April 4 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That will be a difficult day for all of us who have worked and prayed for the kind of peace, unity, and justice that King spent his ministry and life pursuing. How far have we come? How far do we have left to go? These questions will haunt us as the anniversary approaches.

It is in honor of King’s life and legacy that I have worked, in partnership with Pastor Alvin Dupree of Family First Ministries and several other local church pastors to organize a community worship service. This service will mark this tragic anniversary and recommit ourselves to the road of justice lying ahead. It’s been an interesting process, working with folks who come from a very different branch of the Christian family tree, to find common faith and common purpose. King’s prayer below has been a source of strength and inspiration along this journey.

Lord…
We thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray,
but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you.
Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity.
Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace.
Help us to walk together,
pray together,
sing together,
and live together
until that day when all God’s children
– Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow –
will rejoice in one common band of humanity
in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray.
Amen.

– The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Please plan to join us for “Remembering Reverend King: A Community Worship Encounter” on Sunday, April 8, at 3:00 PM in the Grand Ballroom of the Paper Valley Hotel. Those interested in being a part of the mass choir are invited to come at 1:30 PM for a time to rehearse with our music directors, Phillip Swan and Erica Hamilton. May God bless us with comfort in our grief and strength for the road ahead!

Your friend and fellow minister,

Rev. Steve Savides

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