Other projects and programs to honor Martin Luther King are now memories, but we will be honoring that great preacher and leader and prophet at our own MLK Day of service this coming Saturday. Because it does not fall on the long weekend, our Saturday morning of service is not one choice among the many; it stands on its own, extending the celebration and prolonging the annual moment of memory.
Our plan, if the weather allows: Meet in Congregational Hall for a prayer and a song, and then head off to one of four different tasks. As you may have heard, 15 of us will head to West Philadelphia to help ready facilities for The Common Place, a multi-partner project to bring a worshipping community and an afterschool program to the neighborhood. Meanwhile, our own kitchen will hum again with the production of casseroles for the city’s hungry. As I write, fully 45 people have signed up for this casserole blitz! Yes, thanks to the Hunger Committee, the casserole blitz really is that much fun—a well-oiled machine that takes less time and travel than other projects, and churns out that abundant and irresistible nutrition. But we do hope that folks who have had that fun before might consider switching to one of the two other projects. Arch Street Preschool, where children of all colors and backgrounds are getting a happy start to their school years together, is hoping we will have a good-sized group to sort toys and prepare learning materials. Closer to home, Eldernet has a need for ten people to do organizing, clearing, and lifting for local seniors. Whatever we do on Saturday morning, we will be doing what King called “creative altruism”—a turning away from self interest and ignorance toward empathy and informed, loving action. Wherever our Day of Service travels take us, we will find new relationships and new learnings along the way; we’ll be following Jesus, even as we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Whichever kind of service we do, we’ll be making MLK Day last just a little longer.