Yesterday when I went into the Unitarian Universalist service at our First Parish Church of Groton, the "banner" that you see below had been proudly placed front and center in the sanctuary. Produced by the dedicated hands of one of our members, the banner shows the dozens of organizations that members of the Church work with — providing service to our community.
|The entire service, today, was inspired by the life and teachings of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. By his own leadership-by-example, he demonstrated unequivocally that “Love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems” — even when doing so flies in the face of our other instincts, and even when it seems hopeless.|
Another pervasive theme was that “Service ” provides us all a pathway to greatness. Anyone — no matter what your life situation — anyone can be of service, not as an "isolated act" but rather as a way of being, day-to-day.
I was very inspired by the service. It left me reassessing the ways in which service is a part of my life.
|After the heart-felt and very moving reading by Paul Harter, Jr — excerpts from MLK's “Presidential Address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference” in August 1967 — some in the congregation stood up in affirmation and many joined us in spontaneous applause. |
I was also moved by these excerpts from MLK's speech, “The Quest for Peace and Justice”, delivered on the occasion of him receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, on Dec. 11, 1964 — in the reading by Dave Hill. Likewise, Rev. Elea Kemler's sermon, “Reflections on Service”, was also very inspirational.
As we all look back on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2010… let us reflect upon the values and teachings of this great man. And let us rededicate ourselves to Service as our fundamental action, and Love, as a context for living.