Enter the 2017 Laity Address Challenge

Ashley Rene Johnson delivers the 2016 Laity Address.

March 06, 2017

The Conference Board of Laity is pleased to invite all laypersons of the New England Conference to participate in a challenge to be selected to give the Laity Address at the 2017 Annual Conference session.

The address will be delivered on the afternoon of Friday, June 16, at the session in Manchester, NH. It is not necessary to be a lay member of Annual

Read more about our Annual Conference theme and scripture

Conference to participate in the challenge. 

The 2017 Annual Conference theme is “Vital Conversations: Race” and the laity address must be on that theme. The Scripture is “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” – Psalm 137:4 (NIV)

The address should be 15-20 minutes long. Entrants must submit a written copy of their entire proposed address along with a video of themselves delivering the first five minutes of the address. The deadline to submit your proposed address and video is May 15, 2017.
For more information on how to submit your entry or to ask any questions about entering the challenge, please email Associate Conference Lay Leader Joan Farrar at mainemom@gmail.com
Ashley Renée Johnson, a member of Union United Methodist Church in Boston, delivered the 2016 Laity Address. Watch it here.

Janet O'Neil, who's husband, Paul, serves Rockville UMC in Connecticut, delivered the 2015 Laity Address. Watch it here
Tips for making a great video
You don't need a production studio or a professional videographer to create a successful entry to the Laity Address Challenge. You can use a simple flip video camera, a tablet or even your smartphone.

Here are some simple tips for making a good video from Business Insider: 
  • Steady does it: A flip camera, tablet or even a smart phone will work. If someone else is filming you, the person behind the camera should have steady hands, put the device on a table or counter or use a tripod. 
  • Listen up: Pay attention to the audio. Whether it's wind blowing into the microphone or too much background noise, bad audio can ruin a good video. If your camera has a headphone jack, plug in and do some sound checks. Make sure you can clearly hear what you want your audience to hear. 
  • Let there be light (in the right place): Never shoot with a window in the background. The camera, other people and objects can reflect off the glass, making for an awkward video. Light coming through a window from behind your subject can also make the person look like they have a shadow cast over them. Lighting doesn't have to be perfect. Just make sure your subject isn't backlit or so bright that they're reflecting light back to the camera.