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Medicine for our times: Living the legacy of Howard Thurman

Oct 13 2021, 2:56 PM

As we look around, we see fear, anger, fighting, factionalism even despair. Where can we turn for help? The life and teachings of Howard Thurman are the perfect medicine for these times. Who was he? Howard Thurman (1899-1981) rises as one of the most influential African Americans of the last century. He was called, “the saint of the Civil Rights Movement,” by Rep. John Lewis. Thurman was a mystic, one of the greatest preachers of his day, a scholar and a professor at Howard University and also Boston University. He served as copastor of the Church for the Fellowship of All People in San Francisco. He had a profound impact on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He found a way to face directly and open-heartedly the challenges of his time and offers us an invitation to walk in his footstep to cultivate connection, courage and hope.

You’re invited to join us in this eight-month journey of transformation as we learn from and let Thurman’s insights, challenges and paradoxes wash over us with hope. On the third Sundays from October through May, we will co-host a series of powerful interfaith worship services bases on Thurman’s life and teachings. This series is co-sponsored by the Empowerment Center in the Cheverly, MD in D.C. area, and the Springfield UU Meetinghouse. We will welcome to the service, participants from the Meetinghouse, the Empowerment Center and other individuals and congregations who are also interested in learning about Thurman and his legacy. Thurman wrote and preached on the power of Negro Spirituals and our Choir Director, Julane Deener and the virtual choir, are preparing some great music for our enrichment.

We’ll launch the series with gusto on Sunday, October 17 at 10 AM Eastern Time

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with a collaborative service lead by Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens. Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Minister Usher Moses and Religious Science Practitioner Robbin Ruffner via Zoom. The topic will be the name of the series: “Medicine for Our Times: Living the Legacy of Howard Thurman.” We hope that You will join us. Afterwards, stay for a virtual discussion and “coffee hour” and meet people from the other congregations and communities who will be participating.

Want to know more? You’re invited to watch this 7-minute video about this series made by our four series speakers.
We are also in the process of building out a section of the Meetinghouse web site about the project. Stayed tuned. A great place to start is the book, “For the Inward Journey: The Writings of Howard Thurman” published posthumously in 1984. (He wrote more than 20 books!) A wonderful exposure is the two-part You Tube, “Conversations with Howard Thurman” interviewed by Landrum Bolling.

This promises to be an enlivening, deepening and healing experience. In the words of Minister Usher Moses, “I hope that this series rekindles dialogue on the work that Howard Thurman has done, with an impact around the whole planet. I hope that it will allow us to practice and also to influence a new generation that needs to hear his message.” Kristal, Usher, Robbin and I are delighted to have this opportunity for collaboration bringing Thurman’s message into our contentious world that so needs his wisdom and healing words today. We hope You’ll join us.

Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy is a Universalist and Sufi minister who has the honor of serving as settled minister for the Springfield Meetinghouse.

Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens founded Empowerment Center (EC), to help communities to empower themselves and discover both personal, familial and communal resources to live, learn and grow.

Usher Moses is the senior minister of the Empowerment Center and works at Howard University.

Robbin Ruffner is Divine Science Practitioner, lives in the Atlanta, Ga area, and has a Spiritual Counseling Practice. Robbin is also a Visioning Facilitator; a Meditation Workshop Leader; and a Teacher of certificated classes in Science of Mind.


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