WORSHIP | Thursday, June 15, 2017
Worship - Bishop Michael McGee
By Lois Speelman*
“This is my commandment; love each other just as I have loved you.” John 15: 12 (CEB)
A video opened this service with images of everyday life, both the joy and pain found in our world today. The assurance was offered that God is always with us.
The delegates gathered for the morning worship services which began with a prelude of “Come Christians, Join To Sing” offered by a quartet of David Rittgers, Orrville UMC (Canal District), Charles Tobias, Wooster UMC, (Canal District), Anthony Walsh, New Leaf UMC (Western Reserve District) and Scott Walsh, New Leaf UMC, (Western Reserve District).
The house joined to sing “Victory in Jesus” and prepared for prayer by singing “Be Unto Your Name”.
David Scavuzzo, Strongsville UMC (North Coast District) led the house in prayer, followed by the reading of Ephesians 4:1-6 (NRVS).
Bishop Tracy Malone introduced Bishop Michael McKee, North Texas Conference who offered the morning message titled “We Are One.”
“United Methodists are very much alike, no matter where we are” Bishop McKee stated in his opening. He shared memories of his own ordination and that he was reminded on Wednesday night during the commissioning and ordination service that we all need to affirmation of our calling. “The power of meaning is very important and there are things all Christians should remember” McKee said.
He asked, “Who really has claimed us?” God brings unlikely people together and binds them with water and the sign of the cross.
McKee stressed that “you need to know the story of Jesus because His story becomes our story.” He challenged the delegates with the question, “How are we doing at telling that story? In order for persons to be whole, they need a faith home. How are we doing at providing that home? “he asked.
He reflected that Paul’s writings in Ephesians certainly indicate that God intended us to be one. Mckee has become more aware of the variety of ministry and witness in churches, but held together by the same God, the same Christ, the same hope.
“Ministry is not easy anymore, whether clergy or lay but it is not time for us to shut down. Don’t do this alone” he said.
“Churches want every kind of ministry available, but we don’t have to do everything.” McKee urged churches, clergy and laity to find their unique calling in the place you are serving. “We are better together than separated.”
The quartet than shared the song of affirmation, “How Great Thou Art”. Bishop McKee gave the benediction.
* Lois Speelman, East Ohio Conference Communications