Connecticut / Western Massachusetts District
District Director of Lay Servant Ministries:
This is a foundational course for all courses in Lay Servant Ministries. (Note: To enroll in the Basic Course, participants are required to provide a letter of recommendation from their pastor and chair of Administrative Board/Church Council. In addition, they need to submit, in writing, their reason for wanting to become a lay servant)
For details/registration form for the basic course Click Here.
Advanced Lay Servant Course
Life Together in the United Methodist Connection (United Methodist Polity)
Friday, October 14 from 6-9 PM, and Saturday, October 15, 9-4 PM, 2016
Rockville United Methodist Church, 142 Grove St., Rockville, CT 06066
This is an advanced Lay Servant Ministries course and a required course in the Certified Lay Speaker Tract course.
For details/registration form for the advance course Click Here.
For further questions, you can contact George Button, our District Registrar at (413) 584-3189 or he can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more scholarship information you can contact our District Director of Lay Servant Ministries Stephanie Cyr at (860) 376-9760 or by e-mail Cyrbrass@gmail.com. More details and registrations forms can also be found on our District webpage under events.
Lay Speaking Ministries are now Lay Servant Ministries! General Conference 2012 agreed to a name change from Lay Speaking Ministries to Lay SERVANT Ministries. During the legislative process a section was added to maintain the role of lay SPEAKER as pulpit supply and set requirements for persons desiring to fill that role.
by Sandy Ziegler Jackson, General Board of Discipleship.
General Conference 2012 agreed to a name change from Lay Speaking Ministries to Lay SERVANT Ministries. During the legislative process a section was added to maintain the role of lay SPEAKER as pulpit supply and set requirements for persons desiring to fill that role. This has caused some confusion within the UMC. Here are some statements to help interpret the legislation and alleviate some of the apparent confusion and consternation:
Not everyone who was a “lay speaker” needs this specific training for new “lay speaker” role. They can remain in certified lay servant status and continue their missions and ministries – meeting re-certification requirements etc.
Pastors may ask anyone to fill the pulpit in their absence – but they MAY want to choose a lay speaker who has been certified for this role by the District – that is the pastor’s option. Those who preach once or twice a year within their local congregation do not necessarily need to go through the new process of becoming a “lay speaker”. However, they may want to take the available courses to improve their preaching and assess their spiritual gifts, etc.
The paragraph 341.1 reference in the “Lay Speaker” amendment (new 266.6) refers to pastors engaging persons as evangelists not preachers. And with the legislation submitted and approved by General Conference all references to the prior term lay speaker will be changed to Lay Servant – which means that this paragraph will change to indicate “certified lay servant in good standing.”
So remember God is calling each of us to be witnesses who proclaim the presence and power of God through all that we are and all that we do. Listen. Is God calling you to a new way of service and asking you to be a local church or certified lay servant? Lay servants are called to proclaim the gospel in many different ways, in leadership and supportive roles, to help others grow in a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ.
This ministry goes beyond filling in for the pastor or speaking in public. Lay Servant Ministries, as defined in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, offer wonderful possibilities for serving in roles beyond what we have traditionally understood. Teaching, serving, training, leading, participating, caring, loving, and communicating are now integral parts of Lay Servant Ministries. How lay servants can help congregations and communities is limited only by your imagination and willingness to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ.
This brand new tract as of January 1, 2013 provides for a lay speaker track within lay servant ministries. Lay speakers will have specific training as listed in this amendment and will be interviewed by the district committee on lay servant ministries.
The Book of Discipline of the UMC ¶266.6: Provisions for Lay Speakers - A lay speaker is a professing member of a local church or charge who is called and equipped to serve the church in pulpit supply in accordance and compliance with ¶341.1. A lay speaker will complete a course of study provided by Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent conference structure. Lay speakers will be certified by the annual conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure after examination. The concept of lay speaker is based on the historical tradition of ministry of the laity instituted by John Wesley. While lay speakers are engaged in a variety of ministries, their purpose is to complement and support, not replace, pastors. The lay speaker will preach the Word when the pastor is unavailable, or in accordance with ¶341.1.
A certified lay servant or a person with requisite training defined by the district or conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure may be certified as a lay speaker. The lay speaker will complete a course of study to include the Lay Servant Basic course, and Leading Worship, Leading Prayer, Discovering Spiritual Gifts, Preaching, and United Methodist Heritage and Polity, and/or other courses as may be determined by the annual conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure. The lay speaker will be recommended by the pastor of the local church where their membership is held and by a vote of the charge conference.
Upon completion of the required course work, the individual will be examined by the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure and recommended to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure for certification.
The lay speaker must apply for re-certification and appear before the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure every three years and receive the endorsement of this local church charge conference.
A lay speaker is a volunteer and serves without compensation.