by Kathy Conley, Conference Lay Leader

It is with great joy that I greet you as your Conference Lay Leader. It is truly an honor for me to serve alongside each of the Laity of the Arkansas Conference. To say our Laity are continuing in their bold witness to the love and grace of Jesus to the world is a vast understatement. The way each of you step up and offer yourselves so generously to the church and all of God’s children in the world is truly inspiring.

Every year there is a special Sunday set aside to recognize the important ministry of the Laity. That special Sunday this year is October 16th. On that Sunday, churches are encouraged to celebrate the great influence the call of God to Lay People has on the church and the world. This call is not just for those called to be Clergy, but to everyone who seeks to serve the Lord. God pours God’s love and grace into the world through each of us. We all, Clergy and Laity, are Christ’s authentic presence in the world. Each of us have a “called” ministry and gifts to fulfill that ministry that will strengthen God’s Kingdom here on earth.

As we unselfishly plan for new believers and those who have stepped away from their faith, let us move aside to allow the Holy Spirit to rest among us. Let us fully envision the dreams of all the members of our church through the years and see those dreams becoming real and true through each of us. Let us continue to shine brightly…glowingly alive in the pure, agape love, believers understand and live as we praise our Lord and our Savior Jesus for the goodness bestowed on us and share that with all people.

Christianity is about living lives that point others to God. Let’s continue to carry out Jesus’ mission to show others the way to God as we live our lives as United Methodist Lay People. Jesus tells us that the world becomes different through us because of our love for Jesus, our hope in Him and our embracing of peace. My prayers go with each of you, dear faithful servants of our Lord. I pray that your hearts may be opened everyday with new vitality, new sharing, new wonders and a new completeness as we each continue “going on to perfection.”