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Louisville Seminary observes Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

Jan 11, 2008

Professors and students participate in campus and local events

Students and professors of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) will lead and participate in several community services in celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. and in observance of King’s birthday, which is January 15, 1929. The public is invited to participate in all of these opportunities.

At Louisville Seminary:

On Wednesday, January 16, Master of Divinity student Jamie Augustus will honor King’s legacy in the fight for freedom, liberty, and justice through her senior sermon “Social Transformation through Spiritual Reformation.” The service will begin at 11:35 a.m. in the Seminary’s Caldwell Chapel with a presentation of one of King’s sermons, and Augustus’ sermon will be delivered in a tag-team preaching style with the aid of Rev. Darvin Adams, a second-year Master of Divinity student from Paducah, Ky.

“I don’t know any other way to celebrate Dr. King than to preach the Gospel,” said Adams, who is also pastor of Bells Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Fulton, Ky. “To me, Dr. King isn’t a hero for Black people; he is a hero for all people. In honoring him we honor all cultures, all races, and all people. It is my hope that this service will remind us that as a community of faith we must continue King’s efforts toward reconciliation.”

For January 18, Dr. Scott C. Williamson has assembled members of the Seminary faculty, administration, and student body to lead a service of meditation and reflection inspired by the wisdom of Civil Rights pioneers and the personal experiences of the worship leaders. The Friday service will begin at 12 noon and include Communion.

Leaders for this special service of music, reflection, and words from the Civil Rights Movement will include Williamson, Robert H. Walkup Professor of Theological Ethics; Elizabeth Johnson Walker, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling; Johnny B. Hill, Assistant Professor of Theology; Debra Mumford, Frank H. Caldwell Assistant Professor of Homiletics; Kilen Gray, Dean of Students; and first-year student Shawn Stinson who will serve as the music leader.

At Presbyterian Church (USA):

Louisville Seminary professors and students will also participate in Martin Luther King Jr. events hosted at the Presbyterian Church (USA) in downtown Louisville. This weeklong celebration, called “Prophetic Voices in our Midst,” will feature informational sessions that support the theme and demonstrate how King’s legacy is honored today.

Beginning January 14, LPTS student Amy Robinson joins Aramie Bloom in leading the first of four brown-bag lunch informational sessions. Both individuals are supporters of the Campaign for Fair Food and have worked with the Immokalee Workers in their campaign for fair trade from Taco Bell, McDonalds, and now Burger King. Robinson and Bloom will present an overview of some of the most current Fair Trade Food issues.

On January 15 at 12:30 p.m., Professor Johnny B. Hill will share thoughts from his new book, The Theology of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Desmond Mpilo Tutu (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). In his presentation, Hill hopes to bridge the gap between the Church, academy, and community in an effort to engage in social transformation and to restore hope and prophetic action in the Black community and among other marginalized groups.

Hill is actively involved with social justice issues in the city of Louisville and with national efforts through the Church and other organizations. He is also president of the Foundation for Reconciliation and Dialogue (www.reconciliation-now.com), an advocacy and research institute devoted to building relationships and partnerships to advance the work of justice and reconciliation in the world.

The keynote speaker for “Prophetic Voices in our Midst” is Claudio Carvalhaes, Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching at Louisville Seminary. He will reflect on the life and work of Dr. King in a culminating service that will be held January 25 at 11:30 a.m. in the Atrium. Carvalhaes began teaching at the Seminary in August, and as a theologian and artist from Brazil, he has also served with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in its peacemaking and immigrant ministries.

Other speakers from the denominational offices will include Elder June Lorenzo, who will speak on “Indigenous Voices in Our Midst: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” and Phil Tom, Associate for Small Church & Community Ministries at the Presbyterian Church (USA), who will discuss “Organizing For Justice.”

Visitors and media are welcome for any and all of the scheduled events. For information about events at Louisville Seminary, contact Michelle Melton, (502) 992-9358. For events at Presbyterian Church (USA), contact DeBorah Gilbert White, Associate for Cultural Proficiency at (502) 569-5050.

Louisville Seminary is located at 1044 Alta Vista Road, off Lexington Road, and the Presbyterian Center is located one block north of Main Street at 100 Witherspoon Street.

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