I had the privilege to work with West District Superintendent Nancy Cushman as associate district lay leader for Congregational and Staff Parish Relations Committee meetings at the four Yuma Churches the last weekend in September.
Each church has a unique personality. I tried to ﬁgure out if the reason was the pastor or the laity. It occurred to me that a strong laity sets the culture of the church with the itinerant pastors aligning the course of the church to keep it true to the teachings of Christ.
In each church, the laity was involved. Lay leadership was apparent and as unique as the church and the community served. There were opportunities for leadership development in the church for all ages. Unfortunately, the United Methodist Churches in Yuma tends to be middle aged or older. Each voice was heard and considered important.
The activities were designed to focus on the similarities and diﬀerences within the congregation. This proved to be very interesting. It opened for me some questions. If the members are very similar, did that mean they were working in unison to fulﬁll the mission of the church? Those with diﬀerence visions, were they heard or shut oﬀ from discussion? The congregations with many diﬀerences begged the question, do they work in concert on a few items or do they go oﬀ on separate missions?
As I visit my few churches over the coming year, I’ll try to answer those questions. I am excited to see how each congregation grows in faith and service to Christ and the community in which they are placed.
Blessings to all,