Special day celebrates laity's role in ministry


By the Advocate

United Methodists observe Laity Sunday annually “to celebrate the ministry of all lay Christians, as their lives are empowered for ministry by the Holy Spirit,” according to the Book of Discipline.

The third Sunday of October (Oct. 21) is the recommended date for the celebration.

“One in Spirit, All in Ministry: In the Spirit of Stewardship” is the theme of the 2007 observance. Resources stress that “true stewardship goes beyond money; it includes our time, our talents, our treasure and more” according to the “Ministry of the Laity” section of the General Board of Discipleship Web site (www.gbod.org/laity).

In order to minister to the world, lay people must be involved. The Mississippi Conference has slightly fewer than 190,000 church members with about 840 clergy. That means many of the ministries that spread the gospel must involve men, women, teens and children from churches of all sizes. Those ministries take many forms, ranging from United Methodist Men and United Methodist Women to the lay renewal efforts of Walk to Emmaus, Cursillo and Discover God’s Call. Recent youth events held at Mississippi Conference camps were at capacity. All of these are designed to build strong Christians and Christian leaders among the laity.

The General Board of Discipleship staff provides resources for celebrating Laity Sunday, including suggested scripture passages, readings and creeds, prayers and hymns. A poster is also available.

Download the resources from www.gbod.org/laity. Individuals without Internet access may receive a print copy of the resource list by calling Interpreter at 615-742-5107 or e-mailing interpreterm@umcom.org.

Interpreter magazine contributed to this report.