By Amy Thompson
Amid the endless topics available for my first article as Conference Lay Leader, I would like say thanks to all of those who have touched my life and been a part of my faith walk. While there are too many to name, I want to acknowledge a few as they were present at Annual Conference, making this transition more special to me.
My earliest memories of Sunday School contain Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. While shaping my early learnings of Jesus Christ, they continued to influence my life well past second grade. They provided encouraging words, prayers in times of struggles and were strong examples of Christian living. Thank you for the hugs and smiles that offer the simple reminder of how much I am loved.
Throughout many years in ministry, many of us owe a word of thanks to Shirley Rundel. Shirley was my youth director and orchestrated many life lessons for me that I still reference today. The genuine and authentic relationship that she built with every youth demonstrated the love of Jesus Christ in the world. Thank you for your spirit and energy that encourages me to follow your example in living an authentic life.
Several pastors have ministered to me during my faith walk and each had a sphere of guidance at just the right moment. The joy in the eyes of Scott Hall as he wrapped me in a hug following the laity address was overwhelming. Scott served as my pastor at the end of high school and remained at my home church when I went off to college. Thank you for the outward expression of God’s love for His children here on earth.
While serving as a youth director for five years, I had the opportunity to learn and grow with some amazing youth. I had the honor of reconnecting with Kelley at conference after ten years. Many times in ministry we are unaware of the results of the seeds that we plant but we must continue to tend the fields. Thank you Kelley for affirming that seeds grow and blossom.
With many Christian friends present at Annual Conference, I give thanks for your words of encouragement as well as a word of thanks to my prayer warriors that are always ready to pray in times of discernment.
Each of these moments in time, as well as many other times, have influenced my faith walk and their influence along with God’s hand created me into the person I am today. We are called to share the love of Jesus Christ in this earthly world.
The conversations, the gestures, the actions you demonstrate in small moments, daily moments and in times of need influence the lives of others. I encourage you to take the time to show love as you are planting seeds that can grow into fruitfulness in limitless ways. I encourage you to say thank you to individuals in your life that have influenced your walk with Christ. I encourage you to consider God’s call in your life and respond to where God is leading you.
As of July 1, Amy Thompson is the new lay leader for the Missouri Conference. Thompson is a licensed clinical social worker in the Kansas City area, where she provides counseling for children and teens. She is a graduate of Central Methodist University and has a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Kansas. She enjoys sports, fishing and visiting family with her husband and her son. Her home church is Woods Chapel UMC in Lee’s Summit.