By Veronica Ocasio,
New Life Covenant Church On Tuesday, July 12th, Pastor Wilfredo “Choco” De Jesus, Senior Pastor of New Life Covenant Church kicked-off his national “Love Life” campaign as over 400 families marched up the hill at their Humboldt Park campus and read the names on the 352 white crosses of all the people killed in Chicago since January 2016. They will continue to add crosses to remind people that we all must be part of the solution in ending the senseless murders in Chicago. Pastor Choco shared the following sentiments. • This past month has been a sobering reminder that evil exists all around us. We are living in perilous times in which hate and the devaluing of life through violence is dominating the headline news and perpetuating fear among all who witness these heinous acts almost in real-time. My deepest condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones to hate and violence in Orlando, Louisiana, Minnesota, Dallas, Chicago and all around the U.S. and the world. • In Chicago, the increase in violence is one of the greatest challenges we are currently facing. According to the Chicago Tribune, on average, 10 people a day are shot and innocent children are in the direct line of fire. Gangs, drugs, poverty, economic and educational disparities are the primary causes of the violence plaguing poor communities of color like Humboldt Park where New Life Covenant Church’s Main Campus is located. • Churches need to be a catalyst for change by going outside the four walls and building bridges with the police, community organizations, residents, youth, politicians, schools and yes, gang members, drug addicts, parolees, prostitutes and others to be a source of hope, to help build relationships that foster reconciliation, understanding and peace. • Change requires time, a long-term commitment and a lot of prayer. The Bible tells us in Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
• My hope is that our “Love Life” Campaign will challenge churches across the U.S. to engage their neighborhoods by hosting community events, by meeting with the police and serving the least of these. To bring the hope and love of Christ to all they encounter.
On Saturday, August 6th from 10am – 2pm New Life Covenant Church (3400 W. Division St.) will be hosting their annual back-toschool event “HopeFest” highlighting their “Love Life” campaign. They will be giving away FREE book bags, school supplies, health/dental screenings, community resources, haircuts and provide a fun and safe children’s area for all the families who attend. For more information please call (773) 384-7113.