MLK Day of Service and Learning planned for Monday

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2020 will be celebrated as “A Day of Learning and Service for All Ages” on Monday, Jan. 20, at the First Presbyterian Union Church, located at Temple Street and North Avenue in Owego.  

January 2020 is the 91st anniversary of the birth of Dr. King, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, civil rights activist, and preacher. Girl Scout Troop 60959, BSA Troops 38 and 638 are participating in this event. The public is invited, especially children and youth accompanied by adult family members, on this national holiday.   

The day will start at 11 a.m. with an intergenerational project of making hygiene kits to help in disaster relief efforts. Church World Service (CWS), the ecumenical relief agency supported by Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Lutherans and many other Christians, will distribute these kits. Donations of items needed to help make these kits and/or financial donations to buy the items are welcome.

A simple lunch of pizza, hot dogs and veggie trays will be offered at 12:15 p.m. The lunch is free with donations welcome. 

At 1 p.m. there will be two free movies shown at the same time; the Disney movie “Our Friend, Martin” for children and youth, and “Amazing Grace” for adults and older youth.   

Our Friend, Martin is an animated children’s educational film about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. The film follows two friends in middle school who travel through time, meeting Dr. King at several points during his life. 

It features an all-star voice cast including Oprah Winfrey, Jessica Garcia, Ed Asner, Angela Bassett, Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones, Ashley Judd and John Travolta, and was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Animated Program. 

Amazing Grace is a British-American biographical drama film about the campaign against the slave trade in the British Empire, led by William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament. The title is a reference to the hymn “Amazing Grace”. 

The film also recounts the experiences of John Newton as a crewman on a slave ship and his subsequent religious conversion, which inspired his writing of the poem later used in the hymn. Newton is portrayed as a major influence on Wilberforce and the abolition movement. An optional Bill Moyers documentary on Amazing Grace will be shown after the movie.

Additional information about this event is available from the church office by calling 687-1682 or by email to

Donations of the following supplies are welcome. You can drop them off at the church office at 111 Temple St. during the week, and also in the donation box in the main church building. 

Each kit contains the following; one hand towel measuring approximately 15″ x 28″ to 16″ x 32″ (no fingertip, bath, dish towel or micro-fiber); one washcloth, one wide-tooth comb removed from the package, one fingernail or toenail clipper removed from the package (either one is acceptable), one bath-size bar of soap in the original package, one toothbrush in the original package, and ten standard size Band-Aids. Please note that hand towels and individually wrapped, soft toothbrushes (available at the Dollar Store) are particularly needed.

Financial donations towards the purchase of these items are welcome.

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