The responses to the April 2014 murders of three people at Jewish institutions in the Kansas City area continue. And thank goodness for that because those responses stand not only against the barbaric neo-Nazi thinking that led to the murders but, maybe as importantly, they stand for worthwhile values of love, faith and kindness.
The Faith Always Wins Foundation organizers of the annual Give Seven Days events in Kansas City recently announced what's on the schedule for this year's commemoration, and I hope you'll give the list a careful read now and commit to being part of a community that is trying to say no to hate.
But first, by way of background about these annual events, here is a Flatland column I did a year-plus about about Mindy Corporon (pictured at left), whose father and son were murdered that day. And here is my recent Flatland column about Jim LaManno (pictured at right), whose wife was murdered that same day by the same neo-Nazi.
Here's what the organizers have announced is on tap for this year:
- Kindness Student Art Show @ KC Public Library Plaza Branch- Student Art Show
- Opening Reception Tuesday, February 18 (evening)
- First Fridays ‘The Art of Kindness’ Show @ Buttonwood Art Space
- Monday, Feb. 3-Thursday April 23; First Fridays event, March 6 - 6-9 p.m.
- LOVE Day- Love in the Community & Awards Ceremony @ St. James United Methodist Church
- Tuesday, April 21- 6:30 p.m.
- DISCOVER Day – Discover Diversity Dinner @ Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Kansas City
- Wednesday, April 22 - 6:30 p.m.
- OTHERS Day – Guest Speaker Wesley Hamilton of Disabled but Not Really Foundation: "Survival to Revival: Living Your Best Life After the Unthinkable Happens” @ United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Thursday, April 23 - 6:30 p.m.
- CONNECT Day- Connect with your own kindness act or one of our 14 charities today. Friday, April 24
- YOU Day- Taking Care of YOU; Mind, Body & Soul @ at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission Saturday, April 25 (all day)
- ONWARD Day - Kindness Walk @ The National World War I Museum and Memorial, Sunday, April 26- 6 p.m.
- GO Day - Go to a Ramadan Iftar; engage in interfaith dialogue @ The Islamic Center of Johnson County, Monday, April 27 - 6:30 p.m.
Please do some calendar marking now. I hope to see some of you at one or more of this year's events.
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FAITH GUIDED THE LONE GOP IMPEACHMENT DISSENTER
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the only senator in history to vote to convict an impeached president of the senator's own party, based his decision Wednesday, he said, largely on the moral code taught to him by his faith. In the Atlantic piece to which I've just linked you, author McKay Coppins writes this: "Romney, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, described to me the power of taking an oath before God: 'It’s something which I take very seriously.' Throughout the trial, he said, he was guided by his father’s favorite verse of Mormon scripture: Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good. 'I have gone through a process of very thorough analysis and searching, and I have prayed through this process,' he told me. 'But I don’t pretend that God told me what to do.'” Romney was wise to add the latter disclaimer. In the end, it's hard in such circumstances to be absolutely certain of the divine will. Beware of people who tell you they know that will in all cases. Romney also was willing to speak of his faith directly when he addressed the Senate after the acquittal vote on Wednesday, saying, "I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am." Wouldn't you like to hear from senators on both sides of the aisle what is at the heart of who they are?