So now it’s up to you

This year’s annual conference session is fading into memory, and churches are gearing up for a new season of activities. I hope that what is not fading is the enthusiasm of the laity session in Portland, as we focused on creative ways of being the church.
I have compiled all the written feedback from the laity session. Wow! You were inspired! There was a great response to the four ministries that were presented to the whole group, but many of the ideas you wrote down were not in those presentations. That tells me that you were really sharing at your tables and got some great ideas from friends you never met before.
Hughes at Laity session

Leaders from Hughes Memorial UMC in Portland
Share with the AC Laity Session

Some of you had extensive responses to the “what do you commit to doing…” question. Not all of those things will happen; we’re all human. But if even a small portion of those thoughts result in new or changed ministries, lots of communities in Oregon and Idaho will be taking notice of the United Methodists among them.
Unfortunately, not everyone could be present, although what we talked about would have been great for all laity and for clergy, too. You can watch a video of the session or any part of it. There is a link to the video on the “For Laity” page of our conference website.

Some people have indicated an interest in contacting one or more of the presenters from the session. On the same page of the website, you will find contact information for people from our four presentations: Abundant Health, Hughes Memorial UMC Third Saturday, Project Rebuild, and the new Filipino-American congregation in Vancouver. The people listed there will be glad to talk with you about what they are doing.

Emily Kroen and Tim Winslea offer an update
on the Abundant Health program.

So now it’s up to you. If you haven’t started yet, it’s time to revisit the goals you set at that meeting, share with others in your church, and get going. But you don’t need to be alone in this. We are a connectional and connected church, and there are lots of other people out there, including the contact people mentioned above, your district lay leader, lay servant coordinators, and more.
I would like to hear what you are starting and what you need. Would you like to participate in a workshop on starting a community garden or some other project you heard about? Would you like to participate in an occasional phone or video conference with people trying to do work similar to yours? Would you like a visit from me or some other person who might help educate or inspire your congregation? Please let me know what we can do to help.

As we move into the season of new local church ministries, I look forward to hearing about what you are working on, both successes and challenges. And let’s find a way to help each other. In the United Methodist Church, no one needs to work alone.

Yours in Christ

Jan Nelson, Oregon-Idaho Conference Lay Leader

Jan Nelson
Jan Nelson is the Lay Leader of the Oregon-Idaho Conference. She was a delegate to the 2016 and 2019 General Conferences and 2016 Western Jurisdictional Conference. Jan is on the Ministry Leadership Team, Jurisdictional and Conference Committees on Episcopacy, and the Holy Land Task Force. She is also Chapter president of the Oregon-Idaho Methodist Federation for Social Action. She lives in Salem, Oregon.