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Something for everyone at King tribute

Something for everyone at King tribute
Something for everyone at King tribute
Music minister Ron Davidson leads the Lincoln Hills Christian Church Praise Team choir.

Al Tinsley was shaving Sunday morning when he heard on TV about a Martin Luther King Celebration that afternoon in Corydon, Ind. He decided to check it out.
Tinsley, 66, a criminal defense lawyer in Louisville, already had good feelings about Corydon. He and his Bible study group at Southeast Christian Church like to go places together, and they had been to Corydon on July 4 for Old Capital Days and liked what they saw.
Tinsley felt even better about Corydon after the 2-1/2-hour King Celebration at Lincoln Hills Christian Church. Standing in one of two dinner lines, Tinsley said he was impressed that a small town in Southern Indiana was having its 18th consecutive King tribute, but when the Rev. Webster Oglesby, the pastor at Lincoln Hills, sang the Lee Greenwood favorite, ‘Proud to be an American,’ ‘That brought tears to my eyes,’ said Tinsley, who is African-American and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. ‘I just got all choked up.
‘I just love the idea of all of us getting together.’
That is the purpose of the annual King Celebration ‘ to bring all kinds of people together to remember the goals of the eloquent civil rights leader and honor his dream of freedom, justice and equality for all Americans.
Tinsley and about 300 others were treated to a variety of worship styles, organized by Jewel Brown of Central:
‘ The Lincoln Hills Christian Church Praise Team Choir, 30 voices strong, and its musicians warmed up the church with exuberant contemporary Christian music. One of their numbers was U2’s ‘In the Name of Love,’ and another, ‘Lord, I Lift Your Name on High,’ had a definite reggae sound.
‘ Clair United Methodist Church Choir from Irvington, Ky., returned with traditional black gospel choral music.
‘ The Rev. Jaime Reyes, from Puerto Rico, is a puppeteer and the new pastor at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Corydon. He brought along his marionette, Jalanda Adams, who ‘sang’ an Jolanda Adams gospel song.
‘ The Corydon Community of Hope Nazarene Church Choir presented a costume drama, ‘I Will Praise the Lord.’
‘ In addition there were several soloists besides Oglesby who sang with conviction and power. Jessica Brown, 15, read with passion excerpts from King’s famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.
Father John Judie, pastor at Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Louisville, brought the message. A tall man who wears a black robe with green and red trim and a big gold cross necklace, Judie has an animated, musical style of preaching. But before he started, Judie sat down at the grand piano on the stage and urged everyone to sing with him ‘Victory Is Mine.’ ‘If you don’t know it, you’re about to learn it,’ he said.
Then, he declared he was ‘more ready’ to preach.
His text was the Book of John, 9:24, and his subject was Jesus healing the blind beggar with a spittle of clay. ‘I was blind and now I see. Turn to the person next to you and say, ‘I was blind and now I see’,’ Judie said, and ‘the church’ did just that. That was the theme, and it was repeated often, in case anyone missed it.
Judie first told the true story of a woman with five children who ignored a blind beggar on the street corner until she began to lose her own vision and became dependent on others. ‘She had suffered from a greater blindness, blindness of the heart,’ Judie said. Then she befriended the beggar, and that made her feel good: She had seen a need and did something about it. She had finally seen how important it was to pay attention to the man who lacked food and money.
Jesus saw the blind beggar and gave him sight ‘ not because he was a sinner and needed to be punished, as the disciples, Pharisees and others commonly suspected ‘ but because he had strong faith and the potential for good.
‘We still have too many people suffering blindness of the heart,’ Judie said. ‘We often only recognize our differences. We misjudge, we pre-judge, and we out-judge.’
Judie said people rationalize why they can’t come together at work and play and worship, instead of growing and serving together to bring His kingdom on earth.
‘We hear only what we want to hear and do only what is convenient for us,’ Judie said. ‘We are all afflicted with ‘all about me,’ instead of ‘all about us.”
Jesus healed the blind beggar because He knew the man was willing to serve, and the beggar would never be the same afterward. He would never overlook or ignore anyone else who needed a helping hand.
‘He was blind, and now he sees,’ Judie said. ‘Has everybody got it? I was blind, but now I see.’
Tinsley, the lawyer from Louisville, said he was going to see if his church could start an annual M.L. King service, and he said his Bible study group would be back next year.