The Bishop and Cabinet have appointed four clergypersons to ministry at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church: Pastors Rick, Molly, Adam, and Joy. Pastor Rick is an ordained Elder in Full Connection in the North Carolina Conference. Pastor Molly and Pastor Adam are Provisional Elders in the North Carolina Conference. Pastor Joy is a Provisional Deacon in the North Carolina Conference. Elders and Deacons in the UMC are members of their particular conferences rather than members of the local churches that they serve. They are part of either the Order of Elders or the Order of Deacons.
The United Methodist Church also recognizes several specialized ministries for the laity. For women and men there is an order of the laity: Deaconesses and Home Missioners (respectively). These women and men are educated extensively in the doctrine, history, and theology of the church. Before The United Methodist Church began ordaining women to ministry, the order of Deaconesses was a route to more specialized lay ministry for women in the church. Today, Deaconesses and their male counterparts Home Missioners are consecrated to service at the annual United Methodist Women’s Assembly and commissioned by their Annual Conferences to ministry within their conference in a particular area of justice and mercy.
Another specialized area of ministry for the laity is Lay Servant Ministry. This very special area of lay ministry allows our conference to reach out in a pastoral way to our congregations beyond the numerical or geographic capacity of our Licensed Local Pastors, Elders, and Deacons. Lay Servant Ministry is based upon our theological truth that every person is called by God to a ministry and that God equips every person with gifts for his or her ministry. Historically, laity in the Methodist tradition have served in the place of clergy when Methodist pastors were circuit riders and only visited their local churches every couple of months. Laity preached and taught, led small groups, and served administratively in local congregations. Laity kept the churches operational with Sunday services, community support, and education. This tradition of lay ministry continues today in The United Methodist in Lay Servants.
Lay Servants are Methodist members who are committed to their local churches and to The United Methodist Church. They serve in a variety of capacities in the church. While there has been traditionally an emphasis on lay speaking or pulpit supply preaching for congregations whose pastors are on vacation or medical leave, Lay Servants today fill a variety of positions in their local congregations and in their conferences. To become a Lay Servant, church members receive training from their conferences in six courses: leading worship, leading prayer, discovering spiritual gifts, preaching, United Methodist heritage, and United Methodist Polity. Each of these courses requires 10 hours of classroom work plus outside assignments. There are additional advanced courses for Lay Servants who undertake more intensive Lay Servant Ministries.
If you are interested in more information about serving the church and the North Carolina Conference as a Lay Servant Minister – or as a Deaconess or Home Missioner – contact Pastor Molly. There are many people in our conference who would love give you details about how they serve in their particular lay ministry context. If you are interested in more information about serving the church and the North Carolina Conference as a Lay Servant Minister – or as a Deaconess or Home Missioner – contact Pastor Molly. There are many people in our conference who would love give you details about how they serve in their particular lay ministry context. The Capital District is conducting Lay Servant Ministry Training on both March 23 and April 6. Basic Lay Servant Ministry courses are being held at both of these events. For additional information about Lay Servant Ministries in the North Carolina Conference, check out the video below!
Your sister in Christ,