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Bethany UCC’s pastor meets with President Obama

Angela Ying, pastor at Bethany United Church of Christ in Seattle, as a minister and social justice leader in the community, was invited to meet with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on Dec. 12.

Angela Ying, center, converses with Michelle Obama.  Photo courtesy of Bethany UCC

Angela represented Bethany United Church of Christ, Seattle, the Pacific Northwest Conference and the United Church of Christ during her visit.

Only 200 leaders were invited to personally meet with the Obamas at the White House.

Angela, the founding pastor of Bethany UCC, was given this opportunity because she was awarded by the City of Seattle for her social justice work.

Bethany United Church of Christ continues to be in the forefront of social justice in the community and city through its justice work.

Bethany was founded in 2000 as an intentionally multiracial, multicultural and intergenerational church.  It is about a third Asian, a third black and the rest white, Hispanic, Native American and mixed races.  Its music styles reflect its diversity.

When the former Beacon Ave. UCC, which had roots back to 1906, dwindled to a few members, they partnered with Plymouth UCC in Seattle to start the diverse church.

Now the Facebook entries for the inclusive justice filled community of faith often begin: “You are Beloved! I am Beloved! We are Beloved! All are Beloved of God!”

Church staff sent a list of some of the current justice and outreach ministries of the church.

Its work with immigrants and refugees includes partnership with Syrian refugees and their families.

Bethany’s youth leadership is working on ending institutionalized racism, economic injustice and police brutality.

Its Freedom School, Seattle Young People’s Project, Black Out, Youth Undoing Institutionalized Racism and Ending the Prison Industrial Complex operate on the Bethany UCC campus in partnership with the church.

Each year, the church feeds 50,000 guests and distributes food through its church food bank, which is 12 noon 2 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays.

In addition, Bethany provides free half-day and full-day preschool, or a sliding scale for families who cannot otherwise afford preschool in its neighborhood.  The preschool is offered in partnership with Refugee Women’s Alliance.

Bethany members work to raise the minimum wage, find safe housing and speak out that “all are beloved of God.”

Bethany UCC provides “dynamic and diverse” worship and music every week, as a cross-cultural, multi-racial, ethnically diverse, open and affirming congregation.

Angela, who is senior pastor of Bethany UCC, is the first, second-generation Taiwanese American ever ordained in the United States.

She was one of six women awarded at City Hall by the city of Seattle for her community work in justice and peace.

Angela has also been invited to be a keynote speaker and pastor in residence at her alma mater, Princeton Theological Seminary, where she received the preaching and urban ministry awards, as part of their Engle Institute.

For information, call 206-725‐7535 or email


Copyright © February 2016 - Pacific Northwest Conference News


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