Blog Posts

Lay Servants Are Underutilized

Lay Servant Ministries


In talking with lay servants across the conference, the most frequent complaint I hear from them is “I keep up my certification, but no one asks me to do anything.” We need to continue to keep our gifts and talents before the church and church leadership and be more assertive in offering our passions and skills. LSM is still an under-utilized resource in our conference but keep the faith. We are making progress.   If you have a new pastor this year, be sure to introduce yourself as soon as ...

In Layman’s Terms: Taking a Sabbath

Todd Seifert


I’ll confess that I’ve spent the past two days at my desk digging out from a pile of emails and associated tasks that needed to be completed. It’s only fair since I was returning from being out of the office for 10 days. I’ll also confess to feeling a little guilty for being gone that long. In 20 years as a journalist — the last 14 as an executive editor of a newspaper with two daily newspapers, a weekly newspaper, a monthly magazine and four websites — I never took more than five work days off...

Clergy Faith and Wellness: Moving as a spiritual discipline

Rev. Shelly Petz


I am not a big fan of moving. Growing up, I moved one time, from in-town to out-of-town. I didn’t have to leave friends, my church, or my community. Then I was ordained and agreed to live into this new life of itinerancy, which I had no idea what exactly that would mean. I didn’t know that with each move I would experience varying levels of depression for several months. I didn’t know that with each move I would have to explore more deeply what it was that I needed for physical, mental, ...

In Layman's Terms: Using YouTube videos

Todd Seifert


We’ve been exploring topics the past few weeks about copyright law compliance. We’ve taken a look at song lyrics and movies. To wrap up this series, let’s take a look at what you can and shouldn’t use from the popular videos website YouTube. First, YouTube is a site popular with many demographics, but especially with young adults and teenagers. You can find hours upon hours of entertaining videos on the website, and it can serve as a great archive for your church’s videos, such as recordings of...

In Layman's Terms: Movies in Church

Todd Seifert


So far in our journey to better understand how best to comply with copyright laws, we’ve been focusing on music. Today, we cross over to feature films, television shows and movie clips. Just as before, we’re talking about a license you can purchase from CCLI, but this time it’s CVLI — Church Video License. This feature is a little more expensive than the music elements we talked about in previous blogs in this series, but if you intend to use video in your church, it’s an investment to save ...

In Layman's Terms: Ensuring your songs are covered

Todd Seifert


As I shared in my last blog, I want to make sure our churches are getting the most out of their CCLI subscription so the people who put together worship slides are getting the most bang for their buck and so the church is protected. Last time, I shared how to display copyright information either on the first or last slide of a song. Today, I want to make sure you know how to find that copyright information in the first place. Once you have selected which songs or hymns you want to project for a...

In Layman's Terms: Displaying song copyright information

Todd Seifert


CCLI — Christian Copyright Licensing International —helps churches augment their worship services while keeping them compliant with U.S. copyright laws. And, yes, those laws are complicated. I spent 20 years in the Fourth Estate, also known as the news industry. Copyright issues came up all the time — from us wanting to be above board on republishing content we thought would be beneficial to our readers to protecting content such as our larger projects from being used elsewhere without our ...

Tidying Up

Lay Servant Ministries


Recently I was invited to preach at the close of a sermon series called The Gospel of Tidying Up (credit to Rev. Jeff Prothro, DeSoto United Methodist Church). The end of the series coincided with the church’s annual garage sale (brilliant!) and there was clearly excitement about the sermon series. I suppose by now just about everyone has heard about “tidying up” or has been asked the question, “does it spark joy?”…  Both expressions are the words of Marie Kondo, the author of two New York ...

The folded napkin

Lay Servant Ministries


On a shelf in my kitchen, I have a stack of paper napkins. When it’s my turn to be hostess for United Methodist Women’s meetings, I bring snacks and also try to find napkins for the occasion. And, of course, there are family gatherings that call for special napkins, so I end up with a mixture of napkins for many holidays or special days. I have a few that are from more formal occasions that I have left from weddings, anniversary celebrations, etc. Now that I’m usually the only one for meals in ...

Clergy Faith and Wellness: The Missing Piece

Rev. Shelly Petz


It was January 7. I only remember the date because it was the day after Epiphany when I had an epiphany moment. I was out walking around my neighborhood, basically to try and shake out some unsettled things within me. I had been stewing over my health, work stuff, family, life. I knew that often a walk really helps clear my head and gets me in a better space. It was a beautiful 60 degree day, so I headed outside. After awhile of walking and spewing out all the things that were taking my mental ...

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