Sunday, October 07, 2012
East District Laity Celebration Features Lay Speaker Jack Harris
Once on the Internet, click on any image to enlarge it and/or click on the arrow in the icon below to view a video of the main speaker at this year's East District Laity Celebration:
Laity Ruled @ East District Laity Celebration: 10-07-12The East District of the North Texas UMC Conference is the only District in our Conference that still hosts an annual laity celebration.
If that seems a tad odd, it's likely because the history of the Methodist Church is filled with stars of the laity, beginning with many of the early preachers being laymen. John Wesley himself, founder of Methodism, was a big encourager of the laity, though he never left the English Anglican Church nor did he ever surrender his clergy credentials.
Still, one might be surprised not to recall, in recent years at least, a single instance of a member of the laity being the main speaker at one of these Laity Celebrations!
Not saying it hasn't happened: Just that I can't recall a recent example, and was pleasantly surprised to find the name of Mister Jack Harris, a Lay Speaker, listed on the program as the main speaker, meaning the one who brings the proclamation (the sermon, if you will) to this annual congregation.
Jack Harris was a fine speaker and brought a highly unusual message which encouraged each of us to consider our own influences, great and small, as well as the influences of everyone else. His presentation might very well have been titled "Influences," except that it was listed on the event's bulletin with no title at all.
His Scripture, however, was listed as John 4:28-31.
Perhaps most important, Jack Harris encouraged us to think carefully and often about how every one of us constantly influences others, how every action, every word may be a pivotal point or a tipping point in the life of someone else: someone close or someone not so close to us.
His message was a bit reminiscent of the Pay It Forward movie or the Six Degrees of Separation film, both of which remind us of our debt to others and the legacy we leave to those who follow.
At the very least, Jack Harris' message should have reinforced our debt to Methodism's "connectional system" as it relates to our churches and the individuals in our churches.
You are encouraged to watch the video of Jack Harris' entire proclamation elsewhere on this post.
Oh yes, and don't forget to pay it forward!