GC19: NEAC members participate in opening worship

Photo by UMNS
Ana Maria Rodriguez Alfonso carries the banner as the bishops process in during opening worship.

February 24, 2019

Ana Maria Rodriguez Alfonso and Uchenna Awa had a rare privilege at this special session of the General Conference: They were part of the opening worship on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019.

Alfonso held the banner and led the procession of bishops into the plenary space in St. Louis (see the photo above), Awa was one of the readers; she offered the prayer below.

They attended General Conference 2019 as observers with the United Methodist Ministry and Polity class from the Boston University School of Theology. They are also members of Family UMC in Saugus, MA. 

Watch a short video as the two talk about their experience:

GC19: Being part of opening worship from New England Conference UMC on Vimeo.

Prayer of the People: These Hands
Will you stand in body or in spirit and join in prayer?
Living God, We take a few deep breaths.
We live in a time of clenching fists:
In anger that threatens,
In greed that clutches,
in worry and fear that tense and tighten.
This is no way to live.
And so, we let go.
We take a few deep breaths.
Our hands are empty.
We acknowledge our powerlessness.
We are not in control.
We are but humble protagonists in your great story of love.
We receive your grace that heals, forgives, and liberates.
This is the way to live.
And so, we open our hands, our hearts, our minds, our doors.
We take a few deep breaths.
We extend our hands in blessing.
As we have been blessed, so we bless.
We hold no weapons and make no threats.
We seek peace with all and we make peace for all.
It is better for us to give than to receive.
Make us instruments of your peace, Living God.
We surrender our lives to your purposes.
May your Spirit fill our lives and work through these hands.
We open our eyes.
We see your light in one another:
a flickering candle in the dark,
a quiet glow at dawn,
a rising sun for this new day.
We call forth that light in one another,
And we honor one another with these hands.
May the peace of Christ rise in you.