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Mike Radice, KSL TV

Church services in Utah pay homage to Martin Luther King Jr.

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Jan 19th, 2014 @ 5:56pm


11 photos

KEARNS — A variety of services and tributes for Martin Luther King, Jr. were held Sunday around Utah.

People are recognizing the man, who they say, inspires them to lead better lives.

The New Pilgrim Baptist Church in Kearns hosted its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration service Sunday, which includes tributes to the memory of Dr. King.

Members of the church represent 30 different countries. The church held a joint service with members of Canyons Church.

Sunday morning, another congregation also took Dr. King's legacy to heart putting their values into action for others.

"Civil rights have always been important to the Jewish people," Rabbi Illana Schwartzman said.

For members of Congregation Kol Ami, Sunday is a day dedicated to helping others instead of studying Hebrew and Jewish writings.

"Today, we are praying through our hands," Schwartzman said.

Members are putting their values into action.

One young girl thought about her life as she prepared sack lunches for the less fortunate.


What we're doing today is reminding one another how much power we each as individuals have and then on top of that, as a community, what we can accomplish when we come together.

–Rabbi Illana Schwartzman


Another girl organized a project to send handmade postcards to kids with life-threatening illnesses.

"Unfortunately, these kids will not get better soon but we can at least encourage them that they will feel better," said Julia Snyder of the Kol Ami congregation.

Sunday is the fourth annual Mitzvah Day at Congregation Kol Ami. Families did hands-on service projects that include making blankets for sick kids, putting together seed bags that will go to families in need, and writing letters to Utah lawmakers.

The synagogue also hosted a blood drive for the American Red Cross. Liz Paige, also a member of the congregation, said that members of Kol Ami are answering the call "to repair the world" and care for their fellow people.

"What we're doing today is reminding one another how much power we each as individuals have and then on top of that, as a community, what we can accomplish when we come together," Schwartzman said.

They say it's a lesson that goes beyond one day. "It has to be the way we live our lives and that we have to put our values forward in every day and everything we do," Schwartzman said.

The congregation received donations from local business so they could get supplies for the service projects. There are more events planned for Monday, including a march.

Photos

Sandra Yi

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