Continuing the effort to make the holiday "A Day On; Not a Day Off," keynote speaker Byron Jordan of Smith Chapel Methodist Church spoke about the importance of community service.
"When we think about community let's think about the people," Jordan said, noting later in his comments that "it takes a community to build a community. ... The community is the people."
Jordan spoke about unity, voluntary service, responsiveness, diversity and variety, ability, and sufficiency. "All of these things are what we need in our community to build it," he said.
We all need to celebrate and understand our differences in our community, Jordan said. "When we see our differences, it helps us to grow."
Using the illustration of a janitor's care of a gymnasium floor being critical to the players who compete on that floor, Jordan made the point that "no matter what level you serve on, you are important to your community."
Jordan discussed how even friction can be important as an opposing force and the importance of "constructive feedback that would help us to grow, to help us be better at what we do."
Consistency and faith are also important, according to Jordan. "When you are consistent and committed, a little friction won't stop you," he said.
Planning, Jordan noted, is as critical to building communities as it is to building a structure.
Not everyone can be a leader, "but working together, there's so much more we can do," he said.
Jordan encouraged creativity: "It just may be your idea that makes the difference." He also encouraged those in attendance to be pro-active, "to act instead of react."
"We're all vessels that can be used," Jordan said. "You can do good in your community."
Each individual in the community may have skills, abilities, knowledge or ideas that nobody else has, and everybody has the ability to invoke change, he said.
"You never know - you may be somebody's last chance," Jordan said, noting how critical being an empathetic listener can be.
Jordan said a community has to build people, not just buildings. "If we're going to build the people, we need a servant attitude," he said. "It doesn't matter what your title or position is ... just get the job done."
Winning, he said, sometimes requires sacrifice and setting aside personal agendas.
Jordan wrapped up his comments by saying, "You make a difference and you are important."
The cold weather apparently resulted in a smaller crowd than last year at Mission Missouri for the noon program which was once again held following the annual motorcade parade.
Those attending shook off the chill with some congregational singing before the program opened with an invocation by the Rev. Rick Lasley of the Wesley United Methodist Church.
Other speakers during the program included City Manager Doug Friend, who discussed King's legacy of building partnerships; and Larry Bohannon, assistant superintendent of Sikeston Public Schools, who hailed King's legacy of excellence.
Immediately following the program, those attending were treated to a fellowship dinner by Mission Missouri.