Last week the NNU community participated in a series of events designed to honor and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. including special speakers, a panel discussion and a display from the Idaho Black History Museum. All events were centered around NNU’s desire to become more like the Beloved Community Dr. King dreamed about.
“The goal of the week was to draw upon local scholars and experts to help guide the NNU campus to better live into the dream and imagination of the Beloved Community as we continue to ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God’ and celebrate all who are part of that kingdom,” Dr. Brent Peterson, Dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministries and one of the organizers of the Beloved Community events, said. “The NNU community seeks to better love and serve each other as well as those in the broader Boise Valley.”
Monday morning Dr. Montague Williams discussed his book Church in Color and defined what the Beloved Community looks like. Monday evening’s event featured Angela Taylor, Dr. Keith Anderson, and Dr. Michael Ross who spoke on the topic of Loving our Sisters and Brothers in the Beloved Community. Thursday evening’s panel discussion was led by Cherie Buckner-Webb and Philip Thompson who focused on Remembering the Hard Past to Live into a More Loving Present and Future. Over the course of the week, a visiting exhibit from the Idaho Black History Museum was on display in the Brandt Center.
"NNU’s week-long emphasis on the Beloved Community was both challenging and inspiring,” Chaplains Dustin and Olivia Metcalf said. “We are deeply thankful for the speakers who shared their lives and perspectives with us and for those who helped NNU put these events on. Our prayer is that the testimonies and speeches will not soon be forgotten, but that they will help us as we seek to be a community that reflects the healing love of God."
In the past, NNU celebrated Martin Luther King Day by canceling classes and encouraging personal reflection and celebration. This year, the academic calendar changed, providing an opportunity for the students, faculty and staff to honor Dr. King as a collective community.