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All charged with continuing King’s work

All charged with continuing King’s work
All charged with continuing King’s work
The Rev. Webster Oglesby, senior pastor at Lincoln Hills Christian Church in Corydon, sings during the service. In the background are the Rev. Scott Hill of Corydon Presbyterian Church and Jessica A. Brown, hosts for the program.

The work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has to continue through each of us, the Rev. Tonya Burris, pastor of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Corydon told those attending the 22nd annual ecumenical service held Sunday afternoon at Corydon Presbyterian Church as a tribute to the slain civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39.
‘We have come to be challenged and informed that the work goes on,’ Burris said because ‘we, too, have a call from the Lord.’
She told the audience that the Lord didn’t just tell certain people to do His work, but that the message is for everyone.
‘We have not promoted peace because we have not embraced the fact that peace knows no boundaries,’ Burris said.
The AME minister said it’s time for people to ‘step up’ and report wrongdoings. One example she cited was the Jan. 14 murders of two Indianapolis women and their two children.
‘It’s time for us to rise up and be a community of love and a community of respect,’ she said.
Burris reminded everyone that the Lord requires them ‘to act justly, to do what is morally right.’
She said she has been doing this since she was a young girl, when she ‘thought I was just doing my mom a favor’ by ‘snitching’ on her older sister. Burris said people were more of a community in the ’70s and ’80s, when they checked on their neighbors.
Burris mentioned that 2008 is the Year of the Lord’s Favor. ‘How do you get favor?’ she asked. ‘If we want to have favor, we have to develop a relationship with God.’
One way to do that is to have mercy, ‘even for those who did you wrong,’ Burris said.
She delivered the message that ‘God is a just God’ and He gave everyone that same spirit that lived within King. And that spirit ‘didn’t die with Dr. King,’ Burris said. ‘The work has to continue in each of us.’
Hosts for the program were the Rev. Scott Hill, pastor at Corydon Presbyterian Church, and Jessica A. Brown, daughter of Jewel Brown, one of the long-time organizers of the King service in Corydon.
‘It’s an honor to host this service as a legacy to Dr. King,’ said Hill. Sunday was the first time CPC had hosted the King service since Hill moved to Corydon in 2003. ‘It’s good that God has brought us together.’
Several other Harrison County pastors participated, including the Rev. Betty Sieberns from New Amsterdam United Methodist Church and president of the Harrison County Ministerial Association, who read scripture; the Rev. Webster Oglesby, senior pastor at Lincoln Hills Christian Church in Corydon, who sang a few songs; and the Rev. Mark Windley from Mauckport United Methodist Church, who read scripture and noted that he is an African American of an all-white congregation.
‘We’re living the dream of Dr. King in Mauckport,’ Windley said.
The Rev. Neal Kentch of Corydon Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, shared a story and expressed his appreciation for being involved in many of the past MLK services. Kentch and his wife, Mary, are moving to California later this month.
‘You will be very much missed,’ Hill told Kentch.
Other music for the afternoon was provided by the Archdiocese Choir of Louisville, directed by James Taylor; the combined choirs from Corydon Presbyterian and Corydon United Methodist churches, directed by Beth Bostock; an organ-piano duet by Bostock and Gary Pope; and the Down By the Wayside Choir from Wayside Christian’s Mission in Louisville, featuring solos by Priscilla Arioni and Lourtina Williams.
Members of Jonah’s Whale from Anointed Blood performed a skit called ‘The Doctor’s In.’ The message was that sin is contagious, so people should be careful with whom they associate.
Jessica Brown also read a poem titled ‘We Remember.’
‘This is so wonderful to see everybody together,’ said Jewell Brown when she thanked everyone for attending.
To close the program, everyone joined hands and sang ‘We Shall Overcome.’ Many of those attending the service then shared a meal in the church’s Community Life Center. Some members of Anointed Blood performed dance routines.
On Monday afternoon, Community Unity, a group that was organized in 1999 to promote projects that enhance ‘peaceable understanding between persons of diverse background,’ sponsored a program at the Leora Brown School in Corydon that included the rebroadcast of several of King’s speeches and sermons. About 25 people attended the program, including Indiana Ninth District Congressman Baron Hill. He was there during the playing of the speech ‘Give Us the Ballot.’
Community Unity is planning a program soon that will focus on Amelia Boynton Robinson, who helped inspire the 1976 Selma-Montgomery March.
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