For the third year in a row, Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis will give area residents a chance to read and hear the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The dean of the Episcopal cathedral, The Very Rev. Mike Kinman, says he appreciates the call from President Obama to make King's birthday a day of service. But he says the readings are designed to provide the reflective counterpart that was also a crucial part of King's life.
"What's missing here, particularly in a very reactive culture that we live in is a time to sit and reflect so that our action isn't rootless activism," Kinman said.
Kinman says some members of the audience, which ranges from school children to members of the city's homeless population, will sit and listen to the readings for hours. But he says it's an equally important part of the experience for audience members to read the words aloud.
"Hearing your own voice say these words that we have heard so many times before, it sinks into your soul in a different way and challenges us to think about, what does this have to do with me? What is the call that these words put on my life?" Kinman said.
The readings at the Cathedral go from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Kinman says they'll start with a speech King gave in St. Louis in April 1957.