In October, our United Methodist tradition focuses on two elements that go hand in hand. It is both Pastor Appreciation Month, and the month which includes Laity Sunday, which “calls the Church to celebrate the ministry of Christians of all ages in the home, workplace, congregation, community, and world”.
Our pastor, Rev. CherLue Vang, has already received an invitation which proves how greatly he is valued by those who have known his ministry for many years. The Hmong United Methodist National Caucus is having its Annual Conference/Revival in Wisconsin Oct. 23-25, and the program director wrote to our PPR committee to request that we allow Pastor Lue to attend and be the main speaker for the event. In that letter, it was noted that “Rev. Vang has been a long standing member and one of the founders of the Hmong churches here in the U.S. and abroad”. The PPR was pleased to have Rev. Vang accept the invitation. To see an additional indication of Pastor Lue’s well known ministries, check out hymn #350 in our United Methodist Hymnal; at the bottom of the page you’ll find his name listed as the translator of the Laotian hymn, Come, All of You.
On Sunday, October 25th, while Pastor Lue is away, Wingate UMC will celebrate Laity Sunday by having Taylor Byrum bring our message that morning. Taylor is most famous in our congregation for his many years of providing our Children’s Sermon during worship, though that certainly has not been the only service he has supplied to us. Since he retired this past summer from giving valuable lessons to consider “as you grow up, and as you grow older”, the Worship Committee asked Taylor to preach on Laity Sunday so that we can all celebrate getting to hear one more message from him.
Laity Sunday and Pastor Appreciation Month give us all an opportunity, excuse and reminder to offer encouragement to one another as we serve together in “the priesthood of all believers” and living our call as disciples of Christ. So send notes and cards, give a call or send a text or e-mail, and otherwise “gift” each other with tokens that say how treasured their offerings of service and ministry are. Such sharing can revive fainting hearts and energize faith.
~ Susan Hendrix
Originally published in the Wingate UMC newsletter for October 2015.
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