The HEART Institute is an evolving initiative having its inception in the RIGHT Concept formed from an epiphany in January 2005 and was further promoted by way of The Love-Land Initiative. This developing construct is now being redirected and cultivated for consideration through a faith-based and public cooperative seeking to partner with the City of Piqua in the quest to progressively move the community forward with the revitalization of the river corridor. The appointed and elective leadership is focused on acting traditionally from a business model and financial perspective but I believe the final determination of success will be a policy that will rest more upon a spiritual nature and a biblical model of service. That kind of visionary sight will empower more people and engage them in actions that likely can generate a more cooperative outcome in reaping the benefits explained in “Hospitality from the HEART” which would be a win-win for Community Visioning or the failure to bear fruit in manifesting a HEART healthy environment could further exacerbate “Stinking Thinking”.
Two experiences have shaped this inspiration which has developed over the last decade. The first, a Sunday school lesson titled “Meaningless Worship Condemned “based upon Isaiah 29: 9-16 which had as its Key Verse – This people draw near with me with their mouth , and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men. (Isaiah) 29: 13). The second was the very recent negative public exposure in conjunction with the PPP lead discussion by community leaders who acknowledged the label of Piqua by our own citizenry “as the armpit of Miami County” is disheartening and that kind of mindset has an even deeper stagnating affect upon the community of color (Blacks specifically) that have been legally and socially labeled as a caste apart and has limited on a personal level the creativity and inventiveness that GOD ordained to ALL of His creation.
There is a need, now more than ever, to promote the help in peaceful and loving relationships that address differences in a more civil manner by a remnant that is best suited in this heart healthy habitat to provide for the healing, reconciling and forgiving resources to offer individuals and groups seeking to be in RIGHT relationships in observance of the Great Commandment and Christ’s directive- A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)
Diverse communities of believers should desire and plan a collaborative service-focused agency to facilitate a Beloved Community where individuals and groups can seek help and more importantly train people to mentor and address a whole host of social justice and self -help needs in overcoming broken relationships.
The City of Piqua is now in a better position to act upon the brand that we are promoting and marketing to the public as The City of Opportunity—- Where Vision Becomes Reality, through an outreach and appeal to our residents to not only be more inclusive in valuing ALL communities by encouraging multiple perspectives that are on one accord and empowering our collaborative “diversities of gifts” but in building the HEART Institute in cultivating further the development of a “heart healthy” environment.
This emphasis upon “Greater Love” placed in a heart healthy environment must chose to accept a leadership role in perspectives employing a Sankofa experience in looking backward but always moving forward. Foundational to our prosperity is the recognition that “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9: 10). This is something that must be recognized by “The Children of Light” in coming together in fellowship because the renovation of physical structures is secondary to the necessary cleansing and healing of the divided corporate body of Christ which should be acted upon to reflect the command: This do in remembrance of me.
HEART is an acronym for Holistic Educational Adjustments in Relationship Training.
When we build it and dwell in the Light, our vision will be seen more clearly and Piqua will not only become the HEART of Miami County but a beacon of LIGHT unto the world community.
Community visioning (The Good News or Lose) or stinking thinking?
Larry Hamilton is an author and retired Piqua City Schools educator.
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