Local Church News: Senatobia District

5/1/2012

Teaching Others to Share Their Faith:
A Multi-cultural and Multi-generational Gathering Seeks to Become Fishers of Men

By Cynthia Laird, Senatobia District Communicator

On Saturday, April 21, 2012, Hernando UMC hosted the Senatobia 5-1-12Senatobia District Lay Speaker Training Event, which was attended by church members from not only the home district, but also Galloway UMC in Jackson, Trinity Mission in Forest, and members of various churches in the Greenwood District.

  • Cheryl Denley, Senatobia District secretary/staff, led the Basic Lay Speaking class.
  • Reverends Goyo de La Cruz and Luz Campos, of the Iglesia Cristiana UMC, led the Spanish Basic Lay Speaking class, and
  • Lou Ann Staggs, New Albany District secretary/staff and Conference Mission secretary, led "Advancing Hope!", the advanced class.

Methodists from numerous churches in the DeSoto Cluster worked with dedication to provide for the needs of those leading and attending the training session. Along with love and prayers, this provision included assembly and handling of registration folders; cooking breakfast and lunch; serving the meals, snacks and beverages, and providing the elements for communion.

Many were touched by the master's hands as they sought to learn ways in which they can serve as lay speakers.

There were 12 that attended the basic English class, 24 attended the basic Spanish class, 17 attended the advanced class, along with 17 children and 5 nursery workers. One of the members of the basic class was a 16-year-old young man. How wonderful that he chooses to serve the Lord in his youth, and may he be blessed with a long and joyous life of service to the Lord.

Another student, a man undergoing chemotherapy, tried to stay in class and participate as much as possible, but had to leave several times as he became ill. And yet another man chose to become a lay speaker even though he soon will begin chemotherapy. What examples these gentle people are as they seek to serve the Lord with their whole hearts!

Cheryl talked about the work of making disciples being extraordinary as Christians allow the Holy Spirit to lead. She led the class in a discussion of grace, the unmerited love that God extends to us all. We learned more about grace that is prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying. She also shared ways to make lay speeches more interesting and memorable with props or examples, such as wearing a crown to demonstrate our family relationship with God when we join the royal priesthood of believers.

Goyo and Luz led their basic course with words, music, and motion. After instructing and leading group discussions, they provided a time of spiritual music as Goyo played the guitar and Luz led the singing. The members joined the singing and even participated in clapping and moving enthusiastically as they basked in the warm glow of fellowship.

Lou Ann told of missions and how we as Methodists can participate in this great commission work. We learned about programs, ministries, scholarships, and mission opportunities. She gave us informative materials to take to our home churches so that others can learn about not only the work our missionaries are doing, but also some ways in which we can be a part of the mission work.

Our churches can have a covenant relationship with a missionary by giving $5.00 per person per year in support of their mission work. We also are a part of missions when we give to The Advance, give through our apportionments, and for some, become a volunteer in a short-term mission.

After the training sessions, the group assembled for the communion service. We sang, in both English and Spanish, an Argentinian hymn based on Psalm 133. Then, as communion drew to a close, we sang an impromptu "Amazing Grace." May our Lord and Savior bless these new workers who will be going forth into his fields for the great harvest.

Senatobia Homecoming Planned

Davis Chapel and Sardis UMC Joint Meeting and Homecoming is scheduled for Sunday, May 6, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. and will be held at Davis Chapel UMC, Old Panola Road, Sardis, MS. Immediately following, will be dinner on the grounds. Bring a dish, a chair, and a card table and join us for some good preaching, good eating, and fellowship! In case of rain, we will eat inside Davis Chapel Church.