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
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
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 me out!
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH