On 02, Jun 2017 | In Laity | By Mitch
What lay members to annual conference need to know:
Each year, our bishop presides over the annual conference for worship, fellowship, and to conduct the business of the United Methodist Church in Missouri. Annual conference includes reports of ongoing ministry, future goals, programs, budgets and the ordination of clergy. Workshops, live music, training sessions and exhibits add to the experience you take back to your congregation.
An effective lay member to annual conference returns to his/her local church to inform the congregation about the decisions, news, and learning experiences. As the elected member from the congregation, it is the responsibility of the lay member to interpret the actions of annual conference to the congregation. We are a connectional church and the lay member to annual conference strengthens the connection between the local congregation and the Missouri Conference.
Talk with your pastor before annual conference
Endeavor to understand the hopes and dreams of your local church and search for ways your leadership can advance the vision for ministry. Prepare for annual conference.
- Talk to people in your congregation who have attended previous annual conference sessions.
- Take advantage of pre-conference orientation sessions and information on the annual conference website to prepare you to learn and to contribute to the life of the church.
- Familiarize yourself with the ministries and concerns of your congregation.
- Become familiar with the rules of annual conference and basic parliamentary procedure.
- Participate in pre-conference sessions that cover upcoming issues, budgetary items, and proposed resolutions.
- On Friday of the conference attend the laity session and southwest district laity breakout. This is an opportunity to meet other district lay leaders and share ministries and experiences.
As soon as practical after the close of the conference, report your experience to your church council in cooperation with your pastor. Communication truly improves connection.
Use resources available online
Read this handout to understand your role: http://www.awfumc.org/files/old_files_library/lay_member_role.pdf
Watch this video recap of annual conference 2016: https://vimeo.com/170496299
Check out this publication by Cokesbury: https://www.cokesbury.com/product/9781501829727/guidelines-for-leading-your-congregation-20172020-lay-leaderlay-member/
A great deal of info is available at the conference website: http://www.moumethodist.org/acinfo
Talk to your District Lay Leaders
District lay leaders can provide resources to point you in the right direction. Connect with your district lay leaders at annual conference – they want to help. The key responsibility of the lay member is linking the vision and resources of annual conference back to the mission of the local congregation. Ask district lay leaders, Marsha Egan and Mitch Ross, any questions you have and keep the link between annual conference and the local church strong.