Brothers and Sisters:
I have not had the chance to reach as many personally about this proposed
event as I would like. You know how busy the time is "fierce
urgency of now!" The event is being worked on by members of First
United Methodist Church including Ira Greene (known Rev. Lawson
for 30 years!), Rupert Seals, and LD Lovett. So far other organizations
interested in sponsoring or supporting the event include the Progressive
Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), the Latino Research Center and
Great Basin Peace Action/Sierra Interfaith Action for Peace.
I would love to
hear from persons as well as groups and congregations who are interested
in planning and carrying through and inviting persons (especially young
persons) to the events of this weekend.
PLEASE feel free
to respond with any questions or concerns as well as interests and commitments.
My phone numbers are (775) 322-4564 or 322-2013.
Just to let you
know where my heart for this is coming from Julie and I were
less than three years into our marriage and had spent two of those years
in the Peace Corps and had no idea what to do next when Dr. King
was assassinated. Even though I had never been a conscious Christian
or church person, and Julie would never have married a preacher (her
dad, grand-dad, uncles, etc., all were!), in those days of turmoil especially
in all the cities, I know in my heart I had to make some response.
I had never considered
a call to seminary or even to preach in my life. But I enrolled immediately
in a seminary in Chicago and stayed there 24 years, serving two inner-city
churches most of that time.
While I never want
to "blame" Dr. by "the unfinished business" of his
life and work especially in that last year or so when he challenged
the war and militarism and insisted that civil rights under law were
human rights under God and included economic justice for the poorest
and most marginalized such as the sanitation workers in Memphis
and the whole Poor Peoples March/Resurrection City in Washington, DC.
That part of his life and story and legacy seems so crucial to our time
and place. Again we face whether a war (maybe any war!) is worth the
sacrifices not only where and by whom it is fought, but also here at
home by all whose lives are lessened by the loss of so many resources
leading to losses of homes, jobs, health benefits child care
and education, etc., etc.
Dr. King's last
book asked "Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?"
As Dr. Taylor preached
so powerfully on Dr. King's Birthday this year, the Bible poses the
very same 40-year question to every generation and especially
to ours Where do we go from here: wilderness or promised land?
In the end of that
book, Dr. King envisions "The World House" in which
so much that divides and conquers, separates and isolates us from one
another here and around the world is overcome by the work
of justice! which is organized love in action.
That is why we
hope to offer this weekend of Rev. Lawson's experience and reflections
and ours! in light of our own community needs, desires,
Thank you for hearing
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH