Press Release from the Bedford Clery Association-March 2014

Love Neighbor landscape

Bedford Clergy Association launches “Love Your Neighbor” Campaign

BEDFORD, MA — The Bedford Clergy Association today announces the launch of the “Love Your Neighbor Campaign,” a multi-media, multi-faceted, all-ages, community-oriented campaign to promote greater awareness of, care for, and love of all our neighbors in Bedford.  The Campaign invites all who live and work in Bedford to participate in this community movement to affirm the dignity, worth, and value of every human being.

We offer this Campaign out of our desire to respond to the increasingly visible experiences of anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of marginalization in our community over the past year.  By promoting a positive dynamic of curiosity and engagement across all lines of difference, the Campaign seeks to provide a way for those who live and work in Bedford to show their support for the diversity that makes our community vibrant.

In the months to come the Campaign will offer many opportunities for individuals and groups within Bedford to self-identify their commitment to a Bedford that embraces diversity and difference as fundamental community values.  The Campaign will also offer ways to help all of us in Bedford visibly and meaningfully live out those commitments together through greater awareness of differences among us, deeper learning about particular cultural and religious histories, and demonstrations of empathy and solidarity.

As its first action, the Love Your Neighbor Campaign invites everyone in Bedford to print and display the “Love Your Neighbor” sign and post it in a window or door of their home or business.  This sign is available in 8.5 x 11 format for download on the website of many of our houses of worship, and via the websites of local media outlets.  Hard copies will be available at many of our houses of worship and elsewhere around town.  Displaying the sign is a commitment to affirming the dignity, worth and value of every human being, and to honoring the value of difference within our community.  Because it indicates solidarity with all those who experience marginalization as a result of their identities, we encourage all Bedford residents to participate.

The Campaign has also composed a community blessing, which we offer for use publically in our houses of worship, public gatherings, community meetings, as well as privately by families at mealtimes or bedtimes:

May our beloved town of Bedford be blessed with healing from all hatred,

May our homes overflow with loving kindness,

May all our children grow up in the safety that encourages them to be their own best selves,

May our public spaces welcome strangers and friends with abundant grace,

And may our citizens of all backgrounds and traditions share generously with and learn eagerly from one another.

We look forward to sharing more with you in the weeks to come and to partnering with others in the important work before us.

Print the press release here: Bedford Clergy Association Press Release March 2014