Laity explore discipleship and Call to Action

June 1, 2017

By Sheila George

BWC Lay Leader Dolores Martin promised a “fact-packed, real facts, afternoon” to a packed laity session Wednesday. The three hour gathering provided a celebration and challenge to United Methodists to understand and fulfill their rightful role in “the Ministry of the Laity.”

Keynote speaker, Jodi Cataldo, Director, Laity in Leadership at Discipleship Ministries, outlined the roles, requirements and renewal requirements for those called to be Certified Lay Servant, Certified Lay Speaker and Certified Lay Minister.

Cataldo lifted high a bottle of yellow-colored water, which instantly turned bright green when she added a drop of blue coloring. “Even the smallest drops can transform the whole,” she said.  “How do we transform our lives to be the drop,” she asked.

Cataldo was followed by Christie Latona, BWC regional strategist. Latona, who will serve as Director of Connectional Ministries starting July 1, highlighted that it is a priority for Bishop Easterling to elevate clergy-lay partnerships in discipleship making. One of the key areas will be advancing the NEJ Call to Action for Racial Justice and Reconciliation.

This initiative, Latona said, is calling NEJ conferences to face implicit biases: when someone consciously rejects stereotypes and supports anti-discrimination efforts but also holds negative associations in his/her mind unconsciously. BWC members will be encouraged to take the Implicit Attitude Test “to encourage people to do the deep work,” said LaTona.

Latona then introduced a panel of engaged BWC United Methodist laity, representing a broad spectrum of how laity are involved in making disciples for Jesus Christ.