Pacific Beach United Methodist Church is teeming with ministers and the majority of them are NOT ordained clergy. As we’ve been preparing for Laity Sunday I’ve had several people ask me what the word “laity” means. It’s a great question so I thought I’d say a little more about it here! The church is made up of clergy and lay people. Clergy are folks like myself who have responded to a call to ministry and entered into a life of religious service as a vocation. Everyone else is laity. Most likely, that includes you! Regardless of whether we’re clergy or laity, by nature of our baptism, we are all called into ministry. As people in ministry, we live and order our lives in a way that extends the love and grace of God through all of the contexts in which we work, play, move and breathe. Lay people are not “volunteers” of the church, offering an hour of ministry here or an hour of ministry there. Lay people have a unique calling to a life of ministry and participate in God’s mission by sharing the love of God within the walls of the church and, just as importantly, far beyond the walls of the church.
Our United Methodist tradition has a long history of celebrating Laity Sunday dating back to the late 1920’s. Like Methodism today, early Methodism would not have survived and thrived had it not been for lay persons in ministry. It is often the tradition to invite a lay person to share a reflection on this special Sunday. This year we have the privilege and joy of having Caryn Blanton, co-chair of Shoreline Community Services, share the message. For those of you who have met Caryn, you know that she has a keen sense of organizing, an unflappable commitment to helping those in our community who are most vulnerable and a deep faith that drives her work. For those of you who don’t know Caryn, I’m glad you’ll get a chance to meet her. She inspires me as I seek to answer my call with faithfulness and integrity. I trust that she’ll be an inspiration to you as well.
I hope you’ll join us on Sunday for our livestream worship at 9:00. Please know that all are welcome to join the Wednesday Bible Study that reviews the scripture and sermon topic from the previous Sunday and reflects on the questions that are listed below. If you’re interested in joining us from 11:30 to 12:30 on Wednesdays, please notify the church office or Pastor Lori and we’ll send you the Zoom link. Drop-ins are welcome! Looking forward to being together on Sunday!
Isaiah 58:10-11; Isaiah 61:1, 3-4
“If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor…to give them a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness that the Lord has planted for His own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago.”
Consider these questions:
- Did you learn anything new about Shoreline Community Services or Project Grace?
- Do you consider yourself a minster? Is there anything that stands in the way of claiming that title and role?
- In what ways do you live out your call to ministry? Is God calling you in any new or different ways?