Martin Luther King Day:
An Opportunity to Reflect and Act
 A Belief in a Beloved Community

       Monday, January 17, 2022 marks Martin Luther King Day—an opportunity to remember and honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—a world-revered minister, civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner whose speeches and essays about equal rights, social justice and nonviolence stirred millions. Rev. King is known for popularizing the term “The Beloved Community,” which according to the King Center was first used in the early 20th century by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce, founder of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. However, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, who popularized the term and gave it a deeper meaning which has captured the imagination of people world-wide.
         Several of Rev. King’s many references to the Beloved Community are included below:
"There is another element that must be present in our struggle that then makes our resistance and nonviolence truly meaningful. That element is reconciliation. Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community."
April 15, 1960, in Raleigh, North Carolina
"Our goal is to create a beloved community and
this will require a qualitative change in our souls
as well as a quantitative change in our lives."
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

         Establishing Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday was a difficult battle, supported by his widow, Coretta Scott King. After it was accomplished she said, “We call you to commemorate this Holiday by making your personal commitment to serve humanity with the vibrant spirit of unconditional love that was his greatest strength, and which empowered all of the great victories of his leadership. And with our hearts open to this spirit of unconditional love, we can indeed achieve the Beloved Community of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.”  

Commemorating Martin Luther King and His Legacy
       Due to COVID, many commemorations and services will be limited to virtual/online presentations this year. Some metro-area events with an interfaith focus follow below. Many others, offered by local school systems, religious institutions, universities, and local municipalities, are listed in local newspapers.
 ·       The Troy Inter-faith Group will hold its annual Martin Luther King Day program as a Zoom presentation on Monday, January 17 at 7 p.m. Pastor George Houston will speak about “Becoming a Beloved Community.” The Troy Inter-faith Group suggests that participants think of a "resolution" for what they might do or say to others that adds to the sense of an interfaith community. An interactive component will follow Dr. Houston's short talk. For more information, including the Zoom link, go to
·        The Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity will present a “Virtual Interfaith Service Embracing the Dream of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” on Sunday, January 16 at 10 a.m. The sermon will be led by Rev. Kenneth J. Flowers, Greater New Mount Moriah Baptist Church, and will be live-streamed on YouTube and Face Book. All are welcome. Visit:
·       Repair the World, a national Jewish organization focused on volunteer efforts to strengthen communities, has developed a list of service opportunities for MLK Day by city, including Detroit. Visit
 ·      Faith and Works--Last year, the InterFaith Leadership Council recorded a podcast in its Faith and Works series entitled Martin Luther King: Can We Hear Him Now? Panelists include Rev. Stancy Adams, Bob Bruttell, Freda Sampson, and Rev. Dr. Jimmie Wafer. The podcast is available at:
 ·       Religious Diversity Journeys--On Monday evening, January 17, Religious Diversity Journeys students, teachers and religious leaders will engage in an online question and answer session about Christianity, including how Christian congregations continue the work of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. today.
InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit | P.O. Box 252271, West Bloomfield, MI 48325
Phone: [313.338.9777] Email contact: [email protected]