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Laity offer thoughts on State of the Church

 

The Rev. Kathy Noble
January-February 2016

As we planned and prepared this issue of Interpreter, we knew we would include the official report on the State of the Church. There would be stories illustrating progress on the Four Areas of Focus and the Vital Congregations initiative as well as examples of local churches working together and with the support of general agencies to make world-transforming disciples of Jesus Christ.

We wanted also to offer you the perspectives of some laity whose leadership in their congregations and beyond gives them perspectives that are both local and global. Accepting the invitation were the people who will deliver the Laity Address and the Young Peoples' Address at General Conference 2016 in Portland, Oregon, in May. The opinions they express in their essays are their own.

Laity Address

  • Courtney Fowler, Manhattan, Kansas, Great Plains Conference lay leader.
  • Brian Hammons, Springfield, Missouri, Missouri Conference lay leader.
  • Warren Harper, Williamsburg, Virginia, Virginia Conference lay leader.
  • Scott Johnson, Buffalo, New York, Upper New York Conference lay leader.
  • Simon Mafunda, Harare, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe East Conference lay leader.
  • Holly Neal, Crossville, Tennessee, Tennessee Conference lay leader.

Young People's Address

  • Peter Cibuabua, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, one of three young adult leaders of the third African Annual Summit.
  • Chelsea Spyres, Detroit, Michigan, Global Mission Fellow US-2.

All plenary sessions of General Conference, including the Laity Address and the Young People's Address, will be streamed live at GC2016.umc.org and on the mobile app. Watch the Laity Address at 8:45 a.m. PDT on Friday, May 13, and the Young People's Address at 8:45 a.m. PDT on Saturday, May 14.

The Rev. Kathy Noble, Interpreter editor