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  • Writer's pictureJared Cramer

Grand Haven church turns to MLK against Ottawa Impact

Below is an article from today's edition of the Grand Haven Tribune about the ministry of our church.

This coming Monday, Jan. 16, is the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and there are many ways people observe the holiday. Some choose a day of service. Others spend time reflecting on his work.

One local congregation is continuing its four-year-old tradition of holding a day of continuous readings from Dr. King’s sermons, letters and books.

St. John’s Episcopal Church, 524 Washington Ave., Grand Haven, welcomes anyone in the community to come and hear Dr. King’s writings, which will be read from the pulpit by a team of volunteers throughout the day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“We are in a challenging place as a county and community right now,” said the Rev. Dr. Jared Cramer, rector of St. John’s Episcopal. “The decision of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners to dismantle the department of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion was something Ottawa Impact candidates told us they would do, but to see this important department so many people worked to build eliminated was hard. It was a deep blow to the advances of many people who care about Ottawa County truly being a place where everyone belongs.”

Cramer’s reference to belonging is a response to the decision of the new Ottawa Impact-led Board of Commissioners to remove “Where You Belong” as the county motto and replace it with “Where Freedom Rings.”

“My own hope, as a Christian, as a priest and as a resident of Ottawa County is that we can all spend at least some time on Monday listening to the words of Dr. King,” Cramer said. “After all, Dr. King’s words were deeply unpopular in his own time in conservative white Christianity. He gave his life for diversity, equity and inclusion – the very things Ottawa Impact opposes. But, most importantly, he had strong words for moderates who would sit by and not act when justice was at stake. We must find new inspiration from Dr. King to stand up and advocate in our own time.”

The parish of St. John’s is hoping the event will complement the National Day of Service activities that many take part in to commemorate the holiday. People are invited to come for a few minutes or for several hours, at any point they wish to during the day to listen to the readings. The readings will also be broadcast live on Facebook for those able to come in person. You can access the church’s feed at

Additional information can be found on the church’s website at or by calling the Parish Office at 616-842-6260.

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