Prince George's County Hosts Justice Sunday National Inaugural Service

Mary Wells €" WI Staff Writer | 1/21/2009, 5:28 p.m.

In response to President-elect Barack Obama's Call to Action on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Prince George€s County Executive Jack B. Johnson and the National Alliance of Faith and Justice celebrated Justice Sunday National Inaugural Service at the Mt. Cavalry Baptist Church in Lanham Mon., Jan. 18. Children's groups, pastors, public officials and gospel artist Min. Tramaine Hawkins participated in the celebration, which honored the call to volunteerism on Dr. King's birthday. The annual theme is "A Charge to Keep, We Have to Serve This Present Age."
"As we anticipate the inauguration of the 44th president, Barack Obama, everyone is focusing on change. But the Presidency is not designed to change our neighborhoods. The President cannot do that,€ Johnson said. €He can set policy, but we have to make a difference in our own neighborhoods. We are the keepers of our young people's dreams."

The Rev. Charles E. Cato, Sr., host pastor of Mt. Calvary, referred to the 45th chapter of the book of Genesis as he spoke of Joseph's response to his brothers who threw him in a pit to be sold into slavery in Egypt. Years later, when Joseph was second in command in Egypt, his brothers were sent to Egypt by their father during a famine to get grain and food. Pastor Cato reminded the church that there is no justice until we learn how to forgive.

"We must serve those who don't always do the right thing," Cato said. Rev. Cato plans to travel to Africa in May to serve the people. Cato invited members of the audience to join him in taking medicines and food as he evangelizes in East Africa.

As attendees filed out of the sanctuary, they passed by tables filled with volunteer assignments. National Alliance of Faith and Justice (NAFJ ) is one of six national intermediaries, which sponsored the National Day of Service.

"We want young people to know that they have more rights than just the Miranda Rights,€ Addie L. Richburg, president and chairperson of the NAFJ, said.

Visit www.nafj.org or www.penorpencilmovement.org for more volunteer information year round.