The Michigan Roundtable’s Bridging the Congregational Divide Working Group, comprised of religious leaders throughout southeast Michigan, is calling for places of worship to leave a light on from Friday, Jan. 16 through Tuesday, Jan. 20, to recognize the historic election of President Obama and the Jan. 19 Martin Luther King holiday.
“The Dr. King Holiday and the President Obama Inauguration provide a unique convergence of events that offer hope for all who care about diversity and inclusion,” said Steve Spreitzer, director of Community Inclusion at the Michigan Roundtable. “Our working group thought that by encouraging places of faith to leave a light on during this period, we could help all Americans reflect about the progress we have made in diversity, pray about the work we all face, and renew our hope for the future.”
The working group also encouraged religious leaders to read the following litany during their liturgies the weekend of Jan. 16 to 18.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday
and President Barack Hussein Obama Inauguration
LEADER: Creator, Giver of Life and Divine Spirit
awaken each life to the calendar of the historical
and the celebration of the unprecedented.
In symbolism of the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr.,
and the blessings for our nation, we illuminate our faith community.
PEOPLE: May this day inspire hope and light, not insult and doubt.
Despite past strife we strive to rise above our struggles.
Contrary to engineered conflict and division
we journey toward healing and restoration.
LEADER: Standing in both good light and bad times —
hope sustains us,
faith secures us
and unity stabilizes us.
Let us abolish all pride and every prejudice that
prevents coalition building.
PEOPLE: As citizens of faith and freedom
we ignite our lights to demonstrate support for the success
of this country’s unprecedented change of governmental leadership.
We petition our Ultimate Being for safe passage
and honorable celebration for country and communities
of the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama,
the 44th president of these United States of America.
(The Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion is a nonprofit, human relations organization that seeks to eliminate discrimination and racism by working proactively across racial, religious, ethnic, and cultural boundaries. The Roundtable helps build sustainable, inclusive communities, businesses and institutions through diversity training, advocacy, conflict resolution, interfaith collaboration, youth leadership training, and community dialogue. For more information, visit www.miroundtable.org.)