2018 Academy for Laity
The Basic Course – The Journey Begins
Ready to explore God’s call in your life? Take the first step in the Christ Servant Ministry program with others who have heard that still, small voice calling in the night or are sure they have been hit across the head with a two-by-four. The Basic Course provides a firm foundational understanding of God’s presence in our lives, the meaning and mission of the church, and insight into how and where you can apply the gifts you have and will receive from our Lord. You will learn about the need for servant ministries in our world and what it means to be a servant for Christ. The Basic Course is also the first step towards further development as a Certified Lay Speaker or Certified Lay Minister
Participants in this course must request the recommendation and approval from their Local Church and submit it with their registration.

Making Every Prayer Count:  Moving from ME to WE
Have you ever had trouble connecting with God?  Praying for others?  This course is designed to be a powerful resource aimed at making your personal prayer life more effective (ME) and equipping you to be a person of impact within your church and community (WE).  We will begin our journey focusing on “me”.  Diving into areas of God given identity and the impact that our belief system has on every aspect of our life.  We will explore how we grow in intimacy with Jesus, our belief system and the importance of forgiveness.   As we look at “WE” we will dive into developing a prayer ministry at the local church, learn some simple but effective prayer models (salvation, blessing, healing etc.), and explore what it means to be a people who call others into a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ.  This course is full of laughter, hand’s-on activation, Q&A, and God surprises!

Pastoral Care: What to Say To People Who Are Hurting
Do you find yourself in situations where you struggle with what to say? How do you provide comfort to them without sounding insincere?

The practice of Pastoral Care Ministry can leave even the most well-intentioned visitor searching for the right words. Pastoral care is not just a clergy responsibility, but a ministry of the church. Illness can cause physical, emotional and spiritual crisis and having some tools will help you be a reassuring presence. We will discuss visits to hospitals, nursing homes, or shut-ins, and utilize role-playing exercises. This course will give you practical knowledge you can use on your next visit.

Speaking 1: Preaching to be Heard
Speaking 1 is the basic course for those who wish to preach or to enhance their speaking abilities. This class will look at the focus of our preaching, share ideas on the development of sermons, and create an opportunity for each participant to develop and present a “mini” sermon to the group. An important part of this experience is the sharing of feedback in a supportive and safe setting so that all who wish to preach can benefit from the group. The expectation is that our time together will be one of joy and excitement.

Hablando 1: Predicando para ser Escuchado
Hablando 1 es el curso básico para aquellos que desean predicar o mejorar sus habilidades para hablar. Esta clase mirará el foco de nuestra predicación, compartirá ideas en el desarrollo de sermones, y creará una oportunidad para que cada participante desarrolle y presente un "mini" sermón al grupo. Una parte importante de esta experiencia es compartir la retroalimentación en un entorno de apoyo y seguridad para que todos los que deseen predicar puedan beneficiarse del grupo. La expectativa es que nuestro tiempo juntos será uno de alegría y emoción.

Speaking 2: Preaching by Number
”Color by number” books help children become something of an artist. While preaching will always require particular spiritual gifts to be effective, it is an art, and by following a few simple steps most preachers can improve their craft. Designed for those who have already learned how to craft an individual sermon, this class will look at the overall process of preaching, how to coordinate preaching topics with other aspects of ministry, and how to ensure that the preaching program has a purpose.

Participants must have taken the prerequisite Speaking 1 course.

Disability Ministry and the Body of Christ
Disability is a normal part of life. But what is a disability? What comes to mind when you hear the word disabled or disability? This course will begin by exploring definitions of disability and taking a brief walk through disability history. We will discover how to be in ministry alongside people with disabilities of all ages. Structuring a ministry with the Great Commission in mind incorporate Outreach and Evangelism to families will be discussed. We will see where Theology and Disability intersect as we look closely at the encounters Jesus had with people who had disabilities. We will learn the viewpoints of the Disability community on bioethics and disability. Finally, we will learn how to take what we’ve learned and move forward to begin ministry that not only includes people with disabilities, but ministries where people with disabilities fully participate, lead, and welcome others to build a truly inclusive beloved community.

