Proclamation Thanking Jacqui Lewis for 10 Years of Ministry

January 15, 2014

On Sunday, January 12, 2014 the Middle Collegiate Church Consistory presented a proclamation thanking Rev. Jacqueline Lewis, Ph.D. for ten years of ministry. Read the full proclamation now:


Whereas The Reverend Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D. began serving Middle Collegiate Church on January 1, 2004 and was installed in 2005 as the first woman and the first Black senior minister to lead one of the Collegiate Churches of New York since its founding in 1628; and

Whereas Dr. Lewis was inspired as a child by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy for civil rights, economic justice, and human rights and felt called to live out King’s activism in her ministry with Middle Church; and

Whereas Dr. Lewis is a visionary who seeks for all God’s people — Black, White, Latino, Asian, Native American, and those who belong to more than one racial or ethnic group; straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex; old, and young — to see themselves as the Light of God and a part of the Reign of God’s peace; and

Whereas Dr. Lewis is deeply invested in marching, preaching, and singing for racial, economic, and LGBTI justice, and continues the legacy of the Reverend Gordon Dragt at Middle Church, a congregation known for standing for and with the marginalized; and

Whereas Dr. Lewis and the congregation of Middle Church stood for racial justice as they worshiped in hoodies after Trayvon Martin was murdered and after George Zimmerman was acquitted, standing in solidarity for all those who are “othered” because of their race, sexuality, or appearance and inspiring all God’s children to seek peace and justice; and

Whereas Middle Church is committed to care that nurtures the mind, body, and spirit through a food pantry, clothing boutique, and weekly warm meals to those with HIV/AIDS and homeless LGBT youth, and Dr. Lewis and dedicated volunteers expanded the feeding ministry to serve two local parks and launch a food truck; and

Whereas the Middle Church congregation and Dr. Lewis stood for LGBTI rights long before it was popular and blessed same-sex couples before it was legal, worked tirelessly as the New York State Senate debated marriage for all, and celebrated legal same-sex marriage with a fabulous triple wedding during a Sunday morning worship celebration; and

Whereas Dr. Lewis, the clergy, and Consistory are guiding the Middle Church family through the lengthy and sometimes annoying renovation of the Middle Church parish house, ever mindful that the new building with an elevator will welcome all—just as they are as they come through the door; and
 Whereas under Dr. Lewis’ leadership, Middle Church has celebrated its identity as a teaching church and experienced deepening connections to God and one another through prayer teams, spiritual retreats, and educational offerings that rival any university; and

Whereas Dr. Lewis founded The Middle Project with her husband, the Reverend John Janka, to train ethical leaders to organize for the marginalized outside sanctuary walls, training young adults and congregational leaders from around the country in leading multiethnic/multicultural settings through seminars and visits to the living laboratory of Middle Church; and

Whereas under Dr. Lewis’s leadership, Middle Collegiate Church witnessed record growth in membership, activism, and spirituality, spurred by transformational worship in the sanctuary and online

Therefore, the Deacons and Elders of the Consistory of Middle Collegiate Church in the City of New York authorize and instruct the members, faithful adherents, first-time visitors, and the merely curious in attendance, that is, the entire congregation to

The Reverend Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D.
for her 10 years as a Collegiate minister
in partnership in ministry
at Middle Collegiate Church.
Presented on the 12th day of January 2014

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Download a copy of the Proclamation now External Link

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