MLK Day of Service: Sweet Potato Comfort Pies

Hello fellow Golden Valley community members:

Event: The First Annual Golden Valley MLK Day of Service: “Sweet Potato Comfort Pies – A Catalyst for Caring and Building Community”
Contact: Rose McGee ; Phone: (612) 865-1787
Event Date/Time: Free. Sunday January 18, 2015; 2pm to 4pm
Location: Calvary Lutheran Church 7520 Golden Valley Road Golden Valley, MN 55427
Sponsors: Sponsored in part by The Golden Valley Community Foundation, Calvary Lutheran Church, individual donations and a host of community volunteers.

As valued members of our community, we want to extend a warm welcome to all of you. You may not want to miss this Martin Luther King Day of Service event. You are encouraged to attend, your voice is welcome. Here is the local press release:

What does sweet potato pie, storytelling in circle, and Martin Luther King, Jr. have in common? According to a group of Golden Valley residents, this combination creates the “sweet spot” for community building. In celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man whose life was dedicated to peace, equality and service, a unique event has been designed to bring people together to share their own authentic stories over sweet potato pie. In addition, 86 pies (representing King’s age were he alive) will be given to individuals and service groups in Golden Valley as a symbol of comfort, support and in celebration of overcoming various challenges.

“Across the country our society is in tremendous pain and disruption,” says Rose McGee, Golden Valley resident and creator of the “Sweet Potato Comfort Pie” concept. “Golden Valley has the unique opportunity to convene – not in protest, but to intentionally listen to each other’s authentic stories while enjoying sweet potato pie and depart with a whole pie to give to someone as an act of comfort and celebration,” says McGee.

The planning team includes an eclectic group of Golden Valley residents – storytellers, an architect, a school board member, a teacher, a pastor, a psychologist, parents, independent consultants, students, artists, the mayor of Golden Valley, and a few residents of Minneapolis. Why such interest? “As human beings, the first step to understanding is to listen to someone else’s story,” says Elaine Wynne, Golden Valley resident, psychologist and storyteller. “Sharing one’s own authentic story over a slice of pie sets the tone for conversation, which builds trust, which leads to understanding,” she states.

Why sweet potato pie? “Martin Luther King, Jr. was a southern Baptist preacher. I grew up in the south and later came to realize how the sweet potato pie is the sacred dessert of black culture,” says McGee. “I watched my grandmother, great-grandmother, aunts and others prepare pies whenever someone was in need of comfort. This act of service was simple, loving and strengthened relationships.”

Phil Lund, Golden Valley resident and planning team member, indicates, “Including the sweet potato itself, there is a variety of nourishing “root” metaphors within the context of this event. When the people of Golden Valley come together on January 18th and begin sharing stories – their own roots, with each other – that power will go deeply.”
Please join us.

Yours truly, Phil

Philip Lund
Golden Valley Bridge Builder
Golden Valley Community Foundation