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Notes of Rest presented for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observance

Posted: January 20 2023 at 12:41 PM
Notes Of Rest Mlk

On Sunday, January 15th, Julian Davis Reid presented one of his spiritual retreats, Notes of Rest, specifically tailored for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at First United Methodist Church of Oak Park.  The event, sponsored by the Northern Illinois Conference and the United Methodist Foundation, focused on the importance of rest in fueling the continued pursuit of justice for all and Dr. King’s dream of the Beloved Community.

Over 12 congregations from across the Northern Illinois Conference were represented in the crowd and, in the spirit of creating Beloved Community, a free-will offering was taken to benefit World Relief – Chicagoland, the agency the Conference has been supporting in its work with refugees and other immigrants seeking to rebuild their lives in the United States.  Over $600 was received.

 Jonita Lattimore

Julian Reid played on the piano and Jonita Lattimore offered lyrical selections

The workshop, laced with music, included theological reflection based on Isaiah 56: 2-8 which rested on a bed of solo piano and small group conversation among audience members around prompts culled from the scripture.  The event culminated with selections offered by operatic and lyric soprano Jonita Lattimore, which tapped into the heart of the Civil Rights Movement and still inspires modern-day warriors in the cause of the eradication of racism and injustice in all its forms.

Julian shared that he had the pleasure of talking with Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President Emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund. She shared in her reflections on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement and, knowing that he was not only a theologian but also a musician, said that “the movement stopped once the music died out.”  This helped to reinforce the significance of the integration of music into the framework for considering the life and legacy of Dr. King.  As Julian learned during that impactful conversation, “Music was integral to the work of justice and advocacy.”

The event is archived on the website of First UMC of Oak Park: www.firstumcoakpark.org under the Worship Online tab.   

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