What exactly is the Beloved Community?

ISAAC invites you to Be the Beloved Community. By participating in ISAAC programming, you, your congregation, your 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.

Early in his ministry Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached about the Beloved Community. Addressing the Institute on Nonviolent Social Change in December 1956, 11 months into the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Dr. Martin King said,

“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, leaving our racially and economically segregated neighborhoods for work, or noting the rising violence on the streets perhaps we can say we have not come as far as we ought.

But, there’s still time…