Laity Link August 2011

The North Alabama Conference Board of Laity wishes to thank Ellen Harris for five years of service to the North Alabama Conference as the Conference Lay Leader 2006-2011. Ellen retired at the last Annual Conference and now is working hard in her home church making a difference for God and spending much time with her grandkids. Ellen, will represent the North Alabama Conference as a Delegate to the General Conference next April in Tampa and at the SEJ Jurisdictional Conference in July at Lake Junaluska. Ellen, congratulations on a well-deserved rest, and thanks for all you have done as Conference Lay Leader and for serving on the various conference Committees for all the many years. You have left your God like fingerprints on the North Alabama Conference and we appreciate your good work.

There are four new District Lay Leaders serving on the Laity Board starting at this past Annual Conference, Bob Neighbors from Equality in Coosa County took my place as District Lay leader of the Southeast District. Betty Zoller from Hampton Cove in Madison County is now serving the Northeast District. Jim Wilson from Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa County is now serving the Southwest District. Charlie Carlton from Indian Springs Village in Shelby County is the District Lay Leader serving the South Central District. The four District Lay Leaders who remained on the Laity Board from last year are Janet Brookman from Florence in Lauderdale County serving Northwest District. Cathy Williams from Rainbow City in Etowah County is serving Mountain Lakes District and Denise Cone from Birmingham in Jefferson County is serving Central District. Leigh Murphy from Talladega in Talladega County is serving Cheaha District. This is a very talented team of Lay Members, who are giving of their time on behalf of the many churches in the North Alabama Conference.

No two Districts are alike, but all share the same problems and goals. Speaking of goals, at the first Laity Board quarterly meeting in August, Laity goals will be set paralleling the Conference Goals. These goals will be workable goals that can and will make a difference for Jesus Christ in our Conference.

The Laity Board members are elected by the Districts and the Conference Lay Leader is elected by the members of the North Alabama Annual Conference. Therefore, the Laity Board is the Board of the 147,000 United Methodists that represent all the members of the North Alabama Conference churches, Clergy included. If you have suggestions or positive input of how the Laity Board can be more effective in the Conference and Districts, contact members directly as their contact information is located on the Conference website in the Directories section. After the August Laity meeting, the Goals will be published on the Conference website, similar to the recent posting by Bishop Willimon and his goals for 2011-2012. The first goal will be, to more often update the Laity section of the website, sharing with you information that can help you be more informed about the Conference and its ministries.

We are all United Methodists; therefore we share the same needs and wants. We must all work together for our great Church and for its future, I really don’t think it will vanish someday as some have predicted……With your help it won’t disappear, instead the church will grow and prosper for God. We must look at our challenges and meet them head on, not close our doors to the world around us.



Steve Lyles
Conference Lay Leader


By: Steve Lyles On 8/9/2011
Topics: Lay Ministry


1. Frances H Moore wrote on 8/9/2011 9:58:01 PM
Thank you Steve for your delightful message to us laity, and congratulations to you on being chosen to be our lay leader. It is a wonderful job filled with so many opportunities for personal growth and witness. I am sure you will do a great job for us. May God grant you His blessings and keep you in His peace.
2. Joy Shackelford wrote on 8/10/2011 4:38:44 PM
Much appreciation to you Steve for this update and connection. Our local church Lay Leader, Elizabeth Springfield has taken her office very seriously. She is a young adult. Betty Zoller is from our church so we have no excuse on to empower our laity. My prayers are with you in this new position.