“We are all in it together,” was the theme of the 19th annual Chester Valley Ministerial Association’s Martin Luther King Day Breakfast in an online program.
A year ago, attendees filled the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company’s social hall, which hosted the event for many years. COVID-19 has changed all that with the end of large indoor gatherings.
This year, the event committee produced a broadcast that debuted on Youtube this morning. Reverend Sheila Lomax welcomed the audience.
Reverend Etta Mae Moore of the Chapel of Love reflected on the history of the event that started 23 years ago as a church service, then “made up of the choirs of local churches and community-based singing groups” singing religious music and “national songs and songs of the civil rights movement.”
Reverend Moore reflected on the inclusion of the Jewish community in the program planning.
“That inclusion improved the content of our presentation and added to the interest in the community.”
As the program lengthened in content, the concept of an early morning breakfast on this federal holiday would help to accommodate those who wanted to attend.
“The breakfast enhanced the interest and has been growing in participation ever since. It’s always a pleasure to see how that small beginning became the annual CVA Martin Luther King Day Breakfast.”
Robert Earl Price introduced and read from his poem “Living in a Burning House,” his reflection on King’s response to Black ministers preaching a “go slow” approach as he sat in the Birmingham city jail and where he wrote his famous letter of that name.
The 2021 program included Irene Moore singing “He’s and On-time God” and “Jesus Pleaded My Case,” John Schratweiser of the Kent Cultural Alliance singing “A simple Song,” and Sue Matthews singing “Over the Rainbow.”
The keynote speaker was Bishop Ronald T. Fisher Faith Life Church who expanded on the event’s theme with a message of “One God, One People, One Problem and One Solution.”
“All of us have the same needs . . . All of us come from one family . . . We are only looking at very miniscule differences in people.”
The Bishop continued that “The problem of all problems . . . is sin. My sin, your sin, our sin against our neighbors. We need to learn to forebear, to forgive.”
He called on viewers to be “change agents.”
“How I live and how I treat others. At the end of the day, I am my brother’s keeper.”
Leslie Prince Raimond announced that the annual Humanitarian Award was to honor the untold citizens who are giving of themselves to address every aspect of human challenges and suffering that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought.
“Humans helping and caring for other humans, that is humanitarianism,” Raimond said.
The program runs approximately 88 minutes.