Epiphany #2—Martin Luther King Celebration Service January 16, 2022, 11:00 am
PRELUDE: There Is a Balm in Gilead—setting, Bradley Sowash
CALL TO RETURN TO OUR SOULS
Pastor: A man went forth with gifts.
People: He was a prose poem.
Pastor: He was a tragic grace.
People: He was a warm music.
Pastor: He tried to heal the vivid volcanoes.
People His ashes are reading the world.
Pastor: The Dream still wishes to anoint
People: The barricades of faith and control.
Pastor: His word still burns the center of the sun
People: Above the thousands
Pastor: The word was Justice
Pastor: It was spoken.
People: It shall be spoken.
Pastor: So it shall be done.
–Gwendolyn Brooks, poem honoring Dr. King
HYMN: Bring Forth the Kingdom
(Dr. King was especially committed to Bring Forth the Kingdom, which he named The Beloved Community)
CALL TO CONFESS OUR WEARINESS, DISCOURAGEMENT, DESPAIR AND THEN COMMIT TO TRANSCEND THESE SELF DEFEATING MINDSETS–Dr King, from the sermon “Our God is Able” after the family’s home was bombed
Pastor: I now know that God is able!
People: To give us interior resources to face life’s storms.
Pastor: Let this affirmation be our ringing cry.
People: It will give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future.
Pastor: It will give our tired feet new strength as we strive toward the city of freedom.
People: When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds,
Pastor: And our nights become darker than a hundred midnights—
People: Let us remember that there is a Power in the universe whose name is God.
Pastor: God is able to make a way out of no way,
People: And transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.
Pastor: This is our hope for becoming new persons.
People: This is our mandate for seeking to make a better world.
Pastor: This is why we keep returning to answer the call to worship a God
People: Who will be at our side forever.
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
HYMN: We’ve Come This Far by Faith GTG#656
BIBLE READINGS: Luke 3:15-22 Exodus 1:8-14, Exodus 3:1-8a
SUNG RESPONSE: We Shall Overcome GTG#379
MESSAGE: An MLK Holiday Message
HYMN: Lift Every Voice and Sing GTG#339
ANTHEM: Lord, I’m Coming Home—Kyle Johnson
Matthew 25 Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
SUNG RESPONSE: Deep River
OFFERTORY: Martin Luther King, Jr. —text, Gwendolyn Brooks; music, Dave Ragland; Neal Long, tenor
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Eternal God, out of whose mind this great cosmic universe was born, We bless You. Help us to see what is high, noble and good. Help us in this moment of difficult decision. Help us to work with renewed vigor for a warless world, a better distribution of wealth, and a brother/sisterhood that transcends race or color. Amen. –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.