Remarks made by Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. when presenting the fourth Bishop's Award at 2013 Annual Conference Session, Friday, June 21, 2013.
In the 10th Chapter of Luke, the story of the Good Samaritan, when the lawyer asks Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" Jesus answers him, "The one who showed mercy," and commands the lawyer to "go and do likewise." Here is another story of "See what you have, See your neighbors too."
My brothers and sisters, this morning we honor one among you who is a certified lay speaker and lay member of the annual conference session. In the local church setting, this person leads worship and preaches at least twice a month and hilly participates in the life and ministry of the church.
In the past few years, this awardee's congregation has experienced several challenging problems that have led to a situation in which the faith community can no longer financially support pastoral leadership. In spite of this reality, this lay leader of the congregation along with other faithful members, have remained steadfast in fulfilling the church's ministry.
Through this leader's initiative, the leadership of the local church has been participating in a 6- month long congregational vitality consultation process to develop a ministry action plan. The purpose of the plan is to help renew and revitalize the life and ministry of the congregations so they may effectively witness and service the people in their mission field.
This committed leader has been instrumental as a participant and leader in most of the district sponsored events, gatherings, and initiatives. She also serves as a member-at-large on the conference Core Team. Ministry is also a part of this person's day job. She is a registered nurse and the director of skilled nursing services in the Central Valley area.
In our annual conference, this lay woman helps to lead the efforts of our Filipino American
Ministry Caucus. In the denomination, she currently serves as the chairperson of the National "Paglago" New Commission of the National Association of Filipino-American United Methodists (NAFAUM). The Paglago focuses on starting new churches or faith communities and transforming and vitalizing existing local churches. From 2009 to 2011, this laywoman served as president of NAFAUM.
With this Bishop's Award, we honor Ruby Bago from the Filipino Christian Fellowship in
Fresno, California. She is a disciple that is passionate and for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
For more than 38 years, she has been married to Carl and they have been blessed with three children: Randy, Rommel, and Rodney, and have added a daughter-in-law, Brenda.