Laity Sunday Celebrations Across the Conference

11/16/2022

By: Matthew Johnson, Connectional Ministries and Communications Assistant
 

Galloway pastor, Rev. Cary Stockett during their Laity Sunday celebration at Smith Park in Jackson.
Laity Sunday 2022 was observed on October 16, with the theme Rise Up and Reveal God’s Grace. The theme scripture was taken from II Timothy 1:8-12. Conference lay leader Latoya Thompson looks forward to Laity Sunday each year because the encouragement and recognition laity receive fuels their desire to continue doing God’s work.

 “It is important to recognize laity for all the work we do because we are the primary means by which people come to know Christ,” said Thompson. “All the hardworking laity who are generous with their time, talents and tithes deserve recognition for their sacrifice to make Christ's church and The United Methodist Church, specifically, a great and effective body of disciple making.”
Mississippi Conference Lay Leader Latoya Thompson.

In The United Methodist Church, laity are our brothers and sisters in Christ who personify Christian love. These passionate volunteers fulfill the great commission given by Jesus to go into the world and make disciples. Laity can be found in churches evangelizing, leading missions, teaching classes and serving the community. Because of their selfless sacrifice others are inspired to seek a relationship with Jesus Christ. On Laity Sunday, churches honor laity for all the hard work and enthusiastic determination they put into building the body of Christ.

Churches decide on the best way to show laity their gratitude. Galloway United Methodist Church, in Jackson, chose to combine their laity celebration with a community event. Galloway hosted Easy Like Sunday Morning at Smith Park. The event featured food, activities for children and adults and music from renown artists from the Mississippi Delta.

“The entire community was invited, even dogs,” said Sharon Davis, lay leader at Galloway. “You could bring a lawn chair or blanket, eat fair food, play in bouncy houses and get your face painted. We all enjoyed the music performed by Grammy award winning artist Tricia Walker and bluesman Keith Johnson.”  
Mt. Pleasant lay speakers. Vera Thomas, center yellow jacket.
 
Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church in Gulfport recognized their laity on a Monday. Laity planned the first service of Mt. Pleasant’s fall revival. Lay people read the scripture, offered prayer and certified lay speaker Vera Thomas brought the message.

“We wanted to highlight the way that lay people serve in many different capacities,” said Thomas. We have more lay than most and we wanted to give them all a chance to contribute.”

Laity are the lifeblood of the church. They are our friends, families, teachers and Christian examples in our communities. We are thankful for their passion to be the embodiment of love and hope in the world. They deserve every honor for giving selflessly to the cause of Christ. Laity Sunday is the church’s chance to say thank you for all that they’ve done. We welcome you to continue sharing your Laity Sunday photos and stories with us send them to news@mississippi-umc.org.
 

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