Lay Servant Ministries
Anne Carter, Director
Sharon Merrill, Registrar
The Mid-Maine Committee on Lay Servant Ministries (LSM) is busy recruiting teachers and scheduling LSM classes through the District. In 2018 we had a new Director, Anne Carter (from Winthrop UMC), and a new Registrar, Sharon Merrill (from Bolsters Mills UMC). We have continuity with Pastor Elizabeth Bailey Mitchell (People's UMC and Searsmont UMC) and we have three new members: Anna Jean (AJ) Alexander - one of Mid-Maine’s two Certified Lay Ministers, and a member of Bolsters Mills UMC; Claire Piddock from Readfield UMC; and Rev. Steve Bascomb (UMC of Auburn). But we definitely have room for more! So please contact either Anne or Rev. Karen Munson if you are interested in this committee.
We are excited that some of the District churches will have new Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Speakers! If you are the person preparing reports at one of those churches, we ask you to notify us (see contact info below), so that we can check that each person has met the requirements. Then we can prepare a certificate ahead of time that our District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Karen Munson, can bring to the church/charge conference.
We encourage you to arrange for the person(s) to attend so that the certificate can be presented at that time. (If the person is not able to attend, the pastor can present the certificate at a later time.)
Or perhaps you have persons who already are Certified Lay Servants or Certified Lay Speakers. Please be sure that they fill out their annual report (https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/lay-servant-ministries-forms) and have it ready to give to the District Superintendent at the church/charge conference. The following link gives more information on how each of these is defined: https://www.neumc.org/layservantministriesrequirements It is important for people to know that Certified Lay Servant is an excellent path for those who want to deepen their understanding of ministry, but don’t want to speak in front of a group!
Please feel free to contact Anne or Sharon with any questions (email address above).
This Lay Servant Ministries course addresses a topic most congregations face, especially here in Maine. (We often hear that Maine is the oldest state in terms of population.) Both our members and the communities around us are aging, and facing the challenges that presents.
Rev. Dr. Rick Eifert, pastor of Randolph UMC, has studied aging and hospital visitation in his doctoral work. At previous churches he has served, Dr. Eifert has organized lay people into hospital visitation teams that have enabled him as pastor – and the whole congregation – to have a stronger hospital visitation ministry. Art Dostie, a layman from Cox Memorial UMC in nearby Hallowell, has had an active nursing home ministry for over 20 years. He will be sharing some practical Lessons Learned from his experiences.
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Rick Eifert
Dates: Three Saturdays, September 14, 21, 28, 2019
Time: On September 14: 8:00am – 12:00 noon w/ optional lunch to follow
On September 21 and 28: 8:00 – 11:00am
Where: Randolph UMC, 16 Asbury Street, Randolph, ME 04346 (From the bridge in Gardiner, turn left onto Route 9 north. Asbury Street is about ¼ mile on the right; the Church is less than ¼ mile on left.)
Registration deadline is September 6th.
Assignment before 1st class: Read Chapters 1-4 (reading assignments will be shorter for the other two classes)
Required text: Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century, An Inquiry Approach by Richard H. Gentzler and Richard H Gentzler Jr., ISBN 13: 9780881775402, available from The Upper Room Bookstore. Or Cokesbury. Participant is responsible for purchasing text. Check w/your church for possible scholarships.
Course fee: $10. If paying by check, please make it out to New England Conference UMC and on the memo line write: LSM Course –Advanced. If cost is prohibitive, check with your church – some churches and Districts have scholarships available.
Mail in REGISTRATION FORM
Registration deadline: September 6, 2019
Mail to: Mid-Maine District, PO Box 89, East Winthrop, ME 04343
Lay Servant Ministry Advanced Course
Name: ___________________________________________ Date: _______________________
Email: ________________________________ Phone: __________________________________
Home Church: __________________________________________________________________
As you prayerfully consider taking this course, please meet and discuss with your pastor. UMC pastor’s approval is required for participants.
Pastor’s Name: ___________________________________ (please print)
Pastor’s Signature: ________________________________________ Date: _________________Is this your first Lay Ministry or Lay Speaker Course? ___ Yes ___ No
If no, please list previous courses and dates: ___________________________________________________
More detail from Cokesbury:
The church is in the hands of its elders. While the popular perception is that the ages are needy and infirm, Gentzler affirms that the majority of older adults have plenty to give and the church needs to tap into their wisdom, energy, experience and talents. He stresses that older adult ministry need to be by and with elders as well as for them, since participants will represent all stages of retirements and activity levels.
Ministries by older adults include mentoring, leadership, offering spiritual legacies to younger church members, and participating in what Gentzler describes as the "SAGE Corps"- Spirituality Active Generative Elders. Another initiative, S.E.N.I.O.R.S., is a ministry that covers needs from spirituality to nutrition./ So that church program aims true to the need and talent, Gentzler includes a number of assessment tools which encourage elders and pastors to find the best fit for their congregation.
In addition to the practical issues of programming, Gentzler takes on more difficult topics including chronic conditions, depression and death. He also recommends that churches pay special attention to the needs of the Boomer generation, since they are now becoming the older adults who will determine the church's path for years to come.