January 18, 2015 – Remembering Dr. King: In the Wake of Ferguson

This Sunday, January 18, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., we remember the life, leadership, and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the wake of last year’s events in Ferguson, Missouri. Fifty years ago, Dr. King courageously led the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to advocate for the Voting Rights Act. Marchers suffered police brutality and risked death for their right to vote. In 2013, the U. S. Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, with the Chief Justice writing that our country had changed. In her dissent, Justice Ginsberg noted that throwing away the protection of the VRA was like throwing away your umbrella in a rain storm because you weren’t getting wet! She was right. Eight states, released from the restriction of the VRA, swiftly took steps to enact laws apparently intended to limit or discourage voting by people of color.

In 2014, police response to people of color took center stage, with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island. From the professional sports arena to the streets of major cities across the country, we have seen thousands of protesters with “I Can’t Breathe” and “Hands Up – Don’t Shoot” shirts.

Do we live and worship so far from the fray that we can comfortably look on from the bleachers? What is God calling us to do, individually and as a church, when confronted with racial injustice? We’ll explore these questions and more this Sunday during church and afterwards at Let’s Talk, so bring your thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Our scripture passages are Habbakuk 1:2-4, 2:2-4, Micah 6:6-8, and Galatians 3:26-28. Our youth choir will bring us original music composed for this Sunday by Hallie Foster, and the SHPC Singers have something special for us, too.