In 1994, the United States Congress answered that question when it passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the third Monday in January as a national Day of Service. The Act asked
Americans to see the day not just as time off from work or school, but as an opportunity to honor King’s legacy by taking part in community service projects. In short, they were asked to “make it a day on, not a day off.”
On January 21, 2008 millions of Americans across the country — including many Episcopalians -- will conduct food drives, paint schools and community centers, recruit mentors for needy youth, and bring meals to homebound neighbors, among many other projects. For 2008, in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s death, the Corporation for National Community Service, a government agency charged with carrying out the service aspect of MLK Day, has announced a new initiative: “40 Days of Nonviolence: Building the Beloved Community.”
This year, King Day of Service will kick off 40 days during which families, schools, faith communities, and other organizations will plan service projects and educational activities promoting Dr. King’s message of nonviolence and social justice. (For more information, visit www.mlkday.gov/about/beloved_community.)
The King Day of Service brings together people who might not ordinarily meet, breaks down barriers, leads to better understanding and ongoing relationships, and gives organizations an opportunity to recruit new volunteers for their work. Participation in the King Day of Service has grown steadily over the past decade, with hundreds of thousands of Americans each year engaging in projects. Episcopal congregations throughout the nation will take part this year in the Day of Service, many of them in cooperation with other churches and community organizations.
Information and photos from the Corporation for National Community Service. (from Episcopal News Service]
Sunday, January 20, 4 – 6 pm
17th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday
Commemoration of Litchfield County
Trinity Episcopal Church, Torrington
Speakers include Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., director, Center
For Nonviolence and Peace Studies, University of Rhode
Island. Sankofa Kuumba Dancers and Drummers and Peace
is Possible Chorus. Cosponsored by Connecticut Center
for Nonviolence (www.ctnonviolence.org) and Community
Foundation of Northwest Connecticut.
Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last; Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.