What a blessing it is for me to share with you over the next several issues a little bit about your Conference Board of Laity. This includes the District Lay Leaders, At-Large members and the Conference Lay Ministry Leaders.
I am Kathy Conley, Conference Lay Leader, and I am a member of the Blytheville United Methodist Church. I sing in the choir, teach Sunday, serve as President of United Methodist Women and serve on the Witness/Outreach Committee. I am a Stephen Minister and Certified Lay Servant. My husband, Dowell, works in agriculture and our 2 children Kristen and Josh, along with their spouses give us much to be thankful for. I have been a member of the United Methodist Church since birth and have served the church my whole life from President of my MYF Sub-District to Conference United Methodist Women Spiritual Growth Chair to NE District Leadership chair with several other committees in between leading up to my service now. My goal is to exercise courage in my leadership role as I seek to see everything through spiritual eyes. I am inspired by the Laity of our Conference and how they excel in doing God’s work among God’s children. Sharing that love with authenticity and generosity speaks to their heart of gracious giving through lives that visibly display the love of Jesus.
The Northwest District is served by Bruce Vick and our newest member Carole Baker, who has just joined us as Associate Lay Leader of the District.
Bruce Vick lives in Fort Smith with his wife Brenda. They have two grown sons, two daughters- in-law and 2 grandsons. Bruce taught civics, history and economics in the Fort Smith School District for 39 years before retiring in 2011. Bruce is a member of Ft. Smith Faith UMC, where he has cooked breakfast for the men of the church on Wednesdays for the past 20 years. He has taught Sunday School, sings in the choir and has served in every committee at the local church level as on various District and Conference committees. Bruce feels his calling has led to many years of service and experience to help laity in their calling to ministry within their churches.
Our new Associate District Lay Leader is Carole Baker of Rogers. Carole currently serves as the primary strategist/connector for new and existing members for Central UMC. She and her husband have been members there since 1996. Carole describes herself as a growing Christian with a desire for a deeper relationship and service to God. She is a Certified Lay Speaker and enjoys opportunities to be in ministry and mission. She has served on SPR, Church Council, Finance, Trustees and as Member of Annual Conference. She enjoys facilitating small groups, Bible studies and Class meetings. She is currently serving as staff liaison for the Evangelism and Ministries committees. She previously worked for over 20 years with Walmart, Inc. She and her husband Donal have one son, Cody, who is currently completing his Emergency Medicine Residency in Kansas City. Carole enjoys traveling, spending time on the lake, reading and watching a good movie or play.
I hope you will take time to welcome Carole to our Board of Laity and as the Northwest District Associate Lay Leader working alongside Bruce.
As the Board of Laity, we are here to resource you, help you and support you in any way we can and would hope that you would call on us when you need to. You will find our contact information on the Conference Web Site or by contacting your District Office.