S.C. lay servants to gather virtually for weekend academy

South Carolina’s lay servants might not be able to gather in-person this year, but they are hoping their online weekend academy will feel just as intimate, thoughtful and relationship-oriented.

The annual South Carolina Lay Servant Ministries Academy will be held Friday through Sunday, Oct. 9-11, featuring empowering worship, intelligent learning and practical training designed to help lay servants know and do all they can for the Lord. All events will be hosted via Zoom.

Salley preaches lay-clergy worship service Friday evening

On Friday night, Oct. 9, at 6:30 p.m., the Rev. Jeffrey Salley will kick off a Laity-Clergy Partnership Worship Service designed to commemorate the service of lay servants, pastors and district superintendents throughout the

South Carolina Conference, as well as lift up the event’s theme, “Rise Up! Move Forward Amid Change.”

Salley, pastor of the Canaan-Sand Hill Charge in the Walterboro District, will provide what LSM Director the Hon. Jackie Jenkins calls “a dynamic and electrifying sermon.”

The evening will also include a small-group icebreaker, awards, the lighting of the Christ candle, a prayer, a devotion and song.

Joens leads ‘train the trainers’ virtual academy Saturday

The next morning, Saturday, Oct. 10, beginning at 8:30 a.m., the Rev. Cathy Joens, congregational specialist, will lead a session on “How People Learn, Core Intelligences, Learning Hooks and Creating Interest.”

“We are grateful for Rev. Joens’s dedication and commitment to LSM,” Jenkins said. “Her life reflects the Scripture that says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ and she really does epitomize God’s example of ‘service above self.’”

Prior to Joens’s lesson, there will be a small group icebreaker time, prayer and the lighting of the Christ candle, remarks from Jenkins, as well as representatives from the Advocate and Southern Mutual Church Insurance, a devotion by Columbia District LSM Co-Director Chuck Sovick, and then Joens’s teaching.

Participants decide which course they would like to attend Sunday; all courses will be recorded for later viewing. Courses include the following:

  • Basic Lay Servant Ministry, led by Pernerva Thomas, Walterboro. GBOD approved, this course focuses on the many ways Lay Servants are called to be in ministry through such things as leading, teaching, serving, proclaiming the Gospel, disciple-making, storytelling and growing through personal spiritual formation.
  • Preach (From Your Heart to Theirs), led by Sovick. GBOD approved, this course helps people move beyond the basics of public speaking and the foundations necessary for preparing an engaging sermon. This course also includes types of sermons, from exegetical to topical to children’s sermons, as well as how to find a story, use the hymnal and how to move from communication on paper to beyond the paper.
  • Leading Prayer, led by Dana Richardson, Charleston. GBOD approved, this course covers how praying in public can be daunting, but prayer is something one learns. This course on praying in public will help the participant grow in confidence and skill in public prayer and enrich their personal prayer life.
  • Zoom 101, led by Joens, this course helps lay servant leaders understand and adapt to the Zoom platform.
  • Embracing Personal Prayer, led by Lynn Tyner, Rock Hill. GBOD approved, this course covers how prayer is a relationship with God that grows and matures over time. This course combines scriptural teaching and personal testimony that will help you overcome obstacles to intimacy with God. It features practical suggestions and honest testimony from a pilgrim who desires to walk with God.
  • Transforming Evangelism, led by Ken Moore, Greenville. GBOD approved, this course leads participants to learn from John Wesley how to practice relational evangelism. They will discover that evangelism involves not only sharing our faith with others but also welcoming people into a community where they can grow in faith.

Dancing with Words (Telling Stories), led by Kathy Hart, Columbia. A GBOD approved course, it will teach participants what constitutes a good story, discover storytelling styles, learn the techniques of effective storytelling and practice creating stories from their experiences.

Other items

Lay servants must attend Saturday and Sunday (seven hours in total) to receive a certificate for “Training the Trainer.”

Attendees can use any device that will sustain a reliable internet connection. Audio and microphone will be required. A camera is recommended, but not required.

All courses will be recorded so that those in attendance at the academy will be able to view later.

Registration must be completed by Oct. 1, 2020. Late registration cannot be accepted. Each district is responsible for ordering student books. Login information will be emailed to all who register. The registration fee ($15) covers the flash drives, handouts and mailing.

To register, contact the Rev. Kris Bergmann, co-coordinator of South Carolina LSM Instructors Academy, at 843-709-2094.

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