(Springfield, Virginia)—On January 14, 2016, residents, staff, area clergy, and guests gathered at Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, Virginia, to remember the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The celebration of Dr. King's life and legacy was sponsored by various Greenspring faith groups including Pastoral Ministries, Catholic Community, Episcopal-Anglican Fellowship, Greenspring Fellowship, Jewish Community, Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, and The Village Church.
"The life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., serves as a testament of a man who came to the understanding that he had been chosen to lead a movement bigger than himself," said Reverend Loyce Craft, Pastoral Ministries Manager at Greenspring. "Dr. King's life epitomizes the truth that hate never wins, though it is often allowed to run its course; and only love, particularly when it is sacrificial, opens the door to what is just, right, and true."
The program at Greenspring featured scripture, music, prose, and the words of Dr. King, including an excerpt from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Guest preacher, Reverend Charles D. Fowler, III, Associate Minister from Hemingway Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church in District Heights, Maryland, shared a message of hope with the community.
Greenspring resident, Reverend Dr. Len Kalkwarf, representing The Village Church, also led a litany at the celebration.
"A service celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King calls attention, not only to his life, but especially his methodology," said Dr. Kalkwarf. "It is hopeful that by calling attention to him and his work, others will try to emulate him in their personal relationships and bring about a more peaceful and civil society."
The on-campus Pastoral Ministries department at Greenspring supports 20 different resident faith groups and coordinates programs such as this one throughout the year that enrich the community's spiritual environment.
"Greenspring is a community that celebrates diversity and freedom," said Reverend Craft. "Dr. King's life, and his approach to life, encapsulated diversity. The celebration at Greenspring enabled residents and staff to pause, reflect, and ponder for just a moment about the meaning of Dr. King's life, the significance of the dream then and today, to measure our progress, and to share in a way that cultivates mutual respect, admiration, peace, and understanding."
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -- Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
About Greenspring: Greenspring, one of 18 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 58-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia. The community is home to nearly 2000 residents, many of whom reside in the community's 1404 independent living apartment homes. At Greenspring, over 200 resident-run and resident-driven programs promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average. Additional information about Greenspring can be found at www.ericksonliving.com.