Reflecting on Dr. King’s Call to Serve

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Cornerstone’s mission states that our students will “serve others in light of Christ and His truth.” This is directly in line with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for our love of one another to manifest itself in our service to others. In years past we have sent our students to New York City to help with Vacation Bible School at an inner city church, to New Orleans to help rebuild after hurricane Katrina, and to a reservation to do sports programming with Native American youth — the truth is, we have been lax in fulfilling this portion of our mission for the last few years. As finances have gotten tight, we have cut back in this most important calling.

This reality hit home earlier this year when I heard of the passing of one of the Gonzaga College High School hockey players who was an active volunteer at Cornerstone. Every week Dominic tutored and mentored Cornerstone students as part of Gonzaga’s “Study Buddy” program. These Gonzaga varsity hockey players, on their own accord, give up one hour a week before their hockey practice to help 18 of our students with their homework, as well as play games and eat fun snacks. Note, they do not just volunteer during a once a year “Day of Service” — but do so weekly with purpose and love

In meeting with these young men at the start of this school year, their charitable spirit and love of God was infectious. Seeing their weekly interactions with our students is a living example of what Dr. King described as men with “hearts full of grace” and “a soul generated by love.” While Dominik Pettey’s family is surely still mourning the loss of their son, and his teammates are missing his leadership, I pray that memories of his grace and love towards our students will live on.

As for Cornerstone, one of our High School Juniors recently asked me, “Whatever happened to our mission trips?” I praise God that the passion to serve is alive and well at Cornerstone, and I look forward to finding more ways for our students to serve locally, and God willing, on the mission field.

No, I will not be marching today, but as I watch our amazing students filling our halls and classrooms, I will surely be thinking, “Life: What a Beautiful Choice!”

In His service,

Derrick Max

Executive Director

202-575-0027 Ext. 104