On Saturday more than 80 people braved the cold and the forecast of inclement weather to gather at St. Paul UMC in Frankfort, KY for the conference-wide observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
The observance, sponsored by the Kentucky Conference Commission on Religion and Race, featured workshops in the morning and a powerful multi-cultural worship service in the afternoon. The workshops covered many topics, ranging from bullying to immigration issues to how to reach a diverse ethnic population in your ministry. Attendees said that the workshops were informative and offered much food for thought.
After workshops concluded, parishioners of St. Paul UMC served a barbecue lunch. The meat had been grilled outside by the men of the church who braved the frigid weather, and dining was facilitated inside by the women of the church.
As with all Christian gatherings, the real "meat and potatoes" of the day was our time of worship together. Greetings were brought by Frankfort District Superintendent, Dr. Jean Hawxhurst, and St. Paul UMC pastors, Revs. Elvyn and Bessie Hamilton. Later in the service, Bishop Lindsey Davis, Resident Bishop of the Kentucky Annual Conference, brought greetings as well. Bishop Davis reminded us of these famous words, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny," words written by Dr. King while incarcerated in a Birmingham, AL jail cell. These words still resonate today as we work towards justice for all as part of the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church.
Our sermon of the day was brought to us by Dr. Iosmar Alverez, pastor of Hope Springs UMC in Lexington, KY. Rev. Alverez brought a message of service, reminding us that there is a strong connection between service and worship. Rev. Alverez reminded us to "worship the Lord your God, and serve him… when we understand what God did for us on the cross we can't help but serve him" and that you serve God by being in service to others.
Adding to the worship experience were the Kentucky State University Concert Choir and the Hope Springs UMC Praise Team with musical selections and the 3-N-One Mime Team from Coke Memorial UMC with dramatic praise.