A Moment for Mission
“Proclaim the message, be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.” — 2 Timothy 4:2, NRSV
Laity Sunday celebrates the ministry of all Christians to love God and neighbor. We lift up the vocation of all to follow the way of Jesus and lead others to him, particularly as we remember the gift of those who loved us into leadership.
When we remember the faith of our spiritual mothers, grandmothers, sisters, sons, brothers and fathers, we find our own hearts reignited to “serve and witness in deeds and words that heal and free” (The Book of Discipline, Par. 128). This memory of grace crossing our paths directs us toward spiritual growth opportunities that spring from authentic and consistent relationships with other people, especially those beyond our church walls. The origin stories and concrete situations of those wrestling with the deep longings of life, these moments of thoughtful engagement—to see their families survive and flourish, to belong to a community of love, to discover a vocation that fulfills God’s deep purpose for them—turn into altar calls where disciples of Jesus do more than share grace: listening love becomes the means to our own healing and wholeness on the journey of faith. This is relational discipleship. This is faithful life in Christ that shares in God’s mission and purpose for the world.
As we awaken to Christ’s voice calling us to believe and be healed, we discover that the call of God almost always comes from unexpected people and places, since they are the all-called, too.
Adapted from “Rise Up! And Revive God’s Gift,” 2021 Laity Sunday resources, Discipleship Ministries
Have you ever volunteered? When a grown-up in your house asks if someone can wash the dishes or sweep the floor, perhaps you’ve said, “Sure; I’ll do it,” and gotten right to work. If your community has had a neighborhood cleanup day, maybe you and your friends have filled garbage bags with litter or picked up cans or bottles to be recycled. That’s volunteering!
How about volunteering at church? Do you sing in a children’s choir, participate in a Christmas program or visit people in a retirement home? That’s volunteering, too.
Each of us has gifts to share. Look for opportunities to share your love, time and talents with others—and invite your family and friends to join you. I think you will have fun!
Loving God, you call each of us to proclaim the good news, “with the utmost patience in teaching.” Thank you for special opportunities to share our faith. We love you. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost — Holy God, as we offer our gifts to you this day, we pray that, in our giving, we may be reconnected to the reason why we follow and the reason why we give. You called us to be disciples who make disciples. All-in -- knowing who we are, who you are. And why we are following. Help us avoid that which distracts, the desire to hear the things that please us and make the road easier, but that will not bring us to the kingdom of justice, mercy, and compassion you desire for us. In Christ, we pray, our guiding light. Amen. (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5)
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission is a grassroots movement designed to provide an official channel for volunteer service. Through UMVIM, lay and clergy Christians serve in their home country and around the world on short-term assignments at their own expense.
The UMVIM network offers guidance, organization and training for more than 125,000 volunteers each year who give their time and talent to minister with the poor, build churches and other mission facilities, assist in disaster-recovery efforts, participate in community health programs and attend leadership-training events each year. The UMVIM movement is organized by jurisdiction.
Many annual conferences observe United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Awareness Sunday in combination with Laity Sunday in October. Each conference determines the date.
UMVIM Awareness Sunday calls the church to celebrate those who have served in short-term missions and the work of UMVIM throughout the world. If an annual conference so directs, an offering may be received and used by the annual conference Volunteers in Mission program.
Adapted from General Board of Global Ministries website. Used by permission.