Several weeks again I blogged about The Aldersgate Covenant Gathering -- an opportunity for United Methodists from across the connection who have a passion for renewal to come together to pray, worship and watch for God’s movement among us. The hope that those of us on the planning team had for this event was that persons from a variety of backgrounds, regions and perspectives would show up in Kansas City for 20 very special hours on May 16-17, 2014.
That is exactly what happened this past weekend. 160 persons, including several from North Alabama, came together for great fellowship, conferencing and food. (How Methodist of us!) In addition we participated in exceptional music and heard “over the top” preaching that called us to revival and renewal. Matt Miofsky reminded us to wake up. Bishop Violet Fisher kept us awake with a call to repent. (If you have ever heard Bishop Fisher preach you know that no one sleeps through her fiery sermons!) Rob Fuquay encouraged us to ask boldly - not for what we want - but for what God desires. Lisa Yebuah challenged us to watch for what God is doing. We awakened, repented, asked and watched - all in one worship service.
And we prayed. In addition to silent prayer after every sermon, worship participants lifted our voices in corporate prayer together under the guidance of Bishop Young Jin Cho. It was powerful to hear the prayers for renewal and revival being raised simultaneously to God by 160 persons.
We concluded our time of worship with a Service of Covenant Renewal. How fitting to follow this time of praying for revival in our church by participating in a service calling us to personal renewal. Because, after all, the renewal of our church and world starts with each of us.
Yes, the Aldersgate Covenant Gathering was a wonderful 20 hours of prayer and worship. I hope and trust that it was more than a good event that has come and gone, though. I pray that it was a glimpse of the renewing work that God is doing in and through us.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett