2023 MLK Commemoration Service


It Starts With Me: The Quest to Create the Beloved Community

The Western North Carolina Conference will host its annual Martin Luther King Commemoration Service on January 14, 2023 from 10:00AM-11:30AM. It will be hosted virtually on this page or on FaceBook Live.

Recorded Version

The theme of the event is: It Starts with Me: The Quest to Create the Beloved Community. The focus scripture is Micah 6:8.

The keynote speaker will be M. Garlinda Burton, Director for Resource Development for the denomination’s General Commission on Religion and Race. M.Garlinda Burton expands and implements a comprehensive diverse resource program that increases knowledge within the church of intercultural differences and competencies, anti-racism, equity, and justice. She is responsible for creating and delivering training tailored for use across annual conferences, local churches, and denominational entities, with the goal of equipping all levels of the Church to successfully function in multicultural environments.

A deaconess in The United Methodist Church, Garlinda has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, producer, and trainer around issues of intercultural competency, racial justice, and gender justice. She is also committed to helping the church engage and nurture children, youth, and young adults as positive and powerful change agents for the cause of Jesus Christ.

Youth Art and Essay Contest

Additionally, there will be a Youth Art and Essay Contest. The prompt is this: Dr. King’s efforts were about equality and fairness for all, and we remember his hard work and sacrifice.  How can I carry on Dr. King’s work?

The response to this contest may be: An Original Essay (450 words or less) An Original Picture/Drawing, An Original Photograph, An Original Sculpture, An Original Painting, An Original Poem.
The contest is open to: Elementary, Middle School and High School Students.
Three cash awards will be awarded in each category.
Winners will be announced at the WNC Virtual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Service. The winning submissions will also be highlighted at this Zoom event.

The deadline for submissions is January 6, 2023.
Submit contest entries to Mrs. Tina McLendon @ tinajmclendon@aol.com.

This event and contest are sponsored by: WNCC Black Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR), WNCC Commission on Religion and RACE (CORR), WNCC-Justice and Reconciliation Team (J&R).