Lifter CvrAlmost ten years ago, I was inspired with the idea that we could turn down the hostile rhetoric among Christian denominations and other Christian groups if we could work together and that we could encourage more Christ-like speech. It is astounding what can happen if God inspires the vision. The 10th. Anniversary of this movement is June 05, 2016.

My idea found fertile soil with the Rev. Marshall Blalock, pastor of Charleston’s historic First Baptist Church.  He enthusiastically embraced the possibilities. The congregation was quick to pass a resolution designating the first Sunday in June each year as Say Something Nice Sunday. The Charleston County Baptist Baptists Association unanimously endorsed the idea.

We found a great and supportive ally in the Charleston/Atlantic Presbytery. The South Carolina Baptists Convention adopted a resolution supportive of the idea, “Unity in the Body.” The South Carolina Cooperative Baptist Fellowship joined the movement. We formed an ecumenical committee which brought in many churches including: Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Methodists.

Cardinal Dolan of New York endorsed the movement, as did Bishop Guglielmone of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston representing all of South Carolina. We received coverage in the Baptists Times of the UK. In 2014, Bishop Stacy Sauls, COO of the National Episcopal Church wrote an outstanding endorsement of the movement in his weekly blog. The Baptist World Alliance agreed to help promote the event.

National syndicated columnist, Norris Burkes (The Chaplain) dedicated one of his columns to the topic.

In 2009 eight leaders from different denomination contributed to my book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. All endorsed the movement. Dr. Richard Mouw’s book, Uncommon Decency, was a great inspiration and he contributed a chapter to the new work. Since then I have conducted several Brown Bag Lunch discussion at Baptist House at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York State thanks to the generous support of Bud and Pat Brown, managers.

Many pastors have taken the opportunity to deliver sermons on the topic of Christ-like Speech and Its Influence. The Rev. Andrew Shull, pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodruff, SC, dedicated a week to the topic.

We are looking for enthusiastic supporters who will promote the movement in their own churches and religious organizations. There is nothing to buy. Free materials are available at www.fbcharleston.org. Click on Messages/Resources at the top of the page. Scroll down to Say Something Nice Sunday. You will find art work, devotional, Bible Verses, and “Why Have a Say Something Nice Sunday?” You are also encouraged to contribute ideas.

You will find it exciting to be a part of a movement that is making a difference where all that is required is a kind word, a friendly welcome or Christian hospitality. Jesus said, “In-so-much as you do it unto the least of these, you do it also unto me.”

 

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