In 2010 ISAAC brought to us “Be the Beloved Community” under the leadership of Executive Director Rachael Tanner and Community Organizers Jomil Wells and Rev. Nathan Dannison. I thank them for this powerful foundation and their awesome work!
The year 2017 has brought fear and concern of the unknown, as well as divisiveness as a nation. We at ISAAC proclaim we will not shrink in fear nor shut our eyes to injustice; but we will continue to stand firmly and to work tirelessly together to ensure social justice for all in our community.
ISAAC invites you to Be the Beloved Community Part 2. By participating in ISAAC programming, you and your congregation/organization can be part of the revolution in values required to establish the Beloved Community. With the power of agape love at the center, Kalamazoo County can become the Beloved Community.
What exactly is the Beloved Community?
In December 1956, 11 months into the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Dr. Martin King Jr. preached about the Beloved Community saying:
“But we must remember as we boycott that a boycott is not an end within itself; it is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor and challenge his false sense of superiority. But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform…”
King envisions the Beloved Community as the result of nonviolent conflict. The Beloved Community is an integrated, democratic reality, while not devoid of conflict, is free of violence. It is a place in which our deepest values of abundance, equality, community, hope, and most of all love are infused into our policies and practices so that every man and woman is held as beloved. Even in the 1950’s, technological advancement bore the first fruits of globalization. In response, King prophetically noted that:
“…our world is geographically one. Now we are faced with the challenge of making it spiritually one. Through our scientific genius we have made of the world a neighborhood; now through our moral and spiritual genius we must make of it a brotherhood.”
How far have we come towards realizing the Beloved Community? Looking at our segregated worship services, noting the rising violence and continued discrimination against racial, religious and other minorities and realizing the recent national transitions, we could say we are not as far as we ought to be and there is danger of moving backwards.
But, there’s still time…
Join us this year! More details will soon follow.
Dr. Charlae Davis, Executive Director