Journeys: You Are Not Alone
By Joan Holms

Have you ever…

taken on a task that seemed so monumental that you had no idea how you would accomplish it? At some time in our lives, we all find ourselves in that position. Whether we are a student with a heavy class load, an employee with an overflowing inbox, a parent balancing family and work obligations… we each have times and places in which we find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the load on our shoulders. How does one manage these times?

One of my goals when first elected to serve this Conference as lay leader was to somehow connect with as many of our local churches as possible, primarily through the local church lay leaders. I began by visiting churches in my area, often traveling outside my district, to worship in local churches and meet the lay leaders. But I soon realized this was not accomplishing much. I was not able to spend the time necessary to really get to know the individuals and churches I visited in the short time available. Yet I knew it was important to somehow connect with folks across the conference and support their ministry. Then I realized the answer had been in front of me all along. I didn’t have to do it all. I was not alone.

PNWUMC Associate Lay Leader, Dave Reinholz
PNWUMC Associate Lay Leader, Dave Reinholz

In November, Associate Conference Lay leader David Reinholz and I had the great pleasure of spending the day with our district lay leaders. Here is a group of leaders who possess a passion for the ministry of the laity and are eager to promote and support that work. It occurred to me that I do not need to connect with each local church lay leader because these district lay leaders are poised to do just that. Some of them were available to attend charge conferences so you may have met them there. Some are planning training sessions at district events. Others are exploring innovative ways of connecting with the local church leaders in their district. Utilizing their variety of gifts and working closely with the District Superintendent, they are discovering new ways to support lay leaders in local churches.

Various Lay Leaders meet at the 2013 Pacific Northwest Conference Sessions in Wenatchee, Wash.
Various Lay Leaders meet at the 2013 Pacific Northwest Conference Sessions in Wenatchee, Wash.

I give thanks for these gifted individuals and the work they do in supporting the laity of this conference. Please hold them in your prayers as they hold you in theirs.

  • Connie McBride, Inland District lay leader
  • Noriko Lao, Puget Sound District co-lay leader
  • Joyce Atkinson, Puget Sound District co-lay leader, Peninsula/Island
  • Pat Dodson, Puget Sound District co-lay leader, Snohomish County
  • Lori Flores, Puget Sound District co-lay leader, Skagit
  • Rosalee Mohney, Seattle District lay leader
  • Karen Fisher, Seven Rivers District lay leader
  • Lanora Callahan, Tacoma District lay leader
  • Douglas A. Evans, Vancouver District lay leader
  • Kaitlin Davies, Vancouver District associate lay leader

We all have partners on the journey. Sometimes we simply need to broaden our focus to see they are all around us.

Joan Holms serves as the Conference lay leader for the PNWUMC.

RESOURCES_ServingFromTheHeartServing From The Heart:
Finding Your Gifts & Talents for Service (D1001)

This book contains prayerful and playful ways for families to celebrate Advent and prepare for Christmas.  Written by John Indemark and Sharon Harding, the book is designed for families with children, families with older kids, couples without children and adult small groups.  The book is organized around daily readings from December 1 –  December 26 with each day’s reading covering a theme or word that captures a glimpse of Advent spirit and starts with a successive letter of the alphabet (i.e.: Advent, Bethlehem, Creche, Dreams, Elizabeth…)  Contact Ian McKnight at | Facebook: | • Contact Ian McKnight at | Facebook: | •

RESOURCES_ConnectWithYourNeighborsConnect With Your Neighbors (D1091)
This DVD is all about reaching new disciples.  There are three presentations on the DVD:

-Discovering the People God has Given Us–explores the resources available to learn about the demography of your surrounding community. Many of these resources  are free and available online.
-The Theology of Welcome
-Ways to understand your neighbors better

For each subject there is a PowerPoint, a narrated presentation recorded by a Lewis Center staff member and an outline of key points which can be printed for distribution.  Additional resources on the CD-ROM include a needs-based community outreach plan, information on using social media to reach new people and information on how your website is your church’s welcome mat. Contact Ian McKnight at | Facebook: | • 


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