Laity Profiles page 6

Name Lavarn Hardin
Address 601 Seaton Blvd, Raymore 64083
Day Phone 816-318-8947
Email akalil02@aol.com
Local Church St Luke's UMC KCMO
District Heartland Central
 
Background Information, such as your church involvement, education, career, and relevent leadership experience.
I've been a Methodist & United Methodist all my life. I have been very active in two confereces, Nebraska and MO. I've had the honor of serving as UMW president for the Heartland Central District for five years. Dist Lay Leader for the old Kansas City So. Dist. where my husband and I won the 2005 Barrier Breaker Award. I am a certified Lay Speaker and is presently serving as Director of Lay Speaking for the HC Dist. I have been a study leader in Nebraska & Mo Conf. UMW.

How has your ministry demonstrated the Five Expectations of Christ-centeredness, Excellence, Collaboration, Accountability, and Fruitfulness?
With much prayer, and God leading my every step I've been blessed with leading an Upper Room Prayer ministry group for over ten years, the last two years I've taught 5-6 grade students Bible study in the Logos program. I lead an adult SS class twice a month. I am active in Church Women United and work very closely with Della Lamb on their fund raising project. I feel all of these things have demonstrated the Five Expectations God has set forth for me.
Why do you seek election as a Lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?
I am a Physical Challenge person (I have problems walking) but it nothing wrong with my mine and heart, I feel I have a good understanding of the church. I come speaking for folks like us, to make sure folks like us are seen, heard and spoken for. I promise if elected I will represent you in every way possible. I will make every meeting,and do everything in my power to represent God, you and the MO conference.
The "Mission" of the church is "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." How do you think the General Conference can help the church to fulfill this Mission?
I am a praying person,so I feel through much prayer, being open and up front in everything we do. General Conference is the one body that can set the pace for all those things and most certainly can help the church fulfill this Mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the tranformation of the world.

Name William Thomas (Tom) Lemons
Address PO Box 486, Palmyra, MO 63461
Day Phone 573-248-4349
Email JLemons@nemonet.com
Local Church Palmyra
District Mark Twain
Background Information, such as your church involvement, education, career, and relevent leadership experience.
B.S. University of Missouri – Kansas City. D.D.S. from UMKC in 1976. In private practice of general dentistry since 1976. Married 38 years. Served my local church in almost all leadership roles including Evangelism chair, Ad Council chair and Lay Leader. Taught adult and high school Sunday School. Served as District Director of Lay Speaking Ministries and District Lay Leader. Facilitator for district Lay Leadership Development course in 2010. Event director for 4th and 5th graders at Camp Jo-Ota 2007-2011. Serve as Lay Pastor of Fairmont-Luray-St. Francisville charge since January 2010. Certified Candidate to become Licensed Local Pastor.
How has your ministry demonstrated the Five Expectations of Christ-centeredness, Excellence, Collaboration, Accountability, and Fruitfulness?
Since participating in the Walk to Emmaus in 1994, I have been moving toward making Christ the center of my life. People say that in some aspects of my life not only do I seek excellence, but I am a perfectionist. The people I serve as pastor would say I collaborate with them in everything and I expect them to hold me accountable. In the churches I serve as pastor, fruit has been produced as evidenced in baptisms, membership increase, and attendance increase. One of the churches which has met only every-other Sunday for 40 years has voted to begin meeting weekly.
Why do you seek election as a Lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?
I believe we must first look at our basic beliefs. Clergy are currently prohibited from performing same-sex marriages in our churches and clergy currently cannot be self-avowed practicing homosexuals. I would vote at General Conference to retain these restrictions. Other candidates for GC delegate would vote to remove these restrictions. Other denominations experienced an exodus of members and some congregations after they lifted similar restrictions.

I believe before we vote for GC candidates at this Annual Conference, everyone should know how the people we are electing will vote at GC.

I believe before we vote on GC delegates we should have the opportunity to get to know and interact with them. I have set up a Facebook page for discussion: General Conference Lay Candidates-MO discussion.

