Highlighting a weekend of prayer, praise and promise, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worship service celebrated the national holiday in King’s honor and encouraged all who share his message to speak up about things that matter.
Inspired by community Poet Laureate Cora Miller’s poem, “ Speak Up! Let us not be silent about the things that matter,” Sister Janet West told about 100 worshipers gathered in the warm, golden glow of the sanctuary at Long Neck United Methodist Church, that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ran his mission from the church.
“It is by the power of God and of the Holy Spirit that things will continue to get better. We will not sit back and watch justice be undone!” West said.
She urged the congregation to pay attention, speak up and rally against injustice.
“I’m not going to be silent when things should be said,” West said. “You have a home, you have a job, you are comfortable. But today, you are coming to remember, and you are coming to recommit.”
The lively two-and-a-half-hour service featured local congregations presenting spirited song, praise dance, and readings. Bringing the message was the Rev. Cynthia Daniels of Friendship Baptist Church in Lewes.
“There is a time to keep silence and a time to speak,” Daniels said. “During his lifetime, it was Dr. King’s time to speak, speaking out against violence, injustice and Vietnam. So remember, a time comes when silence is betrayal. Today, we are talking about having the strength to remember and the courage to speak up.”
Attending the service were Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, former Sen. George Bunting and Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Kathy McGuiness, who said the weekend celebration offers an opportunity to hear voices in their communities.
“I believe, especially in times like these, we need to have leaders who have the will to listen and the ability to act,” McGuiness said.