2015 Annual Conference Worship

Bishop L. Jonathan HolstonWednesday Morning Worship

*Eric Kluth

Grace was in the air at the start of worship Wednesday as organist Dixie Heck opened with Toccata on “Amazing Grace”.

The East Ohio Conference Choir and Youth Band set the stage for the worship theme Follow Me with the songs “I Will Follow You” and “Lead Me, Guide Me.”

The East Ohio Conference Youth entertained those gathered in Hoover Auditorium with a skit using the game Simon Says and tying that into following Jesus.

Bishop John Hopkins introduced the morning worship speaker, Resident Bishop of the South Carolina Conference, L. Jonathan Holston. 

Bishop Holston opened his message talking about the forks in the roads of our lives being places of discovery, discernment and decisions.

He wove stories together of his family, Winnie the Pooh and Jesus in Matthew 4:12-23 that had the audience at times laughing, crying and in silence as he challenged everyone “with an offer you can’t refuse.” 

He went on to say that offer is to follow Jesus, but not only follow, but lead. “Jesus has called us to follow, because he leads and guides each and every one of us.” Holston said.  He reminded the audience to make decisions to be the light in the world; a “time for the Church to be the light, because Jesus is the light of the world” said Holston.

The East Ohio Conference Choir and Youth Band sang “Cry of My Heart” and Bishop Hopkins concluded worship reinforcing Bishop Holston’s question of “What is your offer from God that you cannot refuse?”

As the postlude played, we were left to think about the conference theme of God is calling us up, calling us to what we are ready to do, with an offer we can’t refuse.

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