Youth fo­cus of King Day Ban­quet

Record Observer - - Community - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

GRASONVILLE — At ev­ery ta­ble in the Grasonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter on Satur­day evening, Jan. 14, was a piece of pa­per at­tached to a pa­per bag that had a pic­ture and quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Be­fore the King Day Ban­quet, an an­nual cel­e­bra­tion hosted by the Grasonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter to honor the life of the civil rights ac­tivist, at­ten­dees had the op­por­tu­nity to re­flect on his state­ments.

As peo­ple walked into the com­mu­nity hall, lo­cated at 5601 Main St., Wayne Cur­tis and Christo­pher Sudler played piano and sax­o­phone at the front of the room. The theme for this year’s King Day cel­e­bra­tion was “Sav­ing our Youth.”

Mistress of Cer­e­monies Min­is­ter Ty­wanda Grif­fin of Abun­dant Life Restora­tion Min­istries in Centreville told the au­di­ence of about 20 peo­ple that the chil­dren are the fu­ture and that it is up to the com­mu­nity to help bring them up “the right way and in a pos­i­tive way” be­cause there is so much neg­a­tiv­ity out there.

Grasonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter board mem­ber Christina Rochester thanked the group for at­tend­ing and read a quote from King.

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, es­pe­cially if the well be­ing of a per­son or an­i­mal is at stake,” she said. “So­ci­ety’s pun­ish­ments are small com­pared to the woulds we in­flict on our soul when we look the other way.”

But be­fore An­dre Sor­rell, guest speaker and min­is­ter at Greater New Hope Church and Min­istries in Pre­ston, could share his thoughts about how to bet­ter shape the younger gen­er­a­tion, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” was played and sung, stu­dent Joel King read a speech from King about ed­u­ca­tion, and a chicken, ham and veg­eta­bles din­ner was served. Fol­low­ing din­ner, Sudler and Cur­tis per­formed “Amaz­ing Grace.”

Sor­rell, a Grasonville na­tive who re­ceived his cer­tifi­cate in The­o­log­i­cal and Bib­li­cal stud­ies from Covenant The­ol­ogy and Min­is­te­rial School in Florida in 2009, said re­flect­ing on King’s speeches as a whole the first thing that came to his mind was the idea that peo­ple were cre­ated to stand out and never fit in.

Sor­rell said there are three com­mon ar­eas “that we as a com­mu­nity, we as fam­i­lies, we as moth­ers, sis­ters and broth­ers ought to in­still in our youth to pre­pare them to sur­vive out here in this world.” Those three ar­eas, he said, are em­pow­er­ment, en­trust­ing and en­cour­age­ment.

With a fo­cus on those three things, Sor­rell said the younger gen­er­a­tion would have the tools to sur­vive in the world, but the re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­still those val­ues does not just rely on the in­di­vid­ual fam­ily.

“I be­lieve that it takes a com­mu­nity, it takes a nation to raise a child,” Sor­rell said. “... I be­lieve that if we can unify as a com­mu­nity and as a peo­ple that we our­selves can af­fect the change we de­sire to see.”

With chang­ing times, Grif­fin said while re­flect­ing on Sor­rell’s words, it is im­por­tant for the older gen­er­a­tion to set good ex­am­ples for the youth to fol­low be­cause they are al­ways look­ing up to them, and that it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the com­mu­nity sur­round­ing the youth to show them the pos­i­tives “so they can take that out to the world and do.”

Clos­ing the cer­e­mony, Jones said it is im­por­tant to in­still mem­o­ries in the youth and that giv­ing them af­fir­ma­tion makes a dif­fer­ence.

“We have to come to­gether,” Jones said.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times. com

PHO­TOS BY MIKE DAVIS

Min­is­ter An­dre Sor­rell of Greater New Hope Church and Min­istries in Pre­ston, speaks to the au­di­ence about “Sav­ing our Youth,” the theme for the An­nual King Day Ben­e­fit Ban­quet on Satur­day, Jan. 14, at the Grasonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter.

A quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sits on a ta­ble at the Grasonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter on Jan. 14 dur­ing the King Day Ban­quet. “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But what­ever you do you have to keep mov­ing foward,” it reads.

Chris Sudler, saxa­phone, and Wayne Cur­tis, piano, play “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” dur­ing the Grasonville Com­mu­nity Cen­ter King Day Ban­quet on Satur­day, Jan. 14.

RAHEL ALEMU

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.