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Letter To Lay Servants Of The California-Pacific Conference, Sept 2019

Dear Lay Servants and Members of the California-Pacific Annual Conference,

Greetings from your Lay Servant Ministries Conference Committee. While there is always much work to be done, I would like to report that much progress has been made through our collective efforts to clearly communicate the opportunities and also the requirements for Lay Servant Ministry.

Through the tireless efforts of Jennifer Gaylord, James Kang, Miya Kim, and Rev. Darin Arntson, together with the Lay Servant Ministries District Directors, several goals set out at Annual Conference have been accomplished:

  • The Cal-Pac webpage www.calpacumc.org (click on the Ministries tab) now sets out the requirements for the three distinct certified Lay Ministry categories:
    • Certified Lay Servant
    • Certified Lay Speaker
    • Certified Lay Minister
  • There is a link to the comparison chart providing guidance in the particular steps for the initial application for and renewal of each status.
  • The Conference is now the central repository for Lay Servant and Lay Minister records.
  • Each District can request information as to who is qualified in each status and create communication lists.
  • The Annual Reports required from each Certified Lay Servant, Certified Lay Speaker, and Certified Lay Minister seeking initial approval or annual renewal have been standardized and clarified for easier use. Instructions for use have been reviewed and clarified.
    • Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Speakers will use Charge Conference Form #16.
      • An individual applying for Certified Lay Minister status must be a Certified Lay Servant at the time of application.
      • The Application for Certified Lay Minister status is available on the Certified Lay Ministry page at http://www.calpacumc.org/clm
    • Certified Lay Ministers must report annually and should use Charge Conference Form #17. (There is no need to complete Form #16 once certified as a Lay Minister.)
    • Charge Conference Forms #16 and #17 are listed on the charge conference page at http://www.calpacumc.org/chargeconference and will be added to the Lay Servant Ministry page shortly.
  • Classes in the several districts can be found on the Conference webpage. Registration can be done on the Conference webpage as well.
  • There is a link to the Global Board of Discipleship and Be A Disciple where online classes can be found. Many of the online classes qualify for required renewal education credits.

Please visit the Lay Servant Ministry page at http://www.calpacumc.org/lsm.

Additionally, the Certified Lay Ministry Academy is offering more sessions. There is an Informational Session September 13 and 14 at Glendale First UMC. More information can be found on the Cal-Pac webpage.

We will also continue to work on offering more Lay Servant classes in the Conference. The Cal-Pac webpage is a good resource for class information.

However, the question remains – What can we as Lay Servants do to serve as we are called in our missional role of “Leading, Caring, and Communicating”?

Certainly, as we move forward in faith into the uncertainty of what the future holds for our Methodist Heritage, one thing the Lay Servant Ministry can focus on is continued communication.

Every church deals with conflict, both healthy and unhealthy, and Lay Servants can be equipped and empowered to help lead through those times of conflict and use them as a time of transformation.

To that end, we will be offering a class at Glendale First UMC on October 14 and 15 entitled “Lay Servants Lead in Conflict Resolution.” It is a class designed to assist with open, honest, and respectful communication of differences, with the hope of recognizing differences but finding that there is more common ground among us to build on.

The Course uses two resources: The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation – Creating a Culture of Just Peace by Thomas Porter (Participants book) and Lay Servants Lead In Conflict Resolution by Regina Allen (Leader’s guide).

Save the date – registration will open soon.

While we struggle with our human understanding and our rules and regulations, we still can often hear Micah and John Wesley’s simplicity: Be humble, Love Justice, Do no harm, Do all the good you can, and Stay in love with God.

We, as your LSM Directors in the California-Pacific Conference, are called to help you explore and find paths for your call to follow and serve.

As we go forward in faith, may God’s Grace, Peace, and Hope be with each of you,

Howard Fallman
Director, Cal-Pac Lay Servant Ministries

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