AC2017: Bishop Declares Love Zone

6/8/2017

AC2017 Opening Worship

Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, presiding at her first Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference session from June 8-11, declared the campus of Grove City College a “Love Zone. The official attire for this Love Zone is Western Pennsylvania Chic…Dressed in Love!”
 
“Wherever you go on this campus, you must be dressed in love,” she said, referring to Colossians: 3:12-17.  “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth….Love never ends.
 
“If you have come here ready to live out your impatience, your fear, your anxiety, your frustration with this denomination or this annual conference, I’m sorry. You’re out of order!  If you’ve come to exercise your air of superiority or your bullying behavior, I’m sorry. This is a love zone. If you’ve come here ready for a fight, you are totally out of order! This is a love zone.”
 
Anxiety and fear are an addiction in our denomination and society today, the Bishop said. She invited those who need to indulge those addictions to take a break, “but you must go off-campus to do it!”
 
The attire of love is critical, she added. “If we are going to do the work that God has called us to do as an annual conference, we have to be dressed in love. It is our love that is going to give us the power we need to work in harmony with one another… the wisdom that we need to discern God’s will.

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“It is our love that is going to give us the skills to speak to one another in a way that honors and respects those with different opinions and pulls from them the best that God has put into them. It is love that is going to give us the power to listen to one another and reason together in a way that brings God glory!” 

We are bound together in love, she said, urging people to think about how much God has done for them, then to consider “how much God is going to do with all of us if we are bound together in love.”
 
She emphasized that there is much work to do to:
  • Combat the racism that exists in this annual conference,
  • Promote abundant health by adopting practices that cut down on the rates of diabetes, heart disease, drug addiction, and gun violence
  • Engage in ministry with those living in poverty;
  • Reach those not connected with any faith community by creating new places and spaces for new people, and
  • Develop principled Christian leaders to combat the for the church and our communities.
 
God has chosen us to do this work,” she emphasized. “God has placed us here together for such work as this. And God has given us all that we need to do this work!”
-- By Jackie Campbell, Communications Director

 

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