Sunday Sermon by The Rev. Brandon Ashcraft

When I was five years old, I played in my very first soccer game. And in that game, I scored a goal for the other team, which tells you exactly what kind of athlete I was destined to be. But around the same time, it became clear that I was pretty good at the piano, and could more than hold my own as a boy soprano in the choir. But the culture of the deep south where I grew up didn’t exactly applaud me for being good at these things because, well, boys were supposed to hunt and play sports. At church, though, I heard a different message.

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Address delivered by The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

As you know, I am just in from Birmingham, Alabama, where we are at the present time engaged in a mighty struggle for freedom and human dignity. We have had our difficult moments in Birmingham. We have had our frustrating moments. But I think it is one of the most significant struggles taking place in our nation today, because for years Birmingham has been the worst big city in race relations in the United States and the most thoroughly segregated city in our country. I am convinced that if we can get a breakthrough for freedom and justice in that community, it will have repercussions all over the South, and it will mean that our work in other communities will be less difficult.

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