Praise of Our Lay Leadership

In previous Beacon articles, I have praised our steadfast congregation and last week our phenomenal staff! Today, I praise our amazing lay leadership! As we move forward from the most challenging year in Shalimar UMC's 69-year history and into 2021, I would like to say we would not have "weathered the storm" without our lay leadership. The "weathering of the storm" analogy seems like inadequate words. Despite all that went against us, our lay leadership has placed our congregation in a position to thrive this year!

In football, a center is not known as the quarterback. Yet, make no mistake about it; unless you get a good snap, the play has no chance. In church leadership, sometimes people do not know who is serving until something goes wrong! Well, let me lift up our lay leadership because they are doing so much right!

I will begin with the Lead Team! Throughout the year (sometimes very often), I meet with our Lead Team. This team is comprised of our Church Council Chair, Jeff McInnis; Finance Chair, David Mobley; Lay Leader, Gavin Tovrea; Staff Parish Chair, Wendy Thomas; Trustees Chair, Howard Goodpaster; and Church Administrator, Scott Newbold. These individuals go far beyond normal duties and invest additional time to build our Lead Team. We address common issues for the good of the church and the health of our overall administrative body. We all seek to be accountable to each other and stay in our lanes of particular leadership. We have found having a leadership team in place has created common priorities and elevates the work of our leadership teams of Church Council, Finance, Nominations, SPR, and Trustees. I cannot thank these chairpersons enough for helping us navigate through two difficult years. I am delighted to say our Lead Team has no personal agendas other than what is best for the church! We are so blessed by these chairpersons!

We are blessed by our administrative teams' leadership! This would include our Church Council (Jeff McInnis and members), Finance Committee (David Mobley; Mack Gay, Treasurer; and members), Lay Leadership/Nominations team members, Staff Parish (Wendy Thomas and members), and Trustees (Howard Goodpaster and team members). You can see all the members we need to thank for serving in our lay leadership listing in this Beacon! (see link below)

Our ministry teams also have excellent leadership! Missions have made a quantum leap forward this year under Pete Peters! Blessings for Children has emerged strongly under Mary Jane Robertson's vision! Our military ministry has excelled under Deb Hutto and Jeanne Racquier! Prayer ministry has remained constant under Jim Brantley. The AVL team has advanced light years under Hal Crowson and many others on his team! Our security ministry is second to none under the mentorship of Ed Keller! Our phenomenal Membership Secretary, Renata Steiner. Our Treasurer, Mack Gay who is such a splendid churchman! Under Jill Dickey's leadership and her team Sandy Kocanowski, Drew and Katie Pasco, Beth Russell, and Diane Rowe, worship has had a crazy year, yet a very fruitful year. Our worship team has had the daunting task of exercising all our COVID-19 protocols. Again, we are grateful to the children's leadership team: Melanie Bandy, Chris Day, and Jennifer McRae, for helping us through this time between directors. Ian Theriot's passion for youth ministry has positively impacted the program.

Finally, I apologize for any oversights in this article. We have so many leaders visible and behind the scenes to thank. I still have one more article of praise to write to finish this series. Two weeks from now, I will "praise additional volunteers and servants" at Shalimar UMC! There are far too many to capture in one article! Please take a moment and thank our lay leadership this year. Pray for them! Encourage them! Let's not only notice them when something goes wrong! Let's praise the good job they are doing! Our church would not have navigated two difficult years without them! Thanks be to God!

Next week I will be writing about the "State of our Church 2021." I will also highlight this report at all our worship services. Hope to see you in person or online this Sunday!


Philip McVay

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