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Friends, how many of you have used the #tbt or #throwbackthursday hashtags in your social media posts?  I don’t often use them, but I am today with a special opportunity to look forward as well as remembering the past.

If you have seen the Laity Celebration worship service that followed our recent Annual Conference, you know we focused on the call that all of us share to be ministers, to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  During that time of worship, we heard a few of our siblings in Christ share briefly about their calls to ministry.  Can I share a little of my story with you?

I participated in my first Lay Servant Academy 20 years ago.  I was blessed to share a room at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center with Darlene Amon.  In the very last room down at the end of the second floor back wing – which in February 2001, was filled with a loveliness of ladybugs, Darlene taught me about the importance of continuing education as a lay leader in the church through Lay Servant Ministries.  She even very patiently listened over and over to the 5-minute sermon I prepared for the course in which I was participating.

Although we will not be gathering in person, you have the opportunity to continue your learning and expand your knowledge through this year’s Lay Servant Academy.  Follow this link https://vaumc.org/laity-district-and-conference-training/ to read the course descriptions and see details about the August 21 event.

Who knows? A loveliness of ladybugs may join you in your home or office for the training!

Where is God calling you?

Martha Stokes
Virginia Conference Lay Leader
Harmony, Connectedness, Responsibility, Empathy, Developer