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MLK Day Explores Roles in The Beloved Community

  • Published: Jan 12, 2015 9:15AM

Taylor University’s annual celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday will take place Monday, January 19. The day’s events begin and end in Rediger Chapel/Auditorium with a chapel service at 10:00 a.m., and continue throughout the day with workshops and presentations before concluding with a live concert at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s theme is: What is my role in The Beloved Community?

“For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony,” said Felicia Case, Interim Director of Taylor’s Office of Intercultural Programs. “Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.

"Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated,” she continued. “Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.

“The core value of the quest for Dr. King’s Beloved Community was agape love … which he described as an ‘overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless and creative … the love of God operating in the human heart,” Case added. “He said that, ‘Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people … It begins by loving others for their sakes,’ and, ‘makes no distinction between a friend and enemy; it is directed toward both … Agape is love seeking to preserve and create community.” 


10:00 am – Chapel

The main speaker is Mark Soderquist, a Taylor alumnus, parent and board member with 25 years of International and Urban ministry experience who speaks and consults on issues of race diversity and justice. Also featured during chapel:

Cheryse McLeod Lewis – Special music

Shante Majors – spoken word

Gospel choir – one selection

2:00 p.m. – Workshops

  • Cheryse McLeod Lewis –  Spirituals and their Historic Meaning  
  • Mark Soderquist – Continuing the Conversation – Q and A from chapel talk
  • Dr. Andrew Draper – Dr. Draper and a fellow pastor will share the story of their call to Muncie to plant a multi-ethnic church. They will be joined by current TU student, Schaivon Nevings who will talk about his transition to Taylor culture.
  • Student Reflections on Freedom Summer

During the fall of 2014, the focus for HIS 310: The Modern Civil Rights Movement was Freedom Summer, the major civil rights campaign for voting rights and social equality in Mississippi during 1964. Students prepared traditional and non-traditional projects based on the content of this course and their responses to it. Several of these students will share their work in this session.

3:00 pm - Workshops

  • Mark Soderquist – A special time with Taylor student Leaders
  • Andrew Draper – 2:00 p.m. session repeated
  • Student panel – Why #blacklivesmatter?: A conversation on acting 

Join in a conversation with students who participated in the #blacklivesmatter demonstration at Silent Night as we talk about the motivation to act. Ask questions and dialogue about this specific demonstration or social demonstrations or protests in general. What is their place and purpose in a healthy society? What is the role of the Christian in social unrest?

  • Dr. Wes Rediger – REUNITED STATES – Dr. Rediger reviews the work of Martin Luther King, WEB DuBois, Orlando Patterson, and Franklin McCain in the context of the history of civil rights in America since the Revolution in 1776. It culminates with a call to a personally-integrated lifestyle.

7:30 pm - Evening entertainment, Rediger Chapel/Auditorium – Cheryse McLeod Lewis

Having just returned home from The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess 1st National Broadway Tour last season, Cheryse McLeod Lewis brings her entertaining solo show Then Sings My Soul to Taylor University with a program that showcases uplifting and inspirational American music.

All events are free and open to the public.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day programs are sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Programs (OIP) and the Music Department at Taylor University.