By DEBORAH ANN TRIPOLDI
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day service is important to the Rev. Bernadette Glover of St. Paul Baptist Church because the community comes together in a celebration of King’s work, and because it is an inspiration for others to work for justice.
“There is a sense of connection to the other person; not only as a human being but what impacts our world, our community, our town. We are all in this together in one way or another,” Glover said.
The service will be hosted this year at St. Paul Baptist Church, 119 Elm St., Jan. 21, noon to 2 p.m. Each year the annual interfaith service is held at a different location in Montclair. This is the second year at St. Paul.
This year’s theme is “Hate is Too Great a Burden to Bear.” The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Charles Franklin Boyer of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Woodbury.
The Rev. Anita Wright, of Trinity Presbyterian Church said Boyer was chosen due to his background in social justice, civil rights and the Poor People’s Campaign (poorpeoplescampaign.org). Boyer is the founder of Salvation and Social Justice (sandsj.org), and the co-convener of the NJ Black Multi-Faith Alliance (njblackfaith.org), the NJ Prophetic Agenda (njpropheticagenda.org), and the United Black Agenda, according to the Bethel AME Church website. He also leads various boards, initiatives and committees.
As people enter the church, a sound clip of one of King’s sermons will play. The St. Paul Dance Ministry and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair Chalice Choir will perform during the service. The music will be related to the day’s theme of social justice. Songs performed will include “We Shall Overcome” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Children will also perform a rap of a poem, a tribute to King and a message to those who are marginalized; to give voice.
“The program will hopefully remind us of his legacy. His dreams transcended times and generations,” said the Rev. Robert Coles of Petra Baptist Church and president of the Montclair African American Clergy Association.
The service is sponsored by the Montclair African American Clergy Association, the Montclair Interfaith Clergy Association. the NAACP Montclair Branch, Montclair Fourth Ward Councilwoman Renée Baskerville and the Fourth Ward Collaborative.
OTHER MLK EVENTS
The 30th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. in the atrium of Montclair High School, 100 Chestnut St. The speaker will be Kendra Johnson, superintendent of Montclair Public Schools. Tickets may be purchased at the door; adults $30 and students $10.
At 10 a.m. on Jan. 21, Charles Bullock Elementary School will hold a their 16th annual MLK Day of Service concert. P.A.C.E. Music Group, a 20-piece high school orchestra from Camden, will return to perform. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
L3 Academy, 1 Greenwood Ave., will be holding a mini camp in remembrance of King. Children will take a step back into Martin Luther King Jr.’s time, in the 1960s and explore technologies that first made their debut and how they are related to today including Space War, the first game invented for computers, the first robot, supercomputer and LEDs. Children will work with coding and explore electronics by taking them apart to see how they work; as well as exploring space – then and now – and take time to work with some robots.