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!

SUBSCRIBE
General Church
A group of centrist, progressive and traditionalist church leaders have come up with a plan for The United Methodist Church to separate amicably into two or more denominations. It's called the Indianapolis Plan, after where the group met. Photo by William Sturgell, courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by UM News.

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

Citing irreconcilable differences over homosexuality, a theologically diverse team of 12 envisions ʻnew expressions’ of United Methodism in a plan for the church’s future.
General Church
Bishop Rodolfo Alfonso “Rudy” Juan, who leads the Davao Area in the southern Philippines, preaches at the Commission on General Conference meeting in Lexington, Ky. Juan expressed disappointment in the decision not to hold the 2024 General Conference in the Philippines. Photo by Heather Hahn, UM News.

Plans canceled for GC2024 in Philippines

The 2024 gathering was expected to be the first time The United Methodist Church’s lawmaking assembly met outside the United States.
General Conference
Spare voting machines rest on a table at the 2019 United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Ask The UMC: How are decisions made at General Conference?

General Conference is the highest legislative body in The United Methodist Church. It usually convenes once every four years to determine the denomination’s future direction.