September 11, 2011 was the 10th anniversary of a day of infamy, a day of death and destruction. But one of the tenets of the Christian faith is our belief in resurrection, rebirth - a new life. To that belief, on this tenth anniversary of those tragic events, the Kentucky Conference will now also remember that day as one of "new life."
It is with great pleasure and the highest praise that on September 11, 2011 the Kentucky Annual Conference chartered one new church, Embrace UMC in the Lexington District, and commissioned a new congregation, Amazing Grace Community of Faith in the Louisville District.
Embrace was launched in January 2009 and has grown under the pastorate of Rev. Rosario Picardo. On Sunday, Rev. Picardo along with his congregation, Bishop Lindsey Davis, and Lexington District Superintendent Mark Girard, took the final step of chartering what was a community of faith and making it a full-fledged United Methodist Church.
Embrace held two chartering services Sunday morning, one at the Embrace Epworth campus and the other at the Kentucky Theater. Approximately 250 people attended the services, with a number of those people pledging their faithfulness to the new church. Bishop Davis spoke at both services; then the two congregations joined together for a pot luck supper.
A little up the road in Crestwood, Rev. Mark Windley and Amazing Grace Community of Faith held their first worship service. Approximately 80 people attended the morning service where Rev. Windley and Louisville District Superintendent Rebecca Curry presided over a worship that included five professions of faith and four baptisms. Rev. Curry then blessed Rev. Windley and his wife, Lynn, as they started this journey of building a new church.
After morning worship, dinner was served and a presentation was made by a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The day ended with a gospel concert featuring the choirs of Amazing Grace, Pewee Valley Baptist and LaGrange 1st Baptist. There were over 150 people in attendance at the gospel concert.
So even though September 11, 2001 will always be a day associated with death and destruction, September 11, 2011 can now be associated with new church life here in the Kentucky Conference.