOPERATIVE APARTMENTS, itself created in February 1981 by local congregations of the then American Lutheran Church in Chicago and the Roman Catholic Church of Chicago, with Lutheran Social Services of Illinois serving as the initial Managing Agent, ROC is essentially a HUD Faith-Based Residents Organization.   The very name “Bethel,” as in Bethel Terrace Apartments, (meaning sanctuary city in the Hebrew Bible) speaks to our original and now revitalizing HUD faith-based organizational identity, purpose, and direction.

4. ROC’S Mission Statement:

  1. To improve conditions of Bethel/Sangamon Terraces senior apartments complex and the surrounding property regarding security concerns, disrepair, and to improve communications with owner/management.
  2. To deal with the owner/management as a group
    in situations of general concern such as security problems, interpretation of guidelines, rent increase certifications, and when and if the landlord or their employees or agents are involved in illegal or improper activities, and to fight for proper repair and maintenance of the building and its units.
  3. To educate tenants on their rights and obligations as tenants.
    Note: To have rights in law is not sufficient. To truly have these rights ROC tenants must know what these rights are and be able to defend these rights.
  4. To organize tenants.
    Note: Usually, if one tenant is having problems, so are other tenants. Organized tenants have the moral support of fellow members, as well as having more people to document the problems and share the work. It can also be of great benefit to go to government tribunals or court as a group rather than as individuals. It is also much more effective to educate and get feedback from, for example, one group of 10 tenants together, rather than to do so ten times with each individual tenant.
  5. To try to encourage member tenants to develop their skills, such as writing and public speaking.
    Note: People can often have skills that are undiscovered due to lack of experience or opportunity, or due to insecurity or even fear. Developing within people their own awareness of their abilities can be very empowering within their lives.Those people who become knowledgable about tenant issues and rights and who have other skills should be encouraged to become more involved as activists, educating others, within our individual rental building and in the community at large, in other social issues, and should they move out of the area to whatever parts of America and/or Canada they move to.
  6. To provide information and other assistance to tenants to the best of ROC’s abilities based upon ROC’s available resources.
  7. To lobby governments for policies and laws
    that truly protect and expand the rights of tenants, as well to make decent affordable housing a basic human right. We may also lobby on issues related to homelessness and poverty, as our resources permit.
  8. No group can be effective without introspection,
    and so we must at least once a year, at a general meeting, review our directions and activities to ascertain if we have been effectively pursuing our mission and how better to do so.

 5. Methods of carrying out our mission include:

  1. Keep long-term records to document the history of this building, and the tenants’ disputes with the landlord for the future;
  2. Purchasing a copy of the landlords incorporation documents to keep on file;
  3. Keep copies of tenants’ complaints including repair requests and lack of maintenance letters, to document any history of problems, including if available pictures;
  4. File applications or disputes with the HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) and other subsidized housing agencies on behalf of this association when agreed upon by the members;
  5. Distribute a newsletter at least twice a year and preferably more often as events warrant;
  6. Have meetings of the tenants in addition to the annual general meeting to get members involved and to cover issues of concern
  7. Educate tenants on issues around the apartment building and on their tenant rights both through the newsletter and through meetings
  8. Encourage other buildings to create tenants associations through METROPOLITAN TENANTS ORGANIZATION (MTO) after the establishment of this organization, and then fliering two neighbouring rental buildings, and inviting them to a meeting to see how  ROC has organized its tenants association.
  9. Other activities may be undertaken in the interests of tenants as deemed worthwhile

 6. Anti-discrimination Policies:

ROC shall conduct its activities without discrimination because of race, religious beliefs, color, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, place of origin, physical or mental disabilities, age, marital status, physical attributes, low or no income or being on government assistance.

As such, anybody who makes comments contrary to our above policy at any of our meetings will be asked to apologize for such contrary statements and to retract it, or to leave the meeting.

Not only do we believe in these anti-discriminatory policies, but, as our resources permit, we will strive to make our group representative of our local tenant community.

