The verse, I'm gonna' treat everybody right – until I die, from the traditional spiritual "I Will Trust in the Lord" is slowly becoming a worldwide standard for how the human family lives together. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day has become Human Relations Day on the United Methodist Special Days Calendar. This allows us to step back from the historical person, Martin Luther King, Jr., just enough to embrace the sweeping worldwide reforms initiated by Dr. King and others during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It also calls us to remember two things: that one person can make a tremendous difference and that when we venture forth in the name of God's justice, we will not have to stand alone for very long. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has truly taken his place in history as a drum major for justice, leading a parade of like-minded people on several continents who continue the work begun under his leadership nearly half a century ago.
Worship Resources for Human Relations Day
Litany for Human Relations Day by the Rev. Sharletta Green
Drinking the Cup of Justice: A Prayer of Confession for Human Relations Day by the Rev. Rina Terry
A Call to Justice and Mercy by the Rev. Nathan Decker
A Pastoral Prayer for Human Relations Day
Safiyah Fosua has used the Old Testament text for Epiphany 2B as the basis for this prayer.
Worship Resources (pdf) for Human Relations Day from umcgiving.org -- Written by the Rev. Maxine Allen
Worship Resources for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
"Helps for Celebrating Martin Luther King's Birthday" by Daniel T. Benedict
Response to the Word for MLK Day by Dr. Kwasi Kena
Let Us Speak of Mercy and Justice
We are indebted to the Rev. Brett Strobel, pastor of the Newman United Methodist Church, Grants Pass, Oregon, for writing these calls to worship and for compiling relevant resources for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Martin Had a Dream; We Have a Dream by Dr. Eugene Blair, District Superintendent of the Flint District of the Detroit Annual Conference for these resources. Dr. Blair is a former Dean of the Upper Room Chapel at Discipleship Ministries-UMC.
Prayer for Martin Luther King Day Celebration -- From the General Board of Global Ministries
The Making of a Prophet — Celebrating the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
This worship service was celebrated on January 15, 2003, at the Wightman Chapel of the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The Center for Worship Resourcing posts it here so that churches and communities who may want to adapt it for use in their settings will have the benefit of this powerful recollection of the voice of Dr. King.
Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This worship service was celebrated on January 17, 2007, at the Wightman Chapel of the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The Center for Worship Resourcing posts it here so that churches and communities who may want to adapt it for use in their settings will have the benefit of this powerful recollection of the voice of Dr. King.
Hymns for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
"Beloved Child, Beloved Community" by John Middleton
This hymn text by John Middleton is a way of bridging personal and corporate experiences of belovedness. The fifth stanza is an alternate for special occasions, such as Martin Luther King's birthday.
"Come, Let Us Dream" by John Middleton
"Here Where Dreams Are More than Visions" by Andrew Pratt
"I Have a Dream" by Pamela Pettitt (Worship & Song, no. 3127)
The following online resources may assist you in helping your congregation understand who Martin Luther King, Jr., was and how he influenced our lives together.
(Note: We provide these links as a service to visitors and urge that you use discernment in checking the quality and adequacy of the content of each site. Please note that the Center for Worship Resourcing does not necessarily endorse any of the links listed on its webpages.)
The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia
A primary resource for learning about Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site
This site is maintained by the National Parks Department of the United States Government. The King Center in Atlanta is considered a National Historic site.
The National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis)
The Civil Rights movement did not begin or end with Martin Luther King, Jr., but it did flower under his powerful leadership. Learn more about other historical figures associated with the Civil Rights Movement at The National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis) Website.
African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
From the Library of Congress website.
African American World: The Civil Rights Era
An excellent PBS documentary
Articles about Martin Luther King, Jr. from Scholastic.com
Messages to Martin
UMTV follows the process that Bishop White uses to write his yearly letters to Dr. King.
Walking with King
A special feature from United Methodist News Service