News and Views

'Offer fresh bread,' Lyght tells conference leaders

Posted by Erik Alsgaard on

By Erik Alsgaard

Bishop LaTrelle Easterling (left) charges the Rev. Mark Gorman to take authority in the church as an Elder following his Ordination Thursday night. The bishop presided at her first Ordination and Commissioning Service.

The image of bread was central to the message given to those commissioned, ordained and readmitted Thursday night, as Bishop LaTrelle Easterling presided at her first such worship service.

The bishop commissioned one person a Deacon, nine people as provisional Elders, and ordained seven as Elders with full membership into the conference. One person was readmitted to the Order of Elders.

Bishop Ernest S. Lyght, retired, preached on Luke 11:5-13, where a friend goes to a neighbor and asks for bread at midnight, and Exodus 16:1-4, where God provides manna to the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness.

“What unites us?” the bishop asked. “It is Jesus Christ who is the bread of life.”

God fed the children of Israel, Bishop Lyght said, but God did it on a daily basis. No leftovers, he said; God fed manna and even gave them water every day. That way, he said, the bread was always fresh.

“We pray, ‘Lord, give us our daily bread,’” Lyght said. When people come to the church, they are fully expecting to find fresh bread: a faith community, not a doubt community that has confidence in the future and that will have confidence in everyone.

“Is that the kind of community that your church is?” the bishop asked.

Too often, however, Bishop Lyght said, people find stale bread. “They find warmed-over bread, or they find no bread at all,” he said.

“What is it that unites us?” he asked. “That which unites us is Jesus Christ. Therefore, brothers and sisters, keep the bread fresh. Jesus is the real bread and the real bread comes from God who loves us. The bread of life is what people need. What do we have to offer? It’s not the preacher, it’s not the choir, it’s Jesus. Offer them Christ. Keep it fresh. Keep it fresh.”

ROCK scholarship offering

The offering during ordination went to provide scholarships for young people to attend ROCK, the annual youth retreat held in Ocean City, Md. $3,925 was collected.