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Worship recognizes ‘world and everybody in it’

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  • U.M. Cornet
    May 6, 2000 GC-027 Worship recognizes ‘world and everybody in it’ http://umns.umc.org/gc2000news/stories/gc027.htm CLEVELAND (UMNS) – Bishop Charles W.
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2000
      May 6, 2000 GC-027
      Worship recognizes �world and everybody in it�

      CLEVELAND (UMNS) � Bishop Charles W. Jordan called on United Methodists to
      carry out God�s mission of transforming the "The World and Everybody in It"
      in his sermon during the General Conference�s May 6 worship service.

      "God loves the world and everyone in it," said Jordan, who leads the United
      Methodist Church�s Iowa Area.

      Bishop Walter Klaiber of Germany personified the church�s global mission
      when he gave the opening prayer, translated from Spanish, in English with a
      German accent. The service opened another day of business for the 992
      delegates, who have come from around the world to the church�s top
      legislative assembly. General Conference ends May 12.

      Jordan told of being at a meeting where a computer ticked off the rising
      toll of children who died of preventable causes during the session. Last to
      leave, the bishop turned off the computer, but he knew that did not stop the

      In the United States, he said, 35 million people live in poverty, and the
      gap between rich and poor is growing. Matthew 25 reminds Christians that
      Jesus identified with "the least," Jordan said. He challenged the delegates
      to commit themselves to quality of life for all, including the least.

      "God�s gift of love is a gift of transformation," Jordan said. Biblical
      justice for the poor does not just offer equity before the law but demands
      new opportunity, he said.

      He speculated about rewriting the story of the rich young man who came to
      Jesus and was told to sell all his possessions and give the money to the
      poor. The young man turned away and left, according to the Bible. However,
      Jordan said he would like to think the man gave the matter careful thought
      and came running back, begging Jesus to let him stay so that he could grow
      in spirit. All people need to walk with Jesus to develop their spiritual
      power, the bishop said.

      Jordan told of his paternal grandparents, who were born and raised in
      slavery. When the news of emancipation reached them, Jordan�s grandfather
      rushed to the field where his wife was picking cotton. "We�re free," he told
      her, and she went on working. "We�re free," he said again, and she fell down
      in the field, sobbing as she realized what he was saying. He offered his
      hand to help her up, but she said no, he should get down on his knees with
      her and they should pray that they would use their new freedom well.

      "Let us give thanks," Jordan said, "for this gift of God�s love." He urged
      the delegates to pray for strength and guidance to use it well.

      A mass youth choir provided music during the worship service. The group was
      composed of five choirs: Cantemos, sponsored by the North Georgia Annual
      Conference Council on Ministries; St. Luke�s United Methodist Church Youth
      Choir, Houston; Boyz of Gospel, Bennettsville, S.C.; Mansfield (Ohio)
      District Youth Choir; and Ben Hill United Methodist Church Youth Choir,
      Atlanta. They were coordinated by Sid Davis of Houston and the Rev. Barbara
      Day Miller of the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.

      # # #

      -- Joretta Purdue

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