2015 Annual Conference Worship

Cyd ScarnecchiaTuesday Morning Worship

*Eric Kluth

As people gathered for worship Tuesday morning we were reminded of our purpose for our lives, whether it is from the pulpit or working with pensions.

Worship opened as people invited by Lorry Mabiala to come into worship with thanksgiving in our hearts and clap according to the beat.  It was to come and be transformed as the New London UMC Praise Band opened with “Come, Now is The Time to Worship.”

Bishop Hopkins introduced the morning speaker Barbara Boigegrain who is the general secretary and chief executive officer of General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, as a combination between Jessica Vargo and Betsy Stewart.

Boigegrain read Jeremiah 29:11 and spoke of her journey in faith and life. Boigegrain told her story of how as a little girl needing blood transfusions, the community and the church were there for her and her family.

The UMC became her family and who she is today as she spoke about the life-long connectional values of community, inclusivity and personal values of integrity, transparency and accountability different than what she had planned.  She said that “it never seems to fail, that when God has something for us to do, the opportunity comes over, and over and over again.”

It was in this that she reminded us of God’s plans for us and that we have gifts and talents, either for the church or the secular world; we take one step every day reaching for that goal we will have served God’s purpose in this world.
Boigegrain asked us to reflect on four things that we share on our journey of faith.

  1. God has a purpose for us and we have to show up.
  2. God works with our flaws and imperfections.
  3. God is ever present and in charge, God sees the whole picture
  4. The UMC has a powerful and relevant message for our lives today.

Lorry Mabiala ended worship thanking Boigegrain for her work with bringing pensions to her people in Africa.  As the worship band ended with “Amazing Grace” we were again reminded of the agency’s motto of “They care for those who serve” and that we are all being called up to use our gifts and talents to serve in this world.

Eric Kluth is the pastor of Harsh Memorial UMC, Ohio Valley District