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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Young Adults ‘Pass The Baton’ at Thursday morning worship

    May 28, 2015 / By Kathleen Rubino / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Young Adult Ministry led morning worship on Thursday, May 28, at the 2015 Annual Conference session. As Laurel O’Connor, field coordinator for Africa 360, said, “It’s all about how we tell the story … a Biblical story told not as much by words but by actions.”

    So that’s exactly what one young adult did: took action.

    Theresa Eggleston acted out the stories of Moses and Joshua from the Book of Exodus, where Joshua fought Alamek, Aaron and Bur helped Moses hold up his staff at the top of the hill, and Moses received the tablets from God.

    Pastor Ben O’Connor, appointed at the Lycoming United Methodist Church, spoke to these stories, emphasizing that, “We are in the middle of the story, somewhere between the beginning and Amen.”

    Pastor O’Connor said it’s the story that starts with God creating something to be in relationship with God's people.

    “Our relationships are stills strained; our relationship with God, with humanity,” he said. “But that is where relationships are the most important because we are made to be in relationship with each other.”

    Pastor O’Connor pointed out that Moses needed Joshua to watch his back, and Joshua needed Moses to teach him how to read a crowd, similar to how we need each other. One example of improving through working together is a relay race, where what we can accomplish together trumps what we can do alone.

    “Together we are better, we are stronger, and we are faster,” he said. “We are in the middle of a very complicated relay race that we call Christianity, that we call the Church. It is full of baton passing – from the older generation to the younger generation, from the younger generation to the older generation, from peer to peer, from clergy to laity, and from laity to clergy. This is the intricate web that we call ministry, and it is done in relationship with each other.”

    And that’s where a visual representation of #PassTheBatonUNY comes in. Mentors and mentees have the opportunity to pass a symbolic baton to each other (and others at AC session); mentees sign their mentor’s name in black on a white-painted wooden cross and mentors signing mentees names on a white-painted wooden flame, with the hope that both will be covered by the end of AC session, thus depicting the denomination’s logo. It is a way to recognize mentors and thank them for their support.

    Worship also included lively Christian rock music and a Nigerian song sang in both English and Yoruba languages led by Ian Urriola, and the presentation of the mosquito net superheroes fundraiser for Africa 360.

    Click here to see images from worship.

    TAGGED / Annual Conference 2015

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."