Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observance planned in Alpena

“Creating a beloved community,” a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is the theme this year for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration in Alpena.

Several events will take place Jan. 21 at the Alpena Community College campus. Observation of this national holiday also will be held Jan. 19 at First Congregational United Church of Christ.

Events on Jan. 21 begin with a film at 2:30 p.m. in the ACC Besser Tech Center, Room 122. “The Loving Story,” a documentary about a couple named Loving whose interracial marriage was against the law in Virginia in 1958, will be shown at that time.

The case involving this family came before the Supreme Court, with the court ruling in favor of their marriage. A discussion after the film will be led by Matt Dunckel, a geography and history faculty member at ACC.

A chili supper to benefit the Wash Your Coat project will be held at 5 p.m. in the ACC Lumberjack Shack. Tickets for the meal are $8 for adults and $4 for students and children under 12. Proceeds from this event provide free washer and dryer service to those in the community in need of this service.

The chili supper is sponsored by two local groups-The Religions Study at St. Paul Lutheran Church and the Building Bridges to Understanding group at Alpena First Congregational United Church of Christ. Both groups are studying other religions, including Judaism and Islam.

A panel of married couples in Alpena who represent different cultures will talk about loving relationships across cultural differences in a program at 7 p.m. in ACC Newport Center, Room 106. Panel members include pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Shirley Ross-Jones and her husband, Vernon Jones, and Phindi and her husband Nick Bancroft. The Bancrofts are both faculty members at ACC. Phindi is from Johannesburg, South Africa. The moderator will be Dr. Greg Adamus, a retired Alpena High School administrator and a recent visiting scholar in China.

On Jan. 19, First Congregational United Church of Christ will dedicate its morning worship service to the celebration of the spiritual legacy of King. The Chancel Choir will be singing civil rights anthems such as “Rain Down,” “Let Justice Flow Like Streams” and “We Shall Overcome.”

In place of the usual sermon time, Adamus will present a shortened version of his photologue displaying his visit to the new MLK Monument in Washington, D.C. Emphasis will be placed upon the spiritual meaning of the 14 MLK quotations etched in stone surrounding the MLK statue.

This special service begins at 10 a.m., and all interested are warmly invited to attend. The church is located in downtown Alpena at the corner of Second and Lockwood.

Free child care is available during the worship service. Hearing assistance devices and large print bulletins are available. Refreshments will be served afterwards during a fellowship time.