The 2019 Wesleyan District Lay Minister Training Conference/Academy was held on Saturday, April 6th at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Buckhannon, WV.
The theme for this season’s Academy was “Becoming Passionate Spiritual Leaders” and over fifty Lay Servants, Certified Lay Ministers, lay leadership and clergy were in attendance from around the state.
Opening Worship started at 8:00am, with introductions from Jim Minutelli, Coordinator of Lay Ministry for the District, who challenged those in attendance to continue to “stoke the fires of God” in their lives and look for ways to keep those flames from going out.
Worship attenders were also blessed with an encouraging & straightforward message from Centralia & Spruce Lick UMC Certified Lay Minister Amy Morrow. She sang as part of her sermon and gave us reasons why the passion in our lives can continue to lead us and fuel us in our ministries. The service ended with a modern laity-involved Communion service, led by Rev. Mark Smith.
Classes were offered in the Introduction to Lay Ministry, taught by Pastor Brian Boley; the new advanced preaching course, From Pew to Pulpit, facilitated by Rev. Nathan Weaver; Living As United Methodists, taught by Rev. Mark Smith; Leading Worship, led by Jim Minutelli; Conflict Resolution, new this year to our Academy, taught by Rev’d Janet Harman, and, last but not least, Website Development, a course led by our WV Conference Communications team (including Brad Bennett, Joe Webb, Deborah Coble, Val Huffman, Cassie Kile, Christina Lynn), where church technology teams who had setup new websites using our new WVUMC templates, learned how to add content and edit their sites. This was also the first year we were able to offer this course at the Academy for Advanced Lay Servant credit.
Special thanks to so many people, including our District Superintendent Rev.Mary Finegan for her ever-present support of LSM and attendance at the event; Rev. Helen Oates and her staff at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church for hosting us and providing support; Jo Criss and Judy Knorr with the District, for all of their hard work; each of our instructors, for sharing their expertise and experiences; Aladdin Food Service at West Virginia Wesleyan College for our meals and snacks, and especially to all of those in attendance and for their dedication to their ministries.
Lay Ministries is not only for those who want to speak or share from the pulpit. It is also for anyone who wants to serve in any capacity in their churches or charges and get all the training the United Methodist Church has to offer to better share their gifts. Contact the District office at 304-472-1095 or Jim Minutelli at 304-629-9398, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!