In selecting meeting locations, our first priority after the appropriateness of the location (in terms of whether it can seat the number of people we expect and the actual address being local, will be the accessibility for those members with physical infirmities.


7. Non-partisanship:

ROC, as an organization, may support or contest specific policies, programs, actions, laws or by-laws by any government or political party as we think appropriate, but never endorse any party, government or politician.

ROC as a group, represent our members who may have various political affiliations, and so we can not remain representative of them all if we endorse any political parties or any candidate; we can only support or contest their platforms or actions. Members, on the other hand, may do what wish as individuals, including supporting, working for or endorsing a candidate as long as it does not include any references to this organization.

ROC organization’s goal is to improve the lives of tenants and may take up other issues/causes that benefit tenants, the poor and the homeless.


8. Financial:

  1. No member may receive from us a salary as we are a volunteer-only organization.
  2. Members shall receive reimbursement for approved expenses;
  3. ROC’s fiscal year shall end July 4  and begin on July 5 of each year.
  4. As part of the Annual General Meeting for the membership, there will be an accounting including a financial statement provided to all members, stating all revenues received and where they came from (eg. total from membership dues, events, a lawyer, etc.,) and what were the expenses (eg. photocopying costs, stationary, renting a room, events costs, etc.)


9. Group representatives:

Only those who are approved by the Board may claim to represent the organization. In situations where there is insufficient time to take an event or action to the monthly Board meetings, a majority of the organization’s executive may do the approval.


10. Guests:

It is at the discretion of the Board of the organization, what non-members may attend our meetings. Board/steering committee meetings are open to all members and invited guests previously approved by the executive or the board.


11. Membership:

All members must pay an annual $20 membership fee, which may be waived by the Board in circumstances of financial hardship. (This is one item you are likely to want to edit. You might want to structure things different or have no fee at all.)

  1. To be eligible to be a member of ROC you must be a tenant within Bethel/Sangamon Terraces, 900 W. 63rd PKWY and 6145 S. Sangamon respectively, Chicago IL 60621, 16th Ward, and have paid your membership dues. Such members have voting rights.{If this is for an area organization rather than an individual building you may want to give general border and possibly other conditions such as being a residential tenant of a rooming or boarding home, private, public or non-profit rental housing, or a resident member of a non-equity residential co-operative, or homeless.}
  2. “Ex Officio” members are from other groups or agencies, who wish to provide their support to the organization. Their membership is at the discretion of the members. They do not have voting privileges as they may at times be in a conflict of interest situation. The purpose of this type of membership, is usually only for area tenant associations, for resource personel who might be repeatedly invited such as a local tenant lawyer or social worker.
  3. Not eligible for membership are:
    Owners or managers of multi-unit residential properties, their employees (both full and part-time,) their agents (including those who do contract work for them) and their immediate family.
  4. Members may be expelled if they misrepresent themselves as a tenant, when they are an owner or manager of a multi-unit residential property, or a full-time or part-time employee or agent of an owner or manager of a multi-unit residential property.Members may also be expelled for repeated violations of our anti-discrimination policies, for being violent, harassing or threatening violence against other members or guests, for being repeatedly disruptive in meetings to such an extent that the Board has found it necessary to give the person repeated warnings as recorded in this organization’s minutes, for claiming to represent this organization without the authorization of the Board, or for belonging to or working for an organization that works against the best interest of tenants (such as FRPO, GTAA, UDI, etc.,) works or supports landlord rights, or misrepresents itself as a tenant organization.


12. Board:

The Board and Executive shall be determined by a vote of the eligible membership at the annual general meeting to be held every year in the months of September or October. The Board shall be comprised only of voting members of the organization, and shall not total more than (eg 11) people to encourage those who will attend regularly.

Meetings of the Board shall be every month. (For a less active association this could be every two or three months.)

While all members may attend Board/steering committees and are encouraged to do so, they may only vote at the annual general meeting of the (tenants’ associations’ name). While the Board encourages people to speak up, it does have the right to put limits on speech at meetings, particularly large ones, to ensure that the agenda items can all be covered.

