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Shane Claiborne To Lead EMU in Remembering King

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Prominent Christian activist, author and dynamic speaker, Shane Claiborne, will lead Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. during university chapel on Monday, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m.

In addition, EMU is teaming up with the United Way of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County and the Northeast Neighborhood for the first annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Learning.

“Shane Claiborne and the planned cultural learning and community service events will guide us in relating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. to Christian faith and our contemporary culture,” said Brian Martin Burkholder, campus pastor.

In addition to university chapel, Claiborne will also speak on Monday at 4:30 p.m., in Lehman Auditorium.

Betsy Hay, executive director of United Way, said the organization is thrilled to be partnering with EMU for a “profound community observance.”

“Many United Way ideals are rooted in the civil rights movement championed by Dr. King,” said Hay. “We look forward to raising awareness about those ideals through special MLK Day service projects and agency tours.”

About Shane Claiborne

A prolific public speaker, Claiborne travels extensively around the world, spreading his message about peacemaking, social justice and Jesus. Claiborne’s ministry experience includes a 10-week stint working alongside Mother Teresa in Calcutta and three weeks in Baghdad with the Iraq Peace Team.

Claiborne is the author of several books, including, The Irresistible Revolution, Jesus for President, and Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers. His work has been featured by National Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.

He is a founding partner of The Simple Way, an intentional faith-based community in inner-city Philadelphia that looks to connect radical faith communities around the world.

Day of service and learning on Monday, Jan. 21

All events are free and open to the public. Those interested in attending should meet at the event location.

11 a.m. – Empowering Low-Income Persons for Legal Justice

Visit with John Whitfield, executive director of Blue Ridge Legal Services, and Tim Ruebke, executive director of The Fairfield Center, to discuss issues of economic and legal justice facing low-income members of our local community. Learn how these agencies are empowering people to improve their lives.

Tour Host: United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County

Location: Blue Ridge Legal Services; 204 N. High Street, Harrisonburg

11 a.m. – Partnering To Provide Basic Needs for Our Neighbors

Visit with Keith Gnagey, executive director of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic, to discuss issues of health care for low-income working adults in our community. Learn about the challenges and solutions of affordable, accessible healthcare and how agencies partner to provide care.

Tour Host: United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County

Location: Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic; 25 W. Water Street, Harrisonburg

11 a.m. – Creating Non-Violent Homes and Communities

Visit with Candy Phillips, executive director of First Step, and Luanne Bender Long, executive director of the Center for Marriage and Family Counseling, to discuss issues of domestic violence in our community.

Tour Host: United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County

Location: Center for Marriage and Family Counseling; 96 Campbell Street, Harrisonburg

1:30 p.m. – A Historic Tour of Newtown (now called Northeast Neighborhood)

Visit the early freed-slave settlement of Newtown and hear stories about the historic Lucy Simms School, Coletta Harris’ 100-year old house, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the Newtown Cemetery.

Tour Host: Karen Thomas and Stan Maclin of Northeast Neighborhood, Rev. Royster from Bethel AME Church.

Location: Our Community Place – 17 E. Johnson Street, Harrisonburg

2:30 p.m. – Come Across the Bridge

Engage with black community leaders from the Northeast Neighborhood Association at Tyrone Sprague’s downtown barbershop for lively dialogue around oppression and new forms of peacemaking in the 21st century. You can get a haircut, too, compliments of campus ministries from 2:30-4 p.m.

Host: Stan Maclin of the Harriet Tubman Cultural Center

Location: Meet in front of the downtown Jess’ Quick Lunch – 222 South Main Street, Harrisonburg (barbershop is located on sixth floor)

More info

Admission to all programs is free. For more information on activities related to Dr. King observances, or for a full schedule of events, visit the MLK Day of Service and Learning website or call campus ministries at 540-432-4115.

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