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Emancipation Proclamation to be focus of CL service

CRYSTAL LAKE – The United States on Tuesday celebrated the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves. 

The proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln will be highlighted at the 10 a.m. worship service Sunday at First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake, 461 Pierson St. 

The church’s senior minister, the Rev. Dr. Gilbert (Budd) Friend-Jones, will speak on “A Liberating Epiphany: Lincoln’s Conscience and the Congregational Connection.”

Lincoln’s eight-year, collaborative relationship with an Illinois clergyman, the Rev. Owen Lovejoy, was one of the more significant factors that influenced Lincoln’s decision to declare slaves free. Lovejoy, whom Lincoln considered “my best friend in Congress,” served the Hampshire Colony Congregational Church of Princeton.

Over the years, Lincoln and Lovejoy differed on strategies to end slavery. Lovejoy patiently waited and consistently supported all of Lincoln’s more-moderate initiatives while advocating his own, more-radical approaches.

By June 6, 1862, however, Lovejoy declared, “It is my deep and solemn conviction that the Emancipation of the Slave is essential to the safety and perpetuity of the Republic.”

Emancipation was proclaimed by the president less than six months later. 

For information, call Friend-Jones at 224-623-9200.

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