So I didn't even know Forest Lawn HAD an MLK Day celebration ... much less that this was the "11th Annual" until I was invited to give the Benediction.
It was a lovely event ... with great music by the "Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Chorus" (what an inspiring bunch of young people!) and a whole big auditorium full up of people and I was honored to get to have the "last word" ... which was a few brief words linking the "arc of the moral universe bending toward justice" quote with Abraham Heschel's call for prophets to "comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable" and then ending with the BCP prayer for "the human family" -- with a little Amos thrown in at the end:
Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne so that justice may roll down like waters and righetousness like an ever flowing stream.And then I finished with the "Newark Blessing" (which I inherited from Liz Habecker who inherited it from Jack Spong:)
Holy God, Send us anywhere you would have us go, only go there with us. Place upon us any burden you desire, only stand by us to sustain us. Break any tie that binds us, except the tie that binds us to you. And the blessing of God Almighty, Creating, Redeeming and Sustaining, be with you -- those you love, serve and challenge -- this day and forever. Amen.And that was my Sunday night. Got home in time to watch the Golden Globes ... which turned out to be a good thing since our local KNBC news folks called this morning looking for reaction to Jodie Foster's "coming out" speech. But that's another blog! :)