Board members must resign if they have declared their run for a political office. This is to prevent the organization being used for electioneering purposes of any kind. Should that board member lose in a political campaign, they are free to run for the board position again.


13. Executive:

The Executive of ROC shall be a subset of the Board, and will be comprised of the President, Vice-president (may be up to two), the Treasurer, and Secretary who will be voted on by the general membership at the Annual General Meeting. (The size of the executive is certainly something to consider based upon the size of your group.)

Meetings of the Executive shall be every _2_ weeks.

Any vacancies occurring between Annual General meetings will be filled by persons appointed by the Board.

The Executive are to take care of the day-to-day operations such as banking, keeping minutes, signing letters.

At least three executive members must have signing authority over the organization’s bank account, and all cheques and transfers of funds from that account must take at least two signatures.


14. Meetings:

Dates, locations and speakers at meetings will all be decided by the Board. Only in the rare case of an emergency, where there is not enough time to call a Board meeting, can a majority of the executive make these decisions, and then it must be reviewed after-the-fact at the next Board meeting.


15. Annual General Meeting:

  1. The Annual General Meeting will be open to all members.
  2. The Annual General Meeting will be held once a year in the month of November or December.
  3. The date of the AGM will be decided by a meeting of the Board.
  4. Members must be given at least four weeks notice of the meeting. All reasonable attempts will be made to call those who are members. For those who do not have telephones, we will leave notes if possible in their mailboxes, or try to contact them by whatever reasonable means.
  5. Only those members with voting privileges as outlined in item 11, may vote.


16. Constitution:

This constitution may only be amended at an annual general meeting of members, with a vote of 60% of votes or greater.

Respectively submitted:  Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), Pastor of Reformation African Descent Lutheran Mission ,Church Chicago/MCS/ELCA, 11310 S. Forest Avenue, Chicago IL 60628 (“Young Barack Obama’s organizing sanctuary), Convener of ROC, and Faith-Based Organizer of Metropolitan Tenants Organization’s (MTO’s) HUD SUBSIDIZED HOUSING COUNCIL.

Meet Reformation Church Chicago’s Basic Issue Campaign RE: RESIDENTS ONLY (HUD Faith-Based Tenants Organization Cafe @ Bethel/Sangamon Terraces) -South Side 16TH Ward

1.  According to the Metro Chicago IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation) affiliate, UNITED POWER FOR ACTION AND JUSTICE (UPAJ), under the rhetorical category, What is an Issue Campaign:

“Issue Campaigns are the work we do.  Members of United Power identify problems and concerns in our communities. Through research, relationships and action these problems and concerns become our Issue Campaigns. We usually have more than one active campaign at any given time.The more Issue Campaigns we win — the stronger we get.

“The issues can be large or small, but must meet the following criteria:

  • “They must make a difference in people’s lives.
  • “They must be specific and measurable.
  • “They must be winnable.
  • “They must help build our organization and move us forward.”

2.  Considering the above UPAJ definition and criteria for determining a faith-based community organizing issue campaign, we have chosen as our issue the right of RESIDENTS ONLY to fair use of Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Community Room as an independent  Bethel/Sangamon tenants  organization.

3.  Our mobilizing activity of choice is to co-convene a HUD SIX RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES TOWN HALL MEETING.

4.  Establishing our right to hold RESIDENTS ONLY meetings periodically is also by definition specific and measurable.

5.  Our winning the right  to organize without the approval of Owner/Management  regarding the identity, purpose, and direction of our meetings is a quality of life improvement regarding morale of senior residents.. 

6. Said unconditional compliance can be further assured by winning HUD CHICAGO Regional Offices’ enforcement thru RO’s participating in (a) Metropolitan Tenants Organization’s (MTO’S) monthly HUD residents caucus on the one hand and on the other (b) by our joining MTO’S institutionally scheduled quarterly meetings with HUD Chicago’s Regional Officers.

7.  RO’s fairly winning our constitutionally expressed HUD right to convene weekly Sunday worship in Bethel/Sangamon Terraces community room automatically establishes, strengthens, and expands senior residents voices in the governance of Bethel/Sangamon Terraces affordable senior housing complex.

