Pastor Albert Starr preaching

Christ the King hosts interfaith MLK worship

“Reconciliation without justice isn’t reconciliation at all.”

“We have inherited a big house, a great ‘world house’ in which we have to live together—black and white, Easterners and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Muslim and Hindu,” Dr. Martin Luther King said in 1964 when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. Dr. King would have been pleased with the very diverse crowd that attended the interfaith prayer service held Jan. 19 at Christ the King Lutheran Church as part of the Town of Cary’s “Dreamfest” events on MLK weekend.

Numbering more than 300 in a packed Nagle Hall auditorium, the attendees listened to a powerful keynote address by noted black preacher, the Rev. Albert Starr, who serves as the director of ethnic specific, multicultural ministries and racial justice for the ELCA. He implored his listeners to not just see King as a “passive dreamer” but to focus on his political activism: “Reconciliation without justice isn’t reconciliation at all,” he said to great applause.

Other speakers included Rabbi Ariel Edery of the Beth Shalom Synagogue, Shakil Ahmed of the Cary Mosque, and Rev. Rose Cornelious, representing the Cary Area Ministerial Alliance of Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy, all three organizations co-sponsors of the event along with the North Carolina Synod’s Triangle Conference. Musical guests were the NC State University “Uninhibited Praise” Gospel Choir and Dr. Abraham Cáceres of Cary-based Worldhousemusic, a nationally-known Lutheran composer and music educator.

Prior to the service, NC State University presented its “virtual MLK project,” which is led by Christ the King, Cary, member and NC State professor Dr. Victoria Gallagher. Visitors to the so-called Learning Lab 360, which is housed in a trailer, had the opportunity to virtually experience Dr. King’s famous “Fill Up the Jails” speech which he gave in 1960 in Durham. The speech at the White Rock Baptist Church was never recorded, and the church later demolished to make way for a freeway, but the university’s project has helped to bring this important sermon back to life using VR technology.

Story submitted by Pastor Wolfgang Herz-Lane.

Picture Captions
NC State University brought its “Learning Lab 360” trailer to Christ the King in Cary as part of the interfaith celebration of MLK Day Jan. 19.

Keynoter Rev. Albert Starr gave a powerful testimony to a packed auditorium during Christ the King’s interfaith prayer service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King.

CTK senior pastor, the Rev. Wolfgang D. Herz-Lane with, from left, Rabbi Ariel Edery, Shakil Ahmed of the Cary Mosque, Rev. Rose Cornelious, and Rev. Albert Starr at the MLK interfaith prayer service held Jan. 19 at Christ the King Lutheran Church.

Christ the King’s MLK celebration featured NC State University’s “Uninhibited Praise” Gospel Choir.

A diverse crowd of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, of various backgrounds and ethnicities packed CTK’s Nagle Hall auditorium for the Jan. 19 MLK interfaith prayer service.