Ministries gather to celebrate MLK, week of unity

Several service agencies gathered at the Castellano Center at the end of the day Monday to inform the public of their missions and to send out a call for unity in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday was celebrated across the city and country.

According to Father Brian Van Fossen, of St. Joseph the Worker, the event really had a two-fold purpose.

“The Ministerium of the Williamsport Area is celebrating two things, first of which is Martin Luther King Day, which is a beautiful celebration, but also the beginning of the Week of Christian Unity. So it’s really trying to bring all of the churches that are a part of the Williamsport area together to kind of try to make the world a better place, to show up and shine out and see what we can do,” Van Fossen said.

In keeping with the theme of kindness and unity, Van Fossen said he feels the event really showed the community that someone cares.

“I think that’s the biggest thing. Everybody matters and someone cares that you are a person here in this world and that’s what we’re here for, to share that gift of caring, of love and to be a light in the world that seems so dark sometimes,” he added.

Service groups represented included Thrive, which works with immigrants at Center City Alliance Church, Born2Fly, a group which works to educate young people against human trafficking, and the Little Ones Clothes Closet and Shepherd of the Streets, which are located at the Castellano Center. These were just a few of the agencies which came together to share information about their services to the community.

Reflecting on how the event illustrated the message of King, Addie Wright, a volunteer at the clothes closet, said, “I think he had a dream that every child is equal and I think what we do is show that. Every child deserves to have clothing,” she said.“He (King) saw the injustice that was being done. The little ones don’t have a voice and he gave them a voice.”

“I really feel we’re serving a need here for all children — all children,” she stressed. You don’t have to have a pass to get in here, you tell us what you need and we’re here to help you in any way,” she said, adding, “every child deserves the chance of a good life.”

Van Fossen commented on the hope that comes with such a congregation of caring, giving organizations.

“When you walk away from an experience like this, when you see all these different service agencies, the fact that this world seems so dark … if you feel that darkness inside of you, there’s always hope. There’s alway someone to reach out to,” said Van Fossen.


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