What plans do you have for Laity Sunday?
Now is the time to start preparing your celebration of Laity Sunday. I suggest the order of worship for Laity Sunday 2019 courtesy of Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church, www.umcdiscipleship.org. Or, step out and be creative to reflect the style of your own congregation’s gifts.
Laity Sunday celebrates the ministry of all Christians the third Sunday in October. On October 20, 2019 we embrace the joint vocation of lay persons and clergy to proclaim the good news of saving love in Jesus Christ.
Once a year on Laity Sunday we celebrate what Methodists claim is a daily reality – the priesthood of all believers. Rooted in the reading of 1 Peter 2:9, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession...”, this belief is reflected in our polity in the Book of Discipline, Part IV, The Ministry of All Christians, Section II: “...all Christians are called to minister wherever Christ would have them serve and witness in deeds and words that heal and free.” (¶128)
Do Methodists honestly accept and practice this? The UMC GBOD suggests we are tempted to see laity as “temps.” The real agents of grace are the professional clergy and those paid members of church staff. But laity aren’t temps. Laity aren’t volunteers. Laity are the primary agents of Christ’s love incarnate in the world. The profound implications for a community of faith are distinct:
“The witness of the laity, their Christ-like examples of everyday living as well as the sharing of their own faith experiences of the gospel, is the primary evangelistic ministry through which all people will come to know Christ and The United Methodist Church will fulfill its mission.” – 2016 Book of Discipline, ¶ 127.
Laity are called to be disciples. Disciples lead others to Christ. This calling extends beyond the weekend or periodic activities. The calling of the laity, their purpose and vocation is a relentless lifestyle reflecting God’s love for all. This is what we celebrate on Laity Sunday. All called. All loving. And all experiencing God’s rescuing and redeeming love in Jesus Christ.
What plans do you have for celebrating Laity Sunday?