8.  Put another way, winning our right to celebrate weekly RO led Sunday worship services gives us leverage for advancing not just our fellow residents concerns, versus Owner/Management’s, but also gives us leverage in advancing the South Side Englewood community’s housing and other concerns as well. 

9.  To paraphrase the classical Greek scientist, Achimedes  “give us a Sunday weekly worship service as a lever and Bethel/Sangamon Terraces community room as a place to stand and we will contribute to progressively moving Black Metropolis Chicago’s world of public concerns.”

10.  The Six HUD Rights of Residents Organizations Rules are linked here:  https://englewoodbiblestudies.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/genesis-huds-rights-of-residents-organization-rules/

11.  The URL to our full blog roll updating our journey story from its first steps to the present is linked here:  https://englewoodbiblestudies.wordpress.com

Respectfully submitted: Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), Pastor of Reformation African American Lutheran Mission Church Chicago, Convener of RESIDENTS ONLY:  HUD Faith-Based Tenants Organization Cafe (More Than A Coffee Break), For Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Owner/Management’s Unconditional Compliance with HUD’S SIX RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES, & Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) FAITH-BASED ORGANIZER @ Bethel/Sangamon Terraces -A HUD Subsidized Affordable Housing Senior Apartments Complex -Englewood’s 16th Ward.   

On Black Metropolis Chicago’s RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CO-OP CAFE-An Expression of Reformation Church Chicago’s Congregational-Based Community Organizing @ Bethel/ Sangamon Terraces Senior Apartments- 16th Ward- PART 3-of-3

1. From its initial vision of providing affordable co-op senior residential apartments in early 1981 to its practical housing complex opening in late 1982, Bethel Terrace Co-op Apartments, consciously or no, was emergent essentially as a Congregational-Based Community Organizing (CBCO) project.

2.  Conceived and advanced structurally as Englewood Cooperative Apartments i.e., “the Cooperative,” the Bethel Terrace Housing Co-op, was primarily the initiative of next door Bethel Lutheran Church on whom’s donated property the Cooperative was built with its initially boasting 123 units of affordable co-op senior housing. 

3.  The founding Board of Directors consisted of members of Bethel Lutheran Church, Lutheran Social Services, and the Pastors of Bethel Lutheran and the neighboring  Our Lady of Solace Roman Catholic Church.  More, the cooperative’s managing agent was Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.

4.  The Cooperative’s then stated objective was (a) “to provide elderly persons and handicapped persons with housing facilities on a cooperative basis and to provide services specifically designed to meet their physical, social, and psychological needs, and to promote their health, security, happiness, and usefulness in longer living …on a non-profit basis.”

5.  However, over its 38 years of service, the Congregational-Based Community Organized Cooperative lost its way.  It first strayed from and then became cleanly uncoupled from both the spirit and the letter of the 7 original Rochdale Cooperative Principles established in 1844.

6.  Those 7 Co-op Principles are:

  • Voluntary and Open Membership. …
  • Democratic Member Control. …
  • Members’ Economic Participation. …
  • Autonomy and Independence. …
  • Education, Training, and Information. …
  • Cooperation Among Cooperatives. …
  • Concern for Community.

7.  ROBSCC seeks to serve as a faith-based ministry aimed at reviving the cooperative spirit of the former cooperative apartments complex -now fallen into ruins all around us.  We will do so by offering continuing  education on co-op principles as they relate to faith-based community organizing. 

8.  We will also build a coalition by inviting Metro Chicago’s Congregational-Based Community Organizations to join us in agitating, educating, and organizing around our understanding of HUD’S SIX RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES as a part of our very own ISSUE CAMPAIGN.

9.  The Six HUD Rights are linked here:  https://englewoodbiblestudies.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/genesis-huds-rights-of-residents-organization-rules/

10.  The URL to our full blog roll updating our journey story from its first steps to the present is:  https://englewoodbiblestudies.wordpress.com

Respectfully submitted: Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), Pastor of Reformation African American Lutheran Mission Church Chicago, Convener of RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (More Than A Coffee Break), For Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Owner/Management’s Unconditional Compliance with HUD’S SIX RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES, & Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) FAITH-BASED ORGANIZER @ Bethel/Sangamon Terraces -A HUD Subsidized Affordable Housing Senior Apartments Complex -Englewood’s 16th Ward.   