I believe the GC should produce significant action steps which follow the Call to Action report in the areas of focusing on the mission, emphasizing congregations, reaching younger generations, recapturing the Methodist movement, and developing leadership.
The "Mission" of the church is "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." How do you think the General Conference can help the church to fulfill this Mission?
The General Conference can help the church fulfill its mission if the GC sets policy and beliefs that are consistent with the teachings of Christ. Most disciples are made at the local church level. The policies of the GC should be to assist the local church.

 

Name Meagan Sinn
Address 88 Pebblebrook Ln (STL)
Day Phone 573.489.4556
Email meagansinn@yahoo.com
Local Church The Gathering UMC
District Gateway Central
 

 

Background Information, such as your church involvement, education, career, and relevent leadership experience.
I grew up in the United Methodist Church and Missouri Conference, which I credit with providing me a foundation for a deep spiritual life, as well as leadership experiences. As a youth, I served my local church youth group, and was blessed to attend and serve on multiple Chrysalis flights, including as Youth Assistant Lay Director and elected member of the Board. I was also elected to CCYM for two years, where I served as chair of the Youth Service Fund, and attended Missouri (East) Annual Conference as a youth delegate at-large.

In college, I sat on the university's community service board and continued to take on leadership roles within my sorority. Upon graduation, I then returned to my home church, serving on Staff-Parish Committee for two years, before moving to St. Louis.

After attending multiple churches of other denominations, I knew God was calling me to find a church where I could again serve Him. I found The Gathering in its first year of existence, and immediately was asked to join the Visioning Team. That group has since evolved into The Gathering Council/Board, combining the traditional roles of SPC, Trustees, Finance and Council in one, where I continue to serve, as well as leading many small groups, initiating Women's Ministry at The Gathering, and serving on our Lay Teaching Team for our intern pastor.

In addition to local church roles, I continued to serve on Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis in various capacities, was on Leadership for city-wide Bible Study Fellowship for three years, and annually help coordinate the corporate United Way campaign for my company, where I work as an accountant.
How has your ministry demonstrated the Five Expectations of Christ-centeredness, Excellence, Collaboration, Accountability, and Fruitfulness?
First and foremost, I've learned that one cannot lead effectively if he or she is not personally growing, and so I work to maintain and deepen my personal faith through resources inside and outside of my local church. I try to filter all my decisions through the lens of Christ, and His goals for my life. I have become increasingly aware that I am being "called" into ministry as a priority (not just an add-on) in my personal - and potentially professional - life. This means exploring new leadership, educational, or spiritual growth oppotunities.

The church is nothing if not collaborative, and I seek to surround myself with others who have the same mission. In a young, growing church, its vital to "bring others alongside", as visions are implemented and the work begins, then increases. Helping raise new leaders is an amazing thing of which to be a part and is encouraging spiritually. We are also learning the challenges of growth, and how to create a structure, in order for both individuals and the church to be able to most effectively bear fruit in our community and world. This process takes God's guidance, as well as collaboration and accountability. The work is both thrilling and humbling.
Why do you seek election as a Lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?
I have a story and a voice that is both unique and similar to many others in our conference churches. My path through young adulthood has taken me into and out of the doors of various churches, many of which were not United Methodist. I rebelled against its structure in college, only to find myself seeking solace in my "home" UM church when my world needed balance and stability again. When I moved to St. Louis, I sought connection elsewhere for months before accepting that where I felt God the most was in the doors of an United Methodist church.

Being a part of The Gathering, a new United Methodist Church that is defying odds and changing lives, has only increased my desire to share my experiences, learn from others, and be a part of something that is bigger than myself.
The "Mission" of the church is "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." How do you think the General Conference can help the church to fulfill this Mission?
The United Methodist Church is in a prime postition to make a real difference in the world, starting at an individual level. There is nothing that I've found that compares to the connectional church, and I believe there is a need to bring relevance, hope and energy back into this denomination, equipping local churches to connect with people and to make real impacts in communities.

Policies and structure create freedom when established with love and with the right vision. We need to make sure our vision to live into the Great Commission is at the forefront of all decisions. The Church is at a cross-roads and needs to do what it can to ensure future generations know that God is real, Christ is life-changing, and hope is alive.

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