The Ministry of the Laity (laos)
The Ministry of the Laity (laos) is our theme for the June 2014 Annual Conference. Laity answer the call to serve, to lead, to provide resources, to give spiritual leadership etc. to the church of Jesus Christ. No pastor, District Superintendent, Bishop or Pope can serve Christ effectively without you.
Come and learn more about lay leadership. Be there as a Lay member of Annual Conference or as a visitor. When you come, know that I need your help. How? Check with your pastor and Administrative Council concerning the list below:
- a. Inform the DS of your church's growth goals. b. Give your DS a progress report on making disciples in your church by May 1. My opening sermon will draw some conclusions from the compiled report on making disciples. Some of you heard my two-fold request in the 2013 DVD played for Charge Conferences. They are focused on church growth.
- Pray for and support our work in prison ministries. Disciple Bible Study is being conducted in one prison. We have identified another site. Praise God! Visiting the prisoner is one of our standard obligations. Other opportunities exist to help our colleagues behind bars. Subject to the rules and regulations of the jail or prison, we might learn ways to minister to those incarcerated in our community. Ask them.
- Take a special Lenten offering to help us cross the Imagine No Malaria finish line. Recently, I learned that we are $152,000 short of our $3.5 million campaign for Imagine No Malaria. At the present, $161,000 is pledged but not collected. If $152,000 has not come in by May 15, a special offering will be taken to push us over the finish line. To quote the Apostle Paul, “fighting the good fight, finishing the course and keeping the faith is the way to go.” Bring your checkbooks. I’ll bring mine. WE ARE GOING TO FINISH WHAT WE STARTED. Consequently, more children and families will live instead of dying. More families will contribute to the well being of their country. The people of God, the Lay and Clergy, will delight in the quest to go the second and third mile to create a better life for others. Imagine the satisfaction and joy that will reign across the church when we knock out malaria like we have polio. I can’t wait to celebrate!!!
- Read the daily blogs of Paul Black on our recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land. They are excellent and inspiring. Thirty-four of us traveled to the Holy Land. Daily, we had an Emmaus Road experience. “Our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits “burned “ from within as we encountered the living Christ in worship, the breaking of the bread, reaffirming our baptisms at the Jordan River, our marriage vows at Cana of Galilee where our Lord performed his first miracle. During the renewal of vows, the liturgy was tinged with tears and fresh commitment as seven couples renewed their marriage vows.Others connected with partners in the church triumphant. Still others connected with their spouses vicariously. They were unable to join our pilgrimage. Our time in the Holy Land ended with an orientation and worship service at the Garden Tomb. Click here to read my brief Homily for that service.
Again, I invite the Laos to take up their God-given ministry, to function as the body of Christ and/or the people of God unafraid to love God and neighbor with an even greater passion. Should we accept God’s challenge in faith, we’ll accomplish “far more than we can imagine or think.” To do so, it takes the entire body of Christ gifted and committed to be in ministry and mission for God.