Progressive D.C. Church Tries to Move On From Internal Strife, Accusations of Racism

All Souls Church Unitarian, a progressive congregation noted in Washington, D.C. for the zeal with which it embraces social justice activism, is trying to mend internal rifts brought about by accusations of racism from its own former associate minister.

The All Souls Church has always prided itself as a "diverse, spirit-growing, justice-seeking" congregation, as well as one of the most multiracial of flocks in Washington. That's why the accusations from the Rev. Susan Newman Moore, who has been the associate minister for more than seven years before her exit, was all the more divisive, as The Washington Post, via The Salt Lake Tribune, recalled.

As Moore and her supporters would have it, her status as a black female pastor was a factor in what they deemed to be a bias in her evaluation, especially when compared to Senior Minister Rob Hardies, a popular minister for the 1,100-strong group who was also white.

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Aside from the Rev, Moore's claim that she was the only black person given a full-time professional position in the church, Moore also alleged that she was not given fair treatment. According to the pastor, she was underpaid and often given fewer days off for vacation.

It's been three months after All Souls finally settled the matter with the Rev. Moore via a private arrangement. Even then, some of their members continue to stage silent protests about the perceived "racism" by not showing up in the church services, especially when the Rev. Hardies is presiding.

As for the Rev. Moore herself, a representative said that she has been "emotionally drained" from the whole debate, and has since stepped down from being a full-time minister in the meantime.

The Rev. Moore has also returned to the Baptist denomination where she was ordained in the 1970s.

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