A Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion

Bell ringers processed into the convention center followed by the singing of "For All the Saint"s led by the Rev. Robert McMichael III and Jarvis Wilson. Call to Worship was led by the Rev. Hung Su Lim, associate pastor, Korean of Greater Washington. The Rev. Susan Reaves, conference secretary, led the naming of those being memorialized this evening as a bell was rung a candle lit in their memory.

The Prayer of Illumination was given by the Rev. Carl Perez of the  Fredericksburg District. The Old Testament Lesson from Isaiah 43:1-3a   was also given by the Rev. Perez.  The Epistle Lesson from Hebrews 12:1-3 was read by Madisyn Grogran.

The Rev. Tom Joyce, retired, and assistant to the bishop, gave the sermon, "Running the Race." He talked about the writer of Hebrews who says the life we are called to live is a race... a race in the sense that we are all headed in a common direction. "This destination is the joy of living in a life lived in relationship with God in Jesus Christ. This is the goal was are all striving for in a relationship with Christ," Joyce said. He asked that the family and friends of those being honored this evening find comfort. Their loved ones "have crossed the finish line," and obtained the price in Christ Jesus. Now these witnesses are surrounding us. "They are urging us on in our race," Joyce said. "Although the focus this evening is upon these in our program, the number that still exert influence on us is a far greater number," he said. "Friends, family members, neighbors, colleagues, who although deceased and no longer with you physically, continue on in a spiritual sense to encourage and inspire."
"I would name my own mother," Joyce said. "Although she passed almost four years ago, I still feel her presence every day." He also named his Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Moore, who continued to deliver his favorite "beet pickles" for him when he went home to visit. He went on to name other saints in his life, from district superintendents, church secretaries, and so many others.
The lives of these people were not perfect, said Joyce. "They were imperfect. They never gave up, they never looked back." And sometimes the race set before us is not a pleasant one. "We must have perservance, endurance and a resolve to never give up, never give in," he said.
Joyce paid tribute to his mother and recounted how her life was never very easy, but she "reached her goal in Christ. And she inspires me every day."

Following the singing of "Amazing Grace," Bishop Sharma D. Lewis led prayer for the Service of Thanksgiving and Holy Communion. The Rev. Mary Sue Swann, retired, Richmond District, assisted the bishop with the service.

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