Sacred Space

The Annual Conference Design Team, along with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey invite all delegates to create a sacred space for the Annual Conference session. 

If you can, please consider having the following nearby.

A Candle to Signify the Presence of Christ

From Worship Matters: A United Methodist Guide to Worship Work, Vol. II by E. Byron Anderson:

"Jesus said: "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). The presence of the light reminds us of Jesus' coming into our world and into our lives. The light is carried into the worship service as a symbol of Jesus' coming into the presence of the worshiping community. Many congregations use two candles on the altar to point out that Jesus was both a human being and God. At the end of the service, the light is carried out into the world to show that Jesus Christ is for all people everywhere; The acolyte leaves the worship service at the pastor's direction, carrying out the lighted candlelighter. This symbolizes the light of Jesus Christ going out into the world where believers are to serve."

From The Acolyte's Book by Hoyt Hickman:

"Since ancient times, light and fire have reminded people that God is here with us. When you bring the light (fire) into the place where people are gathering to worship, and when you light the candles, you are reminding the people that God is with us at home, at school, and at work, as well as in the worship service; Lighted candles also remind us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. Many persons like to think of the two candles on or beside the Lord's table as reminders that Christ is both human and divine."

A Small Bowl of Water to Remember Our Baptism

Sophia Agtarap, United Methodist Communications: "The same waters that course through the rivers and streams in Africa and in Asia and in South America are the same ones that we play in here in the United States. We are all so interconnected that there is no way that we can say that our lives are so separate from the brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. And just like our United Methodist connection allows us to be connected to different projects and different organizations around the world that work in relief and aid, we can say the same for the waters that we drink.

William Willimon once wrote that in the New Testament, baptism means everything that water means. So when we think about water, we think about life, death, renewal, refreshment, cleansing.

We see the work that water has done in canyons and it's carved out these beautiful shapes and paths. It has smoothed out rocks that we find on the beach. It refreshes dry land. When the waters of baptism become evident in our own lives, the rough places are smoothed out, and we are remade as well. And this is God's gift to us.

A Small Stone

1 Peter 2: 1-10 (CEB) Therefore, get rid of all ill will and all deceit, pretense, envy, and slander. Instead, like a newborn baby, desire the pure milk of the word. Nourished by it, you will grow into salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Now you are coming to him as to a living stone. Even though this stone was rejected by humans, from God’s perspective it is chosen, valuable. You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple. You are being made into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Thus it is written in scripture, Look! I am laying a cornerstone in Zion, chosen, valuable. The person who believes in him will never be shamed.[a] So God honors you who believe. For those who refuse to believe, though, the stone the builders tossed aside has become the capstone. This is a stone that makes people stumble and a rock that makes them fall. Because they refuse to believe in the word, they stumble. Indeed, this is the end to which they were appointed. 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. 10 Once you weren’t a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you hadn’t received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

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