Memorial service celebrates victory over death

June 07, 2014

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.
Acts 10:43-46.
“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 
Holy Spirit.
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 
the world.