Interfaith celebration planned for King

January 13, 1995|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

An interfaith celebration honoring the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will transcend religious and racial lines as several South Carroll congregations share food and fellowship Sunday evening.

"It is important to have a public witness that understanding of Dr. King's message crosses racial lines," the Rev. Jamie Dale, pastor of Springfield Presbyterian Church in Sykesville, said. "We all pass each other daily but now Martin Luther King's birthday offers us a fitting opportunity to make a public effort and get together."

Mr. Dale helped organize the second annual celebration, which will begin at 5 p.m. with a potluck supper at Wesley-Freedom United Methodist Church, 961 Johnsville Road.

"Everyone brings a dish to share and we all get to taste whatever there is," said Edna Johnson, a member of St. Luke's United Methodist and organizer of the dinner. "We get a real mix of ethnic foods and everyone is delighted."

Ms. Johnson plans to make a kettle of vegetable soup. If last year is any indication, she expects Italian, Jewish, African and Asian foods and desserts from many nations to fill the serving tables.

She also is hoping for an exchange of ideas along with recipes. After dinner, the crowd will break into small discussion groups to "share points from Dr. King's speeches and how his message affects us all," she said.

"This is a gathering of the community where people get to know one another," she said. "We can make order out of chaos in our own small way."

Mr. Dale hopes the brief discussions also will help "us all get to know each other better."

Choirs from several local churches will perform musical selections and lead the participants in communal hymn singing.

The Rev. Bernard Keels, district superintendent for the Baltimore West district of the Baltimore Washington United Methodist Conference, will be the speaker. Mr. Keels is also speaking at the annual breakfast honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., sponsored by the Former Students of Robert Moton School tomorrow at Martin's Westminster.

Last year, about 100 people attended the first South Carroll celebration. Mr. Dale has reservations for more than that number already. The hall at Wesley-Freedom can accommodate 175 people, so there is room for more, he said.

"There are precious few times that different denominations of Christians and Jews meet on a community-wide basis," said Mr. Dale. "We are good at recruiting for our own members, but now we can meet those who go to other churches and synagogues."

Seven different congregations of Catholics, Protestants and Jews will attend. Mr. Dale also expects students from the Thomas O'Farrell Youth Center in Marriottsville to join the celebration.

Information: 795-6152.

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