It was my privilege to attend Appleton’s kick-off last Tuesday night of the Dignity and Respect Campaign. Appleton is the 101st U.S. city to embrace this campaign, seeking to spread a new and inclusive spirit in our community. As they told us, “Every day we have the opportunity to test our commitment to dignity and respect through our behavior.”

There were about a hundred of us gathered – it seemed like about a third of those present were from First Congo. (How proud did that make me feel?) The effort was spearheaded out of the Mayor’s office and our city’s Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator. On this church’s behalf, I was invited to be one of the first twenty or so community leaders to sign the pledge, to promise to live out my own commitment to Dignity and Respect. You’re going to be hearing a lot more about the campaign both from me and from other leaders in the community. You’re going to be challenged to make your own pledge.

For now, consider what a change it would make if everyone in our community lived out such a commitment. To learn more about the campaign, go to Maybe you’re already prepared to take the pledge!

Your friend and fellow minister,
Rev. Steve Savides

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