Sunday, March 09, 2008

Order Of The Flame (4)

Order Of The Flame (4)

The final day of the Order Of The Flame was by far the best. The original schedule allowed Grace Imathiu to have one more day of Bible Study, but because of unexpected circumstances at her church, she had to leave a day early. The day was special, none the less. For me three events stand out. The first was Rev. Spiller's address on the role of the Holy Spirit in evangelism. Without the Holy Spirit there could be no effective evangelism. He provides the power to do the very thing that God calls us to do.

I played hooky during the afternoon sessions - I spent a part of that time visiting the Methodist museum on the grounds of Epworth By The Sea. In the foyer of the museum stands the plaster cast that was used to create the statue of John Wesley which stands in Savannah, GA. The plaster cast has been painted with bronze enamel to both showcase the statue and to protect it - though you can see the plaster peeking through at one or two spots. The museum has actual letters signed by the likes of John and Charles Wesley and Francis Asbury. I also found the collection of nativity scenes of interest - whether made of cloth, clay, plastic, metal, or a host of other materials, the view that the various artists viewed the birth of our Lord was facinating. I sat in their presence for more than a few minutes. Though I took lots of pictures during our week in Georgia; sadly, I forgot to take pictures of these nativity scenes. Now I have a reason to return.

The last event of the afternoon was the final meeting of our Wesley Group. It was a time to reflect on our futures - both personally and within our ministry. During our final hour together, there were tears shed, there were amazing secrets shared, and God showered his blessing. I hope that our small group can remain in contact with each other during the coming years. I know, even as i write this four days after our Order Of The Flame has ended, I have prayed for the people that were part of our group.

The final worship service was an event in itself. Rev. Starnes, Director of Evangelism for the AME Zion Church, was the final preacher for FLAME. Dynamic and powerful, we were asked to recommit our lives to the things that were part of our original call to ministry. Finally, there was the "Graduation". Each participant was awarded a certificate and a small gift to help us remember the commitments we made throughout the week.

The conference has ended and we have arrived home safely. We argued (well, actually discussed) whether we should leave on Friday or Saturday. Our original plans were to leave on Saturday, but with the weather predicted for the Northeast over the weekend, we thought that giving ourselves an extra day of travel might be safer. In the end, we decided to stay in Georgia for the extra day and it was the right decision. The trip home was uneventful and the storm had totally passed by the time we arrived in Rochester.

Two months ago, I had never heard of Flame. Today, both Sandra and I are glad we were able to be part of this marvelous week. The people, the speakers, and the surroundings made it a wonderful time for spiritual reflection and growth. And we were allowed to be part of it. Thank you Jesus.

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