Special order of service for laymen established

The United Methodist Church has established an office of service for laymen that parallels the historic office of deaconess for laywomen.

Established May 3, the new office is called “home missioner.” The action greatly strengthens professional ministry opportunities for laymen, says the Rev. R. Randy Day, chief executive, United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

Like deaconesses, home missioners will devote their lives to alleviating suffering, eradicating causes of injustice and working to help others develop their full potential. They will serve in local churches and through community-service organizations and agencies beyond the church.

Home missioner candidates will be approved by the Board of Global Ministries, commissioned by a bishop and retain an ongoing relationship with the board. Full-time service will be the norm, with appointments fixed by bishops.

Creation of home missioners provides laymen with an opportunity for lifetime commissioned ministry for the first time since 1996. In that year, the denomination eliminated the category of lay diaconal ministers and established ordained deacons as a route to service ministries for women and men. The home missioner is the denomination’s first program solely for laymen.

General Conference delegates reconfirmed an earlier decision to grant annual conference membership, with voice and vote, to deaconesses and will extend the same privilege to home missioners.

Details are available by contacting Becky Dodson at the Board of Global Ministries at (212) 870-3850 or deaconess@gbgm-umc.org.

*Jones is editor of Response Magazine.

News media contact: (412) 325-6080 during General Conference, April 27-May 7.
After May 10: (615) 742-5470.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
General Conference
Chart summarizes and compares proposals to General Conference 2020 about the future of The United Methodist Church. Graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Comparing plans headed to GC2020

This chart summarizes and compares proposals to General Conference 2020 about the future of The United Methodist Church. The chart does not include plans from individuals and may be updated after all legislation is published.
General Conference
Bishop Kenneth H. Carter speaks during an oral hearing before the United Methodist Judicial Council meeting in Evanston, Ill. Carter is president of the denomination's Council of Bishops. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Church exit plan already in effect, court says

But the United Methodist Judicial Council has no ruling on Traditional Plan questions from bishops.
General Conference
Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, discusses his ideas for the interim time as the church works toward its future. He proposes a moratorium on the complaint process related to LGBTQ infractions alongside a loosening of the trust clause. Video image courtesy of UM News.

Bishop suggests hold on trials, trust clause

The Council of Bishops president proposes coupling a pause in church trials related to LGBTQ restrictions and a relaxation of the denomination’s trust clause.