Emotional Intelligence: A Blueprint for Your Spiritual Path
Do you find yourself ‘stuck’ on your spiritual path? Do you feel frustrated at times on not understanding how to use your faith on your journey? Are you struggling with relationships with God, your friends, or your family?   Then now is the time to consider how ‘emotional intelligence’ can be your blueprint for living your faith! It is becoming aware of how to control and express one's emotions, and to how to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically Realizing that emotional intelligence begins with the individual before it can impact others can help reshape our thinking around communication, teamwork, conflict management, peak performance—basically how we live out our faith! Emotionally intelligent congregations are those that support intergenerational worship experiences and events. Use emotional intelligence to create vibrant youth and young adult ministries while providing excellent care to all ages!

Throughout this class, you will actively use emotional intelligence and develop an action plan or blueprint for living your faith in a healthy and emotionally intelligent manner! You will be able to: capitalize on using emotional intelligence in your life, effectively deal with typical life issues, identify effective methods to communicate, collaborate, and build a high-performing church team, identify your unique profile in regards to emotional intelligence and ensure your youth, young adults, and adult ministries are emotionally intelligent.

Addiction Caring Ministry: Addiction Recovery through the Power of Prayer
Addiction to Alcohol, Opioid and other drugs is a disease, and is rampant in our society today. This course looks at the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of this disease that destroys people, their relationships, the body, the mind and the spirit including the soul. We will examine how a prayer-centered support system can affect treatments and their successes and failures, then move to the ‘Power of Prayer’ of dealing with addicts; getting started, ministering to all laity, children, youth, adults, and “Long of Tooth. ”We will see that clergy as well as laity are subject to this calamity. Recovery treatment may require professional intervention, use of a 12-step program, and/or a “Rehabilitation” facility. We examine co-dependency, dual diagnosis, societal and behavioral aspects of addictions and chemical dependency, and we explore help available from resources outside the local church.

'Let Your Light So Shine'
Maximize your message and ministry through media and marketing
Use today's online communication tools—websites, social media, e-mail, video, etc.—to put your church’s digital lamp on its lampstand (Matthew 5:15-16).  Mobilize community awareness and response to your church’s message and ministries through media and marketing.  We'll explore the development and strategic uses of marketing plans, Web ministry, storytelling, social media, video, and more tools and tactics to shine your light so that others may "see your good works and glorify your God in Heaven."  We will also consider where churches can find help—for example, training, coaching, financial assistance and online resources from United Methodist Communications.

Lesson Outline:
1.     Improve Communication in Your Church and Beyond
2.     Build Your Church Marketing Plan, Using UMCom’s New Toolkit
3.     Grow Your Church Online with Web Ministry
4.     Connect Your Church and Community with Social Media
5.     Reach and Inform Members with Email
6.     Use Storytelling to Share Faith and Wisdom

Have you ever wondered about the Gifts of the Spirit or Spiritual Gifts?  Do you know that every believer in Jesus Christ has at least one supernatural gift?

A spiritual gift, or charismata in Greek, is an endowment or extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit.  Spiritual Gifts are different than the Fruit of the Spirit given to all Christians as taught in Galatians 5:23. Spiritual Gifts are extraordinary graces given to ordinary folks.

In this class, we will explore what the Bible teaches about these ancient, unchanging gifts and how they can be used to better our lives and advance the Kingdom of God in the 21st century.   We will define and explore how to hone and strengthen the gifts given us while practicing deepening our own relationship with God who gives us all gifts.  We will also explore how our gifts can be utilized in our local church context and denominational structure.

'Restorative justice,' as Howard Zehr, called the Father of Restorative Justice puts it, 'is not a map, but the principles of restorative justice can be seen as a compass pointing a direction.' Though its implementation looks different depending on the context, RJ is guided by a set of principles that are rooted in several core values. These values include respect, interconnectedness, and particularity. The belief that every human being by birthright has dignity and is to be treated with respect is central to RJ. Also, core is the belief that all people: are interconnected and that what affects one affects all. And while 'we are an interconnected, we are all different. Acknowledging and embracing particularity makes for a more open and diverse process that is more consistent with the human condition. RJ is a values-driven process. RJ is about holding people accountable with our Biblical value based system while still finding resolution agreeable to all parties to repair the harm committed.