At our Annual Conference in 2016, my term as Conference Lay Leader will come to an end. During the Laity Session that year, we will vote to nominate the person that the Lay Members of Annual Conference recommend to become the next Conference Lay Leader for Desert Southwest. The nominating election will be open to all lay persons who are members of congregations within Desert Southwest. A description of the role of Conference Lay Leader may be found in The Book of Discipline, 2012, paragraph 607. Here’s a brief extract from that paragraph:
“The conference lay leader is the elected leader of conference laity and will have responsibility for fostering awareness of the role of the laity both within the congregation and through their ministries in the home, workplace, community and world in achieving the mission of the Church and enabling and supporting lay participation in the planning and decision-making processes of the annual conference, district and local church in cooperation with the bishop, district superintendents and pastors.”
Being Conference Lay Leader is a big job, with significant complexity including many formal and informal relationships. In order that interested candidates may have relevant information to consider and time to think about making themselves available for nomination, I plan to provide a series of informative guidelines, newsletters and related materials directly to everyone who is considering becoming our next Conference Lay Leader. If it seems practical, I may arrange personal or group meetings to create opportunities for live questions and answers. If this position is appealing to you and you would like to learn more about what the role entails, send me your contact information, along with your experience in leadership within the UMC and any questions about what the job entails. Beginning this fall, I will be in frequent touch with everyone who shows interest and begin to share information that will help you in deciding whether to place your name on our ballot for the 2016 Annual Conference.
My goal in this process is to help in creating a pool of informed candidates, each of whom will have a good foundation of knowledge and experience in preparation for leading our Conference. I would like to have notice of your interest by October 15, 2014, so that I may begin to share my perspectives with you over the next two years of your prayerful decision-making. A person doesn’t need to enroll in this educational process in order to enter the nominating pool. I’m simply offering one way for interested people to improve their understanding of the Conference Lay Leader role. Thank you for your interest!