Amy Thompson, Conference Lay Leader, challenged laity to answer the call to nurture and grow the faith of others. She acknowledged several individuals who had nurtured and encouraged her faith and called on each person at annual conference to identify someone they could nurture.
“I am here because of people like you,” she said. These people helped me to grow, to go deeper in her faith and commitment to service. “They encouraged me to use my gifts and talents. As they responded to their individual calls, they helped me respond to my call,” she added.
Then she asked, “Who has nurtured you? We the ordinary people are called by the spirit. God calls all of us to serve in different ways. We have different gifts, but the same spirit. Laity and clergy using their gifts have impacted my faith life. Through our words and actions, we can affect the lives of many.”
Cultivating a culture of call requires collaboration, Thompson said. Call is our way of responding to God so the world can be transformed in love.
Thompson said she has responded to a challenge she heard from Bishop Bob Farr. He asked, who are you nurturing? And who are you reaching out to build a relationship? She felt she had no time and was not equipped to reach out to others. But she began to pray about it. She first prayed about those who had nurtured her and then she began to pray about who she might nurture in return. Ultimately, she identified two persons whom she could attempt to nurture their faith and has begun to work on those relationships.
“In accepting this challenge, I will grow in my response to God’s call, she said. “Can you start with one person?” It could be a neighbor, a family member or a parent you meet at your child’s ball field.
“We demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ in our words and actions. When we respond in love, this world will be transformed,” she said.