Monday, May 24, 2004

Annual Conference

Just returned from North Central New York's Annual Conference. Have a few thoughtful words from our bishop and our guest speakers that I thought I'd share here. Our focus this year was stewardship, an important issue indeed!

On May 21st, Rev. Ronald Wenzinger was our guest preacher. He said "stewardship is about how much of what God has given us we dare to keep for ourselves." What a great way of putting things into perspective.

He also reminded us of the goodness of all creation. "God made it, and it was good," and asked us, "what are you doing with your gift?"

Bishop Fisher gave her episcopal address that night, rousing as always. She said, "Church work is not singing in the choir, working at the spaghetti dinner, maintaining the church building. Church work is making disciples! We are not open to be a country club. We are not open to be a rotary. We are open to be the church of Jesus Christ."

At the ordination service, yesterday, Rev. Sofiya Fosua, who works for the General Board of Discipleship gave the message. She was amazing! I didn't have anything with which to take notes during her sermon, but she focused on two passages: Elijah handing authority to Elisha, and Jesus reading from the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue. She talked about how, ultimately, our understanding that we are called has to come from ourselves, regardles of who else or what else undergirds our call. We know that God has called us. We have to claim our own calls.
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