by Rev. Dale Azevedo, Sr. Minister          –          Jan 3, 2018

The concept of Beloved Community first came to the American consciousness in the latter part of the 19th century. However, it was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who popularized the concept during his dramatic work for racial justice in the 1950’s and 60’s.

The King Center writes:

For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.

It is fitting that on Martin Luther King weekend, we will gather on two separate occasions with Temple Habonim to discuss, celebrate and practice Beloved Community.

On Friday evening, January 12th, 2018 we will share in Shabat worship at the Temple (@ 6:15 PM) followed by a wonderful catered dinner. No reservations are needed for worship, but if you would like to stay for dinner (and I encourage you to) you must RSVP by Sunday, January 7th. There is a charge for the dinner, but it will be well worth the price! Reservations and menu details are available at Temple Habonim’s website.

Then on Sunday morning, January 14th, we will gather together again at BCCUCC for our usual worship service at 10:00AM. Members of the temple are invited to join us both for worship and coffee hour. It is my challenge to you that we (BCCUCC) send between 30 and 50 people to temple on Friday and that we be prepared to welcome as many in return on Sunday.

At both of these worship services, Rabbi Andy Klein and I will share our personal reflections on the concept of Beloved Community and engage in dialogue with one another and those in attendance. Although the topics are the same, I anticipate the conversations to be different. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sunday’s discussion built upon some of the ideas shared Friday evening.

A few words about worship at the Temple

In order to help reduce anxiety and answer frequently asked questions about worshiping at Temple Habonim here are a few issues to consider:

Dress: Attenders at Temple Habonim tend wear a variety of attire. Like BCCUCC, some will come in suit and tie and skirts while others will be more casual. Rumor has it “business casual” is what is most common.

Yarmulke: Should you wear a Yarmulke or Kipah? This is your preference. Most of the male Jewish worshipers will be wearing a Yarmulke (also called a Kipah). However, Temple Habonim has a relaxed view on this and not all men are required to do so. If you do wish to wear one, there is a basket of these available for visitors.

Offering: Unlike our typical Christian services, it is not a part of Jewish worship to receive an offering. In fact, money is kept entirely separate from worship in the Jewish tradition. You do not need to worry about bringing money to make an offering.

Other questions: If you have any other questions feel free to contact me ( and I’ll help allay any concerns you may have.

What a wonderful opportunity this is for us to witness both to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of Beloved Community and to the wonderful historic relationship we have with Temple Habonim. Please cone and celebrate what being community is all about.


Temple Habonim
165 New Meadow Rd.
Barrington, RI 02806
(401) 245-6536

Barrington Congregational Church
461 County Rd.
Barrington, RI 02806
(401) 246-0111