Washington National Cathedral to celebrate week of racial reconciliation and justice

March 12, 2008

On March 30, nearly 40-years to the day that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his last Sunday sermon at the Washington National Cathedral, a week of free public events celebrating King's ministry and legacy will begin at the cathedral.
King preached his sermon "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution," to an overflow crowd of more than 3,000 people at the cathedral on March 31, 1968. In it he recalled the story of Rip Van Winkle and his misfortune of sleeping through a period of great social change and compared his obliviousness to changes occurring in 1968, and the failure of people to develop new awareness and attitudes that "current" situations demand.

He also said that a triple revolution of technology, nuclear weaponry and human rights faced the nation and world. He was assassinated four days later on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Hon. John Lewis, U.S. Representative from Georgia's 5th district and a key leader of the Civil Rights Movement, will kickoff the cathedral's week of events titled "Remaining Awake," with the Sunday Forum where he will speak about faith and civil rights and will preach at the 11:15 a.m. service.

Other events include:

March 31
MLK's Nonviolence: Asleep After 40 Years?
Public lecture by Taylor Branch on Martin Luther King, Jr.
7:30 p.m., in the Cathedral nave

Taylor Branch, author of At Canaan's Edge and the trilogy America in the King Years, gives a public lecture on Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 1-4
Preaching in the King Tradition
7:30 a.m., in Bethlehem Chapel; noon, in the Great Choir

Sermons in the tradition of Dr. King are offered by preachers from across the nation at the daily Holy Eucharist services at 7:30 a.m. and noon.

April 1-2
Film Screening: Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North
7 p.m., in Perry Auditorium, 7th Floor

A showing of Sundance 2008 Film Festival finalist, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, a feature documentary in which producer/director Katrina Brown tells the story of her New England ancestors, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. This event is co-sponsored by the Committee on Racial Reconciliation of the Diocese of Washington.

April 6
Sermon by Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III
11:15 a.m. service

Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III preaches, asking attendees to recommit ourselves to Dr. King's vision of racial equality and nonviolence.

For more information visit: http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral/register/mlk2008sp.shtml