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Lay Ministry

Lay Ministry Blog: The Season of Angels


Some people are collectors and some are not. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who keeps everything that comes my way. I get the trait honestly, as my parents were collectors. Anyone who was raised before the Great Depression and lived through World War II, as they did, were probably collectors. How many times did I hear my father say, “Let’s not throw it away, we might need it sometime.” The disciples were not collectors as they left their homes and most of their meager belongings to ...

Lay Ministry Blog: A Season of Change


As I write this blog, the southern United States have just experienced two terrible hurricanes – Harvey and Irma. Floods in Texas and destruction in Florida and other parts of the Southeast have sent the country reeling. Devastation cannot be avoided when these kinds of storms hit. All we can do is pray that we remain as safe and plan to rebuild in the future. As your Conference Lay Leader and also head of the North Alabama Delegation to General Conference in 2016 and the called General ...

2017 Annual Conference Laity Session offers laity action steps for congregations to participate in God's revival


The 2017 North Alabama Conference emphasis was on Church Health - one of the four North Alabama Conference priorities. Conference Lay Leader Steve Lyles highlighted this priority during Sunday evening’s Laity Session as he invited Rev. Matt Scott, senior pastor of The Gathering Place UMC (Cheaha District), to present to Lay Members. Rev. Scott offered what he labeled a “direct and practical” approach for churches to participate in the revival already happening all around us. He noted, “We all ...

Lay Ministry Blog: God First


Once a year the United Methodists of North Alabama meet for Annual Conference, normally the first week in June. Last year the Conference was held at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville. It will be held there this year on June 4, 5 and 6. In visiting churches throughout North Alabama I have seen metallic stickers or tags that say “God First.” I have seen them on cars, bulletin boards and many other places where a metal tag will stick. At our house at Lake Martin we have one on our ...

Lay Ministry Blog:  L3 Teams


In the realm of Conference Operational Teams, Directional Teams and Task Teams, a term has emerged that has been shortened to just L3 Teams. The meaning of an L3 Team is short for a team that loves, learns and leads. These teams are doing the work of our Conference providing the process that spreads the Gospel for God’s kingdom. As leaders of the Church, clergy and Lay, the three words that makes up the meaning of an L3 team is the basis of all the work we do as Christians. In the secular world,...

Lay Ministry Blog: Look both ways before crossing the road


Much has been written and discussed about the different ages of people in this country and they have been categorized into groups called generations. Such as the following: If you were born between 1900 and 1924 you are members of the G.I. Generation.   From 1925-1945 you are members of the Silent Generation.   From 1946-1964 you are members of the Baby Boomer Generation.   From 1965-1980 you are members of Generation X.   From 1981-2000 you are members of the Millennial Generation or ...

Lay Ministry Blog: This Christmas let’s pause for one person at a time


During this time of year, we pause to thank God for the birth of his Son and for sending Jesus into the world to bring new life to His people. The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, teaches us that God’s plan had been in the works for a long time before the earthly birth of Jesus in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. Although we take so much for granted in this country and can easily get caught up in the materialism of Christmas, during December we join others around the world and enter into a ...

Lay Ministry Blog: Cracker Barrels


As I travel around the Southeast, I often eat, mostly breakfast, at Cracker Barrel restaurants. Cracker Barrel restaurants have been in business for a long time. Their decoration theme is that of antiques from bygone times. They have old pictures, old work tools, signs and anything that takes the customer back in time to the old way of doing things. The name alone lends itself to an item that was used a long time ago in small country stores. Probably everyone that is reading this blog has ...

Lay Ministry Blog: God at Work in Portland


The work of your North Alabama Delegates and Alternates to the 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences has been ongoing for two years -- since our election at the 2014 North Alabama Annual Conference. Over the last two years we have held ten Delegation Meetings either in Cullman at Cullman First United Methodist Church or in Birmingham at the United Methodist Center. North Alabama Delegation Members include the following: Laity: Steve Lyles Scott Selman Zac Riddle Carol Toney Charlie ...

Lay Ministry Blog: Portland Train Ride


Bishop Wallace-Padgett often asks her Operational Team the following question, “Where have you encountered Jesus recently?” On Sunday during the COSROW worship service at General Conference in Portland, Oregon,  Bishop Wallace-Padgett asked this question in a little different way and it immediately triggered my memory of what I had just heard and seen on the way to the service. During her sermon, Bishop Wallace-Padgett asked where the congregation had seen Jesus in Portland during the first week...

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