Laity group holds second meeting

After several months of planning by the Continuing Education Task Force, The Visionary Leadership Project (VLP) held its initial event in Portland on March 1st and 2nd 2014. About 50 laity and clergy came together to worship, learn and vision. Author Marjorie Suchoki spoke of the vital role of laity in God’s kingdom. Discussion groups of lay women and lay men focused on envisioning the future of the local church and the greater church and the role of laity in seeing the vision to fruition. Urgent needs identified by these visioning groups included spiritually grounded leadership training opportunities for laity, clergy training, and new models for worship communities not served by the current interpretation of “church”.  At that first meeting, two follow-up meetings were set for the group envisioning the role of the greater church. On going events were projected for the general group.
A second VLP gathering was held Sept. 13th and 14th. Bishop Grant Hagiya led instruction in Adaptive Leadership and Strengths Finder assessment tools. The approximately 20 lay people present worshiped, sharpened leadership skills and envisioned the future of their service in the Lord’s name. Along with instruction, time was spent in worship, prayer, meditation and discussion.
The focus of the VLP is to enable laity to embrace their call to leadership through the local church. Our mission field is reached through our local churches. This is where we meet our neighbors as the body of Christ.
Moving forward, the VLP participants will meet twice a year – ideally fall and spring – to strengthen leadership skills, strengthen relationships between lay leaders, evaluate the current standing of our home churches; cast a vision for the future of our local congregations and for our roles. While individual clergy members may be invited, VLP is overall a laity group with laity leaders.
We will continue to invite those laity first identified as having leadership capabilities and extend invitations to new participants with each VLP event. We see this growing cadre of leaders as the front line in expanding God’s kingdom.
Are you a seeking new ways and new avenues to serve our Lord? Do you envision your church moving in new directions? Contact Conference Lay Leader Mary Foote marycfoote@yahoo.com or (503)648-3072 for more information.
This is a very exciting time to be a United Methodist – join us!

Mary Foote
Mary Foote was elected as Conference lay Leader in 2012. She is a mom, wife, and dental hygienist. As a member at the Hillsboro United Methodist Church she is active in many areas, but has a special passion for Hispanic Ministry and the English as a second language program. Contact her at marycfoote@yahoo.com or (503)648-3072.