With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

The photo of the Haitian immigrant’s son graduating at West Point is worth a thousand words, but the words place the tears in context on Martin Luther King Day. “Only love can do that.”

Live & Learn

As 2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache stood at attention during the commencement ceremony at West Point, N.Y., he was overcome with emotion. Tears rolled down both cheeks, but his gloved left hand held firm on his white, gold and black “cover,” the dress headgear that Army cadets wear.

He worked his way through one of the nation’s most prestigious military schools after immigrating to the United States from Haiti, earning his citizenship and serving for two years as an enlisted soldier.

“I am humbled and shocked at the same time. Thank you for giving me a shot at the American Dream and may God bless America, the greatest country on earth.”

“I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me.

“Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words,” Idrache wrote. “I could not help but…

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Martin Luther King Day 2018 – Making America Great Again

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Today Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream seems further from reality than it was a year ago. Events of 2018 have turned America into an international horror show, a source of ridicule among our closest traditional allies, and the home less of the brave than of white supremacy and white nationalist movements that are making America small again.

Dr. King called for making America great. Not great according the past reign of white supremacy and nationalism which we thought we’d overcome, but great as a lofty aspiration and spiritual-moral-economic task.

Every day we choose what greatness is. Every day we choose what to believe. Every day we choose who we are and who we will become. Dr. King’s own voice says it best.

“The long arc of history bends toward justice.” I do believe. I have to believe deep in my heart that we shall overcome someday. To do less would be to die before I die.

— Gordon C. Stewart, MLK Day, January 15, 2018.

 

Martin Luther King Day in St. Augustine

The car dealer here in St. Augustine will be open on Martin Luther King Day. No holiday for its workers.

I learn this while waiting for my car to be serviced. I read the local paper, The St. Augustine Record, Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Tucked away page A6 under “News and Notes” is a small headline:

“Commemorative Breakfast Planned”

Commemorative of what? Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday, January 19 at First Coastal Technical College.

I put down the paper and walk through the show room to look at the new models. A white sales manager sees me get into one of the cars and points angrily to a 20-something African-American salesman to get with the program. The young man greets me through the passenger window. I tell him I’m just killing time during a routine oil change and that I’m from Minnesota. We exchange pleasantries.

I get a cup of coffee and go out to look at the used cars – it’s my thing, checking out used cars – and run into the young salesman again. I ask whether Martin Luther King Day is a big deal here in St. Augustine. He smiles. I tell him I’ve just read the newspaper and the small announcement. “Is the dealership closed for Martin Luther King Day?” I ask. “No, Sir. We’re open,” he says. “I’ll be working.”

“Do you know about The St. Augustine Four?” I ask. He doesn’t. I tell him we’re staying next door to the home of James and Hattie White whose 14 year-old son Samuel was sent to reform school in 1963 for sitting in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, and that the case of the four teenagers was responsible for Dr. King and Jackie Robinson joining the cause in St. Augustine.

Before I leave the dealership, he finds me in the waiting area. “I asked the boss,” he says. “He said I can have the day off if I want it.”

I tell him there’s a “Hands Up!” workshop Saturday morning at the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) where MLK and Jackie Robinson joined the local the Civil Rights Movement in St. Augustine. It’s just around the corner from where we’re staying in Lincolnville. “Come if you can!” “Thanks,” he says, “Maybe I’ll see you there.”

 

The guns in my own back yard

It’s the eve of Martin King Day. This morning’s Star Tribune tells the story “Murderous ‘monster’ acquires an arsenal” in Carver County, Minnesota. Three cheers to you, Jim Olson, Carver County Sheriff. Thanks to the Star Tribune and other newspapers for keeping us informed.

The Oberender case exposes loopholes in national gun laws and Minnesota’s background checks. Here’s the link to the piece:

http://www.startribune.com/local/west/187610601.html

Today in worship we will look again at the call of Samuel and the call of Jesus’ first disciples who asked Jesus an odd question. “Where are you staying?”  “Come and see,” he said. I wonder: Are there guns where Jesus lives?

Martin Luther King Day

MLK imagesCACBW2T7MONDAY, JAN. 21, 2013

7 – 8 p.m. (African Drumming begins @ 6:45)

Community Celebration of the life and witness of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN.

Add your voice.

African drumming with Arthur Turner begins @6:45, jazz-gospel pianist Momoh Freeman, baritone soloist and song-leader Jerry Steele, the Liberian choir from All Nations Church in Minneapolis. excerpts from the work of Dr. King shared by local dignitaries and community

 

This bold, courageous, peace-making civil rights and peace movement pastor has been absorbed into American culture as a revered but rather harmless figure. He has become an icon. To honor the memory of the real Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. who put his life on the line and lost it while standing with striking sanitation workers in Memphis, the music and readings will bring Dr. King’s voice to an America he would still challenge for our idols of race, class, and nation and the pervasive worship of violence at Newtown and in Afghanistan.

Shepherd of the Hill hosts this community celebration for the City of Chaska out of our commitment to Dr. King’s legacy and the gospel of the Beloved Community that stood at the heart of his life and public ministry.

MEET THE ARTIST: Koffi Mbairamadji

"Abraham's Sons" - Koffi Mbairamadji

“Abraham’s Sons” – Koffi Mbairamadji

Friday evening, January 11 from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.

Drop by the wine and cheese reception for African artist Koffi Mbairamadji from Chad.

Click HERE for Georgetown University’s Center for Liturgy article on the artist.

The exhibit will be on display at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN in preparation for the Martin Luther King Day Celebration, January 21, 2013 at 7:00 P.M. in the Chapel of Shepherd of the Hill.

All are welcome.