A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in the second anniversary celebration of First Lady Michelle Obama?s ?Let?s Move? initiative. It took place in Florida and began with a gathering of ?Let?s Move: Faith and Community? at Northland Church: a Church Distributed. Joel Hunter (a Christian Theological Seminary graduate) is pastor there. I was asked to give brief remarks and an opening prayer. Here is what I said:
Good Morning ?Let?s Move? Community!
When my children were in school, we used to raise money for the PTA by selling junk food to our own kids – candy, sodas ? pizza day! With my kids? family history ? diabetes and high blood pressure on one side of the family and cancer on the other ? my children needed something better. But I felt like one lonely voice.
Fast forward to today: the second anniversary of the First Lady?s ?Let?s Move Campaign!? ? No more lonely voice when it comes to children?s health and fitness! Instead: an audacious goal: get rid of childhood obesity in a single generation!
How? Join together ? family, faith, school, community ? to care for our kids ? to care for all kids!
Well, the faith community is used to an audacious goal! Our goal is no less than health and wholeness – mind, body and spirit ? for all God?s children ? rich ? or poor ? each one precious in God?s sight.
So whether it?s Church World Service and the Presbyterians? ?Just Eating? curriculum or a Muslim sports tournament; whether it?s the United Church of Christ walking 1.5 million miles, 15 miles a week or the Disciples? focus on ?Healthier Living for all God?s People?; whether it?s the Jewish Community Centers Association using the CATCH curriculum or the First African Methodist Episcopal Church giving leadership in Let?s Move LA; whether it?s faith leaders writing to governors in every state of the union to urge them to get healthy food into our schools ?
By whatever means ? we reach for an audacious goal: Health for our children, for the nation?s children, for all God?s children, precious every one. In a single generation. And we?re on our way!
?Glorify God in our Body and Spirit,? scripture says. Thank you Mrs. Obama for the rallying call!
Will you pray with me?.
O God of many names we praise you for the gift of this day ?
For the opportunity to celebrate a vision ?
of every child a healthy child, in body, mind and spirit.
Thank you! for the imagination to see that world of wholeness and to claim it!
On this morning we rejoice in the leadership of our First Lady, who called to us ? Let?s move!
and in neighbors and schools and communities of faith, who responded, who took action!
We give thanks for gardens greening urban food deserts, and for those who planted them;
For summer lunch programs bringing food to hungry stomachs, for farmers? markets and food pantries.
We celebrate every step taken toward fitness; every connection made between poverty and obesity; every initiative to lift the bonds of want, to work for justice, to walk, to plant, to plan, to dance for justice!
We celebrate each time the dots are connected between fit, well-fed children, and a strong, vital nation.
For these first two years and those to come, we give you thanks.
Keep us moving, we pray.
Let the people say – AMEN!