This year’s community celebration of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., planned by the Suffield Ecumenical Council, was different in several regards: The venue was the Second Baptist Church, not the Third, because the basement kitchen and hall of Third Baptist were badly flooded by a water leak during the recent frigid weather, and the post-service supper is an important element of this yearly event. Secondly, the musical groups were different, featuring Hartford’s Ebenezer Temple Choir, and lacking the customary Suffield Ecumenical Choir. And of the four non-Christian faiths customarily present, only one participated.
But visiting preacher Victor J. Rush, Bishop for New England of the United Holy Church and Pastor of Ebenezer Temple, delivered an impressive, powerful sermon in Pentecostal style, evoking King’s spirit. Rush urged the same universal brotherhood goal, perhaps with a little more politics and fewer direct quotes from King. Bishop Rush’s theme was, “Come Out! Come Out! Wherever You Are!” Don’t wait for someone to lead the way; you are the someone! This was an important message, pushing toward an important goal.
As always, the music was wonderful. Sonya Hill stood in successfully for her brother in the Third Baptist Male Chorus, and the Ebenezer Temple Choir, a larger group led by Elder Janet Rush of the Temple, brought an exciting new sound.