Letters to the Editor

ECM influence

May 2, 2011


To the editor:

Shortly after coming to Kansas University in 1969, I learned of and became associated with Ecumenical Christian Ministries (ECM) near the campus. First and foremost, ECM was a space where students and others could search their faiths, question their faiths and live their faiths in an open and inviting atmosphere.

In the ’70s, ECM became a safe space for those seeking and advocating for racial equality, for those who had deep convictions regarding the war in Vietnam and for those who were seeking a voice for the LGBT community. Violence was right outside of the door, but never invaded the ECM building.

Over the years, it has continued to be a place where all voices can be heard, where questioning is valued and encouraged, where knowledge is valued and where difference and diversity will find a safe place. ECM is about to complete its capital campaign to provide improvements to its facility and insure the presence of ECM in the lives of students and the Lawrence community for the future. It is an anchor in the lives of many students and a continuing presence for many people in Lawrence. I would encourage anyone who values ECM and cares for its role in the community to support our campaign as it comes to an end on May 24. If we reach our financial goal we qualify for a significant grant opportunity that will make our efforts a success.


kgmartin 7 years ago

I absolutely agree! The ECM is a wonderful and diverse resource in Lawrence. On Thursday, May 5th the ECM will be host to an amazing cruelty-free fashion show with influencial community members and organizations present. The student organization - Compassion for All Animals - has been working tirelessly to put it together, and we would all love to see your support! Regardless of whether or not you are vegetarian or vegan, the show will have something for everyone and best of all, it is FREE. That means FREE food and entertainment, right here in your community. Here is the link to the Lawrence Journal World's article about the show http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/may/02/ku-group-organizes-dinner-fashion-show-cruelty-fre/?opinion. We hope to see you there!

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

Hear Hear !!!

For ECM on the hill. One of few jewels left in our community.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya; Kum bay ya, the Lord, kum bay ya; Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya, O Lord, kum bay ya.

Ralph Reed 7 years ago

I agree with all except mrw, who strikes me that he wouldn't know something good if it hit him in the face.

The ECM is one of the jewels of our town. It does a lot not just for the campus, but also for the town.

Bob Forer 7 years ago

One of the few progressive organizations still left in Lawrence that is actually worth a damn. They have a long history of community involvement in progressive and humanitarian causes, and have always had top notch leadership--witness the current director, a great guy I am told, who was just awarded the Peace and Justice Award.

The Reverend Jack Bremer, a now retired Methodist Minister living in Vermont, was the director in the late seventies. Jack traveled with Norm Forer on his 50-person people-to-people peace delegation to Iran in 1980, and later returned, with two other clergy, to conduct Easter Services for the hostages.

Jack is a wonderful, caring person. We were lucky to have him.

And to Mr. Right Wing and your sarcastic comments: I am so sorry you experience life with such marked cynicism and contempt for human goodness. Must be miserable being you.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

Wow...I'm the one who is cynical? I'm hoping your objection to "Kum bay ya" is the stereotype it received in the 60s when the hippie/folk generation used it. Perhaps you should know more about it, before you dismiss me, and it.

That song was NOT composed by Peter, Paul and Mary, or Joan Baez; the words "kum bay ya" are Gullah (a language found in Africa) for "come by here". The first real reference to it goes back to the 1930s...it's believed that African slaves brought the song over in their hearts and often sang it in the fields. I am sincerely hoping the African connection with the song is not what bothers you. It's a wonderful, beautiful and deeply spiritual song despite your prejudice against it.

Back when I was in the media I worked (basically monthly) with Thad Holcome to help publicize the lunches they had with different speakers. I have no idea if Thad is still with the organization or if they still do the lunches (I think they were on Thursdays...I know they were free--you could call ahead and they'd make you a lunch, or bring your own.)

I realize Lawrence isn't the most 'Christian' friendly community in Kansas; but your disdain for this song and it's message really suprise me. I truly do hope your problem with it, is it's connection with the 60s, not it's African origin.

Bob Forer 7 years ago

I have no disdain for the song, nor for Africans. In fact, in the early sixties while right wingers like you were vehemently opposed to the civil rights movement, my family was one of few white families involved in the struggle for racial equality.

My problem is with your unmitigated and unreconstituted sarcasm, which you now pathetically and shamelessly seek to deny.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

I'm guessing between the two of us, I'm probably the one who was in a position to help, and did help the cause of ECM more. So I have no reason to argue or defend. It would be a waste of space on here to even touch your other flawed statement.

Good day, sir.......

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