Sunday, June 2, 2013, will be different from all the Sundays that preceded it.  It will be a friendlier, more cheerful and more affirming day. Gone will be the rancor and demeaning verbiage. Across the nation churches will celebrate the Seventh Annual Say Something Nice Sunday. As bullying has escalated in all walks of life including some churches, the imperative to be more Christ-like in our speech takes on even greater significance.

The congregation of First Baptist Church Charleston, the oldest Baptist Congregation in the South, passed a resolution calling for at least one day when Christians would not say anything derogatory toward any other Christian or Christian body, but instead would say only nice things. The Charleston Baptist Association passed the same resolution. The Charleston Atlantic Presbytery joined as did CBF of South Carolina. The first Say Something Nice Sunday was celebrated by churches in Charleston County and a scattering of churches throughout the state. The second year more churches joined across the nation. In 2009 the Catholic Diocese of Charleston joined.

In 2007 the South Carolina Baptist Convention passed a resolution,”Unity in the Body” which supports the idea. The movement received support from Dr. Frank Page, then president of the SBC, and Jim Austin, the SC Baptist executive. In 2011, the Catholic Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan endorsed the program. Archbishop Dolan is now Cardinal Dolan. Furman University and Spartanburg Methodist College support the celebration. Dr. Molly Marshall, president of Central Baptist Seminary, Dr. Timothy George, president of Samford Divinity School and Dr. Loren Mead, retired Episcopal priest and founder of the Alban Institute, volunteered support.

The Rev. Marshall Blalock, pastor of First Baptist Church of Charleston, is enthusiastic in his support of the movement. “Our words express what is in our hearts,” he states. The Rev. Andrew Shull, pastor of FBC Woodruff, SC did a week long emphasis.

Every church and religious group are invited to participate. There are no fees and nothing to buy. Resource materials are on the First Baptist Church web page at www.fbcharleston.org. Click on messages/resources at the top of the page and then click on the title under Say Something Nice Sunday.  Churches are encouraged to develop other materials and to share them by E-mailing them to lori@fbcharleston.org.