Archive for January, 2012

Dear Friends in the Spirit:

At the MLK breakfast in Springfield this morning, politicians, students, church people, concerned citizens and boy scouts gathered to honor for the 30th year of Wesley UMC’s Scholarship MLK Breakfast and this year’s scholarship recipient–the remarkable Brittney Marie Gonzalez from Central High (finishing 1st in her class, a math/science tutor, varsity volleyball & tennis player, school and church leader).  As a Flight Commander in the JROTC, she was flanked by her Colonel and she spoke passionately against militarism and war.

MLK’s wisdom, as well as the example he offered of “walking the talk,” live on and many of his speeches are as relevant today as when they were first spoken:

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.  We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing oriented’ society.  When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

(“Beyond Vietnam”, 4/4/67)

“We find ourselves in a new era in our struggle for genuine equality and it is much more difficult because it is much easier to integrate lunch counters than it is to eradicate slums.  It is easier to guarantee the right to vote than it is to create jobs or guarantee an annual income.”

(“Why we must go to Washington”, 1/15/68)

Even more than the inspiring words of the MLK and the other speakers (and they were impressive) was the spirit of those gathered– a diverse audience of those committed to the struggle, knowing that it is not an easy road ahead but desiring to do what each has the power to do to address racism, materialism and militarism.  The Mistress of Ceremonies sent us out with this quote from Dr. King:

Let us therefore continue our triumphal march to the realization of the American dream.  For all of us today, the battle is in our hands.  The road ahead is not altogether a smooth one.  There are no broad highways that lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions.

My colleague in Rhode Island, Ed Farrell-Starbuck asks this question of us in this political season….

When we come to worship we gather around God’s alternative perspective which promotes and celebrates a different set of values, ones revealed, preached and embodied in Jesus and those who have dared follow his costly way through two millennium.  How is the ‘Jesus perspective’ shaping your values, actions and voting preferences? What kind of witness is your life and mine making?

Happy Birthday Dr. King.   May we continue to dream with you and live into that dream.



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