Interfaith prayer, music, tribute at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday celebration service
The 49th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Service at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church began with a Panel Discussion: Living Out the Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King in the 21st Century that featured Dr. Anita Joshi (Hindu Temple), Brenda Shaheed (Nur-Allah Islamic Center), Dr. John Franke (2nd Presbyterian Church) and moderated by Reverend Dr. Thomas Brown (President, Indiana Christian Leadership Conference).
There were Invocations by interfaith youth representatives from Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Christian faiths; Scripture readings; Tributes by Mayor Joe Hogsett, U.S. Congressman Andre Carson, Ms. Alexus Tucker, representing U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, Indiana State Senator Jean Breaux, State Representative Robin Shackleford, and others. There was musical presentation by the Choir, and there were passionate tributes to the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and reminders of the unfinished work in fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream.
Themes of human rights and dignity: equal justice and opportunity; renewed dedication to service and loving your neighbor; respect for other faiths and encouraging young people to step forward; “raising and amplifying our voices and setting our own example;” “Urgency of now and participation in the fight” to address injustices and the challenges of racial divides; uplifting our sights and spirit to honor the sacrifices and unfulfilled promises of all people of this great Nation reverberated throughout the Celebration Service.
The Invocations and messages were reminders: there is work to be done to make the dreams of great Americans a reality for the entire Nation and our world.The Celebration was sponsored by the Indiana Christian Leadership Conference, Nur-Allah Islamic Center, and Center for Interfaith Cooperation. ~ KP Singh – Indianapolis, Indiana USA – January 15, 2018.