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Helps for Celebrating Martin Luther King's Birthday

Your church or community may be planning to give special attention to observing Martin Luther King's birthday in worship.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Be sure to consider the resources in The United Methodist Book of Worship, 435. You will find some significant resources there.
  • See the January/February 1999 issue of Sojouners. The article on "Dangerous Spirituality" by Vincent Harding looks at the life and ministry of Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr. This article and others like it will stir your own inner vision and creative juices as you plan for observing this day.
I am sure that if you review other periodicals, you will find other resources.

If you will be observing Dr. King's birthday on the national holiday, January 17, you will probably want to focus the whole service on the vision and call to justice and compassion proclaimed by Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you plan to include the observation on the Sunday before the national holiday, may want to review the rubric in The United Methodist Book of Worship, 422, as a way of putting the celebration of the life and ministry of Dr. King in perspective within the service.

Daniel T. Benedict, Jr. retired from the staff of the Discipleship Ministries in August 2005.

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