On Saturday, January 12, 2013 people from throughout the Kentucky Annual Conference gathered at Buechel UMC in the Louisville District to observe the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration. The day began with workshops centered around the themes of justice and our "oneness in Christ."
Rev. Rosario Picardo, in the workshop he led "Ministering to All People", recounted the story of Tony. Tony was a pastor traveling to an area that seemed a little seedy and where he knew no one. His first night in town he fell asleep early but awoke in the early morning hours and decided to find a bite to eat. Tony ended up at a diner where the surroundings weren't particularly clean and he wasn't even sure that he wanted to trust the food in such an establishment, but he ordered something to eat anyway. While eating alone, Tony couldn't help but to overhear a conversation where a woman was sharing that the next day was her birthday. When her companions were less than receptive to her news, she wasn't surprised as her birthday had never been celebrated before; she had never had a birthday party of any sort. Tony, after talking with the cook, discovered that that group of ladies were prostitutes and that they came in every morning at about 3:30 a.m. Tony decided to to throw her a birthday party and so he did. The next night he and the cook decorated and threw her a party when she and her companions came into the diner. Upon learning that Tony was a minister, the cook asked "what type of minister throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 a.m.?" I don't know what Tony's reply was, but undoubtably the answer is, 'someone, some church that is willing to minister to all people'. Doesn't that inclusiveness bring home the message that was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr?
After lunch the day continued with a worship service. The choir and musicians from the Amazing Grace Community of Faith lead us in worship through song and the Rev. Barbara A. Woods Riles Washington brought the sermon. Her subject was "Sorting Through Humanity" and she preached about the power in the Word of God and how we must use that Power to reach all of humanity.