Fasten your seatbelts, it’s Laity Sunday!
This year, October 19th is identified as Laity Sunday. The theme, Disciples Called to Action: Engaging Small Groups, can be a fine starting point. However, as the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) states, “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.” Friends, while I welcome the responsibilities of proclamation and reaching out, I see a lot of wiggle room here. Our ministries are as unique as each of us. This fantastic diversity is one of our greatest strengths. How can we draw attention to the rich, diverse ministries of the laity? Let’s raise the roof on Laity Sunday!
The GBOD offers helpful information for assembling a Laity Sunday service at http://www.gbod.org/leadership-resources/ministry-of-the-laity . By clicking the Laity Sunday box, materials become available for bulletin graphics, music, scripture – almost everything you need for a Laity Sunday worship service. Add one or two touches and it’s in the bag!
Another option – create your own. The date is not written in stone. Celebrate Laity Sunday at the convenience of your congregation. The format is also not written in stone. Here are a few ideas. Have a service featuring the musical talents of the laity. Celebrate laity out of the church building. The front lawn or a local park could be arranged. Have Laity Sunday be Heritage Sunday – discuss the importance of laity in our Wesleyan traditions or the roots of your own congregation. Tell the story of your congregation’s impact on your community. Have folks tell of lay men and women who’ve impacted their lives and how they in turn “pay it forward.” Have lay leaders briefly tell their story of discipleship. Serve Laity Sundaes in the Fellowship Hall. Show a video of all ages from your church family discussing what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. The list goes on!
On Oct. 19th, or the day of your choosing, celebrate! You may use the theme identified by the GBOD Disciples Called to Action: Engaging Small Groups, or you may choose another theme but celebrate! We have so much. We do so much. We give so much in the name of the Lord. United Methodist laity utilize many gifts as we serve today’s world! It’s Laity Sunday – celebrate!
Conference Lay Leader
UMC, OR-ID Annual Conference