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GUEST COLUMN: Be a transformational nonconformist on MLK Day

GUEST COLUMN: Be a transformational nonconformist on MLK Day

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Cedar Valley Interfaith Council is an assemblage of more than 100 local faith leaders and community members gathered in peace as friends to share wisdom and compassion for others working together for peace and justice. As the Martin Luther King Jr. National holiday is upon us, CVIC recognizes that this day of remembrance is a wonderful opportunity to remember King’s legacy and pray for sharing justice and love in the Cedar Valley in the midst of rancor and division.

Cedar Valley Interfaith’s theme for 2020 and 2021 is “Knowing Your Neighbors: Ending Racial Injustice.” We encourage individuals and groups to use the interfaith prayer the CVIC developed for MLK Day personal reflections and group meditations


In recognition of the martyrdom of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., we invite people of all faiths to join the Cedar Valley Interfaith Council to share in this prayer. The petitions of this prayer are inspired by King’s sermon titled “Transformed Nonconformist” from his 1963 book “Strength To Love.”


May the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday be a remembrance of the compelling role we each might play as nonconforming transformers for justice and love.

May we find ways to serve others each day, for rugged individualism is not the foundation of a loving society for which our faith calls on us to strive.

May we be nonconforming to the tendency of not rocking the boat in an attempt to protect our personal welfare.

May we recognize that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, recollecting King’s preaching that “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Give us the strength to love in the face of intimidation, misunderstanding and hatred.

Being a transformational nonconformist is costly and often uncomfortable, as the life and manner of death of the Rev. King. He preached that the burdens we bear precedes the crown we wear.

Empower us to strengthen our resolve, to give witness to these.

The Rev. Christine Kaplunas is pastor of Unity Presbyterian Church. Reginald Green is treasurer of the Cedar Valley Interfaith Council.

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