The United Methodist Church will observe Laity Sunday October 15, and churches in Eastern PA and Greater New Jersey are invited to celebrate that special Sunday—on any convenient Sunday in October—with the theme “All the World Needs Our Witness.”
Drawn from Acts 8:26-40, the theme recalls how the Holy Spirit sent the apostle Philip the Evangelist to witness about Jesus Christ to an Ethiopian official returning home from Jerusalem. We can presume that the new convert, once baptized by Philip, went forth to share that same witness with others in North Africa and beyond.
The love of Jesus Christ is a gift we are called to share with the world. As we listen for and follow where the Holy Spirit leads, let us remain open and willing to witness to this love through our words and actions.
The United Methodist Book of Discipline (¶ 127) reads: The ministry of the Laity flows from a commitment to Christ’s outreaching love. Lay members of The United Methodist Church are, by history and calling, active advocates of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional.
EPA&GNJ churches now have new resources to help them promote and celebrate Laity Sunday, using a special edition of Breakthrough Worship Resources, the free, time-saving series of resources and best practices created to help congregations break through ordinary patterns and revitalize their worship. Use Breakthrough Laity Sunday resources to help your church make this Sunday truly special (https://breakthroughseries.org/series/laitysunday).
These resources—including worship liturgy, preaching ideas, video and invitational postcard resources, and slideshow and social media graphics—focus on how God calls and equips us to share God’s love and good news with those we meet along life’s path. We are reminded that all the world needs our witness. Our witness matters.
Whatever ministries your church’s laity are involved in—preaching, praying and participating in worship, leading church and community meetings and activities, visiting homebound members and neighbors, caring for church facilities and furnishings, tending to church gardens, preparing meals, serving on mission trips, and so on—Laity Sunday is a perfect time to celebrate all that they do and hope to do in witness to the love and liberating gospel of Jesus Christ. Truly, “All the World Needs Our Witness.”
William "Bill" Thompson
Conference Lay Leader