Laity Summit 2022

Laity Summit 2022 was Saturday, March 19. Laity Summit is a one-stop virtual leadership event for church and community leaders, like Lay Servants, Speakers, Ministers, Leaders and anyone discerning a call to leadership.

The overall theme for the 2022 gathering was “Courage to Thrive.”


2022 Workshops

Mission, Vision and Strategy of Youth Ministry – Chris Wilterdink

Youth Ministry functions best with intentionality and a “why” at its core. This presentation will offer 45 minutes of organizational observations to help leaders understand the mission (the why), the vision (the what), and the strategy (the how) of youth ministry in their context. Complimentary and follow-up materials for this workshop available at no cost at

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Mercy & Justice Now: Understanding God's Call – Rev. Sarah Marsh

We know God calls us to make a real difference in the world, but we also know it can be tough out there and especially now. What does the Bible teach us about what God desires for the church? How are we to figure out what to do? Explore God's two-fold mission for the church of mercy and justice in this interactive workshop with Rev. Sarah Marsh.

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Social Media Impact – Trever Rook

A real and open conversation regarding the benefits and dangers of social media. There are great things about social media, but sadly, there are also harmful issues with these platforms. How can we, as Christians, be part of a solution and not perpetuate the problem?

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At A Loss: How to Thrive and Nurture Hope During a Prolonged Crisis – Steve Sewell

Discover crisis as one of anxiety, grief, loss, and learn its internal reach and outward perplexities.  Learn 4 personal, easy to apply, and life-giving principles and 3 essential relationships needed for moving through prolonged seasons of uncertainty.   Learn the single most important business principle that will transform your organization while discerning creative ways to practice the art of presence.  Explore questions, comments, and other ideas.

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Energizing Leadership and Mentoring – D.J. Whetter

DJ introduces leadership as an activity because leadership is not limited to just a position. Through the activity of leadership we have the opportunity to mobilize and energize others. An avenue of leadership is asking powerful questions which leads to increased engagement and even mentorship. We know leadership can be lonely, so DJ brings actionable ideas for you as a partner in your own leadership development journey.

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Anti-Racism in the Local Church: Creating Courageous Conversational Space – Rev. Stephen Handy and Rick Quinn

In the American church, the work of anti-racism is the work of the gospel. In this workshop session, learn about creating courageous space in your local contexts around the work of anti-racism. How do you assess your local context and your place within it? What is your understanding of your racial journey? How do you begin to create circles of solidarity where folks gather for vulnerable, transformative conversations and a willingness to share the work of justice and reconciliation? These and other guiding questions shape conversation and offer experiments going forward.

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Inclusive Programming – Rev. Debra McKnight

Explore church and community partnerships that grow relationships. Plan a year-round outreach calendar with the community in mind that also connects to the weekly worship and church programing. This time is about finding sparks of opportunity, the folks looking to be included, expanding the way people understand a church and showing up with community organizations, in a way that matters to them and to your church. Together we can create meaningful programing, educational events and opportunities that connect people into the worship of the congregation. 

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Radical Hospitality – Yvonne Gentile

Radical hospitality is more than simple friendliness. Intentional radical hospitality creates memorable moments that enable people to experience God's love through us, drawing them in to faith. In this workshop discuss creating a culture of radical hospitality that will help your congregation thrive. You'll learn the principles and best practices of exceptional hospitality that are applicable to churches of all sizes.

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Connecting Neighbors – Rev. Hollie Tapley

If a Disaster happened in your immediate neighborhood, would you know what to do? Connecting Neighbors, an UMCOR training, provides the framework for personal and church facility preparedness. This workshop discusses preparation plans for your immediate and extended family, including a "go box.” Ready Church is another component of this workshop, discussing how to protect the church facilities and the individuals on-site during a disaster. Lastly, learn how to use your facility during and after a disaster.

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Church Budgeting in Uncertain Times – Garney Hill

Learn about cultivating good stewardship within your congregation, ideas for generating income outside the church, providing financial transparency for members, and supporting the pastor's vision.

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The Power of Connection – Beth Graverholt

One of United Methodism’s greatest gifts is our connectional structure. Hear about how the Great Plains connection has empowered her to launch ConnectioN Point, an urban ministry center in Lincoln, NE. In this workshop you’ll be inspired and gain new ideas for forming partnerships across our connection to help make the biggest impact possible in your community.

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The Purple Zone – Kathy Pierce & Loren Drummond

How can we talk with people who differ from us politically, theologically or culturally? Are there ways we can engage issues of public concern in our congregations so that we can listen, respect and learn from each other? This workshop is based on the work of Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, author of “Preaching in the Purple Zone” and the 2021 Orders & Fellowship presenter. Loren and Kathy are trained facilitators who have developed a workshop for Conversations in the Purple Zone to equip and empower church leaders.


Church as a Good Neighbor – Darryl Answer

In this workshop, participants gain tools and principles in how to engage their communities and congregations through an asset-based approach. The principles of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) are a helpful resource to support churches in the Great Commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself," (Mark 12:30-31).

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Congregational Growth – Bryan Hankins & Juan Carlos Veloso

This workshop will provide ideas for congregations to grow through multilingual education by encouraging leaders to identify and encourage their members to take the classes and grow. You will walk away looking for opportunities to help people realize their dreams. Pastors Bryan and Juan Carlos can tell you about how training has helped their congregations.

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Lay Leadership Discipleship Panel with Lisa Maupin, Randall Hodgkinson and Keith Olsen

A panel discussion amongst conference lay leadership about identifying and nurturing lay talent. In this workshop, we will brainstorm situations in the local church for identification of emerging leaders in multiple contexts. It will take courage, because we have a tendency to go back to what and who we know.

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