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Leading the Laity: We can face change because our God is constant

The world is ever-changing and the church is ever-evolving. Change is like the storms of life: You are either in one, about to enter one, or coming out of one. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant in life.” The world is always changing and so are its people. As a result, we find ourselves constantly adapting to it. It has been said, “If you are not changing, then you are dying.”

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Leading the Laity: Take time to restore your soul: find your own quiet center

We hear the phrase “self-care” a lot these days. The concept dates back millennia. Maybe now is a good time to revisit wise words from the Holy book. Open up to Psalm 23 and offer a reviving drink to your thirsting heart and soul.

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Laity Address Reminds Us of Our Mission

“Local churches are the strength of the conferences,” co-Lay Leader Mark Menzi told Annual Conference members in the Laity Address on June 8. “While there is training and resources available in districts and conference, it is in the churches where the ministry is happening, disciples being made, people are going into the community to see the people and minister with them.”

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Laypeople learn keys to civil conversations

In our highly conflicted society, is civil conversation on disputed subjects possible? At Laity Session at Annual Conference on June 6, participants learned some basic principles to practice when they engage in conversation with those they disagree with.

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Connecting and forming relationships across the conference

Bishop Dan Schwerin, newly assigned episcopal leader for the Northern Illinois Conference, spent his first month focused on meeting key leaders within the conference and the denomination. A cabinet retreat and bishop training, locally and across the country, filled his calendar. Late January and February were set aside to work on forming relationships across our conference.

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Laity Convocation 23 focuses on community ministry

Laity Convocation 2023 was an opportunity to try something new. After two years of virtual gatherings, Co-Lay Leaders Mark Manzi, Eugene Williams, and Connie Augsburger decided that they wanted in-person participation at three locations. Being in three churches (Disciples UMC in Mt. Morris, Barrington UMC, and Faith UMC in Orland Park) provided the opportunity for fellowship and reduced the distance for participants to travel.

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