MLK Weekend 2021
Celebration and Serve Opportunities

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Both St. James and COR provide meaningful options for our congregations to be actively and safely involved in this annual commemoration. Yes, even during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are ways for small groups and individuals to participate in person or at home. Gather your ARJ family and friends, check out the options listed below, and get involved!


St. James – A Day of Service

Monday | January 18 

Even during a pandemic, there is still a great need for help. This years’ service locations include:

    • Flourish Furnishing – Grandview, MO
    • Habitat for Humanity of KC – North Kansas City
    • Harvesters – 38th & Topping Ave
    • Lazarus Ministries – Grand Avenue Temple – 9th & Grand Ave
    • Niles Home for Children – 23rd & Garfield Ave
    • NourishKC – 7th & Paseo Blvd
    • Rose Brooks – Private Location
    • St. James Paseo – 56th & Paseo Blvd
    • St. James Renaissance – Longview Rd & Food Ln
    • St. James Place – 61st & Citadel Dr.
    • WEB DuBois Learning Center – Mid-City
    • Cornerstone of Care – Kansas City KS

There are a limited number of spaces available so it’s “first, come and first serve” for sign up. Masks and gloves will be provided to every volunteer. Contact Yvette Richards at or call 816-802-8234 for availability and more information.



Church of the Resurrection – MLK Weekend of Serving

Saturday, January 16 | Monday, January 18

Join us for a weekend of service, reflection and advocacy as we celebrate the life and ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Covid-cautious opportunities are available at a variety of locations throughout the KC area. Sign-ups are limited to keep group sizes small. Volunteers are required to wear masks, follow social distancing guidelines, and to be responsible for themselves. 


Greater Kansas City Southern Christian Leadership Conference Presents

Defending Democracy, Making Peace, and Advancing Justice

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City will present their two signature annual events virtually. This year’s theme celebrates the power of the Black and Brown vote and an ongoing crisis of insufficient political engagement from communities of color and poor communities. For details click on each event:

2021 Virtual Interfaith Service
Sunday, January 10 at 2:00 PM CST on Facebook

2021 Virtual MLK Celebration
Monday, January 18 at 5:30PM CST – Webcast

The National Museum of African American History & Culture Presents

The People’s Holiday Concert

Monday, January 18 | 3:00 pm

Presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, this virtual community concert honors Dr. Kings’ commitment to racial equality, justice, and service. Six-time Grammy award-winning bassist, composer, and educator Christian McBride is featured in a digital performance inspired by his social justice-focused album entitled, The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons.

The 45-minute concert of jazz and poetry includes performances of students from The Julliard School and a poetry reading by the legendary Sonia Sanchez. The concert will conclude with a conversation between McBride and Sanchez, moderated by Dwandalyn Reece, the museum’s Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs.

ARJ Classes Resume

Mark your calendars and sign up for our latest group-studies. These virtual programs bring members of St. James, COR, and other interested parties together for thought-provoking discussions. Join us as we continue to forge authentic relationships and help eliminate existing racial divides.


Strength to Love

Tuesdays | 6:30-8 p.m. | February 23 – March 23 on Zoom
Strength to Love is a book containing some of the most salient meditative and sermonic pieces of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The study allows a small group to read and discuss the topics while considering their relevance today. The book is available at The Well Book Store and on Amazon.

Coming Soon: In April, join author Pat Ross (St. James UMC) to discuss her book “Lord Please Bless this Mess: Something to Think About.” Look for registration details in a future ARJ newsletter.

January Offerings from The National Archives Museum


The National Archives Museum offers a plethora of educational and enlightening online programs for all ages.  Here are several to check out this month:


The National Archives Comes Alive: Young Learners Program –
Meet The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s stirring words inspired the civil rights movement and are brought to life by the Reverend Dr. John Moore. A question-and-answer session will follow this presentation.

Thursday, January 14, 2021     10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. CST


Inventing Equality: Reconstructing the Constitution in the Aftermath of the Civil War
Michael Bellesiles traces the evolution of the battle for true equality from the Revolution through the late 19th century.

Thursday, January 21, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. CST

The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship
Author Deborah Willis discusses “The Black Civil War Soldier” and offers a kaleidoscopic, yet intimate, portrait of the African American experience from the beginning of the Civil War to 1900.

Wednesday, January 27 – 11:00 a.m. to Noon CST

Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality

In Forgotten Legacy, historian Benjamin R. Justesen reveals a previously unexamined facet of William McKinley’s Presidency: an ongoing dedication to the advancement of African Americans. During the first two years of his administration, McKinley named nearly as many African Americans to federal office as all his predecessors combined.

Friday, January 29, 2021 – 11:00 a.m. to Noon CST

National Mentoring Month –
A Time to Support Our Youth

January is National Mentoring Month – a time to help young people feel empowered, encouraged, and understood.  Mentors make that happen.  Mentors give young people someone to look up to, learn from, and emulate.  For more information on mentoring, visit

Several KC area nonprofit organizations have great mentoring programs where you can get involved, including High Aspirations, Urban Scholastic Center, Hope Center, and Urban Rangers.