The ministry of the laity is the work of mission or ministry to which each believer is called. As Christians, we are all called to this ministry or priesthood – not just clergy. Each of us has a responsibility to proclaim the Good News and reach out to others in love.
Over the past several years, Lay Servant Ministries (LSM) has undergone changes in its form, but not in its mission to equip laity for their role in ministry as disciples of Jesus Christ. North District Lay Servant Ministries Team takes its responsibility for bringing that opportunity to laity very seriously. How do we do that?
“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” That’s good advice from Maria in The Sound of Music’s Do-re-mi, so take a look at The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016. Each category – ¶266 Certified Lay Servant; ¶267 Certified Lay Speaker; and ¶268 Certified Lay Minister – is clearly described.
Over the past several months, your district LSM team has coordinated lay academies at First Henderson UMC in Henderson, Trinity UMC and Journey UMC in Las Vegas, and St. John’s UMC in Kingman. We have plans underway to bring lay academies to Community UMC in Caliente, St. John’s UMC and/or another River Cluster church, Journey UMC, and Community UMC in Williams. The dates and course offerings are still being considered, and we will let you know those details in the near future.
The next firm date for a lay academy is at Trinity UMC in Las Vegas. Mark your calendars now – September 7 and 8, 2018. The BASIC course and an advanced course will be offered. The Advanced course will be a very exciting new study currently being developed by Pastor Khalif Smith and the Conference Implementation Team based on the topic of the Desert Southwest Conference vision statement. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project!
Each year soon after church conferences are over, the District LSM Team meets to review the annual reports to the charge conference for initial application or request for renewal which all certified lay servants, certified lay speakers and certified lay ministers are required to submit. Without those annual reports, the district LSM team is unable to confirm certification.
We reviewed the annual reports in January and we are happy to report in North District we have nearly 25 certified lay servants. All who participated in the BASIC course in the past several months will qualify for certified lay servant status upon completion of an advanced course. That will bring our total of certified lay servants to more than 50!
The 2018 North District Lay Servant Ministries Team wants to answer your questions and provide help to you. If you want to host a lay academy at your church or have specific courses you recommend, please contact any of us:
Rev. Dan Morley, District Superintendent
Phyllis Murray, District Lay Leader
Curt Smith, Member, First Henderson UMC
J D Thornton, Member, Zion UMC
Patty Hockingberry, Member, St. John’s UMC, Kingman, AZ
Pastor Jimmy Nelson, Member, Winslow UMC/Holbrook UMC
Allie Lakey, District LSM Director, Journey UMC