On Black Metropolis Chicago’s RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CO-OP CAFE-An Expression of Reformation Church Chicago’s Congregational-Based Community Organizing -PART 2-of-3

1.  Our Part 2 piece  on Congregational-Based Community Organizing (CBCO) continues by drawing from not only the view of Wikipedia regarding faith-based organizing but those of the Pacific Institute on Community Organizing (PICO) as well as that of the Gamaliel National Network (GNN) particularly the latter’s African American Leadership Commission (AALC).   We continue, then, with initially quoting Wikipedia on Congregational-Based Community Organizing    (CBCO) as follows:

2.  (CBCO structures) “focus on building political power in the hands of an organization of local residents, and using that power to influence issues the organization defines as important. Congregation-based Community Organizing (CBCO) works through local synagogueschurches, and mosques as the primary institutional sponsors of this work. Common characteristics:

  • “Faith-based: They ground their organizing in the moral values and traditions that stem from religious faith, to varying degrees and often quite powerfully. See religion and peacebuilding.
  • “Broad-based: They are typically ecumenical or interfaith, and many include schools, unions, or a variety of other community-based institutions like neighborhood associations.
  • “Locally constituted: They organize in areas that range from large neighborhoods to entire cities. Although linked into the national and regional networks discussed above, they emphasize local grassroots organizing.
  • “Multi-issue: Their purpose is to instruct local congregational authorities about how to effectively address a variety of pressing issues facing their communities.
  • “Professionally staffed: CBCO groups hire professionals to recruit and train leaders to work with their religious communities on a personal and regular basis.”

3.  Under note three below we shift to PICO’S (Pacific Institute on Community Organizing ) complimentary view of faith-based organizing as follows:

“What Is Faith-Based Community Organizing?

3.1)  “Faith-Based Community Organizing – also known as Congregation-Based Community Organizing – is a method of working with faith communities to address the problems and concerns of their communities, and in turn, vitalize and strengthen the life of congregations.

3.2)  “There are many paths to a more just world, and community organizing is one of them. Other paths include direct service, in which people respond to the immediate and often urgent physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of others. Another path is advocacy or activism, where people act and speak on behalf of others who are suffering from great injustices and social ills.

3.3 )  “PICO’s path to building a more just world involves teaching people of faith how to build and exercise their own power to address the root causes of the problems they face. In PICO, this struggle for justice is rooted in our faith.

3.4)  “At the center of PICO’s model of faith-based community organizing is a belief in the potential for transformation – of people, institutions, and our larger culture. This belief stems directly from PICO’s rootedness in faith communities, and radiates throughout the organization, influencing the way PICO relates to public officials, to community members, and to one another.”

4.  Finally, we conclude this message with the Gamaliel National Network’s (GNN) viewpoint on faith-based community organizing, particularly its African American Leadership Commission (AALC) approach with which we seek to build solidarity and a coalition.

4.1) “Gamaliel was founded in 1986 to train community and faith leaders to build political power and create organizations that unite people of diverse faiths and races.

4.2)  “Gamaliel network leaders created the African American Leadership Commission in 2003 at an International Leaders Assembly in Merrillville, Indiana. The commission’s purpose was and continues to be:

  1. “Identification, training, and development of African Americans to successfully engage the public arena
  2. “Organizing people and money to speak truth to power and build just communities while recruiting others to become leaders

“The AALC focuses on pastors, lay leaders, and others who have the potential to become organizers, local executive directors, presidents of local organizations, and to progress to positions of greater responsibility in the Gamaliel network.”


Respectfully submitted: Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), Pastor of Reformation African American Lutheran Mission Church Chicago, Convener of RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (More Than A Coffee Break), For Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Owner/Management’s Unconditional Compliance with HUD SIX RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES, & MTO FAITH-BASED ORGANIZER @ Bethel/Sangamon Terraces -A HUD Subsidized Affordable Housing Senior Apartments Complex -Englewood’s 16th Ward.   





