Blog Posts

Congregational Excellence

More deadly than COVID-19

Lay Servant Ministries

10/13/2020

I was lying awake in bed early this morning and found myself praying. Praying for my family and friends, praying for “my enemies.” I don’t really think I have enemies. This is a phrase Jesus used, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44. I think of it as praying for those who don’t like me or who are on opposite sides of issues from me and so on…and then I prayed about this virus and asked for a safe and effective vaccine.   But then it dawned on me…like a light ...


Are you prepared?

Lay Servant Ministries

9/28/2020

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a Basic Lay Servant Ministry class. It has been a number of years since I took my Basic class, and back then it was basically a preaching class. It was energizing to see the enthusiasm of the participants in the class. Each had their own reasons for being there that day, but by the end of the day, were all united in one purpose–to find our individual gifts and discover ways to use them in our ministry settings. We all go into Lay Servant ...


Washboard Living

Lay Servant Ministries

8/19/2020

Although I am getting older, I do not have recollections of my mother washing our clothes on a washboard. My childhood was more of the wringer washer era. Which includes a memory of my older brother getting his hand caught in the wringer, resulting in a broken thumb and skin graft. We can learn a lot from our older siblings, both what to do and what to avoid, if we just pay attention. But I digress. My washboard realities relate to gravel country roads that have experienced heavy rains and ...


God is in charge

Lay Servant Ministries

6/22/2020

How many times have you heard that phrase recently, “God is in charge?” It does give us a feeling of comfort to remind ourselves of the presence of the Holy One in our lives. In this very volatile time in the world, we especially need reassurance that God is with us. By declaring God our Great Defender, however, are we relieving ourselves of responsibility as disciples to help fill the world with God’s love? Yes, I do believe God is in charge, but we must not forget that we are His hands and ...


Believe there is good in the world

Lay Servant Ministries

6/9/2020

We need to believe there is good in the world. In times like this, with sickness, people out of work, and social unrest, we need to believe there is good in the world. We need to know God is still in charge.  But equally important we need to: Believe There is Good in the world. The world needs us to Be the Good in the World. We need to be out there nurturing, loving, encouraging, and teaching, and doing good wherever we can, as long as we can, for whomever we can. We need to get and keep ...


Pray for a better world post-pandemic

Lay Servant Ministries

5/26/2020

Amid this unsettling time of pandemic and the multitude of emotions we are experiencing, as Lay Servants let's join together (virtually of course) to focus on turning a negative (Pandemic) into positives. Everyone is welcome to join the journey … Pause often to Praise God Adapt to a new normal way of being and doing Nurture your Spirit Do something kind for someone else each day Explore new ways of doing things Move forward in faith knowing you will experience ups & downs Identify using your ...


Grief and the COVID-19 crisis

Lay Servant Ministries

4/28/2020

I recently read an article on the internet (so you know it must be true!) from Harvard Business Review that referenced our emotions in this time of COVID-19. Some of their staff recently met virtually, a screen full of faces in a scene becoming more common everywhere. They talked of many COVID-related things and emotions, but one mentioned that what she was feeling was grief...and there were a lot of nodding faces. If we can name it, perhaps we can manage it. David Kessler, in his book “On ...


How do we meet the needs of our lay servants during this time of social distancing?

Lay Servant Ministries

4/1/2020

In the Great West District in Nebraska, we are looking at trying to use Zoom to hold a class that was originally scheduled and needs to be completed before June due to our pastor being moved to another district. The lay servants are wanting to take the class with this pastor and CLS. One of our main concerns is the time frame of the class. We do know that we do not want to do this in the weekend format as we have found most adults have shorter attention spans when using technology than face to ...


Disappointment and opportunity

Lay Servant Ministries

3/16/2020

For the last several months, Lisa, Shane and I (and other conference staff), plus the Kearney First UMC staff, have spent countless hours and energy planning what has become known as The Laity Summit. To me, it is also an exciting and significant opportunity for lay persons of our conference. But, alas, the elephant virus in the room has not cancelled but drastically changed the event. It will be produced from the Topeka office to anyone in the conference who would like to attend via ...


Little children, come unto me

Lay Servant Ministries

3/3/2020

As we are entering this season of Lent, we need to look for Jesus here on earth. Three years ago, I started to work part-time as a special services bus driver for the local school district. I have a wide range of students: a boy and girl who are nonverbal and are in wheelchairs, age 19; two autistic students that are very sensitive to sounds and need reassurance when there is a change, ages 7 and 10; and one kindergarten foster child that has a lot of emotional trouble. Then we also have eight ...


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