Friday, January 9, 2015

"Hooray for Laity"

One of the distinguishing marks of what it means to be Presbyterian is the sense of shared ministry between minister and member. What we do at Sardis, we do together and with God.

Never was this partnership made clearer than yesterday in worship, as we ordained and installed ruling elders and deacons who answered the call to faithfully serve and lead this congregation over the next three years. And next week is Laity Sunday, which means the entire worship service will be conducted by Sardis members, no clergy allowed!  In my book, it’s one of the most meaningful services of the year.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is a place for men and women who trot off to seminary, receive three years of theological education, and become ordained ministers, whom we now call teaching elders. Yet, every preacher worth his or her salt will tell you that the church could fall flat on its face without the amazing gifts and dedication of her members.

Every day I see members doing the Lord’s work and extending His ministry out into the world.  It’s easy to spot them. Everything from Room in the Inn to stuffing inserts in the bulletin is handled by our members. Did you know we have over 250 individuals serving on various committees or ministries of the church? They are the backbone and strength behind what we accomplish, and their leadership provides the programs we all enjoy. We have members who knit prayer shawls, usher, prepare communion, deliver flowers to the homebound, and serve as advisors, coaches, teachers, and musicians.   The list of laity involvement is a mile long. Can we do more? Of course we can. Do we need more members to be involved? Yes, we always need more members to be involved, but let’s not forget those who are and who give of their time and talent to keep Sardis a light that shines for all to see.

I know what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote…” I thank my God every
time I remember you, for your partnership in the gospel from the beginning until
now.” I don’t say it often enough, but HOORAY for YOU, the members of this
congregation. Hip Hip Hooray for the laity; Hip Hip Hooray for all you do in
building the Kingdom of God.  

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