This past August marked the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. being jailed in Birmingham, Ala., for participating in non-violent protests against segregation. Other ministers questioned whether an "outsider" from Atlanta had any business coming to town, grandstanding and possibly hurting the greater cause.
King's answer to them, in part: "I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly."
So today, as the leadership of this community again finds itself in the pews of our impoverished, minority communities, and as many enjoy another Monday holiday, we hope each person asks, "What have I done to mend this garment?"