It is with very mixed emotions that I resign as Director of Lay Servant Ministries for the conference. The experience has enriched my life and guided my spirit into new and exciting places. I have met many precious people and made many friends along the journey. I do, however, feel it is time for new leadership, ideas, passion, and energy.
During the eight years I have served in this capacity, we brought this conference into compliance with the standards established by General Conference 2016. A database (thanks to Paul Sass) is well established and includes well over 1000 lay servants, including the courses they have taken and certifications obtained. We have established an annual Big Event for lay persons of the conference (Laity Summit) and made strides to strengthen the clergy/laity partnership and enhance the role of lay persons in the mission of the church. We have established a scholarship and endowment to assist lay persons seeking advanced education. Also, we have challenged the conference budget for more accessible funding for those non-clergy persons who are called to higher education that is beyond their means. I am very proud of all we have accomplished and believe we have a strong foundation to guide lay servants into the future.
I am grateful for the opportunity to utilize my leadership and management skills. As sung by Frank and Elvis, and many others, "I Did It My Way," and with Jesus by my side, I used every possibility to promote Lay Servant Ministries. I was blessed with many people who have helped me along the way. Our district directors of Lay Servant Ministries are key to our success. We are blessed by Bishop Saenz with his encouragement and belief in all laity. GP conference staff have brought our work much needed support. I am especially grateful for Shane Warta, Donna Ernest, Lisa Soukup, the Communication Team, and there are so many more who have devoted their time and resources to help render LSM a success. Our conference Lay Leader, Lisa Maupin, is a remarkable leader and I am grateful for her encouragement and support.
I leave this ministry in good hands. Jeanie Leeper, CLM, will assume this responsibility July 1, 2022. Jeanie is passionate about the program and the utilization of lay persons in the church and beyond. May she reap all and more of the gifts that I have found in Lay Servant Ministries.
Mary Feit, director of Lay Servant Ministries