Keeping student dreams alive: Prayer Service celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” During his lifetime, Dr. King focused on love by fighting for equality for all and driving out hatred through his work throughout the civil rights movement.

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, CRSM students, staff and faculty gathered for an all-school liturgy to celebrate that legacy of service and the dreams of the civil rights activist – and their own! An annual tradition at CRSM, the prayer service also marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination and was celebrated in the Protestant worship tradition of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

“It’s something we need to live out daily,” said Rev. Pierre Edmonds, pastor of Eternal Flame AME Church in North Chicago and CRSM Dean of Students. “Today we are embracing, recognizing and celebrating diversity by honoring our differences and similarities. Dr. King is a modern-day prophet who inspires and moves us into action.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question, and one I will ask you from today forward is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” added Edmonds.

Tapping into the minds of dreamers, guest speaker Rev. Katrese Kirk, pastor of Coleman Chapel AME Church in Kenosha, encouraged students to hold on to their dreams and to push back against challenges and difficult times.

“Dreams are more important than ever during these challenging and difficult times,” she said. “The moment you find your dreams escaping, I want you to use this mantra: ‘I could let these dream-killers kill my self-esteem, or use my faith as the steam to power my dreams.’”

Calling the civil rights activist, “our other Saint Martin,” Jim Dippold, director of campus ministry, said: “Dr. King is an incredibly important modern-day prophet of God who calls and inspires us to be people of prayer and people for others.”

Pianist and soloist Rev. Tyrrell Winfrey from First Baptist Church in North Chicago and saxophonist Brother Khalid Jernigan led the music for the second year, and soloist Rev. Marie Bryant, who sang in 2013, returned as well.