After the Palm Sunday 2014 shootings by a neo-Nazi that killed three people at Jewish sites in the Kansas City area, Mindy Corporon (pictured here), whose son and father were murdered, joined with the LaManno family, who lost Terri LaManno that day, to say no to hatred.
They created a week-long event that lets people focus on compassion, love, mercy and other needed approaches to counter the evil of what happened that day and continues to happen in other ways in other venues.
The organization created to sponsor the week has just announced that "SevenDays™: Make a Ripple, Change the World" will take place for the third year from Tuesday, April 18, through Monday, April 24, 2017.
The annual week of attention to kindness, love and connections has captured the imagination of many Kansas Citians. And Mindy has emerged from the catastrophe as a remarkable model of how to respond to malevolence. A year after the shootings, I spoke with Mindy about her understanding of evil and wrote about that conversation here.
And earlier this year I participated in the annual SevenDays™ walk, and wrote about it here.
For next year the week's daily themes will be "Love, Discover, Others, Connect, Go, You and Onward" (represented by the buttons you see pictured at left). You can read about all that at the link above I have you on the words "just announced."
In W. H. Auden's famous poem, "September 1, 1939," about the beginning of World War II, he concludes that despite the darkness and impending disasters, we are required to "show an affirming flame."
In essence, that's what Seven Days gives Kansas Citians a chance to do as we remember Mindy's son, Reat Underwood, her father, William Corporon, and Terri LaManno. (The shooter was trying to kill Jews but wound up murdering three Christians.)
Whatever motivated his hatred, the rest of us have a chance to reject it and any other signs of hatred publicly and together in unison through these coming seven days.
(P.S.: If you're reading this via Facebook, please share it. Thanks, Bill.)
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CHURCHES OFFERING SANCTUARY FOR IMMIGRANTS
Around the country, churches are declaring that they will provide "sanctuary" space for undocumented immigrants in light of threats by the incoming Trump administration to deport millions of them. Civil disobedience always requires an acceptance of the consequences and, in this case, a careful understanding of the individual circumstances of those being protected so that churches don't wind up protecting people who really should be considered for deportation. But there's a long history of faith communities challenging government rules and processes, and it's encouraging to see that continuing.