All Saints' Day; Commitment Sunday; Church Conference
I’m so looking forward to Sunday, October 30, 2022 and I hope you are too! In this email, I’ll share about the rich morning we have planned and the importance of your presence and participation. Please see read all the way down for information about the potluck and Church Conference on Sunday afternoon.
All Saints’ Day
Traditionally in the church, we lift up the persons who have passed during the last year on All Saints’ Day. In his journal on November 1, 1767, John Wesley called All Saints Day “a festival I truly love.” The Festival of All Saints, traditionally celebrated in worship on the Sunday closest to November 1, is an opportunity to give thanks for all those who have gone before us in faith. This Sunday, we’ll celebrate all of our saints in worship, lifting up the people in our lives who have loved us and formed us, in particular John Schweizer and Lloyd Elliott, who have been members of Epworth.
Michele Arreola-Burl is creating an offrenda and you are invited to bring a framed photo of a loved one who has passed and place it on the altar at the beginning of worship. You can read more about the tradition of the offrenda below. I’ll also be reading out names in our prayer time of anyone who has passed in the last year; you can submit those names through cards available from our ushers.
This Sunday is also Commitment Sunday as we conclude this year’s stewardship campaign, A Better Place. Thank you to all of you who have already submitted your commitment online. On Sunday, you can also bring your Commitment Card and place it in the basket in front of the altar during the last hymn. I always love the opportunity to experience Epworthians streaming forth and placing our cards or envelopes in the basket. It’s the closest we come to an altar call! But seriously, it fills my heart with joy and appreciation for the faithfulness and abundance we experience. I want to say again a huge thanks to our stewardship chair, and the whole team of Wendy Wiegmann, Clark Kellogg and Paul Nasman.
Sending Forth and Western Jurisdictional Conference
Next week, I’ll be in Salt Lake City as a delegate to the Western Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church. Randall Miller and Jeffrey Kuan will also be there as we do the business of the jurisdiction and elect three new bishops. Dr. Kuan is one of the candidates for bishop. After preliminary meetings, the conference officially begins Wednesday morning. This Sunday as we close worship, Rev. Odette Lockwood-Stewart will lead us in a sending forth and blessing, particularly for Dr. Kuan as he responds to the call to offer himself for this role. Please pray for us that we may have wisdom and perseverance, and that the whole jurisdiction will be strengthened through our time together.
Potluck and Church Conference
After worship, please bring something simple to share and stay for a potluck which will precede our Church Conference. Rev. Odette will be presiding over this annual time of celebrating the work of the church and affirming those who have accepted the call to leadership and service through Epworth. All are welcome to stay and hear reports of ministries and plans for 2023. We even have the opportunity to affirm the calling to ordained ministry of Kate Snipes, a very special honor. Church Conference will begin at 11:45am and we expect to conclude by 1pm.
Abundant blessings to each of you,