Markosek keynotes Monroeville Interfaith Ministerium’s ‘Unity Day’

Urges mindful, peaceful consideration of hot topics

MONROEVILLE, May 1 – Besieged by daily stories and rumors of hate and separation, the Monroeville Interfaith Ministerium worked to bring community members together during a “Unity Day” gathering Sunday, April 30.

Rep. Joe Markosek, D-Allegheny, delivered the event’s keynote address.

“We are not here today to fight. We are not here to unseat a public official. And we are not here to declare some us-versus-them movement,” Markosek told the crowd gathered at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Monroeville.

“Unity asks us to be mindful. It requires us to consider the opinions and feelings of others and to realize we are not that different from each other.

“This gathering means people are not as aware of their neighbors as they could be. They are, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘disunited with themselves.’ It means some people feel threatened by what they are reading, seeing and hearing. Rumors are causing rifts in places where there should be none.

“We are doubting each other in unprecedented ways that are confounding and frustrating.”

However, Markosek, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and the state representative for the 25th Legislative District for 34 years, said when people reunite, they will be stronger together.

“When I started as a state lawmaker in 1983 to represent the good and hard-working people of this community, we had the advantage of not seeing or reading every thought, word or provocation uttered by Republicans and Democrats – every minute of every hour of every day.

“We disagreed, but we worked together. We were unified in making Pennsylvania better. We were less concerned about party politics. We better understood the context.

“Efforts like this fellowship on unity are what we need to get us back to cooperation and good will. It’s about realizing that we must always work together to produce the life and the livelihoods we dream about. Lives and livelihoods that include everyone, not just people like us,” he said.

The goal of the Monroeville Interfaith Ministerium is to celebrate the region’s diversity and “provide opportunities for people of faith to fellowship together, learn from each other and to serve side by side to achieve understanding, compassion and social justice in the Monroeville area and in the world.”