On Black Metropolis Chicago’s RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CO-OP CAFE-An Expression of Reformation Church Chicago’s Congregational-Based Community Organizing -PART 1-of-3

1.  We Unpack here, for our readers edification and our own self-understanding,  Wikpedia’s Definition of Congregational-Based Community Organizing as it relates to Reformation Church Chicago’s RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (ROBSC) -as follows:

A) “Community organizing describes a wide variety of efforts to empower residents in a local area to participate in civic life or governmental affairs. Most efforts that claim this label operate in low-income or middle-income areas, and have adopted at least some of the tactics and organizing techniques pioneered by Saul Alinsky and his Industrial Areas Foundation.”

A.1) ROBSC, then, is emergent as Reformation African American Lutheran Mission Church Chicago’s Congregational-Based community organizing initiative organically sprouting and growing out of the Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Affordable Housing Senior Complex of South Side Chicago’s 16th Ward.

A.2)  We come into being writing a requested letter of support -as an ordained Lutheran Ministry- of the rights of South Side Senior residents of Bethel/Sangamon Terraces to join in congregation for Sunday worship services weekly under the banner of Unchained Ministries (UM) -an initiative officially initiated and led by the complex’s former social service coordinator- Rev. Shavonda Fields -with the Rev. Booker Vance regularly assisting- and former long-time members of nearby Bethel-Imani Lutheran Church, as well as others, morally and actively supporting.

A.3)  The basic strategy of all faith-based i.e., Congregational-Based community organizing is regularly hosting public worship.  The UM worship is essentially an historic Black Church in-gathering and healing project.   Said public worship is liturgically held Sundays weekly. 

A.4)  Accordingly, to deny Bethel/Sangamon Terraces residents the right to join in common worship, as a integral part of UM Sundays weekly, in the community room of their HUD subsidized affordable housing complex, is to deny residents the right to practice their basic faith tradition, on their own terms, as essentially a faith-based residents organization.

A.5)  Such a formal Owner//Management denial (lockout) is inconsistent with HUD’S SIX RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES.  It is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights  as well as with the 14th Amendment of said constitution.  OwnerManagement’s lockout cannot stand.  It must be decisively walked back both under HUD’S residents organizations procedural rights and the nation’s Constitution.

B.  More, further unpacking Wikipedia’s Congregational-Based Community Organizing definition, the reference says “Other organizations in this tradition include PICO National NetworkGamaliel Foundation, and Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART).”

B.1)  Reformation Church Chicago’s distinction is its tradition of serving as a center of Congregational-Based Community Organizing by traditionally emerging as the sanctuary of young Barack Obama’s community organizing -from 1985-1987 plus. 

B.2)  Reformation, then, once served as the very public church sanctuary from which young Mr. Obama launched Developing Communities Project (DCP). 

B.3)  More, DCP served as an arm of the Calumet Community Religious Conference i.e., the community organizing employer of young Barack Obama. 

B.4)  Incidentally, young Mr. Obama once served on the Board of the Gamaliel Foundation resourced above.

B.4)  According to the Publications International Bible Dictionary “Rabban Gamalial I (‘God is my reward’)…(was) one of the the most respected religious scholars of his day.  He intervened with Sanhedrin on Peter and the apostles’ behalf (Acts 5:33-39).  Paul was one of his students.”


Respectfully submitted: Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), Pastor of Reformation African American Lutheran Mission Church Chicago, Convener of RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (More Than A Coffee Break), For Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Owner/Management’s Unconditional Compliance with HUD SIX RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES, & MTO FAITH-BASED ORGANIZER @ Bethel/Sangamon Terraces -A HUD Subsidized Affordable Housing Senior Apartments Complex -Englewood’s 16th Ward.   


1.  RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (More Than A Coffee Break) enthusiastically welcomes the current MTO electronic newsletter report covering the recent May 10, 2019 information picket (25 members strong) outside the office building of HUD’S MIDWEST REGIONAL HQ, 77 W. Jackson, downtown Chicago IL.

