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WHAT IS LABOR DAY SUNDAY ALL ABOUT??

Posted on Sat, Aug 4, 2018

Click here to receive a prayer for all those who work, volunteer or are searching for work. Then learn more about Labor day

LABOR DAY SUNDAY

Come to worship this Sunday dressed as you normally do for your line of work. Retired people dress as you do for your favorite activity (sleeping does not count). On this Sunday let us, in a special way, lift up all people who labor, either for pay or as volunteers, in jobs or at school, at home or in the workplace, in the U.S. and around the world

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A Blessing for Workers, Volunteers and All Seeking Work

by Taylor Burton-Edwards

Blessed are you, ever-creating God,
in your image, our lives are made;
in your glory, we offer all the work of our hearts and hands and minds.

Blessed are you, O God, now and forever!

Blessed are you whose work is repaid,
for by your work, and by the payment you receive
your lives and the lives of others around you and around the world are blessed
.

We thank God for you day by day.

Blessed are you whose work is unpaid,
who offer what you can to enrich the lives of others,
through time, talents, skill, strength, and love.

We praise God for your generous labor!

Blessed are you who seek work but have not found it,
or whose work now is not yet what it may be
yet still you seek, that your gifts may be shared more fully.

We praise God for your diligent seeking and pray you may soon find!

Yours is the glory in their labors.

Yours be the glory in all our lives, in Jesus' name. Amen

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The History of Labor Day

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

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