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Laity Convocation 2024

Location: Belvidere: First UMC: 610 Bonus Avenue, Belvidere

Laity Convo


Saturday, February 10

9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Belvidere: First UMC
610 Bonus Ave. Belvidere

Theme: Growing Together in Love: Learning to Have Courageous/Respectful Conversations

Watch the Event Recording

Download the booklet


  • LaToya Redd Thomson, President, Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders (AACLL)
  • Henrieta Ribeiro, founder of Intentional Energy 3, growth provider for people and organizations

Bishop Dan Schwerin will offer remarks and celebrate communion.

Also includes planned time for breakout discussions


  • 8 a.m. – Registration
  • 8:45 a.m. – Praise Music
  • 9 a.m. – Welcome & Worship including communion
  • 9:45 a.m. – Introduction First Speaker
  • 10:05 a.m. – Break
  • 10:10 a.m. – Introduction Second Speaker
  • 10:30 a.m. – Announcement / Break
  • 10:40 a.m. – Breakout Discussion
  • 11:40 a.m. – Break
  • 11:45 a.m. – Wrap Up & Sending Forth

    Download the Flyer    Download a Bulletin Insert

Speaker Bios

Latoya Redd Thompson Square

LaToya Redd Thompson

LaToya Redd Thompson served as a district lay leader in the Mississippi Annual Conference for 8 years before being elected as the Conference Lay Leader for the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2016, which places her on several annual conference committees, including the Extended Cabinet, the Nominations Committee, the Board of Laity, the Vital Congregations Committee, the Episcopacy Committee, and the Mississippi Annual Conference Leadership Team. LaToya was also honored to be elected to the 2020 General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference delegation for the Mississippi Annual Conference. She also serves as a member of the board of directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration for the global United Methodist Church and she is a board member of the Jackson area Christian Legal Society. In 2022, LaToya was elected as the President of the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders for the global United Methodist Church.  LaToya has hosted a segment from 2010 - 2020 devoted to lay ministry on “The Methodist Hour,” a TV show that is broadcast throughout Mississippi and other select areas.

LaToya obtained a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, with a dual degree in Political Science and Psychology. She then earned a juris doctorate with honors from the University of Mississippi Law School.  LaToya earns a living as an attorney and enjoys advocating for the rights of others and has enjoyed being an active United Methodist most of her life.

LaToya and her husband Rev. Dr. Marcus Thompson live in Jackson, Mississippi. They have three children – Kaelyn, Jessica, and Marcus, Jr.

Henrieta Ribeiro Square


Henrieta Ribeiro grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia. She came to the United States as a student at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, where she received her BA in psychology. She went on to receive her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Adler School of Professional Psychology (now Adler University) in Chicago, IL. She is a trained Stephen Ministry leader and has facilitated the Stephen Ministry program at First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, IL, since 2002. Henrieta has also worked as a national workshop presenter for Stephen Ministries in St. Louis. She is a Restorative Justice practitioner and trainer for restorative circles, having partnered with Restore: Carol Stream Peacemakers and the Carol Stream Police Department for several years. 

Henrieta is a co-founder of Intentional Energy 3, a company specializing in delivering workshops, retreats, and educational programs tailored for non-profit and faith-based organizations. The company’s aim is to inspire, connect, and educate individuals and communities.

Drawing on her family systems experience and her Server/Helper Enneagram Type-2 perspective, Henrieta engages with teams, leaders, and communities of various sizes and types.

Henrieta holds growth as her top value. In her free time, she enjoys design, gardening, and watercolor art. 

She is currently serving as lay leader at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Carol Stream, IL, where she lives with her husband, three daughters, and two cats.


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