2.  According to MTO’S electronic newsletter-report ‘As the tenants chanted, “HUD don’t delay, Repairs in time for Mother’s Day!” outside of HUD’s downtown office, Joseph Galvan, HUD’s Regional Administrator for (Midwest) Region V, came out to talk.’

3.  More, the MTO electronic newsletter further reports that the MTO information picket’s spokesperson, ‘Jesse Johnson of Barbara Jean Wright Court ‘asked Mr. Galvan to meet with the tenants and to inspect the complex(es).  Mr. Galvan agreed to inspect the…complexes and to meet with the tenants (representatives) in his office on May 31st.’

4.  Given this welcome news, RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE will immediately seek to join the May 31st Galvan and MTO tenants meeting  @ HUD CHICAGO’S HQ in order to add its HUD RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS non-compliance grievance against Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Owner/Management Re: illegally denying our right to access  our complex’s community room to offer faith-based Sunday Worship serving especially, but not limited to, residents with limited mobility.

5.  ROBSC will also seek to become a coalition organizer of a town hall meeting on HUD’S Six Rights of Residents Organizations Rules.  linked here:  https://englewoodbiblestudies.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/genesis-huds-rights-of-residents-organization-rules/

6.  In seeking to play a catalytic coalition organizing role of a HUD RESIDENTS RIGHTS/RULES TOWN HALL MEETING, ROBSC will seek the collaboration of Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO).  ROBSC will also seek to build on MTO’S 2018 Town Hall on the challenges facing residents of Chicago’s subsidized housing.

7.  In addition to inviting top executives of Metro Chicago’s HUD Regional Office to present, ROBSC will extend invitations to present to Chicago’s Office of the Mayor, Hon. Lori Lightfoot, the Office of Cook County President, Hon. Toni Preckwinkle, as well as to incoming 16th Ward Alderman, Stephanie Coleman and  incoming 25th Ward Alderman, Byron Sigcho-Lopez, the latter also serving as an MTO Board Member.

8.  ROBSC will further seek the participation of Chicago representatives of former HUD Secretary, Julian Castro and the 2020 Julian Castro Presidential Campaign.  Ms. Aysha Butler of Residents Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) will also be invited to join RODSC’S Town Hall.  

9.  More, at the Congressional level, the ROBSC Town Hall will also seek participation from the office of Congressman Bobby Rush.  At the State level it will seek to invite the participation of the office of Illinois Lt. Governor, Hon. Juliana Stratton.  At the Illinois Assembly level, ROBSC’s Town Hall will invite the participation of Representative Delia Ramirez.

10.  Finally, ROBSC will invite the support of the Housing Workshop of the recent On the Table Memo to the Mayor Meet-up hosted by Urban Partnership Bank and Nonprofit Utopia.  It will also invite the participation of Illinois Appellate Court Justice Nathaniel Howse and Judge Marian Perkins to serve as Town Hall Meeting Co-Moderators. 

11.  ROBSC’S prospective Town Hall Meeting sites include A) JoAnn Thompson Community Room of Bethel/Sangamon Terraces, B) Bethel/Imani Lutheran Church next door, C) Englewood’s Hamilton Park Field House, D) Ogden Park Field House, E) Linblom Park Field House and//or Mather’s Chatham (More Than A Cafe) 83rd Street, just East of the Dan Ryan.       

Respectfully submitted: Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), Pastor of Reformation African American Lutheran Mission Church Chicago, Convener of RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (More Than A Coffee Break), For Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Owner/Management’s Unconditional Compliance with HUD SIX RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES, & MTO FAITH-BASED ORGANIZER @ Bethel/Sangamon Terraces -A HUD Subsidized Affordable Housing Senior Apartments Complex -Englewood’s 16th Ward.   

