With sweat pouring down his face and the jubilant sound of drums, keyboards, and a hundred pairs of clapping hands before him, Pastor Kelcy Steele revved up one of New Haven’s most influential African-American congregations to make their presence known at the polls this Tuesday.
During a week when Christians will contemplate the death and resurrection of a savior, the Rev. William J. Barber II, the leader of a revived national Poor People’s Campaign, stopped by Yale University’s Battell Chapel Tuesday night to point the way for how the United States of America might resurrect its moral compass.
A low, grounded Buddhist chant to unleash compassion and a long, melodious reading of verses from the Koran were very unlikely to have been heard at Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green when that gorgeous Gothic building was erected back in 1816.’
Sunday night those sounds — along with prayers to Allah, Adonai, Jesus the Risen Lord, and Siva — filled up the sanctuary, along with 200 parishioners and admirers and 13 clergy members from a wide range of New Haven faiths and denomination.