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Covenant Celebration for Bishop Sally Dyck09/26/2012
The Northern Illinois Conference welcomed Bishop Sally Dyck with a jubilant covenant celebration at Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville on Sept. 23. Music filled the service from MYX Youth of Edison Park UMC, The Gospel Choir of St. Mark UMC, the Willie B. Clay Inspirational Choir of Gorham UMC and the Men’s Chorus of Elston Avenue UMC.
Bishop Dyck was presented with the signs of episcopal ministry including a stole, gavel and globe. District Lay Leaders also presented her with gifts including Chicago sports team jerseys from the Chicago Southern District testing her allegiance to Cleveland.
In her message, “Coming and Going-Sowing and Harvesting”, Bishop Dyck said everyone in the Northern Illinois Conference has made her and husband Ken Ehrman feel extremely welcome and at home. “It's the warm reception, the beautiful condo, and the great people of this annual conference who are making it home for us. We're glad to be here!”
Bishop Dyck acknowledged the legacy of the bishops who have proceeded her and the seeds that have already been sown. “I honor and rejoice in the coming and going, the sowing and harvesting that has gone on before me and my assignment!” said Bishop Dyck. “My assignment to this annual conference is to reap where I have not sown…and now it's time for us to sow seeds of the gospel together that will produce fruit now and well into the future.” Bishop Dyck said one example is Harvest 2020 and reassured her support saying she is “all over it!”
“The seeds are sown and some harvest is being reaped but much of it is yet to be. We are called to be the stewards of Harvest 2020 into the future so that more people, younger people and more diverse people will come to know Jesus,” she said.
Bishop Dyck challenged churches to be peacemakers. “In a conference, in communities, in cities as well as a church that is as diverse as we are, we won't always agree or see life and faith the same, but I still believe that we are called to live in relationship with each other. Instead of being like the rest of the world, gridlocked and conflicted, what if the church was a peacemaking workshop? How will we as the NIC give witness to the world that we are peacemakers in our diversity?”
She shared her deep concern for children in our communities. “I'm concerned about the spiritual health of our children, young people and young adults, many of whom have virtually no religious upbringing. What are we doing as communities of faith for the children? In terms of mercy ministries as well as justice? Are we United Methodists in prayer for children as well as in political/economic support of children? How will we realign ourselves as local churches and an annual conference so that they are our focus?”
Bishop Dyck lifted up the Imagine No Malaria campaign. “As the year goes on, I do hope that we will make a commitment to be a part of a big thing – eliminating deaths by the poverty-related disease of malaria. It not only saves lives in Africa, but it is a major contributor to vital congregations that make vital Christians who make a difference in the world as I have experienced in Minnesota and other annual conferences throughout our connection.”
She closed her message with her hopes and dreams for the NIC. “My hope is that we will grow in personal and social holiness; that our congregations will be vital so that we will have vital Christians who make a difference in the world! Let’s go!”
View the Video of Bishop Sally Dyck's sermon: