Mission: to Amplify Compassion by amplifying marginalized voices in our community, including those marginalized by their race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or any others searching for equity. We will help challenge our congregation to amplify justice, mercy, and humility to create a more compassionate church.

Reflection – by Pastor Cade

I recently finished reading a book called “The Preacher King” by Richard Lischer. This work documents the evolution of Martin Luther King Jr.’s preaching over the course of his career in ministry. Reading excerpts and set pieces from hundreds of Dr. King’s sermons, I am convinced that, as Americans and Christians, we listen to far too few of the speeches and homilies that King shared during his lifetime. While “I have a Dream” and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” are legendary works that shaped the trajectory of the Civil Rights movement and American history, there are scores of others that are just as profound and are equally poignant for our current social and political context.

I am particularly fascinated with the sermons from the final years of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. Scholars have called this segment of Dr. King’s career his period of “prophetic rage.” In these speeches, gone are the sweeping visions of hope and the magnanimous generosity towards the resisters of the movement for justice and equality. In a 1967 sermon in Atlanta called “The Meaning of Hope,” Dr. King warns that “what we must see is that our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winter of delay. And as long as justice is postponed, we’re going to have these summers . . . I’m worried about America because it’s sick with racism still.”  

Martin Luther King Jr. is known for his unwavering commitment to non-violent direct action in bringing about social change. In some ways, we might be surprised by how closely the quotation above echoes the cry of “No Justice, No Peace” that has reverberated around our country in recent years of Black Lives Matter protests. Rather than read these words as a threat, I choose to hear them as a proverb. We will never know peace until our society comes to know justice. 

Reading the words from this sermon in 2021 is a surreal experience for me. Dr. King’s message speaks into our present moment with prophetic clarity and importance. It is an amazing gift to speak or write words that are both timely and timeless. Dr. King’s preaching is both and remains a message worth amplifying.

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Join A Tu Lado - a ministry opportunity through the Migrant Assistance Project in which houses of faith partner with an immigrant family and walk with them on their journey through the immigration process in the U.S. If you are interested in joining an A Tu Lado team at Dilworth UMC please reach out to Pastor Cade for more information.

Suggested Resources

Watch: “A Riot is the Language of the Unheard” Martin Luther King Jr. Conversation on 60 minutes
Listen: How Long? Not Long.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Read: “Letter from A Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King Jr.
Check Out: “The Power of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Anger - Codeswitch

Join the Amplify Book Club as we read and discuss "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson. If you are interested in participating in this opportunity, click here to purchase a copy of the book, and please reach out to Pastor Cade to express interest.

Are you interested in sharing a reflection in the Amplify newsletter? If you feel called to share a story, testimony, or devotion related to diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation, please reach out to Pastor Cade. The Amplify Team is open to all members who feel passionate about shaping our conversation and working for justice in and through Dilworth UMC. Please contact Pastor Cade to become a part of this important ministry.
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