Another Annual Conference has come and gone!
Yesterday morning Bishop Dan Solomon shared another message with us. This time he preached on Luke 10:25-37, The Good Samaritan text. His message was titled "by-pass" or "pass by," and he opened with an account of a woman who was asking the surgeon about the medical health of her family member by asking, "did that pass by thingy work?" Passing by, the bishop said, wouldn't work - only a by-pass had the healing capability. "The difference between pass by and and by-pass is the difference between death and life."
Solomon gave us 3 "road signs" on the road to Jericho.
1) God is on this road. A dangerous road sometimes, a road of pain and risk, but God is on the road with us.
2) God uses the people plan. God had/has any means available to communicate with us, the bishop reminded us. God could just write us messages in the stars, spell it out, anything. But God chooses the people plan to have relationship with us because "there are some pains only a person can help."
3) God paid it all. "Whatever it takes, I'll pay it," was the message of the Samaritan to the inn-keeper, and it is also God's message to us - what ever it takes, God will pay the price for us.
What have I left out? I am our NCNY Conference Youth Coordinator, and on Saturday our CCYM led worship. The youth that I work with always do a spectacular job with worship. My only real role in that time is to introduce them, and they do the rest - choose scripture, lead prayer, give messages and reflections, and select and give a gift to our Bishop (who loves the youth, and the youth really connect with her.) Sometimes I find youth ministry frustrating and stressful. I won't pretend that I love it all the time. But these youth - they are really quite a bunch. Of just the small group that was there to lead worship on Saturday, we had 2 who have served as assistants to the secretary at Annual Conference, 5 who have been on or will be going on the NEJ Mission of Peace trip, 1 who is already a certified lay speaker, 2 who are already doing The Christian as Minister as the beginning of their process to become pastors, more than I can count who are on staff at Aldersgate or Casowasco, our two conference camp/retreat centers. Our CCYM chair even missed a major class-related school event to be at the worship. I just hope people in the Annual Conference don't overlook and undervalue these young people. They have so much to give, right now, and for years to come.
Anyway, I'm already looking foward to next year, when I hope to be ordained as an elder, but a lot of paperwork currently stands between me and that day! :)