Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday Worship and Teach-In

January 14, 2014

In an act honoring Martin Luther King’s message of non-violence, Middle Collegiate Church – a multiracial congregation - will literally “beat a sword into a plowshare” – by forging a gun into a farming tool during worship. The tool will be presented to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office after it is completed. Sparks will fly as a gun is transformed.

Mike Martin of Raw Tools will reshape the gun during the Sunday, January 19 11:15 AM worship celebration and throughout an afternoon intergenerational human rights teach-in. Mike Martin, moved by the Aurora and Newtown shootings, began re-imagining our modern day swords as harbingers of life.

The King worship celebration will also feature Broadway and television actor Tituss Burgess (Little Mermaid and 30 Rock) singing, “Love Is an Action” in addition to Middle Church’s get-on-your-feet gospel and classical choirs.

The teach-in, modeled after historic Freedom School teach-ins, will follow worship from 1 – 4 pm and explore the continuing undercurrent of race in gun violence, criminal justice, economic inequality, education disparity, and heath care. Both worship and the first hour of the teach-in will be live streamed at

Senior minister, The Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Ph.D., said “As people of faith, we are called to reshape tools intended for violence into tools that give life. As human community, we are called to reshape ourselves and our communities to do the things that give life.”

The worship and teach-in are in partnership with the Children's Defense Fund, Auburn Seminary, Faith in New York, PICO Lifelines to Healing, Intersections International, The Middle Project, Gray Panthers NYC, and the Gray Panthers.  

For press inquiries, please contact Christina Fleming at (646) 320-0618.

Download resources for the event here. (PDF)

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HuffPost: Forging Peace, Growing Peace External Link

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