Of the many takeaways from the election of Barack Obama as president, Rev. Terrence Porter, pastor of Red Bank's Pilgrim Baptist Church, sees in it hope for a renewal of the idea of community service.
"I'm not a politician, but I think it began eroding around the time of Reaganomics and what came after that," he says. "People weren't as concerned about the working class."
With a former community organizer in the White House, Porter says he's enthused by the possible return to a sense of responsibility for those who need a hand.
In that spirit, Pilgrim Baptist is opening its doors to all comers for an inauguration luncheon in its basement Tuesday morning. And Porter is hoping that senior citizens in particular will gather to watch the swearing-in, so he's arranging to shuttle them from Red Bank Senior Citizen Center to the church and back.
"My heart's desire is that our senior citizens will be able to say, when looking back on this historic event, 'This is where I was,'" he says.
Back in October, the church hosted a live screening of the final debate between Obama and Sen. John McCain. The swearing-in party, which begins at 10:30a and will run until about 2p, will be held in the church basement, which has a kitchen and a giant-screen TV.
Tickets for the luncheon are $5 for seniors and students and $10 for adults. Here's a flyer: Download Flyer_Inauguration_
On Sunday, the church is inviting the public to its annual Martin
Luther King Jr. memorial service at 10:45a. The event will feature
essay readings by students from the Red Bank Primary School, music and
dance performances, and remarks by guest speaker Rev. Jeffery Thomas of Scotch Plains.