by Betty Stewart, West District Director of Lay Servant Ministries
The Lay Servant Ministries program is an Adult Christian Education program intended to provide support services to all lay adults in The United Methodist Church. Lay ministry 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.
In the West District, classes are offered by Zoom to reach our geographically spread-out West District and to avoid COVID-19 complications. Classes are open to all districts in the Conference and outside the Conference too!!
Each month a different class is offered via Zoom. Each class is only $15, covering the administrative costs involved. Students will also need to purchase their own book. “Called to Preach” is the only class which has to be done in-person and we hope to offer the class in the West District beginning January 2022. If you would like to volunteer your church, please contact me.
Please take a moment and register for a class or classes and become involved in the Christian education program in the United Methodist Church! Click here is see all the classes offered in the Desert Southwest Conference.
Next week, August 25-27 (morning) and August 26-28 (evening) our Lay Leader for the West District, Jeannie Ward is teaching the “Introduction to Lay Ministry: The BASIC Course.” Jeannie preceded me in my position and knows this class and how important it is to take it as the basis for all classes that you take on the road to becoming a Certified Lay Speaker.
On September 15, 22, & 29 (morning) and (evening), the class “Living Our United Methodist Beliefs – Heritage,” a required class for Certified Lay Speakers, will be taught by retired Methodist pastor Phil Smith. He comes from a multi-denominational Methodist background and will bring lots of good stories and good perspectives in his presentations.
October 6, 13, & 20 (morning) and (evening), we are being treated to “Aging and Ministry in the 21st.Centry” taught by Rev. Linda DeAtley. She also has a PhD in the subject and is known as an expert in her field. Register now, the class is filling up quickly.
In November, we are offering “Children of Abraham” taught by Rev. Louie Lyon. This class is so very timely with what is going on the in the Middle East. Louie went through his own Bar Mitzvah and converted to Christianity as an adult and has friends in the Islamic Community. His faith is so deep and his Holy Communion services are so very profound. This class is offered on November 10-12 (morning) and (evening).
We are in the process on planning a Spanish “Introduction to Lay Ministry: The BASIC Course” for the first week of November. The details are not yet finalized. Check back closer to November for registration information.
In January 2022. we will offer another required class for those wishing to become a Certified Lay Speaker, “Life Together in the United Methodist Connection (United Methodist Polity).” That is it for 2021 and early 2022. Join us and learn something new.