Posted by: morgan1965 | November 3, 2009

Celebrating All Saints Day

All Saints Day is a special day of celebration in the life of the Christian church. It is a time when we remember and honor the saints of the church who now rest from their labors. The saints are our loved ones. They are pilgrim disciples who have sought to be faithful to God and God’s people.

When I was a district superintendent in the Raritan District [The former Northern New Jersey Annual Conference], we had an annual district All Saints Day jazz worship service, New Orleans style. It was always a memorable celebration. The district churches would bring a list of their members who had died since the last celebration. These names were read with respect and joyful appreciation for their labors in their church.

I cannot help but remember the saints who have been a part of my life. One of those persons was Mr. Ernest Jones. He was a role model, mentor and friend. Mr. Jones, a ham radio operator himself, tutored me in preparation for obtaining my ham radio license. I have fond memories of my Saturday visits to his home where I would sit in his basement and listen to him tell stories about his experiences as a ham radio operator, answer my questions about radio theory or show me how to build a radio transmitter. He and his wife always welcomed me into his home, extending warm hospitality. He was never too busy to spend some time with me. I consider Mr. Jones to be one of the saints in my life.

On All Saints Day, 2009, the Council of Bishops [The United Methodist Church] remembered some of the saints. It is customary for the Council to begin its meetings with a memorial service. During this service we memorialized five persons: one retired bishop and four spouses of bishops. It was a wonderful celebration.

I believe that it is important and significant to remember the saints. We should know what they stood for and worked for as they labored in the church. Not only do we learn from the saints, we are inspired by the saints.

Let us give thanks to God for all the saints who now rest from their labors here on earth.

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