Lake Zurich church celebrates Dr. King’s dream
Jovon McDonald, a member of the Good News Community Church of Chicago, holds out a pamphlet Monday during a service honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at St. Peter United Church of Christ in Lake Zurich. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 25, 2013 12:14PM
LAKE ZURICH — Frigid temperatures Monday did not deter a spirited celebration of the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Lake Zurich.
Steve Boorsma, the pastor at St. Peter’s, explained that the program is meant to be less of a religious service and more about Dr. King’s legacy. Monday’s event, which drew attendees from as far as Chicago and Oak Lawn, was the church’s second honoring Dr. King’s birthday.
“The biggest intent is to recognize the ideals that he pursued,” Boorsma said.
The program, “Satisfying Our Thirst For Freedom,” included remarks by the Rev. Charlene Hill, the pastor at Good News Community Church in Chicago, as well as remarks by Village President Suzanne Branding and Ela Township Trustee Nancy Thompson.
“The civil rights movement had some roadblocks,” Hill told the church congregation. “They had some red lights along the way. Sometimes there are roadblocks that get in the way of responsible, ethical freedom.”
Barb Kelly, an Oak Lawn resident, brought 11 foreign exchange students with her from AFS-USA, which formerly was the American Field Service. She said the students are attending schools across the Chicago area from countries including Morocco, Pakistan and Germany. Kelly picked the Monday service to highlight the diversity and volunteerism that AFS-USA promotes.
“These are all students who are here on government-sponsored scholarships,” said Kelly, explaining that the students also bring a diverse range of faiths.
The Good News Community Church choir, which also traveled to Lake Zurich for the service, performed several songs including “Come Walk With Us” and “We Shall Overcome.”
Village President Branding said she hopes the annual holiday reminds all Americans of Dr. King’s enduring vision.
“It’s a pleasure for our community to host this commemoration,” she said. “Dr. King’s dream endured and it’s a dream we all share.”
Teamous Newberne, a 27-year member of St. Peter’s, read Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech before remarks from keynote speaker the Rev. Vertie Powers, an associate conference minister who serves the Chicago Metropolitan Association.
Prior to reading “I Have a Dream,” Newberne talked about growing up in the 1960s and witnessing the civil rights movement. He told stories of Dr. King’s mission to bring people together.
“His focus was not on one group of people but all people,” Newberne said.
Although inequalities still exist, Newberne said communities must continue striving for freedom and acceptance of all people.
“The point is to keep the dream fresh in our minds,” he said.
Newberne also talked about Dr. King’s legacy being evident not just at Monday’s program in Lake Zurich, but in Washington D.C., where President Barack Obama was being inaugurated for his second term.
This inauguration, Newberne said, would never have been possible without Dr. King’s work.
“The dream has not come to full fruition, but we are realizing the dream,” he said. “The dream is still living.”