The Memorial Service of the 2014 Annual Conference Session opened with Come, Emmanuel,
and Northwest District Field Outreach Minister Sarah Stevens inviting Conference attendees to
imagine, reading Isaiah 61.
Following was the Call to Worship and Hymn of Promise
Bishop Julius Trimble introduced Rev. Brian Milford, Superintendent for the Southwest District
and Dean of the Appointive Cabinet, calling him a son of this Conference.
“The Lord be with you,” said Rev. Milford began.
“Every Sunday when we preach the Gospel, we mock death,” he said. “I KNOW my redeemer
lives, we sang.”
Monday morning brings reality, though.
“The fragility of this mortal life slapped us in the face on Monday morning,” he said.
The most important event in history was not transacted between armies or nations or diplomats,
Rev. Milford said, but between God the Father and the God the Son by the power of God the
Rev. Milford said if the resurrection could be limited to the past then we are right to be worried
about the future.
He spoke of pastors relegating the resurrection to just a topic.
“A topic to be discussed only on Easter Sunday and at funerals,” said Rev. Milford. “When we
trot out the resurrection as if it were an insurance policy against the loss of life.”
“Now true enough, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is God’s own testimony against
death,” Rev. Milford said. “But it is also God’s power for ministry.”
Victory over death, power for ministry, they are one theme, he said.
Rev. Milford said that those honored at the Memorial Service are not just remembered for their
personal accomplishments, but for the ways their personal accomplishments testified to the
power of the resurrection, and for the ways their ministries exhibited the ongoing love of God for