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Sunday services honor King

January 15, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Martin Luther King Jr. almost certainly would have been pleased Sunday with the way Chambersburg's 28th annual memorial service in his honor ended.

People, young and old and of all skin colors, joined hands while singing "We Shall Overcome."

Sounds of praise filled Zion Reformed United Church of Christ throughout the two-hour service, which celebrated King's legacy, examined today's culture and recognized area students who wrote essays themed from King's work.

One of the students, selected as an essay winner, earned a standing ovation after reading her composition aloud.

In it, Blair Orndorf, 9, shared her multifaceted dream for the world.

The Falling Spring Elementary School third-grader wants to find a cure for cancer, find comfortable ways for people to express their feelings and rebuild structures, especially those damaged by hurricanes.

"Anyone can change the world, and I know I can make my dream come true," Blair said.

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Blair, the daughter of Tom and Carol Orndorf, learned about King in Stacy Leeper's class and wrote her essay in November.

King promoted peace found without fighting, Blair said after the service.

The Rev. Walter R. Reed, pastor of St. Peter's African Methodist Episcopal Church in Shippensburg, Pa., told the congregation that loving one another comes from a close relationship with God.

"You cannot say you love God when you don't speak to someone when you pass them on the street," Reed said. "What does it cost to say 'hello' or 'good morning?'"

Reed recalled watching a movie in which a volcano spewed ash over Los Angeles. In it, a police officer rescued a small boy and asked him to identify his mother.

The boy responded that, covered in ash, everyone looked alike, Reed said.

"That's how God sees us. We all look alike. We are his kids, his children," Reed said.

True freedom must be "all or nothing," Reed said, explaining that one person cannot be free and another not.

The service was sponsored by the United Churches of the Chambersburg Area, MLK Essay Committee, Chambersburg Area Ministerial Alliance, Chambersburg Area Ministerium and Chambersburg Community Improvement Association.

In addition to Blair, other essay winners were:

· Kaelyn Steinberger, Chambersburg Area Middle School

· Nathan Orndorff, Chambersburg Area Senior High School

· Moriah Woods, Falling Spring Elementary School

· Katelyn Baughman, Faust Junior High School

· Samantha Bender, Chambersburg Area Senior High School

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