Featured this month as part of the Soul Matters theme, The Gifts of Justice and Equity is “Strength for the Struggle” by Joseph Ellwanger, a UUCW pulpit guest last year. The book tells about his work primarily in black churches both in Birmingham, Alabama and Milwaukee. It was recommended by David Herrewig. Here are his comments on the book.

“This is a very engaging book, much different from what I imagined and well worth reading. Rev. Ellwanger has led an amazing life and been in the forefront of many social justice issues we deal with today. However, this book is not an autobiography; rather it’s a description of how his ministry and his congregations dealt with the many issues that our society faces.

Rev. Ellwanger draws on his experiences as a pastor with a black Lutheran congregation in Birmingham, Alabama; and on his 34 years at Cross Lutheran Church in Milwaukee (on 16th Street south of Fond du Lac); and on his later membership at Hephatha Lutheran Church (18th & Locust). Most congregations face the subjects he discusses.

In addition to his strong advocacy of social justice causes, one of his most valuable gifts to our community has been developing and recruiting talented individuals. Two examples: The Rev. Marilyn Miller, who spoke at UUCW, grew up and served in Cross Church before studying for the ministry. Rev. Ellwanger also brought Venice Williams to Cross Church in the late 1980s. She went on to found Alice’s Garden and has spoken at UUCW more than once.”

“Strength for the Struggle” can be found on the Soul Matters shelf in the UUCW library.  Its call number is 261.7 Ell or it is available at Amazon or your local public library.

If you need more information about the library and its books, contact Carolyn Lawrence.