LAKELAND – The 2018 Florida Annual Conference laity session Thursday, led by conference Lay Leader Paulette Monroe, highlighted the vital contributions lay workers provide at United Methodist churches throughout the state.
That work includes the conference commitment to disaster relief after the state and Puerto Rico were battered by two major hurricanes in 2017.
As Disaster Response Coordinator Pam Garrison noted, “Lives were forever changed, and the church did what the church does. You reached out to hurting and broken people.”
The need continues to be great though. Molly McEntire, mission training and volunteer coordinator, said recovery could take up to five more years.
Dan Jackson, director of the conference's Vital Church Initiative, addressed the challenges and opportunities the Conference faces as Florida continues its rapid growth and change.
“Vitality without transforming action is wasted potential,” he said.
The Children and Youth Choir at First UMC Lakeland also offered three special musical selections that were well received.