Let Freedom Sing With Dr. King (Two videos below)
Our Little Family of Residents and Little Sisters gathered on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for an afternoon soirée in our auditorium to celebrate his life and legacy – a culture which enables people to ‘dream’ of full rights for all their brothers and sisters.
Volunteers, staff and the Little Sisters lent a hand serving food and drink, and helping with the Residents and the program. Everyone working together to move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
Francine Whitley, activities director and Mistress of Ceremony introduced Fr. Phillip Simo for the opening prayer. “We pray that God will inspire us with the same spirit with which he inspired the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” he said, “that we too may work for social justice and peace among all people.”
Darline Germain, activities aide, spoke of “The Occasion” and our reason for gathering, then Deacon Bobby spoke of Dr. Kings life, family, schooling, and call to religious life and social activism. Alvin Williams, a Resident, sang his version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah bringing tears to our eyes.
Thirty members of St. Augustine’s Choir arrived to help us celebrate and spent their MLK Day in service to our Residents. Their repertoire featured “Lord Hold My Hand,” “Everlasting God,” and “He is a Rock in a Weary Land.” Their loving smiles, inspiring energy and uplifting music were met with great enthusiasm by our Residents who joined-in by singing, swaying, and tapping toes and fingers. After much clapping, we enjoyed an encore of several more songs that included a stirring rendition of “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” a favorite Gospel Hymn.
“We are so honored and blessed that the choir accepted our invitation,” said Francine in introducing the Choir as our special guests, “they are so talented, have sung for two Popes, three Presidents, and have traveled all over the world spreading Gods goodness through song and praise.”
Culminating the event was a closing prayer by Fr. Green, Resident, praising Dr. King and his legacy, and offering his thanks to all those who helped us celebrate, including the thirty members of the choir from the parish that he served for many years.
A reception – complete with snacks, a delicious “I Have A Dream” cake, and the strains of Stevie Wonder’s song written for Dr. King “Happy Birthday” playing in the background – followed the program.
We know the key to unify all people
Is in the dream that you had so long ago
That lives in all of the hearts of people
That believe in unity
We’ll make the dream become a reality
I know we will
Because our hearts tell us so
– Stevie Wonder
Click below for a video clip of “His Eye is on the Sparrow”:
Do You Know?
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a “Day of Service?”
Legislation signed in 1983 marked the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a federal holiday. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that leads service and volunteering, with leading this effort. Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a “day on, not a day off.” MLK Day of Service is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”