May the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the gains in both civil rights and social justice inspire us all as we continue to work together to create a community that is truly and fully welcoming of all people regardless of their religion, disability, culture, gender, or sexual orientation.
The national observance of MLK Day provides an opportunity for our nation and our local community to come together around the values of Compassion and Love. These values are celebrated and cherished across cultures and religions.
Love and Compassion have the potential to heal and cultivate greater understanding in the aftermath of angry contests, conflicts, or disputes.
I would like to invite each of you to dedicate the next 27 days to living into love for your family, your neighbors, the community at large, the strangers you meet, and even those you might not agree with. For the next four weeks, may we seek first to be loving and compassionate in all our relations, encounters, and confrontations.
This may at first sound impossible. After all, we each have our own unique perspectives, interests, and motivations. The challenge for us will be to focus our perspectives, interests, and motivations through the lens of Compassion and Love in our conversations, choices, and public actions.
May Love and Compassion bring each of us More Life and More Joy in the next thirty days and beyond.
Rev. Mark C. Pafford
Chaplain and Minister