BROOKSVILLE — Dance, choral music and prayers for peace and unity will be featured during a community service Sunday celebrating the life — and remembering the dreams — of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The memorial service will be hosted by Grace World Outreach Church at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Rev. Timothy Beard, vice president of student development and enrollment management at Pasco-Hernando Community College, will deliver the keynote address.
"We're planning an exciting celebration," said Brenda Mobley, chairwoman for the religious affairs committee of the Hernando branch of the NAACP and coordinator of the event.
The service, which is expected to run about two hours, will open with a dance by Vivian Fields from the church. Bobbie J. Cromartie, owner of Wen-Sun and Associates, will give the invocation.
"We'll have several prayers by local ministers on peace and unity," Mobley said. "We'll have the honorable (Brooksville) Mayor Frankie Burnett reciting the I Have a Dream speech."
Mobley said any county officials who come will be recognized.
"But this will be strictly for the clergy of the area to give an uplifting message for others to embark on," she said.
Entertainment at the event will include singing by the Grace World Outreach choir and the Central High School chorus.
"The theme for the service is 'Realizing the Dream by Embracing Change,' " Mobley said. "We're looking forward to Dr. Beard's message on that."
Beard said he plans to elaborate on the theme.
"I'm going to have a subtheme as well," Beard said. "That will be entitled 'There Is Another Part to This,' because there are two parts to Dr. King's dream."
The dream had both a tangible and an intangible part to it, he said.
"I think for the most part we miss the greater part of Dr. King's message," Beard said, noting that King, who was assassinated in 1968, was a pastor before he became a civil rights icon.
"We see the tangible — the physical manifestations of the dream. We have public accommodations; we have a group of people who can attend pretty much the schools of their choice," Beard explained. "But I think we fail to realize that when you look at his dream, there are some intangibles that are still missing from being practiced by people today."
The intangibles are spiritual, he said.
"Those are things we can't necessarily put our natural hand on but are things we can see through the spiritual eye, such as love, forgiveness, long-suffering, peace and joy — the fruits of the (Holy) Spirit," Beard said. "You know (the apostle) Paul said the things which we see are temporal, but the things which we don't see are eternal. Those are the things we need to put a greater focus on."
King's philosophy of nonviolence could not have happened without love, sacrifice and discipline, Beard said.
"We're likened to the children of Israel in that persons, particularly African-Americans, have been delivered," Beard said. "But on the other hand, we're still in bondage in that we've become so obsessed with the tangibles to the point of failing to realize the importance of the intangibles. Those are the things that have really brought us to where we are."
Beard, who has a doctorate in rehabilitation counseling with an emphasis in higher education, said he believes an obsession with "things" by young people has brought King's dream to a standstill.
"They don't understand the lessons of history, such as sacrifice and love and commitment and discipline," he said.
Beard said he plans to offer a challenge to his listeners.
"That will be that we fulfill the second part of the dream — practicing the intangibles. What are we doing with the tangibles that we have? Are we maximizing them by serving society and not just ourselves?"
His message will be for all ages and all races, he said.
"The beauty of Dr. King is that he was multidimensional," Beard said. "He was a man of many talents. He was certainly a husband, a father, a preacher, a civil rights icon. I think we can learn from that the fact that we have a calling that goes beyond ourselves."
Mobley also expressed her desire that people reach beyond themselves.
"Dr. King has been a beacon for all of us. The things that he addressed (are things) we can capitalize on and go back and see where we are with the mission," she said.
Mobley hopes "the mission" will be furthered by the service Sunday.
"I hope the service will inspire others to go out and make a difference," she said, "and that we'll continue to remember the struggles Dr. King went through to make it a better world."