Churches take part in 'Day of Service' on MLK holiday

by Michael Gryboski, |
Volunteers gather the supplies needed for the Blessing Baskets compiled by volunteers at Cross Church, a multi-site megachurch based in Arkansas. | | Photo: Cross Church/John Phillips

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not just a time in which people take off from work or school; it is also a national day of service in which numerous secular and religious organizations oversee volunteer projects to better their communities.

In 1994, 11 years after MLK Day became a national holiday, Congress designated the annual observance as a day of service and assigned the Corporation for National and Community Service to oversee the effort.

"MLK Day of Service is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a 'Beloved Community,'" explained the CNCS.

The Christian Post talked with a few churches participating in the day of service about what they are doing on the holiday and what role they believe the church should have in advancing King's dream of equality.

'For King, faith and politics were integrated'

Ruth Frey, director of Justice and Reconciliation at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City, told CP that her church has participated in the Day of Service for the past few years.

"In past years, Trinity has worked with local Jewish and Muslim communities on food justice activities and has welcomed people to participate in Trinity's regular Brown Bag Lunch program. We have also participated in the New York Cares Day of Service," explained Frey.

For 2019, Trinity Church will offer an interactive program titled "This is America" that is meant to educate people about the systemic nature of poverty.

Frey told CP that people all too often forget that King "was first and foremost a Christian minister and preacher" with his beliefs on justice coming "directly from his faith and his understanding of Christian scripture."

Read more from "Churches take part in 'Day of Service' on MLK holiday" on The Christian Post.