May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


For MLK Interfaith Event at Heinz Chapel on the University of Pitt Campus

Greetings, my name is Joel Gilbertson-White. I am the coordinator for the Unitarian Universalist Campus Community at First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh. My other role at First Unitarian is working as our Social Justice Coordinator, so it gives me great pleasure to be here tonight, for the invocation of this Interfaith event commemorating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr -- a leader who played a pivotal role in helping bend the arc of the universe toward justice.

This is a critical time for justice – as much as ever, people's lives are on the line – in Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, the United States, and the world. And you are the young adults and the people who care, with energy, passion, and strong dreams about things that really matter. I pray each of us will firmly remember our time together today, on January 18, 2013, and hear this day call to you to bring the people in your life together for the issues that most make you come alive – be it racial equity, gender equity, a just distribution of wealth, safe streets, marriage rights, or any of scores of other issues that would benefit from our attention.

And as we do that, I beseech that you consider your passions more than your thoughts of duty to action that you've been
told you should, or that you think you should be doing. Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman played an influential part in the ministry of Dr. King. He said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” May this be our year to more fully come alive, and bring others to life!

I will close with this charge from the classical Sanskrit Poet Kalidasa,
“Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities
and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of beauty;
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision;
But today, well lived, makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!

Here and now is the only time for accomplishment. May today's accomplishment be the commitment of our hearts and minds to Rev. Dr. King's vision, and making plans to make the dreams real. May our gathering together in community be a blessing to the world. Amen.

Labels: , , , , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

free page hit counter