Commentary: Friends of Estonia and Latvia meet in Maryville District

Commentary: Friends of Estonia and Latvia meet in Maryville District

On April 25, history was made in Sevierville, Tenn.  The Friends of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania came together for a worship service. It was an evening filled with the power and presence of God. What we shared is that God is alive and well around the world and is still moving in The United Methodist Church everywhere.

During the service we heard the Lord’s Prayer prayed in Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Russian and English, all of the languages present at this worship service.

Bishop James Swanson preached from Acts 16:9-10. Bishop Swanson reminded us that we all need each other. No one can make it alone. All the people represented in that service need each other.

Friends, let’s remember: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called to one hope when you were called --one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:2-6)

We all agreed that night: Bishop Swanson is right. We do need each other.

The Rev. Harrison is senior pastor at First Sevierville UMC, Maryville District.

PICTURED ABOVE, left to right: Bishop Christian Alsted, Nordic and Baltic episcopal area; Rev. Eddie Fox, director of World Evangelism; Rev. Gita Mednis, Latvia superintendent; Rev. Taavi Hollman, Estonia superindendent; Bishop James Swanson, resident bishop of Holston Annual Conference; Rev. Charles Harrison, First Sevierville UMC.

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