Rev. Joel Washington’s (Khunanpu Sangoma’s) Open Letter to Candidate Julian Castro and the 2020 Julian Castro Presidential Campaign -Re: Supporting BLACK METROPOLIS CHICAGO’s RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE’s HUD Six (6) RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES @ Bethel & Sangamon Terraces Affordable Senior Housing Complex -Off South Side’s Englewood Square -16th Ward

Dear Candidate Julian Castro and the 2020 Julian Castro Presidential Campaign,

1. Because former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, Julian Castro, is a 2020 Democratic Party Primaries Presidential Candidate; because Mr. Castro has recently served as HUD Secretary from 2014-2017 -under President Barack Obama’s Administration- we are inviting Candidate Julian Castro’s and the 2020 Julian Castro Presidential Campaign’s moral and active support of our faith-based community organizing rights at South Side Chicago’s Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Affordable Senior Housing Complex -16th Ward.   

2.  We speak here of Owner/Management’s violations of  our residents faith-based civil rights to self- organize that are fully protected by HUD’s Six (6) RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES, versus the open trampling of said rights/rules @ 900 West 63rd PKWY, Chicago IL, 60621, 16th Ward.

3.  More, RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (More Than A Coffee Break) hereby openly appeals to Candidate Julian Castro and the 2020 Julian Castro Presidential Campaign to help us walk-back Bethel/Sangamon Terraces’ Owner/Management Team’s unfair housing governance posturing illegally expressed in the following extracted email quote addressed to our faith-based residents organization immediately below (also available via email): 

4.  “Rev. Mr. Joel Washington, Residents Only Bible Study Cafe, April 16, 2019

        “On April 8, 2019 it was brought to my attention that you wish to hold a 2019 Easter Sunday church service in the JoAnn Thompson Community Room.  Please be advised moving forward and abiding by our guidelines and polices, church services are no longer permitted on the premises

“Best Regards,

“Beatrice Jasper, President, Sangamon Terrace Board

“(Other) Board of Directors: Aileen Johnson, Secretary; Steven Hunter, Assistant Secretary; Members: Artena Samuels, Arthur Robertson, Leonard Murray.”

5.  The above Owner/Management letter, communicated on Sangamon Terrace Board of Directors Letterhead, 6145 S. Sangomon, Chicago IL 60621, is a crystal clear violation of the following HUD RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES outlined as follows -in an information packet handout to all HUD residents:







NOTE A:  The above HUD RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES are consistent with, indeed echo, both the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.  The former is traditionally dubbed an integral part of the “Bill of Rights.”  The latter is traditionally dubbed the “Due process civil rights” amendment itself extended not only to all federal agencies but also to all State and Local government jurisdictions as well as all U.S. citizens as a whole.

NOTE B:  Whereas, the Sangamon/Terrace Board document, previously quoted, is completely inconsistent HUD SIX (6) RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ORGANIZATIONS RULES;   

Whereas, the Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Owner/Management . document is blatantly inconsistent with the rights of BLACK METROPOLIS CHICAGO RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (More Than A Coffee Break);

Whereas, the Bethel/Sangamon Terrace Board’s letter is additionally inconsistent  with our  constitutionally guaranteed civil right to assemble in our common HUD affordable housing community room on our own terms;  

Whereas, the Bathel/Sangamon Terraces Board letter is also nakedly inconsistent with our civil right to worship in said space according to the light of our own ecumenical faith;

Be it resolved; that  we invite former Secretary of HUD, Julian Castro, as well as his 2020 Presidential Campaign’s moral and active support toward upholding the faith-based organizational rights of BLACK METROPOLIS CHICAGO’S RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (More Than A Coffee Break) at Bethel and Sangamon Terraces Affordable Senior Housing Complex on South Side Chicago -16th Ward.

Respectfully submitted: Rev. Joel Washington (Khunanpu Sangoma), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Retired Leadership Roster, Metro Chicago Synod, # 1012 Resident & Convener of, by and for RESIDENTS ONLY BIBLE STUDY CAFE (More Than A Coffee Break), Bethel/Sangamon Terraces Affordable Senior Housing Complex, 900 W. 63rd PKWY, Chicago IL 60621 -16th Ward

Contact: Email: JKWASHINGTON@comcast.net

Text, text, text: 773-499-3323







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