“Our Souls Say ‘YES!’ ”
Celebrating The Birthday of
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2011
From the Desk of Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson,
Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches
We live in such powerful, challenging times! In the U.S., violence stalks our leaders, judges and members of Congress, children seeking just to learn and senior citizens wanting their voices to be heard. Metropolitan Community Churches everywhere are challenged to align ourselves with the spirituality and lifestyle of non-violence so passionately lived and articulated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is ironic that the U.S. state of Arizona was a hold-out for celebrating this now federally recognized holiday so long ago. In this time of fear, dangerously violent rhetoric and tensions around immigration and so many other important issues, it is Arizona that is the focal point of violence this week.
This is not a need in Arizona alone but every state in the US, and every region of the world. From Tucson to Kandahar, from Uganda to New Orleans, we need the courage, the faith in each other, the kind of perseverance in peace and justice that defined Dr. King’s crusade, life and ministry.
I want to invite all of you to join me, in prayer if not in person, in an historic and unique celebration in Charlotte, North Carolina this coming weekend. I will be there to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Unity Fellowship Church in Charlotte, with their pastor, Bishop Tonyia Rawls. Joining me will be Archbishop Carl Bean, Founder of the Unity Fellowship Church Movement; Bishop Yvette Flunder, Founder of The Fellowship; Dr. Juan Battle, of the Graduate Center of City University of New York; and our own Stan Kimer, the new President of the North Carolina Council of Churches. We will be learning and worshipping, and becoming community together, for peace and justice, in this critical time in our country and world.
During weekend, President Stan Kimer will welcome Unity Fellowship Church of Charlotte, officially, as full members of the North Carolina Council of Churches, joining MCC churches who already belong. This is an historic first, and a cause for great celebration. It is another way to express our unity and solidarity as brothers and sisters in Christ with a common mission and passion for inclusion.
This gathering is a prelude to our upcoming People of African Descent Conference, later this year, in May, where we will gather a coalition of organizations in making our presence felt and our voice heard for justice and non-violence, in the U.S. capitol. Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, PAD Conference Convener, says, “at no other time in recent history has our presence and message been so vital to the spiritual and political well-being of our nation and world: what kind of a country, what kind of a world will we leave as our legacy?”
MCC, in solidarity with so many others, we are the keepers of an amazing dream that must not die! MCC was born in the year Dr. King died, and the choice is ours to keep hope alive, to speak up for peace, for non-violence, and for the kind of inclusive justice that will heal our world. Dr. King’s memory does not belong to this nation or to one community alone, but to anyone who will offer their gifts and lives to that vision.
I ask every MCC congregation, this weekend, in some way, to be in solidarity with those in your community who need justice, hope or peace, in your worship and in your service; and to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we gather in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Nancy Wilson